Three Trailblazing Women Faculty Retire
When exams ended in May, it marked the close of an era. Three faculty members---all women-- who have left their indelible marks on the law school in their long tenure have officially retired. Professor Mary T. Wolf actually retired in January of this year, and Professors Susanah M. Mead and Eleanor DeArman Kinney are doing the same this Spring. (Pictured: Professors Wolf, Mead and Kinney)
Professor and former Interim Dean, Susanah M. Mead, graduated from the IU School of Law – Indianapolis in 1976, when women students were by far the minority. After graduation she clerked for the Honorable Paul H. Buchanan Jr., chief judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals, from 1976 to 1978. After clerking, she joined the law school faculty as a lecturer in the legal writing program, which she directed from 1980-81. In June 2005, Mead became the first woman and the first graduate to lead the school, serving as Interim Dean until 2007. Her previous experience in administration was as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a post she held from 1997 to 2004. Her articles examining issues in constitutional tort law and products liability law have appeared in national law journals. She was honored as Outstanding Alumna of the Year by the law school’s Alumnae Network in 2007.
Her colleague and friend, Professor Andrew R. Klein, says, “Susie became a role model to a generation of law students and faculty. Indeed, it is impossible to find a person whose path she crossed who doesn’t admire her. Talk to someone who knows Susie Mead, and you will hear about her honesty, her judgment, and her discretion. You will hear that she is a terrific teacher and scholar, but an even better person.”
Arriving at the law school a few years after Mead, Professor Eleanor DeArman Kinney joined the faculty in 1984 and has guided the law school’s nationally recognized Hall Center for Law and Health since she pioneered its establishment in 1987.
The Hall Render Professor of Law, she has taught at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis for 27 years. In addition to health law, she has taught administrative law, law and public health, comparative EU and U.S. regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical technology, insurance law, torts, and law and social science. As co-director of Hall Center for Law and Health and the co-director of the Consortium for Health, Policy, Law & Bioethics, she has created many opportunities for students to work on cutting-edge health law issues, such as malpractice reform.
Professor David Orentlicher, who has co-directed the Hall Center with Kinney since he joined the faculty in 1990, says of his colleague and friend, “Professor Kinney has made substantial contributions in the field of health care law. She has published important scholarship on medical malpractice, administrative processes for resolving concerns of patients, access to health care for the working poor, and the basic human right to health care. Her leadership as a scholar has been matched by her leadership as a mentor of health care lawyers. The top echelons of the health care law bar in Indianapolis, as well as health care lawyers at hospitals, drug companies and governmental agencies have been mentored by Professor Kinney, and the development of the law school’s certificate program in health care will ensure that the law school continues its role developing skilled health care lawyers for generations to come.”
Like Professor Kinney, Professor Mary Wolf arrived at the law school in 1984 as a visiting assistant professor in the newly-created Civil Practice Clinic. She served as director of all clinical programs and externships from July 1987 to December 2010. After earning her J.D. degree, she was clerk to Judge Robert Downing of the Illinois Appellate Court, and then worked as an attorney for the Flood Relief Center and for the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration. In 1979, she joined the staff of Prairie State Legal Services, where she became the managing attorney. During the spring of 2001, Professor Wolf was a visiting professor at TC Beirne School of Law in Australia. In addition to the clinic, her areas of expertise include teaching law and poverty, interviewing and counseling. (Pictured: a comemorative brick from the former law school building where all three professors taught for most of their law school careers)
Fellow Clinical Professors of Law, Joanne Orr and Fran Watson, describe Wolf as the “heart and soul of the law clinic.” They say, “Mary and her students served as co-counsel to low-income clients referred from Indiana Legal Services in matters of general civil litigation, including family law, landlord tenant, and consumer law litigation….Within the live-client model, Mary and student co-counsels provided much needed access to the legal system to thousands of real-world clients, benefiting clients, students, and the pursuit of justice for all.” They also point out, “Professor Wolf’s continuing service contributions included membership on the Indiana Supreme Court Pro Bono Commission, and participation in the Juvenile Justice Project and the Domestic Violence Protective Order Pro Bono Project. “ Her colleagues say, “Mary Wolf was not only an exemplary teacher and lawyer, she was a law school colleague in the truest sense of the word.”
Professors Mead, Kinney and Wolf have devoted the better part of the last three to four decades to our law school community and we wish them well in the next phase of their lives. They have earned a special place in the law school family.