Louis D. Brandeis is Louisville’s most distinguished native. He was born in Louisville in 1856 and upon his death in 1941, directed that his final remains be buried at the law school portico at the University of Louisville, which was renamed the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 1997. Between 1856 and 1941 Brandeis attended law school at Manual High School, finished his education in Europe, graduated from law school at Harvard, practiced briefly in St. Louis, and established a highly respected and successful practice in Boston until his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1916. Louis Brandeis remained connected to his family and visited Louisville often. His Louisville roots had significant and continuing impact on his life and his work as an advocate for public causes and social justice and his commitment to public service.
Melvin Urofsky has written extensively about Brandeis, and has used the archives at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law to do much of his research. Many of the personal papers and other documents were donated to the law library. His most recent book, Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, published in 2009 has won numerous awards, including the Brandeis Medal from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in fall 2009. Urofsky spoke at the law school’s sesquicentennial celebration of Brandeis in 2006 and again in 2009 upon receiving the Brandeis Medal. In November 2010, he was invited by the Jewish Community Center to speak at its annual Jewish Festival of the Book. On that occasion Urofsky spoke about Brandeis and Jewish issues.
Urofsky returns to Louisville once again on May 24, 2011, at the invitation of the Filson Historical Society. This lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Sandy Allen Fine Arts Center at Ballard High School. Admission is free to members of The Filson Historical Society, and $10 for non-members. Reservations are suggested to ensure seating. You may reserve your seat by calling The Filson at (502) 635-5083. At this event, he promises to focus his remarks about Brandeis and the Louisville connection.
Submitted by: Laura Rothstein is professor of law and distinguished university scholar at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law of the University of Louisville, where she served as dean from 2000 to 2005.