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A Great Law School

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The last issue of the Law Students' Helper, published in Detroit by W. C. Sprague has the following excellent write up of the U. of M. law department. It is well worth reading : "The course in this law school is much more rigid this year than ever before. The seniors have eight more lec;ure each week than their predecessors. Several of the law text-books wliich lave been considered fixtures in the department for many years have been changed for modern books. Probably ;he most notable change is the displacement of Cooley's Editionof Blackstone's Commentaries by Kobison's Elementary Law. "Mrs. Ellen Prentice Russell, the only sister of the late Professor Wm. P. Wells, has presented the department with a fine piaster bust of Professor Wells, which will be placed in the law library. Professor Wells was for many years Kent professor of law, and one of the most revered and popular professors who ever appeared before this department. " The resignation of Professor Knowlton as deán has taken effect, and Professor Hutchins is now in full charge. Professor Knowltou bas been connected with the department for many years, and has been one of the most potent factors in building up this great law school. "Jerome C. Knowlton was bom at Plymouth, Wayne county, Michigan, December 14, 1850. He is descended from that sterling New England stock which furnished so many of the noble men who made the great Northwest. His early life was spent upon a farm, and it was at this time that he fostered that love of books and zeal for knowledge which have so characterized him iu his manhood. In 1867 he entered the State Normal school, but in the same year went to the Ann Arbor High School completing its course in 1870. In the fall of that year he matriculated in the classical course of the University of Michigan, taking his A. B. degree with the class of 1875, ill-health having compelled him to lose one year. He then entered the 'law department, and after graduation, went into the law office ol Hon. A. J. Sawyer, of Ann Arbor, with whom a year later he formed a co-partnersliip under the name of Sawyer & Knowlton. President Arthur, in 1882, appointed him postmaster of Ann Arbor. In 1885 he was appointed assistant fessor in the law departinent, and was given cliarge of the recitation work. While so engaged he edited the second American Edition of Anson on Contracta, so that we miglit have a thoroughly excellent text-book upon that subject for the use of beginning students. Professor Knowlton was appointed Marshal professor of law in 1S89, and acting dean in October 1890, upon the resignation of Dean Henry Wade Rogers, when thal learned professor was elected presidenl of Northwestern University. In the following June Professor Kuowlton was made dean, and he most acceptably fllled that office until the end of last year. Although a young man, Mr. Knowlton has already made a name for himself at the bar, no less an authority than Jndgé Cooley having said of him that "he was one of the best lawyers in the State." Professor Knowlton will not retire from the faculty, but only gives up the office and duties of dean. He will continue to teach his special subjects of contracta, bailments and carriers, criminal law, criminal procedure, and the law of raihvays. In September, 1875, Professor Knowlton was married to Miss Adelle M. Pattengill, who, appreciating his aspirations, has ever been an aspiration as well a companion in his suceesses. "Another of the prominent and beloved professors in this department is Hon. Levi T. Grffiin. Of the many eminent lawyers in this State, none have acheived greater prominence as practitioners at the bar than Professor Griffin. It has been said of him that he has probably tried more cases, particularly jury cases, than any other lawyer in the State. It is certain that his clientage has been large and his practice extensive and lucrative. Professor Griffin was born in Clinton, Oneida county, N. Y., May 23d, 1837. His father, a gentleman of refinement and culture, especially noted for his genial qualities, inherited a considerable landed estáte which had been conveyed to his paternal aneestors by George Washington in 1790, DeWitt Clinton signiug the conveyance as an attesting witness. In 1847 tlie family removed to Michigan. At the age of sixteen Professor Griffiu ente red the University of Michigan, where he maintaiued a good position in his classes and was profieient in all his studies ex.cept mathcmaties, which he nevor examined Bufficiently to appreciate. After graduating in 1857 he entered the office of Moore & Blackmar, of Detroit, as a law student. Through the influence of Mr. Moore a distinguished member of the bar, then assistaut United States district attorney, he secured the appointment of court deputy. With this ñuanncial assistance he was able to get through the first year of his studies. During this time he was accustomed to sleep in the office on a bed improvised for the occasion. He was admitted to the bar May 29th, 1858. After a few nontlis he moved to Grand Rapids and issociated himself with Lucius Patterson, for souie years one of the best tnown lawyers of Western Michigan. Üere he remained until 1860, wlien he returned to Detroit and resumed his conïection with Moore & Blaekmar, where ie remained until 1862, at which tiuie the partnership of Moore & Griffin was formed. In the fall of 1865 