Interviewee: Jeanne D. Crenshaw
Interviewer: Sid Johnston
Date: October 29, 1984
Jeanne D. Crenshaw is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law
(1967). She is currently serving as an Alachua County judge. She discusses a
number of matters related to the law school in the interview.
Jeanne Newman Crenshaw was born in Thomasville, Georgia, April 8, 1940.
She attended elementary school in Thomasville. When she was in the sixth grade the
family moved to Tallahassee, and she finished high school at Leon High School in 1958.
As a young girl she enjoyed horseback riding, Brownie scouts, dance class, and piano
After high school Crenshaw wanted to enroll at Georgetown School of Foreign
Service, but as that was the first year the school became coeducational, her parents
were uncomfortable with temporary measures for matters such as housing, so she
enrolled at the University of Florida. There she met Herbert T. Schwartz, who was in
the air force ROTC. He was transferred to Wichita, Kansas, and she continued her
course work at Wichita State University. He was then transferred to Germany, and she
completed her degree in 1964 through the overseas division of the University of
She and her husband returned to UF for law school. He finished in 1966 and
she in 1967. They then went to the University of Illinois for him to earn his master's
degree in law. They returned to Gainesville and opened a civil law practice with Gerald
Bennett (class of 1966). (She subsequently divorced Herbert Schwartz and later
remarried.) In 1978 she was elected as an Alachua County judge. She discusses the
During the interview, Crenshaw discusses women at the law school, including
their sorority, Phi Delta Delta, the Barristers Ball, the professors and their teaching
styles, practice court, Harold Crosby's notes, study groups, Law Day, class size,
graduation, and law school block seating in the "card section" at football games. She
notes that she thoroughly enjoyed her experience in law school.
J: How are you this morning, your Honor?
C: Fine, thank you.
J: It is good to see you again.
C: It is good to see you.
J: Thank you. Where were you born and on what day?
C: In Thomasville, Georgia on April 8, 1940.
J: And who are your parents?
C: Jeanne and Ralph Newman.
J: And what was your mother's maiden name?
J: Where are they from?
C: Let's see. My mother is from Thomasville, Georgia, and my father was from, I
think, Greenville, Florida.
J: Do you know when your parents first came to the South?
C: I do not know very much about my father's family. He is deceased. My
mother's side of the family arrived when my great-grandfather came to
J: And where did they come from?
C: They came from Wabash, Indiana, or from around that area.
J: In what time frame do you place that?
C: Probably just after the Civil War.
J: I have some relatives that moved from Wabash, Indiana, down to DeLand in the
C: Oh. That is probably about right. I was trying to go back by their ages, but I
cannot remember what age my great-grandfather was when he came.
J: Did they have a plantation? Did they talk about having slaves or anything like
C: No, they were Quakers.
J: Well, they certainly would not have had slaves.
C: No, they would not have.
J: What were your parents occupations?
C: My mother has always been a housewife, as has my grandmother. I am the first
female that I can remember in my family who has worked. My grandfather had a
mining company. They mined industrial and glass sands, and my father had a
Lincoln-Mercury car dealership.
J: Was he a successful car salesman?
C: I think so.
J: Did he do that all his life, or was there a progression to that stage.
C: He did that for the most part that I can remember, and then he had a chemical
company for a while. He sold chemicals.
J: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
C: I have one brother and had one sister.
J: And where do you lie in the family make-up?
C: I am the oldest.
J: Did you enjoy being the oldest?
J: Were there any virtues or problems with being in that position?
C: Well, I think they are the standard ones. I think I enjoyed being the oldest. I
have more responsibility. There is the disadvantage of every oldest in that it
was harder to get to do new things. You were breaking ground for the brother
and sister that came after.
J: I am well aware of that problem.
J: Where did you attend school?
C: I attended grammar school in Thomasville and high school at Leon High School
J: Was there only one grammar school in Thomasville?
C: No, there were two. There was the white grammar school and the black
J: Why did you attend high school in Leon County in Tallahassee?
C: My parents had moved to Tallahassee when I was in the sixth grade.
J: Why did they move there?
C: Well, my father was originally from Greenville, Florida, which I think is around
there. I am not really familiar with it, but all of his relatives lived in or near
Tallahassee. By that point, his parents, my paternal grandparents, were living in
Tallahassee, and he had one sister living there. It is only thirty-five miles from
J: So you did not make a big move.
C: I did not really make a big move.
J: Did you keep the same friends when you made that move? Your childhood
friends? People that you grew up and went to school with?
C: Pretty much.
J: What were some of the hobbies you had when you were in school?
C: Horseback riding, brownie scouts, dance class.
J: Brownies. What are Brownies?
C: Those are younger Girl Scouts. I took dance classes, I took piano lessons, but
mostly I rode horseback.
J: Where would you ride?
C: All over Thomasville. All over Thomas County.
J: Did you own a horse?
C: Yes. That was the big thing back then. My mother rode, I rode, everybody
rode. All my friends rode.
J: Was it a family affair too, where your family would go out for a weekend or a day
and ride horseback?
C: No, mostly they rode with friends. We rode on picnics. My whole family did not
ride. Only my mother and I rode. We both grew up riding. She grew up riding
and used to show horses. A lot of people there rode. It was a very small town,
and we would ride down to the river and all around and to the horse shows.
J: So you had several friends that also had horses?
C: Almost everybody had horses, yes.
J: Were any of them show horses that you would take to the county fair?
J: Did you win any prizes for riding or for...?
J: Now, you moved to Tallahassee when you were twelve or thirteen years old, and
you stayed there until you graduated from high school?
C: That is right.
J: And when did you graduate?
C: In 1958.
J: What was gong through your mind when you graduated from high school for
yourself and the future?
C: I do not think I had any plans at all for the future except to go to college. I did
not plan very far ahead.
J: Now, the University of Florida had been opened to women in 1947. Had you
considered Gainesville as a place to go to college?
J: Where were you thinking of going?
C: I wanted to go to the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. My family was
particularly fond of Cornell, because they had a friend who had been through
Cornell who taught at FSU. I went to Florida because my family would not let
me go to the School of Foreign Service and Florida was the only place we could
get me into at the last minute. I did not apply here.
J: I do not quite understand why you could not go to Cornell or Georgetown.
C: I did not want to go to Cornell.
J: Why was it such an anathema to you?
C: I just was not interested in it. I really wanted to go to the Georgetown School of
Foreign Service. That is what I really wanted to do.
J: And they did not want you to go into the foreign service.
C: No, it was the first year that Georgetown had taken women in the foreign service
school. They accepted fifty women for the first time in the fall of 1958, and they
had no on-campus living arrangements for them. They were going to rent a floor
in a downtown Washington hotel to house their female students and my family
would not let me do that.
