Death of Louise Halper

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From the FLP mailbox, this sad news of the death of Professor Louise Halper of Washington & Lee Law School:  

Louise Halper, professor of law and director of the Frances Lewis Law Center at Washington and Lee University, died unexpectedly from complications following surgery on Saturday, June 21 in New Jersey. She was 63.  

Professor Halper joined the law faculty in 1991 after practicing public interest law for 15 years. At W&L, she taught in the areas of property, jurisprudence, critical legal theory, and environmental law. During her academic career, Professor Halper published and traveled widely and held many distinguished visiting positions at institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, including a year as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2005. * * *

In recent years, Professor Halper’s research and scholarship focused on law and gender in the Middle East, and she spent part of one sabbatical in Iran and served as a Fulbright Fellow and visiting scholar in Turkey. At W&L, she organized and hosted a symposium in March of 2007 titled “Gender-Relevant Legislative Change in Muslim and Non-Muslim Countries.” The symposium was jointly sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center and the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.

Over the years, Professor Halper served as an advisor to numerous law student organizations, including Outlaw, the Environmental Law Digest, and the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ). As Lewis Law Center director, she worked with the editors of CRSJ to organize a symposium on sexual orientation and the law titled “A Queer Definition of Equality,” the first scholarly event of its kind at W&L. * * *  

“Professor Halper was a remarkable teacher, a committed scholar and a mentor to her students,” said President Ken Ruscio. “We will miss her as a colleague and a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time. On behalf of the entire University, I send our deepest sympathies to Louise’s family, friends and other loved ones.”

Professor Halper received her B.A. from Brandeis University in 1967 and her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law in 1973. In 1991, she received an LL.M. from New York University following a distinguished career in public interest law, which saw her appear at every level of state and federal court, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Professor Halper was born August 2, 1944, in Columbia, S.C. She is survived by her husband, Fred, a psychology professor at Essex County College in Newark, N.J.; and their two grown sons, Reuben and Jacob.

The full Washington & Lee statement is  here.  The national and international scholarly community of feminist law professors will miss Professor Halper.

-Bridget Crawford  

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