History of the School of Law
Hartford College of Law
|George William Lillard and his wife Caroline Eiermann Lillard founded the Hartford College of Law. When the doors opened on October 25, 1921, the College was unaccredited and the students would earn a certificate at the completion of their studies. The faculty consisted of James E. Rhodes, Allan K. Smith, John J. Burke, James W. Knox, and Roger Wolcott Davis. Night classes were held in rented rooms at the Hartford Wire Works located on 94 Allyn Street in Hartford.|
In February the College moved to the Hartford Life Insurance Company Building at the corner of Asylum and Ann Streets. The second year classes were held on the top floor of the Hartford-Connecticut Trust Company located on the corner of Main and Pearl Streets.
First class of six graduated.. J. Agnes Burns '24 was the first graduate admitted to the Connecticut Bar and would be the first woman to plead before the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors on March 4, 1925.
In July the Connecticut General Assembly granted the College of Law a special charter under Special Act, 1925, Senate Bill No. 190-292 as a private educational institution.
|1926||The College moved to the Graybar building at 51 Chapel St.|
For the next ten years the College leased the Kindergarten Building of the West Middle School at 44 Niles Street.
On June 17th, the officers of the College of Law Corporation appointed Farwell Knapp as Dean. He was an instructor for eighteen years and President of the Board of Trustees from 1938-1942.
|1933||The Lillards conveyed all their financial interest in the corporation to a Board of Trustees. On September 18th, the College was approved by the American Bar Association and accredited by the Examining Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association.|
On September 25th, the Board of Trustees appointed Thomas A. Larremore as the first full-time Dean of the College of Law. Deans that followed were: Edward Graham Biard (1934-42), Laurence J. Ackerman, Acting Dean (1942-46), Dr. Bert Earl Hopkins (1946-66), Cornelius J. Scanlon, Acting Dean (1967), Howard R. Sacks (1967-1972), Francis C. Cady, Acting Dean (1972-74), Phillip I. Blumberg (1974-1984), George Schatzki (1984-1990), Hugh C. MacGill (1990-2000), and Nell Jessup Newton (2000-2006 ), Jeremy R. Paul (2007-2012)
The Charter was amended so the College of Law could be organized as a non-profit educational corporation. William F. Starr was appointed a full time instructor. Professor Starr retired in 1962 and became the first Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Connecticut.
|1935||The Day Division Program was established.|
|1937||In December of this year the College received accreditation from the Association of American Law Schools.|
Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition was established to award $250 to the student who wrote the best paper on some aspect of copyright law. The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Scholarship (1952), the William F. Starr Fellowship (1962), and other scholarships followed and set a precedent for future prizes and awards.
The Department of Insurance, which had been established in 1936, was incorporated by the Connecticut General Assembly and became the Hartford College of Insurance.
Caroline Eiermann Lillard, one of the founders of the College, was appointed as the first law librarian.
The College for the first time was able to purchase property at 39 Woodland Street and would remain there for the next twenty-four years. This was the home of Professor M. W. Jacobus, who had been Dean of the Hartford Theological Seminary. Founder George Lillard died.
In August, the Trustees of the Hartford College of Law and Insurance decided that their future growth should be tied to the state university after a decline in the day division enrollment due to WWII.
|On June 1, 1943 the Connecticut General Assembly authorized a five-year lease of the College of Law and Insurance to the University of Connecticut. On September 1, 1948, the Board of Trustees gave the deed conveying full title to President Jorgensen of the University of Connecticut.|
Day school classes were suspended in February due to World War II. Day school classes would resume on February 4, 1946. Evening classes continued during this period.
The Board of Student Editors started to contribute to the Connecticut Bar Journal published by the State Bar Association in 1947. In 1959 the Board of Student Editors became the Connecticut Law Review and continued to prepare a section of the Connecticut Bar Journal. Dean Howard Sacks announced, in 1968, that the Connecticut Law Review would become an independent publication. Subsequently the Connecticut Journal of International Law (1985), Connecticut Insurance Law Journal (1995), and the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal (2000) began publication.
|Shirley Raissi Bysiewicz joins the Law School and becomes the first female tenured professor.|
The Student Bar Association (SBA) is founded in 1959. It was established to administer the Honor Code, sponsor the school's participation in the National Moot Court Competition, plan social and informal educational activities, and participate in regional and national conferences of the American Law Student Association. Some of the later student organizations that were established on campus were: Adlai E. Stevenson Society of International Law Chapter (1966), Legal History Society (1968), Black Law Students (1969), Women Law Students' Association (1972), Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity (1972), Environmental Law Society (1977), National Lawyer's Guild (1977), Lambda Law Students (1980), Health and Social Services Law Association (1981), Hellenic Association (1992)and to the present day Chinese Law Students (2009).
