UNIVERSITY OF Miami School of Law Hosts Event on Soia Mentschikoff’s Vision of Legal Education

Seven of the legal industry’s movers and shakers
to speak about mentschikoff’s legacy

Coral Gables, FL (April 7, 2009 – LAWFUEL) –Acting Dean Paul R. Verkuil and Professor Irwin P. Stotzky will host the event “Soia Mentschikoff and her ‘Seven Dwarfs’: A Discussion of Her Vision of Legal Education” presented by her original legal instructors. It will take place on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 2 p.m. at the law school’s Alma Jennings Foundation Student Lounge, 1311 Miller Drive, Coral Gables. The symposium is sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law and Peter Lederer, Esq., a long time friend of Soia Mentschikoff and a member of the School’s Visiting Committee.

Soia Mentschikoff was born in Russia to American parents who returned to the United States just ahead of the revolution. She attended Hunter College in New York at age fifteen. While at Hunter, she studied English and political science before beginning her law school studies at Columbia University.

Upon graduation she worked at a few firms specializing in labor law, making her one of the first female partners in a Wall Street firm. During her years practicing, Ms. Mentschikoff also began working on what would be her most famous contribution to the law – The Uniform Commercial Code. Mentschikoff was also Associate Reporter for the revised Uniform Sales Act. Around this time, her future husband and prominent legal scholar Karl Llewellyn was nominated by the American Law Institute to be the Chief Reporter in this endeavor. In addition to commercial law, Ms. Mentschikoff also wrote and spoke on arbitration, mediation, international law, and legal education.

Mentschikoff was the first woman everything. She was the first woman to teach at Harvard (a visiting professor from 1947 to 1949) – before they admitted women to the law school – and the University of Chicago (1951 to 1974). Mentschikoff was also the first female president of the American Association of Law Schools. In 1974, she was appointed to serve as Dean of the University of Miami School of Law and served with distinction until 1982. As dean, she was determined to improve the national reputation of the school. She accomplished this by limiting enrollment, establishing a first rate library, attracting the best faculty, and developing innovative programs. Her dream was to produce first-rate graduates who would in turn become exemplary practitioners.

To supplement Mentschikoff’s vision, the seven original legal instructors (hardly dwarfs in the legal profession) will provide insight and knowledge on legal education then and now. Speakers include Kenneth Casebeer (Professor of Law at the University of Miami), Herbert W. Krueger (partner in Mayer Brown, Chicago), attorney Kenneth Lipman (partner in Siegel, Lipman, Dunay, Shepard & Miskel), Jeffrey S. Lubbers (Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law), Keith E. Secular (partner in Cohen, Weiss and Simon, New York City), Irwin P. Stotzky (Professor of Law at the University of Miami), and James L. Wolf (a noted consultant in energy).

Members of the general public, and interested legal scholars and practitioners are invited to attend. To reserve your space call (305) 284-4945 or email

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