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History and Traditions


The Law Quadrangle’s superb collegiate gothic buildings, the gift of William W. Cook, LLB 1882, are inspirational and reflect the serious nature of the teaching and scholarship done at the School. The buildings, designed by the New York City firm of Edward York and Philip Sawyer, contribute tremendously to the strong sense of community at Michigan Law.

The Law Quad consists of four buildings: The Lawyers Club (1925); the John P. Cook Dormitory (1930), the Legal Research Library (1931), and Hutchins Hall (1933).

Before the School moved to the Law Quad, it occupied the fine Law Building near the corner of North University and South State, an area now grass and trees, for it burned in 1950.  The School occupied this building from 1863 until 1933, and expanded and modified it several times.

This section of the History and Traditions website includes information about William Cook’s first gift to the University, the Martha Cook Building, which opened in 1915.

In 1981, the Library expanded into the Allan and Alene Smith Addition, designed by Gunnar Birkerts and Associates, then of Birmingham, Michigan.

For More Information

About William W. Cook

*    William W. Cook Webpage Open in New Window

About The LAW quad

*      Addresses Delivered at the Dedication of the Lawyers' Club of the University of Michigan, June 13, 1925. Open in New Window

*      "An Artisan Is Inspired by His Task: A letter Reveals the Story Behind the Beautiful Decorative Seals in the Windows of  William W. Cook Research Building," Michigan Alumnus, October 3, 1931. Open in New Window 

*      A Book of the Lawyers' Quadrangle at the University of Michigan. Open in New Window

*      The Brief of the Lawyers' Club: 1925 Year Book of the Lawyers Club of the University of Michigan. Open in New Window

*      Chart of Subjects of the Stained Glass: Legal Research Building, University of Michigan. Open in New Window

*      Dedicatory Exercises of the Law Quadrangle: The Gift of William Wilson Cook. Open in New Window 

*      "The Law Library and Legal Research," Research News, September/October, 1966. Open in New Window 

*      "The Law Quadrangle of the University of Michigan," Law Library Journal, October, 1932. Open in New Window

*      "Law School of the University of Michigan," Green Bag, 1889. Open in New Window

*    Michigan Stained Glass Census: University of Michigan Law Quad and Library Open in New Window

*      "The Quadrangle Isn't Square: Law School is an Unusual Architechtural Mélange," Law Quadrangle Notes, 1983. Open in New Window 

*      "University to Have New Legal Research Library: William W. Cook, '80, 82L, Donor of the Lawyers' Club and Martha Cook Dormitory, Makes Gift," Michigan Alumnus, January 19, 1929. Open in New Window

*      "William W. Cook, University Benefactor: Noted New York Alumnus Dies at His Port Chester Home; His Will Makes Huge Additions to Already Most Generous Gifts," Michigan Alumnus, June 28, 1930. Open in New Window

*      "World's Finest Educational Building: William W. Cook Legal Research Library Nears Completion as Unit of Law Quadrangle," Michigan Alumnus, April 4, 1931. Open in New Window 

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