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About the School

100 Years, 100 Milestones

1908 The New Jersey Law School (NJLS) opens on October 5 in the Prudential Insurance Building. Founders Richard D. Currier is the first President, Percival Barnard the Dean, and Charles M. Mason a member of the faculty.

In December, the school moves to its own building at 33 East Park Street.
1909 The State Board of Bar Examiners recognizes NJLS as school of “established reputation,” meaning that completion of an 18-month course of study would satisfy half of the three-year clerkship requirement for admission to the Bar.
The first class graduates on June 18.
1910  Laura Mayo Wilson is the first woman to graduate.
1913  The state board of education approves NJLS to grant degrees.

The law school extends its course of study from two to three years.
1914 NJLS Press publishes its first casebook (Cases on Torts by Currier & Bates).

High school graduation becomes a requirement for admission.
1915 Calvin McClelland becomes the first blind professor.

The school publishes the first issue of the New Jersey Law Review.
1918 Elizabeth Blume (Class of 1911) becomes the first woman to defend a client for murder. As Elizabeth Blume-Silverstein, in 1936 she becomes a co-founder with her husband Max Silverstein and others of the World Jewish Congress.
1921 33 East Park Street is razed and replaced by a new building.
1922  NJLS is recognized by the New York State Education Department.
1924-25 A morning program is added to the afternoon and evening programs.
1925  Two years of college work is phased in as a requirement.
1926 Mercer Beasley School of Law (briefly located at 60 Park Place, then on sixth floor of Industrial Office Building at 1060 Broad Street) is founded.
1927  Pre-legal department of NJLS is established at 40 Rector Street.
First edition of the yearbook Legacy and of the student newspaper Barrister are published.
1928  George S. Harris (Class of 1922) becomes Dean and serves until 1936.
1929  First edition of Pandects (Mercer Beasley School of Law yearbook) is published.

Seth Boyden School of Business founded by NJLS.
1930 NJLS sells 33 East Park Street and completes relocation to 40 Rector Street.

Dana College begins and absorbs pre-legal department of NJLS.
1932 First issue of Mercer Beasley Law Review.
1933  Merger of NJLS and Seth Boyden School of Business into Dana College.
1934  Merger of Mercer Beasley School of Law and Newark Institute of Arts & Sciences, forming the University of Newark, located at 17-25 Academy Street.
1935 First issue of the second New Jersey Law Review.
1936 Merger of Dana College, NJLS & Seth Boyden School of Business into University of Newark, located at 40 Rector Street, is completed.

First issue of the University of Newark Law Review.
1937-38 Last year that the course Common Law Pleading is taught.
1939  Beginning of four-year, part-time program.
1941  University of Newark School of Law gains ABA accreditation.
1946 University of Newark becomes part of Rutgers University [Laws of 1946, ch.217].

Law school moves to 37 Washington Street.

Legal clinic practice by students in criminal courts begins.
1947 First issue of Rutgers Law Review.
1950 William B. Widnall, Class of 1931, elected to the U.S. Congress, where he served for 24 years.
1951 Alfred C. Clapp becomes Dean.

Beginning of Appellate Court Moot Program.
1953  Lehan K. Tunks becomes Dean.
1955 Clarence Clyde Ferguson, Jr. becomes the first African-American professor.

The evening program is discontinued.
1956  The law school moves to 53 Washington Street.
1961  Richard J. Hughes, Class of 1931, is elected governor of New Jersey.
1962  Eva Hanna Morreale becomes the first woman professor.
Edward J. Patten, Class of 1926, becomes a member of Congress and serves until 1980.
1963  Willard Heckel, Class of 1940, becomes Dean.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins the faculty, teaching at the law school until 1972.
1964 Arthur Kinoy joins the faculty.
1965  The law school moves to the newly constructed Ackerson Hall at 180 University Avenue.
1968  Minority Student Program is established.
1969  The Administrative Process Project becomes the first curricular clinical program.

