Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


By Dean Theodore J. St. Antoine based on the Dean's Report to the President of the University for the 1973-74 academic year.

By now most Americans, and not least the lawyers, would probably like to forget all about Watergate. But its reverberations pervaded the Law School during the past year, and I think a few further observations are in order.

This seems especially appropriate because a growing number of signs indicate the ultimate meaning of this painful episode may be quite different from the initial perceptions. An affair that many persons thought demeaning to the whole legal profession could yet prove, in retrospect, the fitting climax to two decades in which the law and lawyers occupied stage center on the American domestic scene. From the school desegregation cases in 1954, through the resignation of a president some 20 years later, the legal system was called upon to meet a staggering array of societal needs: civil rights, reapportionment, peaceful protest, public order, personal privacy, equality for women, a healthy environment, and finally, and most fundamentally, the preservation of constitutional government itself. That a few holders of law degrees were implicated in the sorry events that led to this last and severest test of our legal institutions would seem of little moment when set against the system's effectual, if perhaps not totally triumphant, response.