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Appointed Dean of Law

Henry Moore Bates
The Michigan Alumnus 19-21

By Joseph H. Drake '85, '02l

The important changes in the ad
ministrative force of the University 
this year have been of especial signifi
cance to the Law Department. It is 
a matter for congratulation that a new 
Dean has been chosen from the pres
ent Faculty, thus assuring the continuation of the successful policy of the 
past without essential break. "
Our Dean elect comes honestly by 
the New England conscience which is
 so prominent a characteristic of his 
mature life. Both parents were of old
 Puritan stock. His father, George C. 
 Bates, a Vermonter by birth, spent his
 life in railroad administration with 
the exception of the four years of the 
Civil War, during which he served his
 country, first as lieutenant and later
 as quartermaster. His mother, Alice
 E. Moore, a native of Massachusetts, 
 has spent most of her mature life in 
the South and West as a teacher and
 school administrator, acting as prin
cipal of the Girls' High School, of 
New Orleans, and then of the Park 
Institute, in Chicago. To those who 
know them both, it is very evident 
that the intellectual and moral qualities of the mother have been repro
duced in the oldest son. 

Henry Moore Bates was born in 
Chicago, March 3, 1869. He spent
 his boyhood days in that city and 
gained his preparation for college in 
Park Institute and in the West Divis
ion High School. He received the degree of Ph.B. from the University of 
Michigan, in 1890, and the degree of 
LL.B. from Northwestern University 
in 1892. Shortly after his graduation 
he was married to Clara Belfield, of 
the class of 1892 (Wellesley). They
 have one daughter, Helen. The high 
qualities possessed by Mrs. Bates
 have made her a worthy sharer in 
their joint success in life and under 
her guidance we may be sure that the 
high social ideals of their position will 
be properly realized.

Mr. Bates began his professional
 career in Chicago, in the offices of
 Williams, Holt and Wheeler, whose 
business is largely corporation law, 
 the firm numbering among its clients
 the Santa Fe Ry. Co., The Illinois
 Steel Co., The Western Union Tele
graph Co., and The Wells, Fargo Ex
press Co. Later he was in the offices
 of Norton, Burley and Howell, Attorneys for the Northern Pacific Ry., 
 who also did a large probate and ad
ministration business. He served as
 Assistant Librarian of Chicago Law 
Institute from 1895 to 1898. During
 his term of office, he exercised prac
tically entire control of this library; 
as the librarian is merely an honorary
 officer without active duties. The 
large knowledge of legal literature 
and bibliography gained during the in
cumbency of this office has been util
ized for the benefit of the library of 
the Law Department of the University of Michigan during his residence 
here as professor of law.

In 1898 he
 resigned his library position to enter 
the office of John Maynard Harlan as
 a quasi partner, a relation, which was 
soon changed to a full partnership in 
the firm of Harlan and Bates. During 
these years his Alma Mater had been
 making efforts to bring him back to 
her service, offering him successively 
an instructorship in European history, 
an instructorship in American history, 
and an assistant professorship in 
law. When the place left vacant by 
the withdrawal of Professor Mechem
 from the Law Faculty was offered to 
Mr. Bates, in 1903, he accepted it, 
and performed with great credit to 
himself the duties of this position un
til February, 1910. At this time he
 offered his resignation to the Regents 
in order to enter into the partnership 
of Robson, Bates and George, of De
troit. This resignation was tabled by
, the Board of Regents until a new 
President should be appointed for the

When Dean Hutchins
 was, finally persuaded to accept the
 Presidency, the Regents turned to Mr. 
Bates as his most suitable successor
 as Dean of the Law Department, and 
in spite of the entangling business al
liance made by Mr. Bates, who had
 already taken up the work of the
 new firm, the Regents unanimously
 elected him to the vacant deanship. 
 Luckily for the Law Department, 
 Messrs. Robson and George kindly
 yielded their claims in favor of the
 University and the new dean entered
 upon the discharge of his duties on 
August 23, of the present year. 

The varied experience of Mr. Bates 
has made of him the rather rare com
bination of a practical man of affairs 
and a teacher with high scholarly and
 educational ideals. He seems to be 
equally successful in dealing with bus
iness men and with college boys. Dur
ing his residence in Chicago he was 
actively interested in all projects for 
social betterment and intellectual up lift. He served as an officer of the 
Civic Federation and as a work in 
committeeman on the Municipal Vot
ers' League. He was for a long time
 Secretary and later Vice-President, of
 the Chicago Alumni Association. His
 constant solicitude for the Univer
sity and his staunch defense of her in
terests, especially in our trouble some 
athletic relations, gave him the com
monly applied appellation of Henry
 M[ichigan] Bates. Nor did he abate
 his interest in these more general con
cerns of the University when he took 
up his professional duties here. He
 was for several years a member of the
 Board of Control of Athletics and has 
been more influential than any other
 one man in creating and directing the 
Michigan Union, which he has served
 as Treasurer and Director. It was 
also through his efforts that the mon
ey was raised for the portrait by
 Chase of Dr. Angell.

He has found time during the sev
en years of his professorship to con
tribute frequently to the Michigan 
Law Review, and to acquaint himself
 with what was the best in the field of 
legal education, by constant attend
ance on the meetings of the Associa
tion of American Law Schools and 
by frequent visits to neighboring institutions. In the summer of 1908 he
 was invited to take charge of the
 course in Wills and Administration in 
the Summer Session of the Chicago
 Law School. He has served for two 
years on the Executive Committee of 
the Association of American Law 
Schools and on the committee for the
 formulation of a course of university 
study for students who are planning
 to take up the study of law.

In his dealings with students in the
 Athletic Association, in the Michigan
 Union and in the various other student organizations, he has shown 
great aptitude in winning their confi
dence and respect. That this high es
teem by the "student body has not been
 due to any catering to the weaknesses
 of the college boy is evidenced by the 
fact that the courses in Sales and in
 Wills were generally considered by 
the students, as well as by his col
leagues, among the most difficult and 
also the most valuable in the Depart
ment. In addition to his connection
 with Alpha Delta Phi and many 
other student organizations he is 
a member of the American Bar Association, the Michigan State Bar As
sociation, the American Political Sci
ence Association, Phi Beta Kappa, 
 the Scientific Club, the Chicago Lit
erary Club, the University Club of 
Chicago and the University Club of

All friends of the Law Department 
may feel sure that under the leadership of Dean Bates the fine traditions
 of the department will be preserved
 and that all improvements in the tech
nical and scholarly phases of law 
school administration, coming from 
any source whatsoever, will be accept
ed and used to advance the highest 
interests of legal education.