Month: February 2022

Precursor to Public Service: University of Connecticut Law Wives’ Legacy

Silver Punch BowlThe silver punch bowl and ladle on display in the law library was given to the School of law for the dedication of the new law building on May 1, 1964.   Engraved “From the Law Wives, May 1, 1964”, this set was a gift from the University of Connecticut Law Wives club. Formed on September 20th, 1961, University of Connecticut Law Wives club’s mission was to educate the law wife in the “problems and responsibilities of the profession her husband is about to enter” and to sponsor a yearly scholarship benefiting a “needy law student”. 

Initially founded to provide educational, social and civic activities for wives of students, activities later evolved to include bloodmobiles, food drives and children’s holiday parties.  Funds raised for scholarship and books funds benefited law students, families, and ultimately, clients of these newly minted attorneys. The club was renamed “University of Connecticut Law Partners” in 1973 to reflect the changing demographics of the law school student body.

The invariable signs of “wear and tear” on this silver bowl reflect the many occasions this bowl has made a cameo appearance at

Archive papers

 staff retirements, baby showers, and notable events commemorating the life and career events of UConn Law’s students, faculty and staff.  This gift provides a lens to a past era which highlighted altruism and public service, and inspired the public service opportunities  available to law students today.  These include UConn’s not-for credit Pro-bono pledge program ,  for-credit clinics and field placements, and the Public Interest Law Group (PILG),  a student organization developed to encourage UConn law students to perform work in the public interest field during their education and into their professional careers. 

Although UConn Law Wives Club is no longer in existence, the initial mission of dedication to scholarship and philanthropy was the precursor for the school of law’s present commitment to social activism.  It continues to serve as a tribute to the legacy of UConn Law Wives and reminder of its pioneering dedication to volunteerism and good works.

Database Spotlight! NAACP Papers

This February, in honor of African-American History Month , UConn Law Library is featuring 3 important digital resources: the NAACP Papers as produced by ProQuest.  The collection is organized into the following groups:

NAACP Papers: The NAACP’s Major Campaigns – Education, Voting, Housing, Employment, Armed Forces

Major campaigns for equal access to education, voting, employment, housing and the military are covered in this module. The education files in this second module document the NAACP’s systematic assault on segregated education that culminated in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Files from 1955 –1965 focus on the NAACP’s efforts to implement the Brown decision as well as to combat de facto segregation outside of the South.  Click here to go to the LibGuide page for this module

This NAACP module consists of the working case files of the NAACP’s general counsel and his Legal Department staff for the period from 1956 to 1972. The files document the NAACP’s aggressive campaign to bring about desegregation throughout the United States, particularly in the South.  In total, this module contains over 600 cases from 34 states and the District of Columbia. The cases in this module pertain to school desegregation, abuses of police procedure, employment discrimination, freedom of speech, privacy, freedom of association, and housing discrimination.  Click here to go to the LibGuide page for this module

One of the highlights of this NAACP module are the records on the Scottsboro case, one of the most celebrated criminal trials of the 20th century. This module also contains the key NAACP national office files on the campaign against lynching and mob violence, and NAACP efforts to fight against discrimination in the criminal justice system. Click here to go to the LibGuide page for this module

The NAACP Papers contains excellent material to support the law school community’s research projects on social justice and civil rights topics. If you have any questions about this content, contact our reference team!