The Constitutional Litigation Clinic is established by Professor Frank Askin, Class of 1966.
1970 James C.N. Paul becomes Dean.

The Urban Legal Clinic is established.

The first issue of Rutgers Journal of Computers and the Law is published.
1971 José Cabranes becomes the first Latino professor.

The first issue of the Women's Rights Law Reporter is published.
1974  The Education Law Center is founded by Professor Paul Tractenberg.
1975  Peter Simmons becomes Dean.

The Urban Legal Clinic has a victory in Smith v. Walker, 138 N.J. Super 187 (Essex County Court), requiring the county to pay the cost of blood tests for indigent putative father.

The evening program is re-established.
1977  Peggy Cooper Davis becomes the first African-American woman professor.

The Women's Rights Litigation Clinic is successful in Tomkins v. PSE&G, 568 F.2d 1044, first Third Circuit decision to recognize sexual harassment as gender discrimination.
1978 The law school moves to 15 Washington Street.
1979  The Constitutional Litigation Clinic wins its case involving the FBI investigation of a high school student, Paton v. LaPrade, 471 F. Supp. 166 (D.N.J.).
1982  Alan Karcher, Class of 1967, becomes Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly.
1983  Right to Choose v. Byrne, 91 N.J. 287, with Professors Nadine Taub and Louis Raveson for the plaintiffs-respondents, establishes that the State of New Jersey must pay for Medicaid abortions for indigent women.
1985  Environmental Law Clinic is established.
1987  Ronald Chen becomes the first Asian-American professor.
1988  Initial decision in Abbott v. Burke. The case was brought by Marilyn Morheuser (Class of 1973) as director of the Education Law Center; opinion was written by Steven LeFelt, ALJ (Class of 1965).
1989  Jaynee LaVecchia (Class of 1979) becomes director of the NJ Office of Administrative Law.
1990 The Animal Rights Law Clinic is founded and continues until 2000.
1991  Professor Arthur Kinoy retires, remaining on the faculty as an emeritus professor until his death in 2003.
1993  Robert Menendez (Class of 1979) is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey. He is elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Hazel O'Leary (Class of 1966) is appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Roger Abrams becomes Dean.

Louis J. Freeh (Class of 1974) becomes director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
1994  The mall leafletting case, New Jersey Coalition Against War in the Middle East v. J.M.B. Realty Corp., 138 N.J. 326, with Professor Frank Askin representing the ACLU, establishes that the free speech provisions of the State constitution exceed those of the First Amendment.
1995  The Special Education Clinic is established.
1996  Rutgers Law Record becomes a general law review and is published online.
1998 First issue of Rutgers Race & the Law Review.

Constitutional Litigation Clinic victory establishing customary international law as basis for suit in Jama v. U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service, 22 F.Supp.2d 353 (D.N.J.) [see also 343 F.Supp.2d 338 (D.N.J. 2004).
1999  Stuart L. Deutsch becomes Dean.

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is created.

Appellate Division Presiding Judge Virginia Long (Class of 1966) becomes a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Law school moves to the new Center for Law and Justice at 123 Washington Street.

Jaynee LaVecchia (Class of 1979) becomes a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She had been NJ Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.

Sims v. Apfel, 530 U.S. 103, the successful appeal in Social Security disability case with Professor Jon Dubin as co-counsel. The U.S. Supreme Court cites Dubin’s article in its opinion.

Sykes v. Apfel, 228 F.3d 259 (3d Cir.), Social Security disability case successfully argued by Jon Dubin.

2002  First issue of Rutgers Bankruptcy Law Review. The name is changed to Rutgers Business Law Review in 2006.
2004  Environmental Law Clinic victory in beach access case, Raleigh Ave. Beach Ass'n v. Atlantis Beach Club, 370 N.J. Super. 171 (App. Div. 2004), aff'd, 185 N.J. 40 (2005).
2006 Ronald Chen (Class of 1983) becomes NJ Public Advocate.