Millard Harrington Ruud

Portrait of Millard Harrington Ruud Headstone Photograph

Millard Harrington Ruud
January 7, 1917 - February 10, 1997

Professor of Law, University of Texas 1948 - 1997
Commissioner, Uniform State Laws 1966 - 1997
Executive Director, Assn. of American Law Schools 1973 - 1980
and 1983 - 1987
Captain, United States Army 1942 - 1946

Married August 28, 1943

Barbara Dailey Ruud

Sons - Stephen Dailey, Dr. Christopher Owen, and Michael Lars

Back of headstone

Full Name: Millard Harrington Ruud
Location: Section:Patriots' Hill, Section 2 (A)
Row:A  Number:2
Reason for Eligibility: Member, Commission on Uniform State Laws 
Birth Date: January 7, 1917 
Died: February 10, 1997 
Burial Date: February 15, 1997 

RUUD, MILLARD HARRINGTON (1917~1997) Professor Millard H. Ruud, a long-time, highly respected, and much loved member of the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law, died on February 10, 1997, in Austin, Texas. He joined the faculty in 1948 and remained here until his retirement, with the exception of about ten years during his service in Washington, D.C., as Executive Director of the Association of American Law Schools. As Professor of Law Emeritus, Millard continued to come to his office regularly and to interact with faculty, students and staff of the Law School and faculty in other schools and departments on campus. He and his wife, Barbara, who survived Millard, had numerous friends throughout the University and Austin communities.

Millard was born in a Norwegian farming community near Ostrander, Minnesota in 1917 and did not learn to speak English until the first grade. After graduating from high school in Minneapolis, he had to work for four years before he enrolled in the University of Minnesota. He was awarded the B.S.L. in 1942. He fought in World War II in General Patton's army, and served with the U.S. Occupation Army as a captain in Germany after the war. He returned to the University of Minnesota and was awarded the L.L.B. in 1947, graduating at the top of his class, and was recent case editor and the only person elected president of law review twice.

UT Law Professor

Millard taught for one year at the University of Kansas Law School and then was hired by Dean Charles T. McCormick to teach at the University of Texas School of Law in 1948, later becoming the John S. Redditt Professor of State and Local Government Law. Along with McCormick, and later Dean Page Keeton, Millard and his peers transformed The University of Texas School of Law after World War II from a second-tier institution to one of the leaders in legal education. He taught legislation and commercial law. He was the prime mover in elevating legislation to a more prominent place in the curriculum at the Law School. He was also influential in introducing other academic disciplines into law school education at the University of Texas, and elsewhere. Millard chaired the Admissions Committee of the Law School in the early 1960's, and served as Associate Dean from 1966 to 1968. He was a pioneer in advocating minority access to The University of Texas School of Law. In the midst of the student protest movement of the late 1960s, Chancellor Harry Ransom appointed him as chair of a faculty advisory committee on legal issues confronting the campus after the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was banned from campus.

Millard's best teaching was in seminars, where he worked closely with individual students. Some of these seminars involved drafting of legislation. These students had the valuable privilege of receiving instruction from a teacher who had extensive experience and remarkable skill in the drafting of statutes. He maintained very high standards. Students were often required to submit several drafts of their work.

Millard participated with exceptional effectiveness in governance of the Law School. He was the quintessential committee chair, able to obtain involvement by members, and at the same time move with dispatch toward accomplishment of the task at hand. Unlike those faculty members who view faculty meetings with distaste, Millard saw the meetings as opportunities to improve the school. He was always an active and influential participant in faculty deliberations. Deans frequently sought his advice.

Millard understood the importance of a spirit of collegiality among faculty and staff, and did much to promote it. With unusual frequency, he and his wife, Barbara, entertained members of the Law School community in their home.

State Law Expert

Millard worked to modernize laws throughout the United States during the administrations of Governors Connally, Smith, Briscoe, White and Clements as Uniform Commissioner of State Laws from Texas, serving with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. His commissioner colleagues named him a lifetime uniform law commissioner in 1986. He was active for many years in the State Bar Section on Corporation, Banking and Business Law, and was one of the prime movers behind the enactment of the Uniform Commercial Code in the State of Texas in 1965. He was later the reporter and drafter for the Uniform Nonprofit Association Act, and for years a member of the style committee for the Uniform Law Commissioners. He also chaired the Texas Supreme Court's Study Committee on Judicial and Court Personnel Education Programs in 1992.

"Mr. Legal Education"

Millard Ruud was the only man to hold the three highest positions in national legal education. He chaired the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) from 1966 to 1969; was the first consultant to the American Bar Association's Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 1968-1973; and served an unprecedented two terms as the second executive director of the Association of American Law Schools in 1973-1980 and 1983-1987. He was instrumental in creating the American system for accrediting law schools. In recent years, Millard was the reporter and chair of a committee to revise the Standards for Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association.

Millard also assisted efforts to expand enrollment of minority students in law schools by participating in founding and serving as chair of the Council On Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) in 1968 and as a member of the CLEO governing board until 1971, and was a member of the LSAC Minority Enrollment Task Force, 1980-1985. He also served on the Scholarship Committee of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). In 1981, Millard was named national secretary-treasurer of the Order of the Coif, the honorary scholastic organization for law. He also utilized his keen eye for editing in the Scribes legal writing society. He served on the LSAC oral history committee, and most recently the LSAC fiftieth anniversary (1998) committee at the time of his death. For all this Millard was known as "Mr. Legal Education."

Nationally Known Scholar

As well as teaching at the Universities of Kansas and Texas, Ruud was a visiting professor at the Universities of Arkansas, California, Kansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Utah, and a visiting scholar at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He was awarded honorary doctorates for his work by Georgetown University Law Center, McGeorge School of Law of the University of the Pacific, New England School of Law, Widener University School of Law, Southwestern University School of Law, and John Marshall School of Law. He received the University of Minnesota Law Alumnus outstanding achievement award in 1980. He was a member of their board of visitors. He was a member of the prestigious American Law Institute. The American Bar Association acknowledged his lifetime of achievement with the Robert J. Kutak Award in 1991. It recognizes outstanding contributions to the improvement of legal education and the legal profession. He then served until his death as chair of the Kutak award committee.

Millard was known by his colleagues and friends as a warm, caring man, willing to help others, enthusiastic, with a wonderful sense of humor, extraordinary ability, good common sense as well as being a hard worker. Even in his final days, he attempted to complete the work he had in progress. He will be sorely missed.

Source: In Memoriam: Millard Harrington Ruud, a memorial resolution prepared by a special committee of the Faculty Council at The University of Texas at Austin by Professors Stanley M. Johanson (Chair), Corwin W. Johnson, and Roy M. Mersky and was accessed from the Faculty Council Website at

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