J: So the living arrangements were the big problem.
C: It was the living arrangement that was the problem.
J: So, what was the compromise? Your parents did not want you to go to
Georgetown. Why not FSU?
C: Well, I did not want to go to FSU. That was at home.
J: Well, why? What was wrong with that?
C: Besides, there were all women at FSU.
J: At that time?
C: Well, they had a few men, but not many.
J: Well, why wasn't that appealing to you?
C: Because I was 18 years old.
J: You wanted to be down here where all the men were.
C: I wanted to be where the guys were, yes.
J: When did you finally decide to come to Gainesville to make that compromise?
Was it right after you finished high school?
C: Somewhere around April, May, or June, when I was graduating.
J: So in September of 1958, you came to Gainesville. Did you have an
automobile? How did you arrive here?
C: No, freshmen were not allowed to have cars, so my mother and grandmother
drove me down and decorated my dorm room for me and went home.
J: I can tell from your expression that you really appreciated that. What dorm did
you live in?
C: Reid Hall. I had a single room. I was kind of spoiled as a kid, and they
decorated my room in white and aqua.
J: White and aqua?
C: White and aqua.
J: Did you remain in Reid Hall for the entire undergraduate experience?
C: No, I was just at the University of Florida for my freshman year.
J: What happened?
C: I got married.
J: Who did you marry?
C: Herbert Schwartz. [Herbert T. Schwartz, class of 1966]
J: And how did that come about?
C: He was my freshman orientation leader.
J: Was he considerably older than you?
C: He was a senior that year.
J: So, how long were you actually in your freshman year before you were married?
Had you finished the entire year?
C: Almost. We got married at the end of May, just before finals.
J: And what happened after that?
C: He had gone through ROTC and was commissioned in the Air Force. So, after
graduation we went off to San Antonio, Texas, for pre-flight.
J: When did you complete your undergraduate degree?
C: In the spring of 1964 in Germany.
J: In Germany? Did you take all the rest of your credits in Germany?
C: No, I took the major portion of them at Wichita State University when he was
stationed in Wichita, Kansas.
J: Were you able to transfer your freshman credits from Gainesville to there?
C: Most of them.
J: And then when you graduated in Germany, were you able to take the credits
from Wichita and Gainesville to Germany?
C: Most of them, yes.
J: And what university in Germany was it?
C: The University of Maryland, overseas division.
J: I see. So it was a United States university.
C: Yes, a U.S. university.
J: In a foreign country.
J: What compelled you to return to Gainesville?
C: My husband wanted to come back to law school.
C: Here at the University of Florida.
J: Why did you think about coming here? What roots did you have here
C: Well, he had gone all the way through school here, through undergraduate
school here, and he wanted to come back here.
J: And yourself?
C: Well, I came along since we were married and he was going to school, I figured I
might as well go too.
J: To law school?
J: So, you all were a husband and wife team in law school?
C: That is right.
J: Tell me a little bit about the application process. Were you overseas when you
wrote and asked?
C: We were overseas, and we wrote and applied. We just mailed in all the
paperwork and both of us took the LSAT. They gave it twice a year in
Heidelberg. We took it there.
J: What did you think of the LSAT? Was it tough? Was it easy?
C: When I took it there was a math portion and I did not understand what that had to
do with law school. I do not remember thinking it was particularly tough or easy.
It just did not make a lot of sense, what a lot of it had to do with practicing law.
J: Did you have to pay an application fee when you took the test and when you
J: Was that ten dollars?
C: Oh, I do not remember. It was a long time ago.
J: Were you both accepted?
J: At the same time?
C: We were both accepted at the same time.
J: And when did you decide to make the move back to Gainesville?
C: Well, we had known we were going to do that. When his tour of duty was up, he
was going to be out of the Air Force.
J: You were coming back, no matter what...
C: Yes, we had planned on that.
J: Where did you live when you returned?
C: We lived on Northwest Seventh Place out by Littlewood school.
J: And did you stay there for your entire stay?
J: And you remained married to Herbert all the way through?
J: What were some of the first classes that you remember taking at school?
C: Constitutional Law, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law I...
J: As a female, were you one of the few females in class?
C: In my class, we started out with seven females, and then at the end of the first
semester, we lost two, I believe, and at the end of the year, we lost another one.
I think four out of seven graduated. I dropped back a class toward the end, so
three of the females that I started out with graduated the trimester ahead of me,
and I was the only one in the next trimester class.
J: Have you kept up with those other girls that you graduated with?
C: Not really.
J: Do you remember their names?
C: Elizabeth Anne Jamison, I remember very well, and I keep up with her by reading
about her. [Elizabeth Ann Jamison, class of 1966]
J: What does she...?
C: She practices in Miami, and I read about her every so often in a bar journal. I
was trying to think the other night, I cannot remember. I remember the other
one whose name in Anne, and I cannot to save me, remember her last name. I
do not believe she ever practiced in Florida. I think she married a doctor not
long after law school, and moved to California. The third girl I do not remember
J: Why did those three girls drop out? Were they married, or was it too tough for
C: I cannot recall. Now, one of them was Judge Kathleen Wright, who was the first
county judge, and is now with the public defender's office. She dropped out for
a while and came back and finished. [Hon. Margaret K. Wright, class of 1967]
J: Is that W-R-I-G-H-T?
C: Yes. She was in my beginning class, dropped out, and came back a year or
maybe a year and a half later.
J: Well, in my annual, I noticed that there were nine people pictured in the
graduating law class for 1967. Is that representative of how many people were
in you class?
C: Oh, no.
J: How many people do you think?
C: I know my graduating class was 40 people, but I was not in that large class.
J: That is right, because you dropped back.
C: I dropped back, so the class ahead of me was the large, entering September
class. They graduated in December and I am sure they had more than a
J: And maybe four or six of those graduates were women.
C: Three of them.
J: Three of them were. Did you feel out of place at all, being sometimes the only
C: I did not. I had a great time, but then I was married and I did not have the
hassle that some of the other females would complain about.
J: What were some of those things?
C: Well, they could not get people in study groups because you would get teased by
the other men. We were not as serious as law school is now. And they would
get teased if they studied with the guys, and everybody would give it a date
connotation. Whereas I could be in study groups, and I could play bridge and do
all these things, and nobody got any teasing for hanging around with me because
I was married.
J: Did you feel like you were working in a team with your husband? Did you have
the same classes together to be able to study together?
C: No. We tried not to do that. As freshmen, we did not have any choice,
because all the freshmen took all the same classes at the same time. Like I
said, we were talking, and we always sat in most of the classes alphabetically, so
there was always Herb, and Martin Schwartz, and me in a row for a year.
[Martin S. Schwartz, class of 1967]
J: Did they use the alphabetical system to better know who was who?
C: Either that or to be able to take roll without having to call it.
