Washington Law Review


Allan Axelrod


Lee Tunks came to New Jersey as Dean of the two Rutgers Law Schools (Newark and Camden) in 1953 and served until 1962. Rutgers Law School had been only recently created; it had come into being in 1948 (from the merger of several municipal and private schools) as the law school of the contemporaneously created state university, Rutgers University. Lee's charge and purpose was to build a major state law school. He had to position the school as a high priority claimant upon university resources: to effect large increases in library collection and staff, to break his faculty's salaries free from the university pattern, to acquire research and administrative resources, all of which generated disputes within the university. He led the faculty to decisions that entangled the newly visible public institution in external fights with bar, alumni, or the legislature. There was one year in which Newark admissions standards were so boosted as to cut the entering class by almost 50%, and there was a several-year campaign to drop the school's evening division as beyond its resources. All these disputes were intensified by the dedication and passion with which Lee pressed his positions, but it was the same dedication coupled with a superior tactical sense which saw them mostly won on Lee's terms.

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