Law School history

History

1851 University of Minnesota incorporated by territorial legislature
1857 First University building opens on east bank of Mississippi river
Old Main
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over demerits, faculty member inadvertently shoots student in the leg; President Folwell resigns; Minnesota Plan repealed

DEAN WILLIAM S. PATTEE 1888-1911

William S. Pattee
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
1889 First law school building (Pattee Hall) completed
Pattee Hall
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, Nora L. Morton) 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

DEAN WILLIAM R. VANCE 1911-1920

William R. Vance
1911 Law School requires 2 years of undergraduate work for applicants seeking a degree; 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

DEAN EVERETT FRASER 1920-1948

Everett Fraser
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)
1928 New Law School building opens for classes
Fraser Hall
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 volumes

DEAN MAYNARD E. PIRSIG 1948-1955

Maynard Pirsig
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)

DEAN WILLIAM B. LOCKHART 1956-1972

William Lockhart
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 three-year period
1964 Entering-class enrollment limited to 250 students
1965 Faculty approves three-year 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

DEAN CARL A. AUERBACH 1972-1979

Carl Auerbach
1972 Carl A. Auerbach becomes Law School dean
1977 Faculty-edited Crime and Justice begins publication
1978 New Law School building opens on West Bank campus
Mondale Hall

DEAN ROBERT A. STEIN 1979-1994

Robert Stein
1979 Robert A. Stein ('61) becomes Law School dean
1980 Faculty exchange program with Sweden's Uppsala University initiated
1981 Student-edited Law & 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
1994 LL.M. Program established

DEAN E. THOMAS SULLIVAN 1995-2002

E. Thomas Sullivan
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

DEAN ALEX M. JOHNSON JR. 2002-2006

Alex Johnson
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

CO-DEANS FRED MORRISON & GUY-URIEL CHARLES 2006-2008

Fred Morrison and Guy-Uriel Charles
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

DEAN DAVID WIPPMAN 2008-2016

David Wippman
2008 David Wippman becomes 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
2014 Energy Transition Lab established; Master of Science in Patent Law Program established
2015 Doctor of Juridical Science program established; LL.M. in Patent Law program established; Law School's Generations fundraising campaign ends exceeding its goal ($73 million raised)

DEAN GARRY W. JENKINS 2016-Present

Garry W. Jenkins
2016 Dean Garry W. Jenkins becomes 11th dean of the Law School; Minnesota Law Public Interest Residency Program established
2017 The Law School receives the largest contribution in its history with an award of $25 million from the Robina Foundation for the Center for New Americans. The Center is renamed James H. Binger Center for New Americans.