J: Were there graduate assistants that aided the professors in class or in the library
that you were aware of?
C: Not while I was there. I think the only thing that the graduates might have
helped with, and they were not graduates, they were upperclassmen, was the
legal writing program.
J: And what is the legal writing program?
C: Where you learn to write briefs and memorandums.
J: Do you remember how much they were paid, or if it was just a voluntary?
C: I do not know.
J: Now you said that some of the other women in class felt a little uncomfortable
with study groups. Did any of them feel uncomfortable with some of the
professors in class? When they were called on too much, or never called on, or
when they guys made fun of them?
C: No, I do not think that happened. We had one professor that was not real
thrilled with having women in his class, and Dean Maloney was fairly notorious
for not wanting to cover certain cases with women in his class. [Frank Edward
Maloney, dean, University of Florida College of Law, (1947-1972)]
J: Such as a rape case?
C: Such as a rape case.
J: How did you feel about that? What was your perception as a student to the man
if they resented that you were in law school and studying the same thing?
C: I do not think that bothered them at all, and it did not bother me.
J: Did you feel that Dean Maloney ever got over feeling uncomfortable discussing
those types of cases?
C: I do not think he did while I was there, but I am sure, just by the weight of having
more females, that everybody got more comfortable with the situation. We also
had a professor, Dan Clark, who did not believe...
J: Vernon Danny Clark. [Vernon Wilmot Clark, professor, University of Florida
College of Law, (1946-1974-1976-1977)]
C: Danny Clark. He once made the statement that he thought women should not
be in law school, because we did not have to support families, and law school
space was limited. We were taking up space that should belong to a man. But
I never felt that his personal feelings interfered with is giving grades or his
teaching classes. He was always the perfect gentleman, and I always got top
grades from him. So, I do not think he let that interfere.
J: And when you got those top grades, did you have to earn them or...?
C: I think I did. Well, yes, I think I did at that. I do not think he would have given
them to a female.
J: And you mentioned that perceptually you believed that law students work harder
today. They are taken more seriously today.
J: Why do you think that is the case?
C: Well, I had students down here interning and students that I have known, and I
suspect because now there is more competition for the jobs. Our class did not
feel that job pressure. We had the brightest students who worked very hard all
the time, because it made a difference to them in money. They went with the
top firms. They were in the top ten per cent of the class, and they worked very
hard for a difference in money. Everybody felt they would get a job except for
the women, and we knew we were not going to get a job with a firm. We would
have to go with government agencies so there was really no pressure.
J: Was that how it turned out for you women and for the men? Your expectations?
C: Yes. There just were not that many lawyers coming out, and nobody was that
concerned about getting a job.
J: Now, you were in school in the early Vietnam era, before the real escalation of
the Tet Offensive. Were there demonstrations on campus and at the law
school? How did law students feel about this?
C: No. I think we must have known it. I do not remember any discussion of that at
J: As law students?
C: As law students.
J: Did you see protest activities on campus?
C: I do not recall any. The law school stays pretty much in the law school. I do
not recall anybody mentioning the law school participating in general campus
activities other than football games.
J: Speaking about football games, what were some of the other social activities that
you participated in? Of course, you were married so you would be in a little
different category than many of the people there.
C: Well, every spring we had a Barrister's Ball, which included everybody in the law
school. That was a lot of fun because all the professors came, and it was a
chance to be more informal.
J: Where would you all meet?
C: I am not sure I can remember.
J: Was it on campus?
C: No, no, no. It would not be on campus.
J: Was it in a professor's house?
C: No. For the Barrister's Ball, usually they would rent they Holiday Inn or
J: Well, did it serve as a viable informal session for law students and professors?
Do you feel it did?
C: Well, I think it did. It also had a lot of dancing and drinking, and it was a lot of
fun. Most of the professors used to come.
J: Who were some fun professors? Who were people that you liked to take in
C: Roy Hunt. [Elmer Leroy Roy Hunt, professor, University of Florida College of
Law, (1962-present)] I tended to like the professors that taught the areas I was
interested in. I liked Danny Clark. I liked Fletcher Baldwin, but he scared me.
[Fletcher Nathaniel Baldwin, professor, University of Florida College of Law,
J: Why did he scare you?
C: To a great extent in college, we read certain things and we learned them by rote.
We might build on them a little bit, but basically we regurgitated back to the
professor what we had been taught. He taught totally the Socratic method, and
he would lead you down the garden path and then slam the gate. He intimidated
me as a freshman. I only had him for freshmen classes. After that I got to like
him a lot, but I dreaded going to his classes as a freshman.
J: Did he have a nickname that you referred to him out of class?
J: Or any of these professors? Roy Hunt, James Freeland, Frank McCoy, Dextor
C: I cannot remember. The only nickname I can remember is I.E. Ernie Jones.
C: Ernie Jones taught us contracts, I believe. Practically every other sentence he
would say so and so, i.e., and then do an illustration, so we called him I.E. Ernie
Jones. [Ernest McClain Jones, professor, University of Florida College of Law,
J: That is funny. Do you remember Dexter Delaney? [Dexter Delaney, professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1949-1982)]
J: Was he called the Mixmaster?
J: How about Henry Fenn? He had been the Dean, but he resigned that post in
C: We referred to him as Dean Fenn. [Henry Anderson Fenn, dean, University of
Florida College of Law, (1948-1978)] We did not have nicknames for our
professors. We had a great deal of respect for all of them. And although I do
not think we studied as hard or were as competitive as the school is now, we did
have perhaps more respect for our professors.
J: How did you all dress?
C: Men dressed in slacks and shirts, and I am trying to remember if they wore, I
think I remember them wearing ties. I wore dresses and suits. You did not
wander around in blue jeans and shorts and shower shoes.
J: Not like you do today.
C: But that was a long time ago. That is when they still shuffled women that came
in the library.
J: Why would they shuffle women in the library?
C: Because the law school had been a male province for so long that females, with
the exception of Betty Taylor, who was the librarian, [Grace Elizabeth (Betty)
Taylor, librarian, University of Florida College of Law, (1950-present)] and people
that worked there, were not supposed to be in the library. If you came in and sat
down, all the floors were linoleum or something like that, all the men would
shuffle their feet.
J: Quite a stir?
J: How did you feel when they shuffled you?
C: We were not as aggressive then about women's rights, you grinned and went on.
J: Did you like Betty Taylor?
C: Very much.
J: Did she have any assistants helping her behind the desk?
C: Yes. Some. I guess there were some law students, and I think she had a few
employees that maybe were student wives.
J: If you had wanted to work at the law college, behind the desk or in some other
position, did you feel that you would have had the opportunity to do so? That
the job would have been available?
J: And do you have a sense of how much money you might have been able to
make? Not that it would have been a great amount.
