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VIEW OF LIBRARY ACROSS LAW QUAD
AERIAL PANORAMA OP
THE LAW SCHOOL AS AN INSTITUTION
The Law School, like any institution, evolved from the
cumulative foresight of leaders and the good sense of fol-
lowers into something which is both a process and a
physical entity. Fittingly, the goal towards which all of
us-students and faculty alike-have labored was stated
by William W. Cook, who in an act of magnificent philan-
thropy provided a home for the aspirations of generations
of legal educators.
In 1929, as the Law Quadrangle was being built, Mr.
Cook wrote a long letter to the Lawyers Club. In view of
his conception of legal education, the fact that he ad-
dressed himself to the school collectively rather than to
one man takes on more significance than it might seem
to carry at first notice. Mr. Cook regarded the Law School
as much more than a place to exchange information. Be-
hind the quadrangle which sprouted at his will lay a far-
reaching, but definite, goal. "To my mind," he wrote,
"there are three great things. . .
to accomplish: Q11 to furnish leaders for this
republic, Q25 to produce competent, honest law-
yers, CBJ to state American jurisprudence.
Leadership l place ahead of everything. By
leadership I mean character, force, and broad
views. First of these, please take notice, Iput
Dean Henry M. Bates, who accepted Mr. Cook's gift
to his law school, discounted the folklore he saw gathering
around the school's benefactor. "As a student in the Law
School," he wrote in 1934, "it is reported that fMr. Cookj
was quiet, earnest, but unobtrusive, making no demon-
stration of becoming an enthusiastic alumnus of the
school." Dean Bates also denied that Mr. Cook had con-
ceived of the project in its entirety in the sort of super-
natural vision mentioned in some plaudits. Far from
apocrypal dreaming, Mr. Cook, a lawyer's lawyer,
worked it out slowly, step by deliberate step, with the
final result reflecting his concern for detail.
But the Law School already had 63 years of official
history behind it in 1922, when one of its "unobtrusive"
students decided to present it with a substantial part of
the 316,000,000 he gave to the University of Michigan.
Unofficially, it was much older-exactly how much was
settled by the Supreme Court of Michigan, 4 Mich. 213
118567, which held that the University fwith provisions for
legal studiesj had been founded by the territorial legisla-
ture August 26, 1817 by a statute entitled "An Act to
establish the catholepistemiad, or university of Michi-
gania." It is the oldest legislative enactment, state or
territorial, which includes law as a subject to be taught
in a publicly organized and supported institution of higher
The statute, like the Law Quadrangle built more than
a century later, was the product of one man's energy and
good will. Augustus Brevoort Woodward, Chief Judge of
the Territory of Michigan from its organization in 1805
until 1824 received praise and tongue-lashings for his
accomplishment, but both sides of the controversy recog-
nized him as the central figure.
To the loggers, trappers and farmers ofthe territory,
Judge Woodward's projected university, modeled along
lines suggested in his System of Universal Science, seemed
somewhat less than utilitarian. It was to be divided into
13 didaxiae fprofessorshipsl the ninth of which included
law, but because of popular recalcitrance, things at
Catholepistemiad were a little rough-hewn at first. Two
men held all 13 professorships provided for by the statute,
and opened the doors in 1817 to what has been described
as "a primary school and classical academy."
The University gathered enough momentum by 1859 to
bring Judge Woodward's ninth didaxiae to reality, and on