Monday, September 26, 2016

In Memoriam: Professor Marjorie Rombauer, 1929 - 2016

Professor Marjorie D. Rombauer, who served on the UW Law faculty for 30 years, died on Friday. She was widely heralded as the "Mother of the Field of Legal Writing Education."

Prof. Rombauer was a Husky through and through. She earned both her B.A. and her J.D. at the University of Washington and spent her entire professional career here. She began working at UW Law as an instructor, hired for a single year. But her appointment was renewed several times and she moved up the ladder until she became the first female tenured faculty member *. She was the Acting Dean in 1991, again the first woman to hold that position.

Her book on Legal Problem Solving: Analysis, Research, and Writing was the first of its kind, written at a time before most law schools even offered courses on those subjects. She published the first edition locally, after West Publishing declined to publish it because they didn't believe there was a market for books on that topic. West, however, went on to publish the book from the 2d through the 5th editions.

Among her other contributions were serving on the Washington Law Revision Commission for ten years and writing more books and articles (including three editions of Legal Writing in a Nutshell). Her efforts were recognized with awards and honors from organizations such as the Association of American Law Schools, Association of Legal Writing Directors,  UW Law, and the Washington State Bar Association.

You can learn more about Prof. Rombauer at the Law Library's memorial page.

* Note: Prof. Rombauer was the first tenured woman on the teaching faculty. The first tenured woman at the University of Washington School of Law in any capacity was Marian Gould Gallagher, who served as director of the Law Library.

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