C: I have a sense that it would have been very little.
J: How about clerking for local lawyers? Did you have the opportunity to do that?
C: I did not even try.
J: Did you not want to? Did anybody that you remember?
C: I do not remember anybody particularly clerking. I do not think clerk's jobs were
very easy to come by then, and as a female, I knew there was no point in my
J: And so you did not?
C: No, I did not, and I did not particularly want to. Law school was fun, and we
spent our spare time in great bull sessions over law cases, and bridge playing,
and football games, pinball games, and beer parties and...
J: Would you have one person go over and pick up the tickets so you all could sit in
the same line and have a tradition?
C: We used to have a law school block. Back then they used to have card section
and, for some reason, they decided that law students, and I think medical
students, would be more responsible about holding up our cards. So, we used
to get to sit in the card section which always were very good seats.
J: What side of the stadium?
C: On the student side.
J: Fifty-yard line?
C: I think so, as I recall.
J: Best seats in the house, then.
C: Just in front or just behind the band, between the forty and fifty-yard line.
J: Holding up signs. Did you really enjoy that? Was that a good time?
C: It was fun to get the seats, yes, and they were good times because you knew
everybody there. They were all the other law students, and there used to be a
certain carry-over from the 1950s. There were always a few drinks in the
stands, and it was fun.
J: You spoke about some of the other activities, pinball machines and all that
business. It really sounds like it was a good time in the law school.
C: I had a very good time. I enjoyed it, and I do not think that it was the playtime
that I make it sound, because all the time we were doing this, we were discussing
cases. We used to have raging bull sessions. We would carry on arguments
about cases and theories that would start at a party after a football game and go
on for hours with people coming and going with different viewpoints. In a way, I
think maybe we learned a lot more doing that than running around just reading in
the library all the time.
J: Was it a practical education that you received?
C: It could have been more practical. Now, the only really practical thing I
remember us doing was Mandy Glicksberg had his property students go down to
the courthouse and actually do research. [Mandell Glicksberg, professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1954-present)] He would give us a
description, and we would actually research a title and prepare closing
documents and things like that. That is the only practical I recall doing other
than practice court. We did not have the clinics they have now.
J: Were the theoretical fundamentals adequate for making you a good lawyer?
C: I think so.
J: You were mentally prepared.
C: I think I was mentally prepared. We did not know any of the details of actual
J: Like how to approach the bench and how to prepare the brief properly?
C: I got a little of that in practice court, but I mean things like where is the clerk's
office, or how do you look something up, or how you prepare a complaint and
what you do with it when you get it prepared. That kind of thing.
J: Nuts and bolts.
C: The nuts and bolts of doing, now not of the law, but of actually doing something.
J: Which would be different in every county anyway, I would think, to some degree,
depending on the places you go to.
C: Yes, to a small degree.
J: How many practice courts were you involved in?
C: It was in two parts. I think I took it for two trimesters, although I may be
confused. It may be that you took it for one trimester. You did two trials. You
did a criminal one and a civil trial, but I do not know if that was in one trimester or
two. You went all the way from beginning to end, all the way from interviewing
your witnesses to preparing all the documents down to the actual trial.
J: What was the actual procedure, the practical procedure of the practice court?
C: We started out with a class meeting where we were given the problem, the case.
I think we got a criminal trial first.
J: Who administered that?
C: Hayford Enwall. [Hayford Octavius Enwall, professor, University of Florida
College of Law, (1956-1976)] We got partners and we worked as a team. You
interviewed your witnesses, you filed whatever motions to suppress or whatever
you needed to file, and then you had hearings on your motions. You prepared
your trial brief.
J: Did you have guidance? Did you go to Mandy and say, "Hey, I am having a
problem with this."
C: We were not supposed to. You could, and he critiqued you at each stage, like
after you get a motion hearing. Then the class would meet and you would have
a critique as to how you presented your motion, and whether you were well
prepared. Whichever side was the prosecutor had to draw the information, and
that was critiqued, and we went to the discovery and that was critiqued. But
mostly you were supposed to do it on your own and then get criticism after.
J: I see. How much time did you spend on practice court, writing and preparing, as
opposed to being in the courtroom actually?
C: A lot of the time, probably most of it.
J: Where did you meet for the actual trial or the pre-trial?
C: In the old country courthouse. Now the pre-trials, motion hearings, and things
we had at the law school in the classroom. But the actual trial was held at the
old country courthouse.
J: Reflecting on the practice court, after you had graduated and moved on into a
practice, did you see it being very similar to the real thing?
J: So, they did prepare you for that?
C: Yes. Hayford Enwall had been a federal prosecutor, I believe, and it was very
J: Did you have people that would play the part of the defendant or the plaintiff?
C: We had other law students. Mostly freshmen wer supposed to do that. You
were of course sort of expected to do that, and I did that also when I was a
J: You were a senior. You had to be a senior to do the practice court.
C: You had to be, I have forgotten, a junior or a senior, but you could not be a
freshman or a sophomore. They used incoming freshmen for the parts and also
to be the jury. We actually went through jury selection for that.
J: When would you hold the practice court at the old courthouse?
C: They would usually start about four o'clock in the afternoon, because the old
courthouse only had two courtrooms and you had to wait. Then the trial would
go through to whenever the jury came back at night.
J: How long would you have to wait sometimes for the jury to return?
C: Well, since they were students, they were not out long since they were not
solving a real case. The jury was usually not out a long time. But, we would go
to ten or eleven, sometimes midnight. I am sure some of the trials went even
until one o'clock.
J: What was your case? Was it interesting? Does it stick in your mind?
C: Not really. I cannot remember the criminal or the civil one. The only one I
remember is when I was a freshman, and I was the witness. I was the witness
in a civil case, and that is the only part I really remember.
J: When you registered for these different classes, practice court, constitutional law,
what have you, did you mix with the rest of the students on campus over at Tigert
Hall or wherever regular registration was held?
C: No, we registered over at the law school.
J: So, you did not have the long lines that they have on the rest of the campus?
C: No. We did not. Matter of fact, I was thinking about that since you mentioned
that before. We got pre-registered cards that we filled out and turned back into
the law school. Registration was really not much of a hassle. The only problem
that I can recall ever having was when we reached a point where we were
seniors we had to take, I believe, two seminars. Of course, the enrollment in the
seminars was limited, so the trick was to get the seminars you wanted. We had
to do a senior writing paper that grew out of a seminar, so the only problem was
being able to get in the seminar you wanted when you wanted it. I think they
were limited to twelve in the seminar.
J: How did the faculty look at people that dropped? Were you even allowed to
drop a class after eight or ten weeks? I guess with a trimester though, you only
have an eight- or ten-week semester anyway. So after six weeks, could you
drop the class that was going poorly for you? Do you remember anybody doing
C: I do not know why, but it sticks in my mind that we had a two-week drop/add
J: Two weeks being from the first day of that trimester?
