Marquette University Law School

  • Address: 1215 W. Michigan Street PO Box 1881 Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881 Milwaukee 53201
  • Contact: Marc Mitten
  • Email: Matt.Mitten@marquette.edu
  • Phone: (414) 288-6767
  • Summary:

    Formal legal education in Milwaukee is said to have begun on October 12, 1892, when eleven students gathered to study law under the tutelage of local attorneys.  The group called itself the Milwaukee Law Class and secured volunteer services of its instructors, William H. Churchill, Sr., and Franklin Spies, thus avoiding the need to charge tuition.  Mr. Churchill was the regular lecturer on Torts and related subjects; Mr. Spies taught Contracts.  In 1896, with the addition of several other faculty members, the institution changed its name to Milwaukee Law School.  All classes were held at night in various rented locations in downtown Milwaukee.


    In 1908, neighboring Marquette University was looking to expand its academic offerings, having recently added the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry to the original undergraduate college.  At the time, there were two law schools in the city: the more-established Milwaukee Law School and the barely two-year-old and financially strapped Milwaukee University Law School.  Marquette assumed sole ownership of both schools in September 1908, naming its newly acquired unit the Marquette University College of Law.  A day division was added for full-time students, and all classes initially were held in Johnston Hall, which still stands.  Two years later, the College of Law moved to the adjacent Mackie Mansion, a remodeled residence at the corner of North 11th Street and Grand Avenue, the early-twentieth-century name for Wisconsin Avenue.  The first dean was Hon. James G. Jenkins, a retired judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.