A Tribute to Harry D. Krause: Educator, Scholar, Law Reformer
Thomas M. Mengler | 1997 U. Ill. L. Rev. 9997
I first met Harry Krause in 1985 after I had joined the Illinois law faculty as an Assistant Professor. Illinois then, as now, was known for a strong and productive faculty. Its faculty fulfilled admirably the three missions of a law school: teaching, scholarship, and public service. We were (and still are) renowned for our dedication to teaching and pedagogy, particularly through our authorship of casebooks, treatises, and hornbooks. The scholarly output (and there always was a great deal of it) was integrally linked to the important issues of law, the legal profession, and society. And our faculty then (and now) followed up those gems of insight contained in books, treatises, and articles with substantial participation in significant international, national, and state law reform projects. This simple recipe for excellence in legal education--of faculty working to pass on their scholarly insights to students in the classroom, in law school textbooks, as well as in treatises and articles, and through active participation in law reform projects--is one that few other national law schools have taken as seriously as did the Illinois law faculty that I joined in 1985.
And few law faculty, whether at Illinois or elsewhere, have fulfilled that tripartite mission as well as Harry Krause has. Harry Krause's thirty-year engagement to family law has benefited thousands of students who either have taken Harry's classes, learned from his casebooks, hornbooks, and treatises, or, in many cases, done both. Krause's scholarship has revolutionized our thoughts about illegitimacy through his ground-breaking work, Illegitimacy: Law and Social Policy, concerning child support through his highly regarded book, Child Support in America: The Legal Perspective, as well as regarding a whole host of other family and child law issues. Through his eighteen books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and essays, Harry Krause's writing covers virtually every significant family law issue.
Most significantly, the wisdom of his insights has been recognized, and it has mattered. Harry Krause can rightfully claim credit for a significant hand in most of the important child support enforcement and welfare legislation of the past twenty-five years. Between 1968 and 1972, for example, Krause served on the Advisory Board for the National Council on Illegitimacy. In 1973, Harry served as Consultant to the Senate Finance Committee on child support enforcement legislation and welfare law reform. Between 1984 and 1987, he served as a Member of the National Advisory Panel on New Models for Establishing Child Support Levels, a panel established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Krause has advised a number of special task forces on family law for the ABA, he has served as advisor to the American Law Institute on its Principles of Family Law project, and, since 1991, he has been an Illinois Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Federal or state legislation resulted from most of those efforts.
Harry's influence has not been limited to national and state projects. In 1990, the Department of State selected Harry as U.S. Delegate to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, and he has been selected to work on a number of other international commissions.
I mention these service activities (and they are only the tip of the iceberg) to try to provide some picture of the enormous impact Harry Krause has had on law reform in the family law arena. No ivory-tower scholar here, Harry Krause's long love affair with family law, although undertaken in the remote regions of Urbana-Champaign, has touched every city and town in America, and most parts of the world too. It is a career of teaching, scholarship, and service that few of us can match, and all of us should admire.
It has been twelve years since I first met Harry Krause. During that time, law schools and law faculty have come under greater scrutiny for their relevance to the legal profession. Questions are being asked about whether we adequately prepare our students for the practice of law; whether our scholarship contributes to development of the law and improvement of our society; and whether our efforts at outreach are meaningful and fruitful. As I and the other Illinois law faculty assess ourselves and ask whether we are delivering on our obligations to educate students to become leaders among the bar and bench and to provide significant service to the profession and to society, I am pleased and grateful that Harry Krause has shown and continues to show us the way.
* Dean, University of Illinois College of Law. B.A. 1975, Carleton College; M.A. 1977; J.D. 1981, University of Texas.