2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Tollison, Turner, Walls, Robertson, Doxey, Clarke, Dawkins, Dearing, Frazier, Gordon, Harden, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Little, Michel, Nunnelee, Ross

Senate Concurrent Resolution 566

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, this year the University of Mississippi School of Law celebrates its Sesquicentennial; and

     WHEREAS, in early 1854, aware of the need for formalized legal education in Mississippi, the university's Board of Trustees petitioned the State Legislature to establish a "Professorship of Governmental Science and Law" at the fledgling institution, which had opened its doors in Oxford only six years earlier.  The Legislature acted favorably on the petition, and the Department of Governmental Science and Law was born; and

     WHEREAS, William Forbes Stearns, who had given the principal address at the laying of the cornerstone for the Lyceum on July 14, 1846, was the first holder of the professorship in law.  On September 9, 1854, seven young men enrolled as the first class to begin their law studies and Ole Miss became the fourth oldest public law school in America; and

     WHEREAS, a century and a half has passed since that modest beginning in the fall of 1854.  Today's modern Law Center bears little resemblance to the unassuming Department of Law of 1854.  The student enrollment of more than 500 is taught by a full-time faculty of 28; the Law Library contains more than 325,000 volumes and volume equivalents; classrooms and courtrooms employ state-of-the-art instructional technology; computer labs provide law students and other patrons instant access to electronic databases; the various components of the Law Center provide extraordinary research capabilities as well as continuing education for thousands of lawyers, judges and court officials; and

     WHEREAS, the postwar history of the Department of Law was marked by a period of enlightenment under the leadership of the very able L.Q.C. Lamar, who reorganized the department and significantly revised and improved the 19th Century methods of teaching law, and whose competence and genius ever since have served as the touchstones for excellence in legal education.  Lamar introduced a method of teaching from reported opinions that is in essence the same as the case method used in law schools today.  In addition to these revisions of the academic program, Lamar was successful in obtaining recognition of the Law Department as an independent administrative unit within the university; and

     WHEREAS, the law school is looking ahead to the next 150 years.  Plans are underway to move the law school into a new, modern home to be named for Chancellor Robert Khayat.  In his eighth year as Dean, Samuel Davis is working to obtain a Chapter of the Order of the Coif, the highest academic recognition for law graduates; and

     WHEREAS, the significance of this Sesquicentennial in the development of the University of Mississippi and indeed of the State of Mississippi cannot be overemphasized, and it is with pride that we share this commemorative occasion with the faculty and students at the School of Law:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recognize the University of Mississippi School of Law on the occasion of its Sesquicentennial (150th) Commemoration, and extend to the Dean, faculty, students and former students the best wishes of the Legislature as the law school looks forward to the next 150 years.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Chancellor Robert Khayat and Dean Samuel Davis, be forwarded to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.