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September 28, 2003

Contact: Professor Roy M. Mersky, Director, Jamail Center for Legal Research (512) 471-7735,
Mike Widener, Head of Special Collections, Jamail Center for Legal Research, (512) 471-7263,

Professor Johnson Recalls Integration, Growth of the Law School in Oral History Published by Law Library

AUSTIN, TEXAS — When Professor Corwin W. Johnson joined the law faculty at The University of Texas in 1947, the school was embroiled in a legal battle over racial integration, and striving for national stature in legal education. Johnson gives a lively account of his experiences in an oral history interview just published by U.T.'s Jamail Center for Legal Research.

Johnson is lauded as "an institution, the genial authority" in the Foreword by his former student, James A. Baker III, the former U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury.

In the interview, Johnson tells about teaching in the "separate but equal" law school created by the State of Texas in response to Heman Sweatt's lawsuit challenging the exclusion of African Americans from The University of Texas. A product of integrated universities, Johnson said, "I was repelled by segregation."

Johnson, co-author of a leading textbook on property law, also discusses the Law School's rising reputation under deans Charles McCormick and Page Keeton, as well as the social life of law students and traditions such as the annual Assault & Flattery musical review.

The interview was conducted by Sheree Scarborough, a professional oral historian who has conducted hundreds of interviews for oral history projects in Texas.

This publication (and all other Jamail Center publications) can be ordered on the web, or by contacting the Publications Coordinator (Publications Coordinator, Jamail Center for Legal Research,University of Texas School of Law, 727 East Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78705-3224; phone 512/471-7726; fax 512/471-0243, e-mail

Tarlton Law Library Legal History Series, No. 4:
INTERVIEW. Austin, Tex.: Jamail Center for Legal Research,
2003. vi, 36 pages. ISBN: 0-935630-57-0. Price: $15.00