A Message from the Dean
Confidential Sources on Trial
Shelter From the Storm
Harrison Report: Post-World War II Bombshell
A Case of Political Descent
Clinic Hits Thirty
The Brief
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
Case Closed
James O. Freedman, 70, Former Penn Law Dean & Dartmouth President
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Freedman’s resistance to academic constraints stemmed from his own love of learning, which crossed all boundaries. “He was an indefatigable reader,” said Judge Louis Pollak, Freedman’s former professor at Yale Law and himself a former dean of Penn Law. “His personal library was more than six thousand books. He read widely in many fields, was enormously thoughtful and brought great outside values into his legal perspectives, because he knew history and philosophy so well. That was one of the terribly impressive things about him, that he was amazingly broadly educated.”

Aside from an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a J.D. from Yale, Freedman’s formative education also included a clerkship with the Honorable Thurgood Marshall, at the time a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The experience instilled in him a sense of fairness and a focus on civil liberties that resonated throughout his career. According to his colleagues, the source of Freedman’s interest in administrative law, and later, in university administration, was a drive to solve the problems symptomatic of large institutions. “He wanted to make governing institutions work well, whether they were in Washington or in West Philadelphia,” said Pollak. “He really had a passion for due process, and seeing that people didn’t get ground down in bureaucracies.”
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