Since its founding in 1854, the University of Mississippi School of Law has been an institutional bulwark of the state. Generations of Mississippi's prominent lawyers and politicians were graduates of the school, and these individuals have dramatically affected the state's political and cultural life. Governors William F. Winter and Ronnie Musgrove, U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, and former state Attorney General Michael Moore are all alumni of the School of Law.
The University of Mississippi School of Law: A Sesquicentennial History gives a full overview of the institution's development from its inception in 1854 to 2004. The book examines the school during Reconstruction, its growth from a "law department" into a "law school," the impact of World Wars I and II on its students and faculty, and its transition from a male-only program to a co-educational one.
Author Michael de L. Landon discusses how notable leaders ensured that, despite its problems, the school maintained its high academic standards and its worthy reputation both within its home state and nationally. The book discusses the school's struggles in dealing with racial segregation, as well as periodic confrontations with state political figures. The history examines the school's expansion, basic curriculum, and supplementary programs to show how it achieved a place among the finest law schools.
Michael de L. Landon is professor emeritus of history at the University of Mississippi. His previous books include The Challenge of Service: A History of the Mississippi Bar's Young Lawyers, 1936-1986 and The Honor and Dignity of the Profession: A History of the Mississippi State Bar Association, 1906-1976, among others.