In 1944, The Starr Report, a student newspaper edited by the SBA and the Alumni Association, was published periodically during the academic year. Other student newspapers followed: Legal Realist (1968-74), Pocket Part (1974-1984), News (1985-1988), University of Connecticut Law School News (1984), J.D. (1989), Public Forum (1995-1998), University of Connecticut School of Law Newsletter (2000), and Dicta (2000) and Pro Se
The first formal meeting of the Law Wives was held. They would be instrumental in raising money for scholarships and a book fund for the library.
|1964||On May 1st, Law Day, the new building on Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford was dedicated. Dean Hopkins accepted the building that had physical facilities designed for the purpose of a law school for the first time in its history.|
|1964||The Student Board of Public Defenders and Legal Assistants was formed to aid indigent defendants and assist the Hartford Defenders Office.|
|1965||A National Moot Court Competition was established on campus and in 1966 the law school began to participate in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition.|
|The Alumni Association starts to sponsor an annual conference on the Survey of Connecticut Law. Other annual conferences would follow: Insurance Institute (1977), Gallivan Conference (1991), Connecticut Law Review Symposium, Connecticut Journal of International Law Symposium, and Insurance Law Center Conferences.|
In the fall of 1969, under Dean Howard Sacks, the Law School became one of the first to include a comprehensive clinical education program in its curriculum. The first clinic on campus was the Criminal Legal Clinic (1969) and additional clinics followed: Civil Clinic (1970); Legislative Clinic (1974); Law Related Education (1977); Mental Health (1978); Administrative Law (1975); Judicial Clerkship (1975); Labor Relations (1981); Housing (1983); Constitutional Litigation (1983); Mediation (1994); Tax (1999); Asylum & Human Rights (2002); IP & Entrepreneurship (2007)
|1972||Constance Belton Green ‘72 is the first African-American woman to graduate from the law school. Bessye Bennett ‘73 was the first African-American woman admitted to the Bar in the State of Connecticut.|
|1974||The Law School Foundation was formed to administer funds raised by alumni campaigns. By 1976 the Foundation would start to sponsor the Distinguished Visitors Program and sponsor the School of Law Press. Professor Leonard Orland's Connecticut Criminal Procedure was the first title published. A press release stated that the School of Law Press was believed to be the first law school press in the nation.|
|The law school starts the road to automation with its first Lexis computer terminal and in 1981 would acquire a word processing system with three terminals.|
Duel Degree Programs
|In 1977, the School of Law established four joint degree programs to combine legal education with graduate professional training in the related fields of social work, business administration, public policy, and librarianship. In following years insurance law and public health would be added to the dual degree program.|
|1978||On June 1st, Governor Ella Grasso authorized $6 million for the purchase and renovation of the 27.5-acre campus of the Hartford Seminary. The campus included six gothic buildings, designed by Charles Coffen and built during 1922-1926. The move to this campus would not take place until 1984 under Dean Phillip I. Blumberg.|
International Exchange Programs
|In 1982 Law School faculty collaborated with the Law Faculty at the University of Exeter, England in arranging faculty and student exchanges. In the ensuing years additional opportunities would be available in Aix-en-Provence, Berlin, Dublin, Exeter, Leiden, London, Mannheim, San Juan, Siena, Barcelona, Nottingham and Tilburg.|
|The International Legal Program is established to encompass research, conferences, student faculty/exchanges, and a graduate program for foreign attorneys. In the following years the Insurance Law Center (1995) and the Intellectual Property Program (2001) would be created at the law school.|
|1992||The first Public Law Interest Group Auction is held. The President's office approved a separate Commencement ceremony at the School of Law. Previously the ceremony had been held on the main campus with a Convocation ceremony at the Law School.|
|In 1996 the Law School had its 75th anniversary and dedicated the new Law Library building with speaker Justice Stephen Breyer. Supreme Court Justices John Marshall Harlan, Arthur J. Goldberg, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have also visited the campus in other years.|
|1997||Law students have been able to work for the legal rights of poor children and strengthen urban neighborhoods by working with two public interest law firms that are housed on the campus. The Center for Children's Advocacy and the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiatives are non-profit organizations that provide legal services to non-profit groups.|