The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University's schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University's bicentennial in 2017. Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Memoir

Francis A. Allen
Regent's Proceedings 759

Francis A. Allen, Edson R. Sunderland Professor of Law, retired
from active service on May 31, 1986. As former dean of the Law
School and as one of the nation's most distinguished legal
educators and legal scholars, Professor Allen has made enduring
contributions to the university, to his students, and to the nation.

A graduate of Cornell College with an A.B. degree in 1941 and of
Northwestern University Law School with an L.L.B. degree in
1946, Professor Allen served as a member of the law faculties of
Northwestern, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago
before coming to Michigan as dean of the Law School in 1966.

The five years of his tenure as dean, the most tumultuous in the
history of American higher education, were marked by
unprecedented demands upon universities. His leadership was
critical to the strengthening of the school's intellectual foundations
that occurred during this period.

Over the past two decades, Professor Allen has written often and
profoundly regarding the aims of legal education. He is widely
regarded as the nation's leading spokesman for a humanistic
conception of legal education. The qualities of mind that a
university education seeks to develop are exemplified in Professor
Allen's writing and in his teaching. Generations of students have
recognized in him a model to which they might aspire, a lawyer
whose learning is as broad as it is deep and whose understanding
of human problems is both wise and humane.

His primary scholarly contributions have been in the field of
criminal law in well over one hundred books and articles. As one
of the nation’s preeminent criminal law scholars, Professor Allen
has frequently been called upon to render public service. Among
his most notable contributions are his chairmanship of the
committee that drafted the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961, widely
regarded as a model for legislation on the subject, and his service
as chairman of the Attorney General's Commission on Poverty and
the Administration of Criminal Justice, whose recommendations
led directly to the enactment of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964
and the Bail Reform Act of 1966.

Professor Allen's preeminence as a legal educator and legal scholar
have brought him frequent and deserved recognition. He has been
awarded honorary degrees by Cornell College, Northwestern
University, and the University of Victoria and has served as
president of the Association of American Law Schools. He has
delivered the Holmes Lecture at Harvard, the Storrs Lecture at
Yale, and innumerable named lectures at other universities in the
United States and abroad. In 1979, he was named the Henry Russel
Lecturer at The University of Michigan, the highest honor that the
university can bestow upon a member of the faculty.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar and educator by
naming Francis A. Allen Edson R. Sunderland Professor Emeritus
of Law.