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October 4, 2006

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu.
Library Contact: Adrienne Sonder, Archivist, Tarlton Law Library, 512-232-3802.

Tarlton Law Library Publishes Oral Memoirs of Three UT Law Professors

AUSTIN, Texas—The Tarlton Law Library’s newest oral history publications feature interviews with three University of Texas law professors: Hans W. Baade, Robert O. Dawson and J. Leon Lebowitz. The three interviews are the latest additions to the Tarlton Law Library Oral History Series.

“Tarlton’s oral histories honor the service and contributions of the School of Law’s faculty and alumni,” said Professor Roy M. Mersky, Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and Director of Research. “Through these oral histories, a wide audience can appreciate the character and personality of individuals whose public accomplishments are well-known.”

The series includes two recently published interviews with Joe Jamail, Jr. and Harry Reasoner, two distinguished alumni of The University of Texas School of Law. Interviews with five other faculty and alumni are forthcoming, including Professor Russell Weintraub, Judge James DeAnda, Professor J. Patrick Hazel, Justice Oscar Mauzy and James W. McCartney.

Hans W. Baade, Robert O. Dawson and J. Leon Lebowitz each had long and distinguished careers at The University of Texas School of Law. Baade, a professor emeritus, has taught courses in comparative law, conflict of laws and international law. He is a recognized specialist in water law, and has consulted on several historic land title and water law cases in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition, he has consulted on several cases involving international art theft. Professor Baade is an expert on the legal history of the Southwest and of Louisiana. His oral history covers his legal education, his consulting activities, his teaching career, his legal history interests, changes at the School of Law, and School of Law traditions.

Robert Dawson, who passed away in 2005, co-founded The University of Texas School of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic and the Actual Innocence Clinic, two of the first legal clinics at the Law School. Professor Dawson was active in juvenile justice, authored several books on the subject, and drafted much of the juvenile justice legislation enacted by the Legislature over the last thirty years. In his interview, Dawson discusses his legal education, his work in juvenile and criminal justice, the clinics he began at the School of Law and their role in legal education, equine law, and his interests outside the School of Law.

J. Leon Lebowitz, a professor emeritus, began his career at the School of Law in 1955 as one of the only Jewish members on the UT Law faculty. A specialist in corporate and business law, Professor Lebowitz introduced courses in business associations, securities regulation and corporate finance, topics that at the time were hardly taught at any other law school. Prior to coming to the School of Law, Lebowitz was on the State Bar committee that drafted the Business Corporation Act for Texas. Lebowitz’s oral history covers the history of Baylor Law School and of legal education in Texas, his military service during World War II, his teaching career, Austin and the University in the 1950s, and recollections about the School of Law staff and facilities.

Tarlton Law Library began collecting oral history interviews in 1986, when a grant from the Texas Sesquicentennial Commission enabled the Library to conduct five oral history interviews. The interviewees were all graduates of The University of Texas School of Law whose careers shaped the Law School and the legal history of Texas: Robert Calvert, Joe R. Greenhill, Sr., and Jack Pope as Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Texas, W. Page Keeton as the long-time dean of the Law School, and Gus M. Hodges as one of the school's most colorful professors. Since that time, more than 10 interviews have been conducted with School of Law faculty and alumni, and the Law Library is arranging for more.

For a complete listing of oral histories in the Tarlton Law Library Oral History Collection, see http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/rare/oralhistory.html.