Reminiscences of the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder
Attending the University of Chicago Law School in the early
1960s was not for the faint hearted. Those were the days before
Burton-Judson became co-ed; before any color other than grey appeared
on the campus facades across the midway, and before global warming.
When my mother saw my first year apartment, in an isolated tenement
that passed for graduate women’s housing at 55th and Ellis,
she cried. The only reason she did not haul me out of there physically
was because leaving my roommate there alone was tantamount to
Yet, somehow, I, along with my five female classmates, persevered.
And we succeeded. One of us has had a spectacular career as a
prosecutor, another as a plaintiffs’ employment lawyer and
another is a law school dean.
One reason, no doubt, was that we received a better legal education
than our peers who attended other law schools, even the other
so called “prestigious” ones. I learned this early
on in my career at the Department of Justice litigating government
contract cases. There I steadfastly applied my perceptions of
Malcolm Sharp’s enigmatic teachings, as I pursued my oxymoronic
task of making the government’s position appear to represent
the fair result. As I learned later, in private practice, when
I was on the other side, I probably won many more cases for the
government than I should have – thanks to Malcolm Sharp.
This may all suggest that I have had a love late relationship
with the Law School -- but now as it celebrates its 100th year,
love is in the ascendency. I express my gratitude for the education
I received and the friendships I forged among students and faculty.
These include especially my husband Milton and my lifelong friend
Bernie Meltzer. And this March, as always, I will close my Phoenix
office for an afternoon to attend a Cubs’ spring training
game and to celebrate “Harry Kalven Day.”