54 Alta. L. Rev. 1 (2016-2017)

handle is hein.journals/alblr54 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                          THE DEAN WHO WENT TO LAW SCHOOL                                    1


                    THE DEAN WHO WENT TO LAW SCHOOL:
              CROSSING BORDERS AND SEARCHING FOR PURPOSE
            IN NORTH AMERICAN LEGAL EDUCATION, 1930-1950


                                      ERIC M. ADAMS*

          This article is about the making of modern legal education in North America. It is a case
          study of the lives of two law schools, the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law and the
          University ofMinnesota Law School, and their respective deans, WilburBowker andEverett
          Fraser, in the decades surrounding the Second World War. The article follows Bowker's
          unorthodox route to Alberta's deanship via his graduate training under the experimental
          'Minnesota Plan  Fraser's long-forgotten effort to place public service at the centre of
          American legal education. In detailing an overlooked moment of transition and soul-
          searching in North American legal education, this article underlines the personalities,
          ideologies, circumstances, and practices that combined to forge the still dominant model of
          university-based legal education across the continent. Highlighting the movement ofpeople
          and ideas, this study corrects a tendency to understand the history oflaw schools as the story
          ofsingle institutions and isolated visionaries. It also reveals the dynamic ways in which law
          schools absorbed andrefracted the period's ideological andpolitical concerns into teaching
          practices and institutional arrangements. In bold experiment and innate conservatism,
          personal ambition and institutional constraints, and, above all else, faith in the power oflaw
          and lawyers, the postwar law school was born.

                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS


   1.  INTRODUCTION     ...............................................               1
   II. WILBUR BOWKER: THE ACCIDENTAL ACADEMIC ...................... 5
 III.  THE MINNESOTA PLAN: A MORE PERFECT JUSTICE .. ................ 16
 IV.   DEAN BOWKER AT THE BAT .................................... 29
 V .   CONCLUSIONS      ..............................................               37


                                     I. INTRODUCTION


   We are in a bad way here, George Steer, Acting Dean of the University of Alberta,
Faculty of Law, lamented in November 1946. What we need, he pleaded to law deans
across the country, is some young man, from 25 to 35 years of age, of good mental caliber,
who wants to make teaching his job. The replies were not encouraging. I sympathize with
your cry of distress, Cecil (Caesar) Wright, Dean of Osgoode Hall, answered. To be quite






          Associate Professor of Law, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law. An earlier version of this article
          received the 2014 Canadian Association of Law Teachers' Scholarly Paper Award. This research was
          supported by the Alberta Institute for American Studies, the Centre for Constitutional Studies, and the
          Faculty of Law, all of the University of Alberta, and the able research assistance of Daniel Girard,
          Kelsey Robertson, Sarah Hamill, and Jacqueline Byers. Earlierversions of this work were presented at
          the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law, the Toronto Legal History Workshop, and the 2014 Annual
          Meetings of the Law and Society Association I thank audiences for helpful feedback. I also thank two
          anonymous peer reviewers, and John Law and Anna Lund for valuable constructive criticism. David
          Percy, Trevor Anderson, Judge Allan Lefever, and the Right Honourable Madam Justice Beverly
          McLachlinvery generously shared their memories of Wilbur Bowker with me. Finally, this article is for
          Bruce Ziff.
          Steer to Wright (25 November 1946), Toronto, University of Toronto Archives (B1982-0028, Box 2,
          Wright Papers).

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