he entered ;he army as acommissoned offioer, and continued in the service until mustered out July lst, 1865, having been brevetted major of volunteers for gallant and meri. ;orius conduct. Major Griffin belonged to the fainous Fourth Michigan Cavalry, ;he regiment that captured Jefferson Davis at the close of the war. He was regarded by both his superiors and inreriors as au able and gallant officer. Returning to Detroit at the close of the war, he again entered the practice of law, nssociating himself with Hon. Don M. Dickinson. In politics Professor Griffin has always been a Democrat and prominent in the councils of his party. In 1887 he was its candidate for justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan, but was defeated Hon. James V. Campbell, who so long honored the Supreme Bench of his State, ranking as one of the greatest American jurists. When Mr. Charles A. Kent resigned the Fletcher professorsbip of law in the University of Michigan Professor Griffin was appointed his successor by a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, and he still holds that chair. His special subjects are Evidence, Federal Jurisprudence, Common Law Pleading and Personal Proper' tv. In the fall of 1892 Professor Griffin was nominated and elected as the representative in Congress from the Detroit district. He is a man of pronounced individuality and of indefatigable industry, and although one of the most rigid and strict members of the faculty, no professor in the university occupies a warmer place in the hearts of his students. Professor Bradiey M. Thompson, another of the older members of the faculty, was born April 16th, 1835, at Milford, in the then territory of Michigan. He entered the University of Michigan in 1854, graduating from the literary department in 1858, and from the law department in 1860 with the first class. He immediately took up the practice of his profession at East Sagiuaw, where, in 1862, he formed a partnership withi Hon. AVilliam L. Webber and Judge Chauncey H. Gage. In the same year he entered the army as captain of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry, which be longed to Custer's brigade, and served until mustered ont in 1895, having been brevetted colonel for gallant and meritorious services ou the field of battle. During the years of '73, '7-1 and '75 he served as city attorney for East Saginaw, and during the yeara '77 and '78 held the office of mayor of that town. In the year latter he was norninated by his party as a candidate for (Joiigress in the triangular contest, in which Hon. R. G. Horrand Hon. H.H. Hoyt were the other candidates, all beiag residents of the same city and ward. Professor Thotnpson carried his county by a large majority, but Mr. Horr was eleeted. In 1S80, there being a vacaney in the office of circuit judge, the bar of the district, at a formal meeting recommended Professor Thompson to the govenor of the State as its choice for that office. In 1887 the Board of Regents selected Professor Thompson to deliver a course of forty lectures on the subject of Real Property, and at a meeting of the board in the June following he was made Jay professor of law. In 1893 Professor Thompson was eleeted mayor of the city of Ann Arbor. In private life he is genial, open-hearted and hospitable ; in conversation he is brilliant and instructive. Amongall classes he is most highly respected ; he is a man to whom the people, and particularly the students, can go, and do go, for counsel and advice with the full assurance of a careful hearing and of the right kind of assistance. Professor Thompson is enthusiastically interested in true professional education. His style is clear and pointed. He bas been in the active practice of the law for the past thirty years and his practice has extended to all courts of the state and United States. His special subjects are equity pleading, real estáte, mortgages and suretyship. Through the kinduess of Prof. Thompson we are enabled to present to our readers a copy of the program of the first commencement of the Law Department. It is a small four-page folder, printed, we presume, in the best style of that day, but by no means an example of the printer's art of the present time. " The meetings of the law classes in Ann Arbor have been for years ïiotoriously turbulent. Something vmprecedented in the history of the department occurred, therefore, when the class of '96 obtained a presiding oificer who succeeded in maiutaining order at a class meeting. In this case the presiding officer was Miss Octavia W. Bates, vieepresident of the class. Miss Bates is au admirable presiding officer, and a thorough master of parliamentary law and practice. Few, if any, wómen in the country have had more experience in presiding over meetings than she. She is a handsome, intellectual-looking woman, with a commandiog and impressive, yet winning, presence, that is very eíFective with her audience, whether she appears as a presiding officer or the principal speaker upon the ostruin. Miss Bates has long been rominent in movements for the betterïent oL woraan's condition and for the dvancement of tlie equal suft'rage idea. Ve do not imagine that slie is studying aw for the purpose of practicing it, for ie is a woman of independent fortune, nd we imagine that her idea is merely o obtain tliis addition to her already wide and deep education to enable her o work more eftectively in wotnan's ause."


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier