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U-M Regents Honor Michigan Law Faculty

U-M Regents Honor Michigan Law Faculty

By Amy Spooner
Oct. 17, 2014

The University of Michigan Law School has new names among its ranks of endowed professorships—both in terms of chair holders and chair names—following the Oct. 16, 2014, U-M Board of Regents meeting. At the meeting, the regents voted to approve the following chair holders of endowed professorships: Sam Bagenstos, the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law; Michael Barr, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law; John Pottow, the John Philip Dawson Collegiate Professor of Law; and Margo Schlanger, the Henry M. Butzel Professor of Law.

Professor Sam Bagenstos is a nationally regarded expert in constitutional and civil rights litigation. From 2009 to 2011, he was a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as the principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, the second-highest-ranking official in the Civil Rights Division. He frequently consults with civil rights organizations and remains an active appellate and U.S. Supreme Court litigator in civil rights and federalism cases. The Frank G. Millard Professorship honors Michigan Law graduate Millard, '16, whose many acts of public service exemplified the public character of law as a profession.

Professor Michael Barr previously served in the departments of Treasury and State, and as a special adviser to President Clinton. As the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial institutions, he was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. At Michigan Law, Prof. Barr co-founded the International Transactions Clinic. The Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professorship was established with gifts from the Law School's Class of 1963 in honor of Prof. Proffitt, a longtime member of the Law School faculty and administration, and his wife. They were beloved for their dedication to the Law School and its students.

Professor John Pottow is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of bankruptcy and commercial law. His award-winning scholarship concentrates on the issues involved in the regulation of cross-border insolvencies as well as consumer financial distress. He has argued bankruptcy cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including his pro bono representation of the respondent in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (2014), which resulted in a 9-0 decision in his client's favor. The John Philip Dawson Collegiate Professorship is named for a former member of the Law School faculty who was an outstanding figure in the fields of restitution, contract law, and legal history.

Professor Margo Schlanger is nationally renowned for her scholarly and policy work in the fields of civil rights and remedies for the violations thereof, with special emphasis on prison rights litigation. From 2010 to 2011, she served as the presidentially appointed officer for civil rights and civil liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has been an adviser on the development of proposed national standards for eliminating prison rape and was the reporter for the American Bar Association's revision of its Standards Governing the Legal Treatment of Prisoners. The Henry M. Butzel Professorship was established with funds that Justice Butzel, an 1892 graduate who was a justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan for more than 25 years, left in trust to assure continued support for "the purposes for which I labored in my lifetime."

"I am pleased that the University has recognized Sam, Michael, John, and Margo with these professorships," said Dean Mark West. "Each of them has contributed to the scholarship of the Law School as well as to society's interpretation of the law. Equally important, they are excellent teachers who genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge and exploring the law with our students."

In addition, the Board of Regents approved the creation of the Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professorship, significant support for which has been given by alumni in gratitude for Prof. St. Antoine's influence on their careers.

Prof. St. Antoine joined the Michigan Law faculty in 1965, and served as dean from 1971 to 1978. He then returned to the faculty and served until his retirement, although the professor emeritus can still be seen frequenting the Law School. Prof. St. Antoine is one of the preeminent scholars in the field of labor and industrial relations and is coauthor of one of the most successful and respected labor law casebooks, Labor Relations Law: Cases and Materials.

"Ted's legacy at the Law School is practically unparalleled," said Dean West. "Establishing a professorship in his name is a fitting tribute for a man who, in addition to being a giant in his field, taught and mentored countless students—and at least one dean—over four decades."

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