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Cornell Law School: Historical Timeline

History of Cornell Law School

A.D. White 1866 Laying plans for the new university, Cornell University president-to-be A.D. White proposes establishing a department of law
  • First law faculty members appointed
  • Department of Law opens in Morrill Hall; Judge Douglas Boardman is department's first dean
  1888 First graduating law class (nine students)  
  1889 Keigo Harada and Masayasu Naruse graduate; they are the Law School's first Asian students
G.W. Fields 1890 George Washington Fields graduates; one of the nation's first law-school-graduates of color
  1891 Charles Evans Hughes joins faculty
  1892 Construction of Boardman Hall completed, will later house Law School
M.K. Brown 1893
Studying in Boardman 1915 Cornell Law Quarterly established (Professor George G. Bogert is first faculty editor)
  1916 Cornell Law Quarterly now edited by student board
  1919 Mary Honor Donlon becomes first woman editor-in-chief of any law review in the U.S. and edits three issues of the Cornell Law Quarterly: November 1919, January 1920, and March 1920
  1924 Trustees approve College of Law as a graduate school
  1925 Renamed Cornell Law School
Building Myron Taylor Hall 1929
  • Graduate programs leading to J.S.D. and LL.M. degrees introduced
  • Myron C. Taylor, class of 1894 provides $1,500,00 for new building
west view 1932 Myron Taylor Hall dedicated October 15
  1948 Program of specialization in international affairs established; LL.B. degrees established
  1954 Combined four-year programs leading to LL.B. and M.P.A. or M.B.A. degrees established
  1958 $1,000,000 gift from Myron Taylor for new residence center, to be named for his professor/mentor, Charles Evans Hughes
  1966 Cornell Law School becomes first law school to receive permission to permit court appearances by third-year students working at its Legal Aid Clinic
  1967 Cornell Law Quarterly becomes Cornell Law Review
  1968 First issue of Cornell International Law Journal
  1978 Law Library designated U.S. Government Depository
  1988 Opening ceremonies for new Jane Foster addition and remodelled Myron Taylor Hall
LII Graphic 1992
  • First edition of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Legal Information Institute established
  1993 Cornell Death Penalty Project created
  1994 Cornell Law School and University of Paris I law faculty launch Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law
  1997 Dorothea S. Clarke Program in Feminist Jurisprudence established
  2002 Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture established
  2004 First edition of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
  2005 First edition of electronic newsletter, the e-Forum, sent to alumni, friends of the Law School


The Deans of Cornell Law School


Douglas Boardman 1887-1891
Francis Miles Finch 1891-1903
Ernest Wilson Huffcut 1903-1907
Frank Irvine 1907-1916
Edwin Hamlin Woodruff 1916-1921
George Gleason Bogert 1921-1926
Charles Kellog Burdick 1926-1937
Robert Sproule Stevens 1937-1954
Gray Thoron 1956-1963
William Ray Forrester 1963-1973
Roger Conant Cramton 1973-1980
Peter William Martin 1980-1988
Russell King Osgood 1988-1998
Charles W. Wolfram 1998-1999 (Interim Dean)
Lee E. Teitelbaum 1999-2003
John A. Siliciano 2003 (Interim Dean)
Stewart J. Schwab 2004-2014
Eduardo M. Peñalver 2014-present