A Salute to Professor John H. McCord
Thomas M. Mengler | 2000 U. Ill. L. Rev.
It may not take a village, but a law school that excels in teaching, research, and service needs a faculty comprised of individuals who bring different skills, interests, and values to the table. Over these many years, the College of Law has prospered because we have had truly impressive faculty members who, each in his or her own way, have helped to fulfill the institution's collective missions.
As I review the outstanding career of Jack McCord, I look with ad-miration at a colleague who has done so well so many things that are im-portant to the mission of the College of Law. For almost thirty-five years, Jack McCord ably has imparted his knowledge of taxation, especially es-tate and gift taxation and estate planning, to thousands of students. On the research side, Jack has contributed numerous articles and books. The list of books is truly impressive:
In his service to the law school, to the University, and to the legal profession, Jack McCord also has been exceptional. Indeed, Jack is probably best known to scores of practitioners through his involvement with continuing legal education. This is the area in which law schools are most vulnerable to criticism-for our failure, in an ongoing way, to par-ticipate in lawyers' and judges' lifelong learning-and it is this arena in which Jack McCord has most visibly carried the banner of the College of Law. Jack has participated as a lecturer in countless CLE programs over the past three decades. He has taught programs with the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); ALI/ABA; the Illinois State Bar Association Sections on Taxation and Estates and Trusts; the Chi-cago Bar Association Taxation Section; and in CLE programs at the University of Miami, Notre Dame, SMU, and Minnesota. Since 1991, Jack has served on the board of directors of IICLE. It is no exaggeration to say that for many years Jack McCord has been the College of Law's principal link to the bar. We are just as grateful for his service in this es-sential arena as are the countless numbers of practitioners who have benefited from Jack's depth of knowledge and expertise.
In other ways also-quiet, unassuming ways (which is Jack's style), Jack has served the College of Law so well. When the College of Law's administration was in transition in the early 1990s, Jack stepped forward and generously and ably served as associate dean for academic affairs. When the law school needed someone to teach legal ethics, Jack (who previously had been teaching entirely in the tax area) volunteered. When we needed someone to teach decedent's estates and trusts, Jack again volunteered.
Jack's collegiality, his personal warmth, and his unselfish, basic de-cency have been constants at the law school. These are all qualities that Jack McCord has in abundance and ones that the rest of us on the faculty aspire to have more of. Since I have known Jack now almost fifteen years, I have never received from him anything other than a warm smile and a hearty greeting.
I am very pleased that Jack's retirement includes what Professor Harry Krause calls a rehirement. Jack has graciously agreed to continue teaching two courses per year in the estate taxation and trusts area and to remain, as a consequence, the beloved, important colleague that he is. We thank Jack McCord for all that he has done, in his many ways, to make the law school the excellent place it is.
* Dean and Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law.