Mississippi College

MC School of Law Names Lectureship Series for Retired Judge Mary Libby Payne

May 8, 2012

Mary Libby Payne, founding dean of the Mississippi College School of Law, will have a lecture series named in her honor on the Jackson campus this fall.

Payne served as the MC law dean from 1975-78. The former MC law professor was among the original members of the Mississippi Court of Appeals. The Mississippian was awarded the Mississippi Medal of Service by Gov. Haley Barbour in 2011.

Established by MC School of Law leaders and supporters, the Mary Libby Payne Endowed Lectureship Series will begin September 27. Thomas D. Morgan, a professor at George Washington University Law School, will deliver the first lecture. He serves as the Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law at the GW law school in Washington, D.C.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Morgan received his law degree at the University of Chicago. The professor teaches antitrust law and professional responsibility. He also writes about administrative law, economic regulation and legal education. Morgan is the former dean of the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta and in 1990 served as president of the Association of American Law Schools.

Payne is the author of “A Goodly Heritage: A Memoir of Mississippi College School of Law.”

The author and legal scholar, Payne attended the Mississippi University for Women to study ballet, but said her calling to practice law was God’s will. Payne is also a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School. At the time, she was among just three women attending the Ole Miss law school in Oxford.

Payne served in all three branches of state government. She was a legislative draftsman, executive director of the Mississippi Judiciary Commission and assistant state attorney general. Payne has served on the national board of the Christian Legal Society. In 1989, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the Mississippi Association of Women in Higher Education and was the winner of the MUW Medallion of Excellence in 1990.

Having a lecture series named for Judge Payne has been well-received on and off the MC law campus.

“There has been a great outpouring of support,” Rosenblatt said.

For more information on the MC law lecture series contact Thorne Butler at 601.925.7172.


Photo: Mary Libby Payne

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