Remembering Professor Wally MacBain

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Former Marquette law professor Wallace Alexander MacBain, III passed away on July 17, 2009, as the result of complications from a fall at his home in Nashotah, Wisconsin.  Professor MacBain was born in Audubon, New Jersey, on March 21, 1933.  His father, Wallace A. MacBain, Jr., was a member of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipworkers of America. 

Prof. MacBain graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers Law School in 1959 where he was also a member of the law review.  He spent the early years of his  professional life involved with school desegregation issues and served as a consultant to the United States government on that subject.  He joined the Marquette faculty in 1965 where he remained until his retirement at the end of the 1994-95 academic year.  As a faculty member, he served under Deans Seitz, Boden, DeGuire, and Barkan.

At Marquette, he served for several years as director of admissions (when that was still a position held by a faculty member).  Over the course of his career he taught a wide variety of courses, but his specialties were Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Legislation, and Conflicts of Law.  He was frequently quoted in the Milwaukee newspapers, and his most widely cited article had to do with the insanity defense.

His colleagues remember him as a devoted academic citizen and as a wonderful story teller.  He is survived by his wife as well as two children and two step-children and a number of grandchildren.

Marquette Law School at 100: Remembering Carl Zollman

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Although now largely forgotten at Marquette, Carl Zollman was a prominent American legal scholar of the first half on the twentieth century who spent his entire academic career at this Law School.  Zollman is recognized as the founder of aviation law as an academic discipline, and the case can also be made that he is the founder of sports law as well.  The latter claim is obviously quite appropriate given the Marquette Law School’s current prominence in the field of sports law.

Born in Wellsville, New York, in 1879, Zollman was educated to be a minister in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.  He was ordained in 1902 and became a pastor at a small church in Williamsburg, Iowa.  In 1906, he moved to Wisconsin, where his father, also a Lutheran minister, was involved with an enterprise known as the Evangelical Lutheran Colonization Company.  For reasons that are not known, the younger Zollman resigned from the ministry later that year and enrolled in the law program at the University of Wisconsin, just a month or two shy of his twenty-seventh birthday.  He received a law degree from Wisconsin in 1909, and he joined a Madison law firm.

Over the next thirteen years Zollman moved between a variety of law and editorial positions in Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee, all the while publishing extensively.  Continue reading “Marquette Law School at 100: Remembering Carl Zollman”

Marquette Law School at 100: Reconsidering the Law School’s Early Decades

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The Marquette University Law School came into being in 1908 when Marquette University acquired the propriety Milwaukee Law School and a recently established competitor known somewhat grandiosely as the Milwaukee University Law School. (Milwaukee University consisted only of its law school, and the school had only ten students.) These acquisitions were part of a larger project which converted Marquette from a tiny undergraduate college to a full-fledged university.

To mark the 100th anniversary of these events, the Marquette University Law School has sponsored a series of symposia this fall focusing on various aspects of the history of the Law School. The first two sessions, focusing on the Milwaukee Law School and the first quarter century of the Marquette University Law School featured the research of historians Tom Jablonsky, Joseph Ranney, and Gordon Hylton. The third, fourth, and fifth sessions featured former students from different eras of the Law School who eventually entered law teaching as a career. (These included Jim Ghiardi ’42; Frank DeGuire ’60, Jack Kircher ’63, Michael Zimmer ’67, Chuck Clausen ’70, Christine Wiseman ’72, Janine Geske ’75, Tom Hammer ’75, and Phoebe Williams ’81.) The final session, scheduled for November 18, will feature the perspectives of three faculty members who did not attend the Law School but who have been members of the faculty since the 1980’s: Judi McMullen, Dan Blinka, and Peter Rofes.

The symposium has revealed that the Marquette Law School has a rich, complicated history that is largely unknown to most of its current faculty and students. (In this regard, one suspects that Marquette is typical of most American law schools.) Moreover, the symposium has revealed that many of the frequently repeated statements about the history of the Law School — particularly in regard to its formative era — are not quite accurate.

For example, the symposium has revealed that the most important figure in the history of the Law School is almost certainly former Dean Max Schoetz (pictured above), who was dean of the Law School from 1916 to 1927.

Continue reading “Marquette Law School at 100: Reconsidering the Law School’s Early Decades”