University of Michigan Law School - Quad Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI)

 - Class of 1965

Page 10 of 128

 

University of Michigan Law School - Quad Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI) online yearbook collection, 1965 Edition, Page 10
Page 10



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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 character." 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 learning. 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

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