On This Day in IUPUI History: April 23, 1995

April 23, 1995. 

On this day, faculty, staff, students, graduates, and friends of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis held a gala luncheon in the law building to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the school. 

The history of the School of Law cannot be traced in a simple, straight line back a century. It follows a sinuous path from a time when legal studies typically meant a pupil served menial tasks in the office of a practicing attorney while picking up scraps of procedure and Blackstone's commentaries. Formalized legal education began in Indianapolis in the mid-nineteenth century, and law schools came and went. We can say that several proprietary law schools operating in the city combined with the private Indiana Law School in 1894. As well, schools that offered law classes in the evenings merged into the Benjamin Harrison Law School in 1914, which in turn merged with the Indiana Law School in 1936. The combined school offered both day and night classes.

In 1944, the Indiana Law School merged with Indiana University and offered a part-time evening-class division as part of the School of Law in Bloomington. It located in the Maennerchor Building in downtown Indianapolis. In 1968 the Indianapolis division obtained autonomy from Bloomington. Growing rapidly, it moved in 1970 into a new law building on the IUPUI campus. In 2001 it occupied Inlow Hall and soon was renamed the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Thus, the McKinney School of Law traces its history to the 1894 merger into the Indiana Law School. The history of the law school demonstrates that the demand for formal legal education in Indianapolis prompted the development of courses and classes that have produced generations of distinguished attorneys and legal scholars.

Maennerchor Building, ca 1969 UA24-004017

To research the history of the McKinney School of Law, please visit the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Contact staff at speccoll@iupui.edu

Updated Apr 23, 2019 by Editor Name Missing