Remembering Year 2 in Sensenbrenner Hall

As we settle into the second year of Eckstein Hall, it is interesting to look back and try to imagine what it would have been like to have been a student in Sensenbrenner Hall in its second year, 1925-1926. First of all, the Sensenbrenner Hall of 1925 was quite different from the building that the law school vacated in July of 2010. The original building, known only as the Law Building until the 1950’s and constructed for the princely sum…

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The Unfortunately Forgotten Vernon X. Miller

Who was the first Marquette University law professor to have clerked for a justice on the United States Supreme Court?  (Hint: the answer is not current dean Joseph Kearney.)  Who was the first, and only, Marquette law professor ever elected president of the Association of American Law Schools?  Who was the only Marquette Law Professor to have studied at Yale Law School during the heyday of legal realism and to be described by legendary Yale law professor Myres McDougal as…

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Diversity in Legal Education

[Editor’s Note: This month, we asked a few veteran faculty members to share their reflections on what has changed the most in legal education since they became law professors. The first two posts in the series are here (Kossow) and here (Bradford).]

In the early 1970’s, the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools were prodding law schools to diversify their faculties and their student bodies. Indeed, many schools did not provide equal opportunities to diverse groups in either admissions or in employment. The consequences of such discrimination were harmful to legal education and to the profession. The demands of the ABA and AALS created a sense of urgency and law schools quickly responded. Initially, the response focused on the need to provide access to women and to racial minorities. This focus was not surprising given the strength of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s and the momentum of the women’s movement in the early 1970’s.

Prior to 1970, Marquette University Law School adhered to the traditional pattern of the academic community. Diversity, in any meaningful sense, simply did not exist in the student body or on the faculty. But the administration and the faculty were not indifferent to the urgent need for change. I was offered a teaching position at the Law School in the fall of 1974 and was the first woman appointed to a full-time tenure-track faculty position.   (more…)

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Reminiscing About Legal Education – How Technology Changed Examinations, Course Materials, and Instruction

[Editor’s Note: This month, we asked a few veteran faculty members to share their reflections on what has changed the most in legal education since they became law professors. This post is the second in the series.]

In 1983 when I became a law professor, no one had a personal computer.  Dictaphones were a common piece of office equipment.  Secretaries typed our syllabi, handouts, and examinations. Examinations had to be reproduced on the mimeograph machine and collated by hand. Of course, students handwrote exam answers in bluebooks.  The law school didn’t allow students to type their answers, even if they offered to provide their own portable typewriters.

Around 1985 faculty members received personal desktop computers for the first time, thanks to Dean Frank DeGuire’s advocacy and generous donations from the members of the Woolsack Society. Those computers changed our lives and made instruction so much more efficient, especially once we learned how to press “Escape,” “Transfer,” and “Save” to save a document to a 5 ½” floppy disk. (Lost documents were a constant problem for neophyte computer users.)   (more…)

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The 100th Anniversary of the Law School’s First Real Graduation

Although the fact went largely unnoticed, the May 2011 Law School Commencement marked the centennial anniversary of the first real law degrees awarded by Marquette University.  In June of 1911, nine students who had entered the initial full-time law program offered by Marquette University in the fall of 1908 received their bachelor of laws diplomas at the annual Marquette Commencement ceremony. The subject of early Marquette law degrees is complicated by the decision of the University to award Marquette Law…

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