Tribute for Legal Eagle as UM School of Law Embarks with New Dean, Chair

(LAWFUEL) – “To Soia, theory and craft were intertwined and essential concepts of the process of learning to become an artist in law. She envisioned the intellectual side of the art of law as emanating from and being directly responsive to the technical skills of the lawyer. Solid law training, therefore, must consist of a true liberal arts education.”/“Soia believed in tradition. In her legal mind-set, she believed deeply in the common law tradition. She cared deeply about training law students to become part of that tradition. The changes she brought to the first year curriculum at Miami were designed to steep the students in that tradition.”

The above are excerpts taken from Irwin Stotzky’s (one of her original legal instructors and UM law professor) tribute to Soia at a memorial service in 1984 in Saint Augustine Church, Coral Gables. *Mr. Stotzky is available for comment, as is attorney Peter Lederer and UM Law School Acting Dean Paul Verkuil.

‘Fearless,’ ‘bold,’ and ‘ambitious’ are words that have been used to describe Soia, one of the UM Law School’s first woman Deans. The momentum of individuals like her has helped set the stage for a visionary such as the UM Law School’s new Dean. Recently, the University of Miami announced that Patricia D. White, a nationally known leader in legal education, has been named Dean of the UM School of Law. White is currently the Jack Brown Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where she served as law dean from January 1999 to July 2008. White will begin work at UM in July. She replaces Paul R. Verkuil, who has served as Acting Dean for the last year, and Dennis O. Lynch, who served as law dean for a decade before stepping down in 2008.

Also adding to the tribute event; the University of Miami School of Law will announce the creation of an Endowed Chair in Law and Economics which will be established in Soia Mentschikoff’s memory. The Chair will focus on matters of business associations, planning, commercial and international transactions, securities, and antitrust.

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