C: Two weeks from the beginning of class, if you had not switched, you could not.
J: What about just dropping out of the course completely?
C: We did not have any part-time law students. I do not know if they do now or not.
You had to maintain a certain number of hours or you were out of school.
J: No grace period, none of that?
C: No. You had to have a minimum level of hours, so you could not drop unless
you were carrying a really big load. You could not drop out, or you would really
blow your hours.
J: You could not apply to be a part-time law student then?
J: You had to be full-time or no-time?
J: Where would you park your automobile?
C: I do not know that I remember.
J: Did you have an automobile?
C: Yes. We did. We had a Volkswagon. The last year we went to school, my
husband was Chancellor of the Honor Court, and we had an on-campus parking.
J: What a treat. Sounds like you did not have it before.
C: Yes, we did not have it before. I think we parked wherever we could find a
space. Now, there used to be parking along both sides of University Avenue.
You know, on-street parking.
J: So you may have parked right out in front of the law school?
C: If you could find one of those places, I think we did. And on those little streets
over there. You could drive right down and park, and it was not the hassle it
J: No, it is not. It is pretty bad around here.
C: Yes. I do not recall that being a particular hassle. I remember being pleased to
have the on-campus deal, because then you could park almost right at the door.
J: There are a couple of tests that came with this annual that I brought. I would
like you to look those over and tell me if either one of them looks familiar, for
example, the types of questions they asked and the format.
C: Yes, they sure do.
J: Did you have a lot of essays to write at the end of the semester?
C: Some classes had essays. Constitutional Law was entirely essay. My final, I
remember, because it consisted of three questions. But most of the classes,
particularly as freshmen, were not. They were things like this, or Dean
Maloney's were multiple choice.
J: Any true-false?
C: And some true-false. Most of them were tests like that, or the major portion of
the test would be like this and maybe one essay. Well, exactly like this one.
J: Were they tough? Did you have three hours to take it?
C: We had three hours to take the test.
J: Did your entire grade depend on that test?
C: Yes. I do not think we got any other grades but the final.
J: Would class attendance be taken into consideration if you were borderline?
C: They kept telling us that class attendance counted.
J: Did not sound like anybody believed it.
C: Nobody much believed it, even most professors. Particularly our freshmen year,
all of us were serious because we did not know what was happening. We went
to all the classes and sat in alphabetical order so that the professors knew who
was there and who was not. Now, they usually knew if I was there or not,
because you did not need to know the name to know the one female who was
missing. After the freshmen year, class attendance was not a big item.
J: Was Jimmy Day at the law school when you went there? James Day?
C: I do not remember. [James Westbay Day, professor, University of Florida
College of Law, (1930-1961)]
J: Who were some of your best friends, people that you studied with?
C: Jerry Bennett, [Dr. Gerald D. Bennett, class of 1966] I studied with. I studied
with people in classes behind me. Frank Riggs, [Frank P. Riggs, class of 1967]
for a while. I did not study a lot in the study groups. My husband did. Hort
Seper was my partner and I studied with him for practice court, appellate writing
and argument and with A. J. Baranco. I used to run around with Bradly Monroe
and Horace Smith are the names come mind.
J: Were there places in town that you all would gather and study? Was it at the
law school or at a house?
C: The serious study groups usually would meet at somebody's house. The rest of
us would sort of study wherever we happened to be. Wolfie's was very popular.
J: Where is that?
C: Okay. That is now the Holiday Inn on the corner. It used to be, I believe a
Ramada Inn, but the restaurant portion used to be called Wolfie's. Then it was
part of the Miami Wolfie's. We used to gather there. There was pizza place
right across the street from the law school on University Avenue. I do not
remember the name any more. And then there was a little bar on Thirteenth
Street about half a block down called the Elbow Room.
J: I am a little intrigued with all these rap and bull sessions. Given the tone of the
times, the changes during the later 1960s and the mid-1960s, I am surprised that
you all did not become embroiled in conversations about politics.
C: No, we argued about international law, and torts and contracts, and what made a
contract, and deeds. Those were the topics of conversation and argument.
J: What was the most dreaded class and professor on campus at the law school?
C: When I was there?
C: As a freshman, Professor Baldwin and Constitutional Law.
J: Did his image remain that through your experience?
C: No. As soon as we finished his classes, I think everybody liked him a lot.Itsort of
varied with the individual and the course you like. A lot of people were very
much afraid of J. J. Freeland's Income Taxand Corporate Tax. [James Jackson
Freeland, professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1957-present)]
Dexter Delony was my particularnemesis becausehe gave very,very hard
tests,and because I did not likethat area of law.
J: What was emerging favorite area of law?
C: My favorite area of the law was criminal law, but there were only two courses and
it is just as well, because unless you are going to work for the state attorney or
public defender, it is very difficult to practice. But it was my favorite, and it has
continued to be my favorite.
J: Now, Dexter Delony, let me ask this. What was Dexter Delony's presentation in
class? What was his style? I heard people talking about him waving his arms
C: Yes. I do not remember that so much as I remember the material being
confusing because there was so much of it. It was what we used to call the true
rule of the black letter law. In most classes you discuss the case, and out of a
thirty-minute discussion, would come the quote "true rule" or "black letter" law
that you were supposed to remember. In his class, there would be one true rule
after another. Just a mass of things all crammed in. So, for me it was a difficult
course, partly because I was not very interested in the area, and partly because it
was a difficult course.
J: Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, there was such a thing called Crosby's
Notes that you could buy that were almost verbatim lectures of professors. Did
you have the opportunity to buy notes or that you knew of notes that were
circulating around the law school?
C: Of course, yes.
J: Did you take advantage of those?
C: Sometimes. Some of them, I am not sure I can remember which professor, but
one of them even had all the professor's jokes.
J: Do you remember who specifically made the notes? Who wrote the notes and
had them for sale?
C: I do not remember who wrote them. You used to be able to buy some of them
through the general bookstore. They were like this. They were just
mimeographed sheets and notes.
J: Were they helpful?
C: I think so. I cannot remember. They did not teach you the course for a lot of
C: I wish I could remember which professor because I would not want you to be
wrong. But one of them, it was identical to what he was teaching down to his
J: Frank McCoy is a person we have not talked about. Would that be...?
C: It was not McCoy. I took Admiralty Law from him. He was a favorite I think of
the law students. [Frank McCoy, professor, University of Florida College of Law,
J: What was his demeanor?
C: He was very gentlemanly, very calm, very quiet. He was a really shy reserved
J: I get a sense talking with you that you felt all these people were very competent
in what they were doing.
J: Now, your interest was in criminal law, primarily. There were only two classes.
