Law School history

History

1851—University of Minnesota incorporated by territorial legislature


Old Main

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over demerits, faculty member inadvertently shoots student in the leg; President Folwell resigns; Minnesota Plan repealed


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


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, 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

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 volumes


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)


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 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


Mondale Hall

1978—New Law School building opens on West Bank campus


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.