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Schwartz Family Endows Professorship at UW College of Law in Honor of William T. Schwartz

July 15, 2009

The University of Wyoming College of Law has established an endowed professorship honoring the distinguished career of Wyoming attorney William T. Schwartz, who died in June, 2008.

The $500,000 William T. Schwartz Professor of Law was initiated by a gift of $250,000 from Schwartz's surviving family members, Mary Anne and Ron Barnes of St. Louis, Mo., and their children; Susan and the late Jim Higgins of Belfast, Maine and their children; Sally and Jim Belcher of Cheyenne and their children; and Bill and Cheryl Schwartz of Jackson and their children. The initial gift from the Schwartz family was matched with a grant of $250,000 from the state of Wyoming to establish the $500,000 endowment.

The William T. Schwartz Professor of Law will receive salary enhancements and research support earned from the endowed funds during the term of appointment.

"The importance of the William T. Schwartz Professor of Law and other similar endowed professorships cannot be overstated," says Jerry Parkinson, outgoing UW College of Law dean. "They will be critical to retaining and recruiting top-flight faculty for the College of Law both now and in the future, which is necessary to the proper training of future generations of Wyoming lawyers."

After serving 50 missions with the Army Air Force in Italy as a navigator in World War II, Schwartz practiced law in Wyoming for 60 years. While he was widely recognized in the fields of oil, gas and mining law, his expertise was remarkably broad. At the time of his death, the publication "Best Lawyers In America" recognized his preeminence in seven different areas of practice, a Wyoming record that in an era of increasing specialization will likely never be matched.

A founding partner of the Casper law firm Schwartz, Bon, Walker and Studer, Schwartz served as the president of the Wyoming Bar Association and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He was a co-founder and original officer of the Wyoming Bar Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1981 to provide civil legal assistance to the poor and to promote legal education and the administration of justice in Wyoming.

Parkinson says the professorship "will formalize at our law school the legacy of Mr. Schwartz, a lawyer who for over a half-century embodied the noblest principles of the legal profession in Wyoming."

The College of Law dean, in consultation with the faculty and the Schwartz family, will designate the professorship's inaugural recipient in 2010, at which time the recipient will deliver a public lecture in honor of Schwartz.


Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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