What else stood out in your mind as a favorite area of law?
C: I took jurisprudence from Walter Probert and I enjoyed that. [Walter Probert,
professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1959-present)] I am not sure I
understood it, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Torts and Contracts. I enjoyed
Property with Mandy Glicksberg. I think he made it very interesting. He made it
interesting. He made it interesting and I discovered, once I got out, it was not as
interesting as he made it sound. That is probably the only switch in law school
where the law was much duller than the professor made it sound.
J: What were some practical jokes that were played in the classroom on the
professor or a student?
C: I do not know if I can recall any.
J: Were there people slipping out of class? Or slipping into class late? Or water
balloons or what?
C: No. I do not remember anything like that. I remember professors teasing
particular people about things. I had a fellow student who really liked to party a
lot late at night, and he would come into class and fall asleep. He would get
teased about it, but nobody was as uptight. Nobody really got angry, because
professors would say things like "Are you with us today?" I would probably miss
more classes than I should have, and they used to say things like, "Oh, Mrs.
Schwartz, how kind of you to join us today," or "It is nice to see a strange face,"
J: Nothing that was embarrassing or funny that really stood out in your mind?
J: What about the legal fraternities and sororities. Did you have an opportunity to
C: No, not to the legal fraternities. Women were not members of any of them.
There were sororities. We had a legal sorority that all the women belonged to.
J: Phi Delta Delta. Do you remember anything about that? Being a president of it,
or if it was active, or if there were even any women in it.
C: We were active around homecoming and Law Day.
J: What was Law Day?
C: Law Day is about May 1, I think, or something like that. The alumni would be
invited back for Law Day, and a couple of years we tried, we did, invite past
female graduates. One year we had a breakfast. I think we had about twenty
or twenty-five ladies show up. We rented the religious student center because it
was not too far across the street. They let us use their kitchen and we did a
breakfast, but mostly we were called upon to serve the coffee and doughnuts and
orange juice at the law school functions.
J: What were some of these functions?
C: Law Day or homecoming we were generally asked for the coffee.
J: Was it the John Marshall Bar Association or the John Marshall Debating
C: John Marshall Bar Association.
J: Were you active in that?
C: Not really.
J: Why not?
C: I do not know of anybody except for people who were running for office.
J: Running for office?
C: That were going to run for office either in the John Marshall Bar Association or on
campus. There were some people like my husband, who were still involved in
campus politics from being undergraduate, from being Blue Key or whatever, and
they continued to be involved in campus politics.
J: How well did you and your husband get along seeing each other every day at the
law school and then at night being together? Did it produce any strains on the
C: I do not think so. We tried after the freshman year not to take the same classes
at the same time, so that we would not have a grade comparison. Neither one
of us could say, "Well, I did better than you did." That worked out pretty well,
and he was a more serious student than I was. He studied and had his study
group and did not play bridge and did not spend much time at the Elbow Room
J: And you did.
J: How did he feel about that?
C: I do not think it bothered him, because he was really into getting a law degree.
Seeing where I was, and I was with him and we all knew the same people. It is
not like I was out hanging around by myself or anything like that. He basically
knew what we were doing, because he had been there. And there were these
great discussions and debates and arguments over...
J: How active was he in campus politics?
C: He was very active. He was a member of Blue Key, and our last year he was
elected Chancellor of the Honor Court.
J: During his law school career?
J: What else was he active in?
C: He had been a member of Pi Lambda Fraternity and stayed active. Back then
they still needed chaperones for dances and parties and stuff, and we used to go
and chaperone occasionally.
J: Did he play any sports?
J: What did you all do for entertainment as a couple on the weekends and what?
C: Went to football games.
J: Did you ever leave Gainesville and go see some of the sights around here?
C: No. Except to go to Auburn or Montgomery.
J: Now, why would you go to Auburn or Montgomery?
C: Because we followed the football team.
J: Did you all ride with the bus or take your own automobile?
C: Lots of law students did. We usually took our own automobile with another
couple or two couples depending on how big the car was.
J: So, you did have some spare time, and you used it wisely and did the things you
wanted to do. It was difficult but it was not so difficult that you had to devote
your entire existence to it. Now, there were some walk-outs on campus
occurring at this time. Do you remember any rebellion against the
C: Not in the law school.
J: Was it very conservative?
C: No, I do not recall. I do not remember any of them. I do not think anybody
would have done that.
J: Do you remember any of the speakers that came to campus? There were about
ten or fifteen national and state politicians that made an appearance.
C: I do not think I heard anybody that did not appear specifically with the law school.
We used to have speakers come there, but they were usually like supreme court
justices and governors and whatever.
J: Would they come to specific class and speak or would they come to a
C: They would usually come to a presentation and do a big speech in what we
called the auditorium. People would come or not come but usually most people
J: Did you ever have an overcrowding problem when you were there?
C: Yes, a lot of classrooms were very crowded.
J: Would you always meet in the law college regardless if you had to go
C: No, always the law college.
J: How big were some of your classes?
C: The freshman classes were really big and because they were so big most of
those were held in the auditorium. Professor Maloney, Torts classes were
always very large. You were required to take Torts. There would be 100 or 150
people, and they would always have to be in the auditorium.
J: The entire complex was air-conditioned at this time?
C: Yes, I think so.
J: Was there any talk about the new building, about a new building being
J: Did you have a sense that you would not be part of that?
C: I did not think anybody paid any attention to it. I have a sense of the new
building now, I do not have any feelings for the new building.
J: Now, we talked about shuffling in the library. Was there also shuffling in class?
C: If somebody said something really dumb, yes. Sure was.
J: Were there any...
C: That was the law students traditional of expressing disapproval or calling
attention to something.
J: Were there any other kinds of traditions here? Dressing up one certain day of
J: Or standing up and clapping for a professor or...?
C: We usually did that. Yes, that was a tradition, now that you mention it. I
remember, we usually did that for the last class of the term.
J: For each professor.
C: I had forgotten about that.
J: Whether you liked them or not?
C: I do not think there was anybody in that group that I particularly disliked. I
understand that there were some professors that I did not have while I was there
or came after me, that were not particularly liked.But I think when I was in school,
I did not have a professor that was generally disliked by most people.
J: Given the chance to do it again, would you be more challenged to go through law
school? Would it be as challenging? Would you challenge yourself as much?
C: I do not know.
J: What do you think of the caliber of law students? I mean, that graduate from the
University of Florida Law College today? Do you see any of them in your
C: I see some, but I do not know that I see enough to really be able to comment on.
Most of the ones I see, I see in clinic programs and I see as volunteer clerks,
and I suspect those are the real achievers. I do not know if I am seeing a cross
section, but I suspect I am seeing a particular type of student.
