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Francis A. Allen
Regent's Proceedings 759

Francis A. Allen, Edson R. Sunderland Professor of Law, retired from active service on May 31, 1986. As former dean of the Law School and as one of the nation's most distinguished legal educators and legal scholars, Professor Allen has made enduring contributions to the university, to his students, and to the nation.

A graduate of Cornell College with an A.B. degree in 1941 and of Northwestern University Law School with an L.L.B. degree in 1946, Professor Allen served as a member of the law faculties of Northwestern, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago before coming to Michigan as dean of the Law School in 1966. The five years of his tenure as dean, the most tumultuous in the history of American higher education, were marked by unprecedented demands upon universities. His leadership was critical to the strengthening of the school's intellectual foundations that occurred during this period.

Over the past two decades, Professor Allen has written often and profoundly regarding the aims of legal education. He is widely regarded as the nation's leading spokesman for a humanistic conception of legal education. The qualities of mind that a university education seeks to develop are exemplified in Professor Allen's writing and in his teaching. Generations of students have recognized in him a model to which they might aspire, a lawyer whose learning is as broad as it is deep and whose understanding of human problems is both wise and humane.

His primary scholarly contributions have been in the field of criminal law in well over one hundred books and articles. As one of the nation’s preeminent criminal law scholars, Professor Allen has frequently been called upon to render public service. Among his most notable contributions are his chairmanship of the committee that drafted the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961, widely regarded as a model for legislation on the subject, and his service as chairman of the Attorney General's Commission on Poverty and the Administration of Criminal Justice, whose recommendations led directly to the enactment of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 and the Bail Reform Act of 1966.

Professor Allen's preeminence as a legal educator and legal scholar have brought him frequent and deserved recognition. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Cornell College, Northwestern University, and the University of Victoria and has served as president of the Association of American Law Schools. He has delivered the Holmes Lecture at Harvard, the Storrs Lecture at Yale, and innumerable named lectures at other universities in the United States and abroad. In 1979, he was named the Henry Russel Lecturer at The University of Michigan, the highest honor that the university can bestow upon a member of the faculty.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar and educator by naming Francis A. Allen Edson R. Sunderland Professor Emeritus of Law.