Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1904-1928
James Parker Hall was born in Frewsburg, New York in 1871. He graduated with honors from Cornell University in 1894, where he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Harvard Law School, where he was one of the editors of the Law Review and graduated near the top of his class. He earned his law degree cum laude in 1897. Hall was soon admitted to the bar of the state of New York and began practicing with one of the leading law firms in Buffalo, Bissell, Carey & Cooke. He also began his teaching career at this time, serving as a part-time instructor at the Buffalo Law School. In 1900, Hall joined the law faculty at Stanford University, where he taught for two years. When President William Rainey Harper and Dean Joseph Henry Beale were preparing to open the University of Chicago Law School, they immediately invited Hall to serve on the faculty. He accepted and offered courses on Torts and Agency when the Law School opened its doors. Hall’s integral role in the life of the Law School began early. Hall served as Acting Dean when Dean Beale was away from Chicago during his tenure, and when Dean Beale returned to Harvard Law School at the end of his two-year leave of absence, it surprised no one when Hall was officially named as his successor. Hall served as dean of the Law School until his sudden passing in 1928. To this day, Hall is the longest-serving dean in the history of the Law School.