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U T School of law early deans 1902 to 1974

Charles McCormick, 1941-1949

A Dallas native, Charles T. McCormick (1889-1963) received his B.A. from the University of Texas in 1909 and his LL.B. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1912. He practiced in his father's law firm, Etheridge, McCormick, and Bromberg, in Dallas before serving as a captain of infantry in the United States Army from 1917 to 1919. After World War I, McCormick was employed by Standard Oil Company in New York, but he soon returned to Dallas to practice.

Charles T. McCormick
Photo of Charles McCormick
taken from The Peregrinus, 1950

In 1922, McCormick joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law. In 1926, he went to the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he served as dean from 1927 until 1931. He taught at Northwestern School of Law from 1931 until 1940, when he returned to the University of Texas as Dean of the Law School. As dean, McCormick faced budgetary and enrollment difficulties caused by World War II. During the war, enrollment diminished to only 40 students in 1943. McCormick encountered the opposite problem when the war ended, with over 1,000 students enrolled in 1947. In spite of these challenges, he was able to make undeniable improvements to the law school. He modernized the curriculum and established a legal aid clinic among other accomplishments. In 1949, McCormick stepped down as dean, but he continued to teach full-time. McCormick was named dean emeritus in 1961 and retired from the university in 1962. A scholarship for law students was established in his honor in 1964 and a professorship was established in 1965.

Recognized as an expert on damages and evidence, McCormick published Cases and Materials on the Law of Damages in 1935; Handbook on the Law of Damages in 1935; Cases and Materials on the Law of Evidence in 1940, second edition 1948, third edition 1956; Cases and Materials on Federal Courts with James H. Chadbourn in 1946, second edition 1950, third edition 1957, fourth edition 1962; Author's Suggestions for the Use of Cases on Federal Courts, with James H. Chadbourn in 1950; Cases and Materials on Damages, with William Fritz in 1952; and Handbook on the Law of Evidence in 1954.

McCormick was appointed to the first Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure by the United States Supreme Court and President Dwight Eisenhower selected McCormick to serve on the National Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise Committee, which was established by Congress in 1955 to administer funds given by the late Justice Holmes. McCormick was a member of the American Law Institute, the American, Texas, Illinois, and Chicago Bar Associations, the Philosophical Society of Texas, and Phi Delta Phi. He served as president of Order of the Coif and the Association of American Law Schools.