J: You have mentioned a couple of times the clinics that they have today. Did you
have anything that compared with that?
J: Do you think you missed anything by not having that? Do you think that would
have been available if the people had been sharp enough to see it? Or was it
just not available in the, in the temper of the times? Now they have a video
C: I think in the temper of the times, it was probably not available, because I do not
think that the public defender system was even established, so that was out.
The state attorney did not have the caseloads he does now, and I do not think
they probably, for the most part, would have been willing to have students
running around. I think that is why it was hard to get clerking jobs. There were
not the pressure and the number of things, and students were not particularly
valuable. They were more of a nuisance than anything else. Now, to keep the
caseloads going, and her running errands and so forth, these people have
J: There were a couple of bulletins and journals published by the law college at that
time, The University of Florida Law Review and The JMBA Bulletin. Do you
remember working on any articles for those or helping professors do research for
C: I did not.
J: You were in law school for a good time. You must have really enjoyed it.
C: I did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And I am really sorry now that the kids do not
enjoy it as much because it is not like we did not learn. If we had just had a good
time and not learned anything, but I think what we did was an important part of
our learning process.
J: You have mentioned a couple of times, that outside the classroom, you often
learn as much, if not more, than studying inside the classroom.
C: We did. I think we did. I think the bull sessions were invaluable because they
were always law related. I think for the whole three years that I was here, there
were only two topics of discussion, law and the football team. I do not think we
discussed elections, politicians, anything else. It was law and football, and I
think the students now get too tied up in little areas. You spend forever and ever
and ever working on one law review article in a very narrow area. You know, in
water law or the ecology of wetlands. You know, that is very narrow, and I think
it is a shame that they do not, that there is not more interaction, because there is
a learning process going on. You do not get to argue with professors in class.
After all, we are trying our advocacy skills. You cannot prevail without practicing
an argument. Now you just do not get to do that.
J: Who was the professor that most engendered that kind of classroom discussion
when you were there? Who would challenge you and want you to speak,
instead of hearing him lecture?
C: Well, Fletcher Baldwin. When I was there, I think Fletcher was new, and that is
the type of approach that he took, except that he took it in such an intimidating
way. You know, instead of the free-form discussion, he would just lead you way
out in left field and then...
J: Embarrass you a lot.
C: Yes, and then you would realize I said what I really did not mean to say. I have
been led along the garden path, which was in itself a learning process.
C: But, if you were a brand new student, it was an intimidating one.
J: Who was the least likely to call on people in the class and ask them to give their
opinion or their thoughts on that law or state what the law is?
C: I think Dexter Delaney or Danny Clark. Some of them just taught, and there was
not a lot of discussion, or they would ask you a question to which there was a
specific answer. There was no discussion. You either knew the specific
answer or you did not.
J: I had another thought along that same line, but it slipped me. Well, it will come
back. So, you graduated a trimester after your husband did?
J: And what day was that?
C: I do not remember the exact day, but it was in April or May of 1967.
J: What was going through your mind on that particular day? Had you been
interviewing? Were you prepared for a new position? Had your husband taken
C: No, I had not done any of that for several reasons. One, I knew that Igoing to sit
out for awhile because I was pregnant. He had gotten a scholarship to the
University of Illinois under a master's program, so we knew that there would be a
year out before either of us would start practicing.
J: Was that your first child you were pregnant with?
J: Did that inhibit your studies at all? I guess you had not been pregnant long.
Did you enjoy being pregnant and being in law school? What did it feel like?
C: I do not know that it made any difference, because it was just towards the end of
the term that I became pregnant. I do not know that I missed any classes.
They were aware of it when we came back and got sworn in for the bar. They
were aware of it when we graduated.
J: Prior to about 1954, they had the diploma privilege, where as soon as you
graduated you were part of the Florida Bar Association. When you graduated,
you had to take the Bar.
C: You not only had to take the Bar, but you had to be sworn in, and you had to be
sworn in by a member of the Florida Supreme Court.
J: Was the Bar Exam as difficult as you expected?
C: Yes. And you did not have a lot of places you could take it. I remember I went
to Miami for three days. It was not offered as frequently or in as many places.
They gathered everybody together. I do not remember if it was given two or
three times a year, but I think you could take it in Tallahassee and Miami. It was
not given all over the state.
J: Is it today?
C: I think it is given in many places, and today anybody can swear you in. After
every group exam, I end up swearing in two or three and filling out the
paperwork. Any judge can swear you in and send the paperwork off to
J: Where were graduation ceremonies held?
C: At the law school at the auditorium.
J: At the law school, did you join the larger graduating class of the university in the
football field or the auditorium?
J: You received your diploma all by yourself.
C: All by ourselves. We had our nice little graduation.
J: Who was there? All the professors?
C: All the professors and then, we always had a guest speaker, but I do not
remember who ours was. It was usually a judge, a federal judge or a supreme
J: Did you folks come down for the ceremony?
C: Oh yes.
J: What were their thoughts? I mean, after all it had only been about six years
C: Well, I think they were very proud of me. I am the first female in my family that
ever graduated from college, much less law school.
J: Had there been any tradition of law in your family at all?
J: So, they were very proud of you.
J: So, there were about forty-eight people in your graduating class?
J: Did all the other students that were freshmen or sophomores and juniors in the
law college join you?
C: No, I think mostly we had the graduates and their families.
J: And how long did the ceremony take? Did they announce each person and you
wear a robe and your...?
C: You wore a robe and your mortar board and they announced it. It was still small
enough that they called each person's name and they went up on stage. They
gave you the diploma and you shook hands with the guest speaker and with the
Dean and with Roy Hunt who was the assistant dean.
J: Was there a reception afterwards?
J: Your husband had graduated the previous January or December?
J: He was there for that?
J: And when did you all leave for Illinois?
C: We left in June.
J: And when did you formally begin practicing law?
C: The following July 1, that would be July 1, 1968.
J: Who did you practice for or with?
C: We opened our own office in Gainesville, consisting of Jerry Bennett, who is now
a professor at the law school, my husband and me. [Gerald Thomas Bennett,
University of Florida College of Law, (1968-present)] It was Bennett, Schwartz,
J: Did you husband complete his Master's of Law in one year?
J: How was business that first year?
J: And did you practice criminal law?
C: We did not get any of that kind of business, no.
J: What kind of business did you get?
C: Real estate, divorces, wills, some personal injury, nothing big.
J: When did you arrive at the bench?
C: In 1978, I guess.
J: So, you practiced, obviously, for about seven years right here in Gainesville.
Now, you last name is different today. I take it you divorced your husband or did
C: We are divorced.
J: When did that take place?
C: The year I came on the bench.
J: And have you recently remarried, then?
C: No, I have been remarried about six or seven years.
J: Do you care to share if that was a part of a business problem with Herbert?
