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Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2013

From left: Law school dean William Ray Forrester and student; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg { then and now } UC HASTINGS 53 U C H astngs S p e cia l co l l e cti o ns , Co u r t e s y o f M anag e r J ustin E d ga r What started as a necessity became a UC Hastings tradition: the 65 Club. By the end of the 1940s, the law school hired only retired scholars and distinguished jurists over 65 as full-time faculty members. Over time, the roster of 65ers included luminaries such as William Ray Forrester, law school dean at Cornell, Tulane, and Vanderbilt University; J. Warren Madden, the first chair of the National Labor Relations Board; Roger Traynor, chief justice of California; Arthur Goldberg, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Rollin Morris Perkins, a criminal law expert; and William Prosser, a leading torts scholar. By recruiting scholars at the height of their powers who had been shut out of other law schools because of mandatory retirement rules, UC Hastings became a national powerhouse. As early as the mid-1950s, Harvard Law School Dean Roscoe Pound declared in Newsweek that UC Hastings had “the strongest law faculty in the nation.” “Dean Snodgrass was brilliant and contrarian,” notes Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu. “When every other law school was letting talented people go because of their age, he recognized that they were still terrific teachers and important scholars. The 65 Club put UC Hastings on the map.” Professor Emeritus Joseph Grodin recalls that when he began teaching part time at UC Hastings in 1956, the fulltime faculty members were almost entirely 65ers. “They were remarkable,” he says. “Many were great teachers and productive scholars and writers, and they were amazingly interested in new ideas. They brought a great deal to UC Hastings.” They were also, as a rule, beloved by students, even in the After the sudden death of UC Hastings Dean William Simmons in 1940, his successor, David Snodgrass, had to hire faculty on short notice to teach Simmons’ classes. The only experienced teachers available were instructors over the age of 65 who had been forced to retire from other law schools. Snodgrass hired several of them and went on to recruit many more during World War II, when young professors were even harder to find.


Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2013
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