The evolution from an all-white male law school to the current diverse student body and faculty has been slow, deliberate, and often-times painful. This is true even for those who were successful in gaining admission or employment, and even more excruciating to those who were unsuccessful in achieving their goals. Barriers to those individuals who were not white males reflected the Southern society mores of the early years of our history that were super-imposed upon the law school. No one at the law school today would take pride in the fact that it took fourteen years of cajoling and pressuring by Dean Harry Trusler to open the law school to white women students in 1925, or that it required twelve years of testing the admission standards, litigation, and legislation to open the doors to African American students and faculty in 1958. In evolving from a closed-door policy to an open-door policy, the aggressive recruiting has introduced the law school community to new and varied approaches to law and society. The globally diverse student body and faculty intermingling here and abroad have been enriched by the interchange of ideas, literature, culture, and technology. Dean Frank Maloney, reporting to the Florida Bar on the occasion of the law school's fiftieth anniversary wrote that "[w]hen the hundredth anniversary report is prepared by the then dean of the college, we hope that with the continued help and cooperation of The Florida Bar it will measure up to the accomplishments achieved during the College of Law's first 50 years." As the College approaches the century mark, the students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the Levin College of Law may take great pride in the accomplishments of the last fifty years, although they will be in dramatic contrast to those of the first fifty years as we live in interesting times, different from those than even Dean Frank Maloney could have envisioned only fifty years ago.
Betty W. Taylor, A History of Race and Gender at the University of Florida Levin College of Law 1909-2001, 54 Fla. L. Rev. 495 (2002), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/faculty/pub/365