C: Partly. Absolutely. I would never marry another lawyer, if that helps to make it
J: Why would you not marry another lawyer?
C: I think it is very difficult when you have the same goals and you are both lawyers.
He was much more interested in advancing the law firm and the practice, and
he moved into areas of law that required long absences from home. And I was
not interested in that. I wanted a small practice, lots of family time. We had
J: Are you happy in your relationship now?
J: Tell me about coming to the bench. Was it election or what?
C: It was an election.
J: And who did you run against?
C: Bob Harper, who was a local attorney and Judy Bretchmer, who was the
assistant university attorney.
J: And tell me about the election returns.
C: Well, we had three judges, and this was in the fourth seat. We had an unusual
election. We had a run-off in the first primary. It was between Bob Harper and
me. There were not a lot of issues involved in a judges race, so I do not know if,
it could have have been issues, I suppose, just personalities. But we pulled
more votes in that election than any other race including the sheriffs race.
J: From what I understand, you are not allowed to campaign. Is that correct?
C: We are allowed to campaign, but it is limited. You cannot discuss any political
issues. You cannot discuss any specific cases. You may not do your own fund
raising. You cannot solicit campaign contributions personally. You have to
have that done for you, which is very difficult, because people feel, "If I am going
to give a candidate money, I at least want him to come ask me."
J: How do you do that? How do you have someone solicit for you?
C: You have to have a finance committee, and you have to have people who are
willing to go out ask for money for you. On a local level, that is difficult because
if you know a person for five years, and you want to go down and ask them for a
campaign contribution, he expects the courtesy of you asking. John Citizen
does not understand that I cannot ask. And he does not like seeing the strange
finance person I have down there asking for a contribution. He wonders why I
did not drop by and ask him.
J: Did you use a finance committee?
C: Yes, I had to. I could not solicit. No, none of the candidates could solicit their
J: So, you had to raise some funds. You did not have enough capital to do it on
C: Of course not. Bob Harper ended up spending more than I did, but I think I
ended up spending $19,000.
J: How close was the run-off?
C: 356 votes.
J: That was the difference?
J: How many total votes were there?
C: 23,000, somewhere in there.
J: Just on the run-off?
C: Yes, and just for the judges case. We pulled more votes, more people voted for
the judicial office than voted for sheriff, which is usually the big race around here.
J: How did you feel about that?
C: I enjoyed it. I did not like it at first. It did some good things or me. I was fairly
shy and reserved. It forced me to get out and meet people and meet strangers
and talk to people. I think it did good things for my personality, and I learned a
lot about campaigning. We really campaigned.We put out the literature and did
billboards and stood on street corners and walked through the little towns
shaking hands with the shopkeepers. We walked through neighborhoods. I
never walked through so many neighborhoods in my life, ringing doorbells and
putting literature on the doors.
J: You are coming up for another election soon, right?
C: This past year, I have come up twice.
J: That is right. How did that turn out?
C: I have not had any opposition. Isn't that lovely?
J: It must be. Well, I know that you wanted to leave at 10:30, and I think this is a
good place to stop.
J: Are there any other thoughts you have about the people, about being a woman at
the law school, about the practical problems, about the good times that you
would like to share?
C: I think all of law school was great fun. It is an experience that I would not give
J: Would you call it a liberal education?
C: Yes. I think so. I made some good friends there, and I would not have wanted
to miss that opportunity. I think I had really good professors, and if there was
discrimination, I was so conditioned, having been a female in Thomasville,
Georgia, that I either did not recognize it or it did not bother me.
J: Was the discrimination in Thomasville serious?
C: Well, there were black and white schools, and women grew up to be, and knew
they were going to be housewives. If you were going to work, you were
supposed to be a schoolteacher or a music teacher or maybe a dance teacher.
If you really wanted to work hard, being a nurse was okay, but you were getting
borderline with that. You did not compete with men. That was the old southern
tradition. You did not go into anything that did compete, and you were used to
taking directions from men, so it just did not seem a problem to me. It was what
I had grown up with. Nobody encouraged me to do anything different except my
grandfather, who insisted that I get an education and something more practical
than teaching music.
J: It sounds like he was the wisest of all of them. I think the first black attended the
University of Florida in 1966. I do not see any black faces in the graduates,
which would lead me to believe that is correct. Do you remember blacks in the
C: I do not remember any blacks in the law school.
J: Do you remember any out on campus? In places that you would eat on
campus, there was the commons, was it called the Rathskeller then?
J: Was it called Johnson Hall or something?
C: I do not remember any common place that we ate when I came back from law
school because we tended to stay together. There were not black students here
when I was a freshman. When I went to Wichita State University, it was my first
experience with fully integrated schools, where there were black students, more
than one or two or three. So, by the time I came back here, I do not know that I
was really conscious of that anymore. But I do not remember any in the law
J: So, as law students you congregated and you would eat in some of the same
C: We pretty much did. We did not spread out as general students like you did
when you were in undergraduate school. You pretty much stayed together and
ate in a lot of the same places and...
J: It also sounds that even though the building was integral with the campus that
you really were not involved with the rest of the happenings.
C: We were not.
J: And it is even more so today that way.
C: Except for those people who are involved in Honor Court, we were not.
J: What was the Honor Court?
C: The Honor Court then had a chancellor and assistant chancellors, I have
forgotten how many. They had a prosecutor and defender system, and it was a
chance to do a little practice of law. It did not have any legal faculty person
overseeing it, so there was nobody to say if you did it right or wrong.
J: So, it was completely for student infringements of the law.
C: Yes, for example cheating on an exam.
J: On this exam, there is a section on the last page, I think you had to sign, an oath
perhaps. Do you remember having to sign that pledge?
C: Yes. Always.
J: How did you feel about that? Was it a slight to your character? Or did you
think that was proper?
C: I did not have any problem with that. I might now. But at the time, that is what
everybody did, and I do not think that there was, if there was any cheating in law
school, most of us were not aware of it. There was not the competition. There
was not the necessity to do that. I can remember many of my friends, the men,
they made the gentleman's Cs. They were going home to their parent's firm or
their uncle's firm or whatever and except for those who wanted to go to the big,
top, state firms, we just were not competitive. So nobody particularly cheated.
We borrowed notes back and forth, which I understand they will not do now. If
you missed a class, any one of ten people would loan you notes and you loaned
them notes for classes they missed and...
J: The fact of the law school has changed considerably in your eyes then?
C: I think it has.
J: Well, thank you. I really have enjoyed talking with you and sharing the
C: You are welcome. It has been kind of fun. I wish I could remember more detail
J: Well part of that is being able to ask the proper questions and I hope and have
been able to ask some of those today to draw out the details. It has been a
C: It has been a long time. I hate to count back.
[End of interview]