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About the Law School

Historical Timeline

John T. Condon 1885
The Board of Regents adopts a resolution that a department of law be established at the University.
1899
University of Washington's Department of Law opens in downtown Seattle. The school is housed in two rooms of a building known as "Old North," located at Fourth and Union. John T. Condon (pictured) appointed Dean and is the only full-time professor. The first class has at least 34 students including a student of African-American heritage, a Japanese student, and three women.
Graduates in front of Denny Hall 1901
The first graduating class consists of twelve students.

1902
The law school moves into the attic of Denny Hall (pictured). The law library collection, built from the private library of Dean Condon, is small enough to fit in two wheelbarrows. Denny Hall is the first of several temporary locations for the law school on main campus.

Arthur S. Beardsley 1909
The University of Washington becomes a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
1922
Dr. Arthur S. Beardsley (pictured), a lawyer and historian, appointed first Director of the Law Library; the collection consisted of 20,000 volumes.
Washington Law Review 1924
The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association.
1925
Washington Law Review established.
Condon Hall, 1955 1933
The Law School moves into its first permanent home, newly-constructed Condon Hall in the main quad (pictured). When the law school moves out 41 years later, the building is renamed Gowen Hall, which now houses the departments of Political Science and East Asian Language and Literature.
1936
Professor Judson Falknor appointed Dean. A 1919 University of Washington School of Law graduate, he is a nephew of Dean Condon and a distinguished member of the Bar. The annual Falknor Appellate Advocacy Moot Court competition is named in honor of him.
Law books 1939
Dr. Arthur S. Beardsley establishes the Master in Law Librarianship program. It was the only library program in the United States to require a law degree for admission.
1944
Marian Gould Gallagher appointed Law Librarian and Professor of Law. Her career as director of the University of Washington Law Library spanned 37 years, until her retirement in 1981.

The library collection grows to over 114,000 volumes by 1950.
1953
A formal placement program is established at the law school, with Professor J. Gordon Gose as Placement Officer. Today, the Center for Career and Leadership Development is headed by an Assistant Dean and four Assistant Directors. The placement rate in 2004 was nearly 100%.
Lehan Tunks 1960
Marjorie Rombauer appointed Professor of Law. She is the first non-librarian, tenured female faculty member at the law school.
1962
Asian Law Graduate Program is established by Professors Arval Morris, Cornelius Peck, and Ralph Johnson with support from the Ford Foundation.
1963
Professor Lehan Tunks (pictured) appointed Dean. During his deanship the law school adopts the highly successful small section program for first-year students, which continues today.
Condon Hall, 1992 1974
The law school moves off-campus to the second Condon Hall on Campus Parkway (pictured). The building increases the school's square footage substantially but is intended to be Phase 1 of a larger project. Phase 2 never begins.
1979
Charles Z. Smith establishes the Clinical Law Program. C.Z. Smith goes on to become the first African Americanand and the first Latino on the Washington Supreme Court. Today, there are over 100 students participating in 9 clinics at the law school.
Marian Gould Gallagher 1981
The Board of Regents rename the University of Washington School of Law Library to honor Marian Gould Gallagher's (pictured) invaluable contributions to the University's law school and professions of law and librarianship.

The Trial Advocacy Program is established.
Penny A. Hazelton 1985
Penny A. Hazelton (pictured) appointed Law Librarian and Professor of Law. Today the library has over 562,000 volumes, making it one of the largest law libraries west of the Mississippi.

First student computer lab is carved out of a corner of the library.

1990
Professor Wallace Loh appointed Dean. He is the first Chinese-American law school dean in the nation. He begins the drive for a new law building and secures the lead gift of $12 million from Bill and Melinda Gates in honor of William H. Gates, Sr., class of 1950.

Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal established.
PILA 1992
The Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP) becomes a part of the UW School of Law.
1994
Public Interest Law Association (PILA) established. The student body initiates and overwhelmingly approves a mandatory public service requirement – all J.D. students, beginning with the class of 1997, are required to perform at least 60 hours of public service legal work during their second or third year in order to graduate.
Ron Hjorth 1995
Professor Roland Hjorth (pictured) appointed Dean. He continues the drive for the new building and by 2000, meets the minimum private funding goal of $34 million.

Graduate Program in Taxation established by Professor Meade Emory. The program provides a rigorous study of tax law using a combination of full-time faculty members and leading practitioners drawn from the Pacific Northwest.
Bob Anderson, left 1999
The Native American Law Center (Director, Robert Anderson pictured, left) is established to carry on and expand the work of Professor Ralph W. Johnson through its work with tribes, individuals and governments in the Northwest and across the country.

The Center for Law, Commerce & Technology is founded with support from Microsoft, Boeing and the Washington Research Foundation. In 2002, the Center is named to honor Roger Shidler, one of the founding members of Shidler McBroom & Gates which later became the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis.
W.H. Knight, Jr. 2001
Professor W.H. Knight, Jr. (Joe) (pictured) appointed Dean. He is the first African-American dean of the School of Law.
2002
The Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law is established.
2003
The School of Law and the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library move back to main campus into the new William H. Gates Hall.
2004
Shidler Journal of Law, Commerce & Technology launched; it is the first online journal at the law school.
William H. Gates, Sr. 2005
The William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program is established with a $33.3 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in honor of William H. Gates, Sr. (pictured). The scholarship provides full tuition & expenses to five incoming students every year who commit to public service legal work when they graduate.
2008
Health Law LL.M. Program is established. The program is design to harness the strengths of internationally known schools of law, medicine, public health, and public policy to create a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach for improving individual and global health.
Kellye Testy 2009
Kellye Testy (pictured) appointed Dean. She is the first permanent female dean in the School of Law's 110-year history.

Early history adapted from the 2001 Centennial Edition of the School of Law's alumni magazine, Profile (now UW Law). Images courtesy University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, Gallagher Law Library Archives, and University Photography.

Last updated 8/7/2014