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Exemplary leaders define 2016 Tulane Law Hall of Fame class

June 08, 2016

Hall of Fame 2016 Group

Tulane Law School Hall of Fame 2016 inductees Professors A.N. Yiannopoulos and Robert Force and U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman (L ’57), Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (L ’79) and pioneering attorney Margot Mazeau (L ’58) join Dean David Meyer at the June 3 luncheon.

Hall of Fame 2016 McGlinchey

Attorney Deirdre McGlinchey (L ’95) said her father, Hall of Fame honoree Dermot McGlinchey (L ’57) was proud of his family and firm “and perhaps most proud of being a Tulane alum.”

Hall of Fame 2016 Godwin

Fannie Godwin, longtime friend and paralegal to Hall of Fame inductee Sylvia Roberts (L ’56), called the late Baton Rouge attorney a great teacher who “worked tirelessly for her clients and the women of the future.”

Photos by Tracie Morris Schaefer

From arms control to maritime law to protection of society’s most vulnerable, Tulane Law graduates have left enduring legacies across the legal landscape, both domestic and international. Some 250 alumni and friends gathered June 3 to honor seven exemplary leaders of the legal profession as they were inducted into the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame.

The 2016 honorees are U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman (A&S ’55, L ’57), Professor Robert Force, retired attorney Margot Lampe Mazeau (L ’58), McGlinchey Stafford co-founder Dermot S. McGlinchey (A&S ’54, L ’57), National Organization for Women co-founder Sylvia Roberts (L ’56), Alabama Attorney General Luther J. Strange III (A&S ’75, L ’79) and Professor A.N. Yiannopoulos. McGlinchey and Roberts were inducted posthumously.

View a photo album.

Each new member represents a distinctive element of Tulane’s history and tradition.

For instance, Mazeau graduated at the top of her class and was the first female attorney hired by New Orleans firm Phelps Dunbar before she left for Washington, D.C., and a career in arms control negotiation. She said Feldman “did such a good job” as her Tulane law Review student adviser that she was awarded best case note. 

Feldman, a federal judge since 1983, described himself as “a skinny little twerp” when he arrived as a 17-year-old freshman. But he said that “Tulane and the law school defined me and continue to define me.”

And Force started out teaching criminal law then helped create the Maritime Law Center to distinguish Tulane worldwide. He laid out a vision of many more centers of excellence built around exceptional faculty in specialized fields. 

The Hall of Fame was created in 2012 with the support of an endowment gift by Lake Charles attorney Mike Veron (A&S ’72, L ’74) and his wife, Melinda. Honorees have included such nationally recognized luminaries as 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Minor Wisdom (L ’29) and the late U.S. Majority Leader Hale Boggs (A&S ’35, L ’37); trailblazing lawyers Marian Mayer Berkett (L ’37) of New Orleans and the late Associate Labor Solicitor Bessie Margolin (N ’29, L ’30); and New Orleans civic and business leaders Darryl Berger (L ’72) and Rod West (L ’93, B ’05). 

Hall of Fame selections are made by an alumni committee, in consultation with the dean, based on their distinguished professional achievements and enduring dedication to the mission and students of Tulane Law School.

Martin L.C. Feldman (A&S ’55 L ’57): U.S. District Court judge

Feldman has presided on the federal bench in the Eastern District of Louisiana since 1983, when he was nominated by then-President Ronald Reagan. Before joining the judiciary, he had practiced law in New Orleans for 24 years, handling tax law and complex commercial litigation cases. He was the first law clerk hired by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Minor Wisdom, serving in 1957-59. Feldman chaired the Tulane Law Review Board of Advisory Editors in 2000-2013 and was honored as the law review’s Alumnus of the Year in 2015. In 2017, he’ll complete a seven-year term on the 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  

Robert Force: Director emeritus, Tulane Maritime Law Center

Force has taught generations of Tulane Law School students since joining the faculty in 1969. He has served as acting dean, taught criminal law, founded the Tulane Maritime Law Center in 1984 and played a visionary role in making Tulane the world leader in admiralty and maritime law. He holds the Niels F. Johnsen Chair of Maritime Law and has written numerous books and articles that shaped the field. He also was appointed special master to the U.S. District Court in litigation involving Orleans Parish Prison, prepared a monograph on admiralty and maritime law for federal judges and helped write the maritime codes for Panama and China. Friends created the Robert Force Scholarship in 2012 to honor him.

Margot Lampe Mazeau (L ’58): Pioneering international lawyer

Mazeau started her career with New Orleans law firms but moved into the field of arms control during the Cold War. As assistant general counsel in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, she helped lead United States delegations to conferences in Geneva, Switzerland, and Vienna, Austria, receiving the agency’s Meritorious Honor Award for her work. In 1980, she returned to Phelps Dunbar and litigated maritime law cases until retiring in 1992. Mazeau came to the U.S. as a German exchange student at the University of Miami. She graduated first in her class from Tulane Law then clerked for Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice John B. Fournet.

Luther J. Strange III (A&S ’75, L ’79): Alabama Attorney General

Strange was elected in 2014 to his second term as Alabama’s chief law enforcement officer. In that role, he was coordinating counsel for the Gulf states in the landmark litigation arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Before holding public office, he practiced corporate law at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings then founded his own firm, specializing in economic development. He attended Tulane University on a basketball scholarship then served in the U.S. Merchant Marine before law school. During 2016-17, he is chairman-elect of the Republican Attorneys General Association, and he is Southern Region chair of the National Association of Attorneys General.

A.N. Yiannopoulos: Civil law legend

Yiannopoulos, the Eason-Weinmann Chair Emeritus, is an internationally renowned scholar of civil law, comparative law and maritime law. He has revised major parts of Louisiana’s civil code and dominated the field for more than four decades. He has influenced every aspect of property law and done extensive international work. As a Tulane Law faculty member since 1979, he has helped shape generations of students. A native of Greece, he ran Tulane Law’s summer program there for many years. He recently created an endowed scholarship fund to assist students focusing on civil and comparative law. He is a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and the American Law Institute.

Posthumous honorees  

Dermot McGlinchey
Dermot S. McGlinchey (A&S ’54, L ’57): Lawyer & civic activist

McGlinchey co-founded McGlinchey Stafford and led it to become one of the south's largest and most-respected firms. A powerful advocate for equal access to the courts, he helped revitalize the Louisiana Bar Foundation and was instrumental in forming its Pro Bono Project. He supported Tulane in numerous ways, serving as Alumni Association president in 1992-93, as a Dean’s Council member, as chair of the Dean’s Council development committee, as vice chair of the Maritime Law Center’s endowment program and as chair of the law school’s building fund. 

Sylvia Roberts  
Sylvia Roberts (L ’56): Lawyer & equal rights activist

A practicing lawyer for almost 60 years, Roberts was a pathbreaking advocate for the rights of women, victims of domestic violence and the mentally ill. One of the founders of the National Organization for Women, she was vice president of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. In that role, she litigated landmark cases for equal rights, including Weeks v. Southern Bell, NOW's first victory applying Title VII to combat sex discrimination in employment. She died in 2014 and left her papers to the Newcomb Archives at Tulane University.



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