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University of Minnesota Law School History

Deans


William S. Pattee
1888-1911

William R. Vance
1911-1920

Everett Fraser
1920-1948

Maynard E. Pirsig
1948-1955

William B. Lockhart
1956-1972

Carl A. Auerbach
1972-1979

Robert A. Stein
1979-1994

E. Thomas Sullivan
1995-2002

Alex M. Johnson Jr.
2002-2006

David Wippman
2008-Present

Law School Timeline

1851: University of Minnesota incorporated by territorial legislature

1857: First University building opens on east bank of Mississippi river

1858: Minnesota admitted into the Union

1861: University closes due to Civil War

1869: University permanently reopens under first president, William W. Folwell

1870: Regents accept President Folwell's "Minnesota Plan" for University to be educational and cultural center offering graduate training

1882: Students demonstrate over demerits, faculty member inadvertently shoots student in the leg; President Folwell resigns; Minnesota Plan repealed

1888: University establishes professional schools; Law School opens in basement of main University building; William S. Pattee appointed first dean and faculty member; 32 enroll in day school and 35 in night school

Pattee Hall

1889: First law school building (Pattee Hall) completed

1890: Second full-time faculty member (James Paige) hired; first woman student (Flora E. Matteson) begins classes

1893: First women (Flora E. Matteson, Marie A. McDermott) graduate from Law School

1894: First African American, John Frank Wheaton, graduates from Law School

1896: Third full-time faculty member (A.C. Hickman) hired

1901: Night school enrollment peaks at 194

1905: Addition to Pattee Hall doubles its capacity

1909: Law School requires 1 year of undergraduate work for applicants seeking a degree

1911: Law School requires 2 years of undergraduate work for applicants seeking a degree

1911: William R. Vance becomes Law School dean

1912: Arthur C. Pulling arrives from Harvard to oversee library's collection of 17,000 volumes; night school closes

1913: Law School begins clinical program

1917: Student-edited Minnesota Law Review begins publication

1920: Everett Fraser becomes Law School dean; Minnesota Law Review becomes official journal of state bar association.

1921: Dean Fraser itemizes urgent need for new building: classrooms and reading room inadequate, library space exhausted and flammable

1923: Law School receives full accreditation from the American Bar Association (the first year of the ABA accreditation process)

Fraser Hall

1928: New Law School building opens for classes

1930: Dean Fraser initiates "Minnesota Plan," a strategy of admission, curriculum, and program-length requirements destined to undergo numerous modifications

1939: Law Library holdings exceed 100,000 volume

1948: Maynard E. Pirsig becomes Law School dean; Minnesota Law Review's relationship with bar association terminated

1951: Law School building dedicated as Fraser Hall

1952: Library holdings reach 185,000 volumes

1954: Interdepartmental training program for delinquency-control professionals established (runs until 1970)

1956: William B. Lockhart becomes Law School dean; additions to Fraser Hall ready for use; first woman, Dorothy Oerting Lareau ('52), joins faculty

1957: State Bar Association authorizes Law School's Legal Aid Clinic; Minnesota Plan discontinued

1960: Legal Aid Clinic reports 220% increase in caseload over 3-yr period

1964: Entering-class enrollment limited to 250 students

1965: Faculty approves 3-yr curriculum; third-year students begin receiving credit for work in Legal Aid Clinic

1967: Minnesota Supreme Court permits senior students, under supervision, to appear in court in civil and criminal matters; "Decades Ahead" report estimates need for $14 million to remodel or replace law building by 1980

1969: Robert E. Oliphant becomes first full-time clinical professor in "nonregular" appointment

1970: Library seating accommodates only 46% of student

1971: First black (and second woman), Joyce A. Hughes ('65), joins faculty

1972: Carl A. Auerbach becomes Law School dean

1977: Faculty-edited Crime and Justice begins publication

Mondale Hall

1978: New Law School building opens on West Bank campus

1979: Robert A. Stein becomes Law School dean

1980: Faculty exchange program with Sweden's Uppsala University initiated

1981: Student-edited Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice begins publication

1983: Students added to Uppsala University exchange program; computer-based instruction programs in conjunction with Harvard Law School initiated; two computer labs for students added to Law Library

1984: Faculty-edited Constitutional Commentary begins publication

1988: Entering-class limit raised to 270; Law School celebrates its centennial; Law Library acquires its 500,000th volume; Human Rights Center established

1991: Student-edited Minnesota Journal of Global Trade begins publication (name changed to Minnesota Journal of International Law in 2006); Minnesota Center for Legal studies established

1993: Institute on Race and Poverty established

1995: E. Thomas Sullivan becomes Law School dean

2000: Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences established; student-edited Minnesota Intellectual Property Review begins publication (name changed to Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology in 2004)

2001: Addition to Law School building completed; Walter F. Mondale Hall dedicated; Kommerstad Center for Business Law established; Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center established

2002: Alex M. Johnson Jr. becomes Law School dean; average annual enrollment at Law School's 18 clinics exceeds 300; students' Theatre of the Relatively Talentless founded; annual 5K Race for Justice formed to raise funds for Loan Repayment Assistance Program

2004: Law Library acquires millionth volume, the papers of Clarence Darrow; laptop program for first-year students begins

2005: Institute on Crime and Public Policy established

2006: Fred Morrison and Guy-Uriel Charles become interim Law School deans; student summer study in China program opens; Institute for Law and Economics, Institute for Law and Politics, and Institute for Law and Rationality established

2007: Program in Law and History established

2008: David Wippman becomes tenth Law School dean

2009: Law School becomes new editorial home of ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law

2011: Law School launches $70 million fundraising campaign; Corporate Institute established; Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice established

2012: Institute on Race and Poverty renamed Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity

2013: Law School celebrates its 125th anniversary; Human Rights Center celebrates its 25th anniversary; Center for New Americans established; Mock Trial Scholars Program established

"Old Main", the original site of the Law School.
Pattee Hall
Fraser Hall
Mondale Hall