July 2014 Bar Bulletin
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July 2014 Bar Bulletin

"Why, When I Was in Law School ..."


[This month, we continue with John Rupp's story of his days at the University of Washington School of Law and "old" Condon Hall in the 1930s. When last we left you in May, Mr. Rupp was in the midst of a letter to Lem Howell.]

Fifth of a Series

Unless John Price has managed to do so, Jud Falknor was really the last Dean who ran the U.W. School of Law. I think his predecessors, John T. Condon, Alfred J. Schweppe and Harold Shepherd, ran the school, and I'm sure that Jud did. One of my authorities on Jud was Donald D. MacLean. In the two years after his graduation from law school, and before he came with our firm in about 1951, Don MacLean was Assistant to the Dean. Don told me that Jud would say, "Now, Don, we have a number of statesmen on this faculty. At our meeting we shall listen to what they have to say. Then we'll go ahead and do it the right way - our way."

You have to be wise and tactful and strong in order to run a law school, and Jud was all of those. Prestige helps, too, and Jud had that. You cannot be a dictator, but you must be a leader.

Unhappily, however, Jud's successors could not or would not take charge, and it ended up with the faculty running the school - government by committee. If John Price is able to turn that situation around, it will be quite a feat.

As I recall, Jud and Dorothy Falknor had only two children, both daughters. One of them, I think it was Sarah, married a fellow named Ross Reed, a student at the law school. I understood that the Falknors were decidedly not in favor of the marriage. After graduation, however, Reed moved to New York and did well there, and there was a general reconciliation. I never knew either Sarah or Reed, and I never discussed them with the Falknors, so my information may be incorrect.

I can't remember when it was that Jud left the U.W. law school, but I suppose it was in the middle 1950s. I have a hazy recollection that while he was still Dean here he went to N.Y.U. on something like a sabbatical. Later on he moved to New York and became a permanent faculty member at N.Y.U. Wasn't Don Niles's brother, Russell, the Dean at N.Y.U.? You were graduated from N.Y.U. in 1964 and took Jud's course in Evidence, so he must have been there in the early 1960s.

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