February 01, 2017
Tulane Law Library Director and Professor James Duggan explains to judicial externship students about letters received by the late, great Judge John Minor Wisdom (L ’29).
As part of a lecture on advanced legal research strategies, Tulane Law Library Director and Professor James Duggan gave students in the judicial externship seminar a tour of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Room.
They saw, among other things, a collection of mail the late jurist received in response to his leading role in enforcing civil rights of racial minorities during a time of southern resistance to desegregation.
Named by President Dwight Eisenhower to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1957, Wisdom (L ’29) served for 42 years. Before going on the bench, he practiced law for 30 years and was an adjunct law professor at Tulane. He was an unaugural inductee into Tulane Law School's Hall of Fame in 2013.
The letters included statements such as “race mixing is communism.”
Through the judicial externship course, students earn academic credit for fieldwork performed in the federal and state courts in the chambers of a particular judge. In the academic portion of the externship, students write about the skills and professionalism training they receive working in the courts.
Associate Dean Stacy Seicshnaydre, who co-teaches the externship seminar with Adjunct Lecturer Tonya Jupiter, said that seeing the letters to Wisdom served as “an important reminder of how history can repeat itself if we are not vigilant.”
(Items shown are courtesy of the John Minor Wisdom Collection, Tulane Law Library.)