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moot court and law review golden anniversary

A graduate of Valparaiso University, Lansing earned a B.A. in English and philosophy before being drafted into the U.S. Army. Following service in Germany, he enrolled in law school at Willamette. “Walking in the door, I knew it would be tough and that I couldn’t be that ‘rah-rah guy’ I had been as an undergraduate. Now I had a wife and son, so I had to be more conscientious.” After he was named editor of the journal, Lansing quickly rallied his team: Helen (Davis) Simpson AB’43, JD’60, assistant editor; William T. Schantz JD’60, feature articles editor; Ted Carlstrom, case comment editor; and Robert D. Fox LLB’60, business manager. At the request of Dean Reese, the first issue was devoted to a symposium topic — employers’ liability law. “Starting a maiden publication was quite different from entering an established one,” Lansing said. “We had to take the initiative in finding writers, soliciting subscribers and negotiating with printers, as well as make decisions about cover design, journal composition and office organization.

“I was playing touch football when Professor Paulus walked onto the field and told us the faculty had decided the school should start a law review.”

—Ronald Lansing

“Helen Simpson really deserves a great deal of the credit for that first issue,” Lansing said of the Alaska native. “I had to wonder why she had not been chosen editor. She had the highest grades and was the sole woman in our graduating class — it being in an era when women lawyers were thought to be in a male career path.” Carlstrom agreed that Simpson was a standout. “Helen had a very sharp mind and could hold her own with the men,” he said. “She was a superb student who never lost her grace under pressure.” After graduating first in the class, Simpson went on to a successful legal career in Anchorage that spanned 41 years. She passed away in August 2005. Her classmates remembered her as a dedicated service-oriented lawyer. Carlstrom, Wolf and Franzke all went on to successful careers as well, thanks in large part to their success in the national moot court competition. “Dean Reese was acquainted with a justice of the California Supreme Court, so he helped set up a clerkship for me,” said Carlstrom, who worked for Justice Maurice T. Dooling Jr. before entering private practice. “It was unusual for Willamette students to get clerkships on the California Court. I understand the Stanford law dean was really annoyed that an alumni judge would appoint clerks from a small Northwest law school.”

ended, he embarked on a successful business career in the appliance-electronics sector. Highlights include founding Nationwide West, an appliance-electronic buying group, and serving as president of Foto-Pacific Inc. and Key America West. He now resides in Carmel, Calif. Following law school, Lansing clerked for Chief Justice William M. McAllister of the Oregon Supreme Court before entering law practice, ending up as a partner in a trial firm in Portland. He taught law school in the evenings before leaving the practice in the mid-’60s to teach full time. In 2009, after 42 years behind the lectern, he was given emeritus status from Lewis & Clark Law School. Franzke, winner of best individual oral argument in New York, was flooded with job offers from East Coast firms after the competition. “I had no interest in living anywhere with mobs of people and traffic going in every direction,” said Franzke, who accepted a position with Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Ore. A construction and design law specialist, he remained with the firm for 47 years and retired as a partner in 2007.

The editorial board of the first Willamette Law Journal included (front to back) Ronald B. Lansing, Helen (Davis) Simpson, Robert D. Fox, William T. Schantz and Theodore C. Carlstrom.

Carlstrom, now a solo practitioner in Palo Alto, Calif., recently was reminded of the hypothetical moot court competition question that carried the Willamette team to victory. “Last year, I was reading an advance sheet from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and there it was,” he said. “A social worker had heard a child was endangered but had not directly observed any imminent risk of harm to the child. At issue was whether the social worker could lawfully take custody of the child without a prior court order. The Court decided that a court order was essential.” Although the team had to argue both sides of the issue during the moot court competition, their brief and final argument anticipated the position affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. “The Court came down exactly as we argued it 50 years ago in our brief,” Carlstrom said.

Wolf also clerked for the California Supreme Court, working for Justice Roger J. Traynor and Justice Dooling. When his clerkship

Golden Anniversary Fall 2009 | 19

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2009 • Vol. IX, No. 2  

Major Milestones in Academic Excellence: On the heels of the school’s 125th anniversary celebration, the College of Law marks four more rece...

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2009 • Vol. IX, No. 2  

Major Milestones in Academic Excellence: On the heels of the school’s 125th anniversary celebration, the College of Law marks four more rece...