“Nowhere is the desperate need to formulate, expound and improve all areas of law in a form understandable not only to law students and lawyers, but also to the layman, more adequately met at the present time than in this university, where, with the completion of the legal research building in a few months, The newest addition to the Lawyers Club quadrangle, unprecedented facilities for (sic) legal studies will be available. One Saturday, I am sitting in the law library. I do this often, busy or not, and I waste my time pretending to use my time wisely. When I sit in the library, I work, right? Of course, when I say “work,” I mean that I simply sit down, and by sitting in the library, I sit productively. The Law Library does. It makes me feel like those hours I spend curating a Facebook feed that I never use are hours well spent, hours that move me forward into the future, hours spent learning. I can name everything I`ve learned next to those dimly lit shelves, amid rows of old Texas Reports on Law issues with data that seems strangely distant and somehow very present. William Cook died in 1930 at the age of 72, before his library and Law Quad were completed. As far as we know, he never visited the buildings as they were constructed. The Michigan Daily wrote about a rumor that he feared that actual observation of the buildings would lead to disillusionment with the big project he wanted to create. However, it requires monthly statistics and reports on the use of facilities. He did the same for the all-female Martha Cook residence, which he had also donated and named after his mother. The same architectural firm that hired Cook for the Law Quad, York & Sawyer, was designed by Martha Cook.

I leave the law library, walk out of the heavy doors and rush into the freezing cold, my head deaf to boring democratic theory. There comes a time after leaving the library when the synapses stop firing when you completely disconnect from collective groupthink, the brain sitting under the floor is clogged for more silence, and suddenly the paper on de Tocqueville seems absurd as your friend spoils you with the equipment of his latest business. The importance that the library would play on campus was not unknown when it was built. In October 1930, the Michigan Daily raved about the building, calling it a great moment for the university: Cook`s legacy nevertheless remained vital to the university. Today, the Law Quadrilateral and in particular the Law Library represent the highest level of architectural beauty of the university. Cook`s donations also helped, he hoped, to solidify the university as a place of legal excellence, something it has remained since the facility`s inception. I think about legal excellence and look at the table above Saturday`s t-shirt while a boy lays his forehead flat on the wooden table. The patterns in the wood it rests on are fascinating and if viewed long enough, they trigger a kind of psychedelic experience. Near the boy`s resting head is a sign that reads: “Do not eat – non-compliance results in expulsion from the premises. The donor to this library was William W.

Cook. Cook came from a time at university when costumes were a sin, uniform, and no sleeves; when women without men by their side were expelled from the Michigan Union and when the North Campus did not exist. Cook, born in 1858 in Hillsdale, Michigan, donated the law library and most of the legal quadrilateral. After earning bachelor`s and law degrees in 1880 and 1882, respectively, he practiced corporate law in New York, about which he eventually wrote a widely circulated book, “Cook on Corporations.” Cook had a heavy hand in the construction of the buildings, having requested plans for the library as early as 1924, without prior consultation with the law school. He commissioned the New York architectural firm York & Sawyer, whose work he knew when the firm designed Cook`s own sandstone apartment on New York`s Upper West Side. He became one of the university`s largest donors, eventually donating a total of nearly $16 million (worth more than $200 million in today`s money), which he said was partly to commemorate his father and partly to reflect his strong desire to make the university one of the law school`s leading leaders. He initially operated under the condition of strict anonymity with his donation and carefully navigated the audience. He once said that he didn`t want buildings named after him, but after his death, the Law Quad and its buildings were renamed, and they all now bear his name. Cook also became unhappy, and the law library became the battleground between Cook and the university. Cook saw the university – with the exception of a few selected people – as increasingly incompetent and began to play an even bigger role in working with architects on the layout of study tiles, selection of bricks, placement of shelves, etc. At one point, Cook wrote about “serious differences between Bates and (President Clarence Cook) Little and me over the proposed new library building,” to the point where he threatened to cut funding. Soon after, he wrote to York, one of the architects: “I don`t think I`ll ever like the current design.

It looks like a cathedral to the whole world. The building was completed in 1933. “I know nothing about architecture, but I have more experience in legal research than any of them,” Cook wrote in a letter, and he actually applied that will by demanding specific changes in the placement of shelves, tiles, tables, etc. The legal library established by Cook was called the William W. Cook Legal Research Library. [13] In addition, several law professors at law schools abroad hold the position of William W. Cook Global Law Professor in Michigan, regularly attend law school, and teach courses. [14] William Wilson Cook (1858–1930) was an American jurist and jurist. He has written extensively on corporate law issues, including the founding text Cook on Corporations. [1] [2],[3] Cook was also an early benefactor of the University of Michigan, particularly the University of Michigan School of Law. The era in which the law library was built is the same. This period between the 1920s and 30s was the lifespan of prohibition, the playground era for drummers and green light supporters – cultural phenomena that university students would have had to endure in high school literature class.

For the writer, institutions for the study of law and the actual study of law go hand in hand. One cannot be done without the other; It is as if this Gothic building, designed in a particularly collegiate tradition, was destined to transmit diligent excellence. You may think the effect goes the other way; that students, not buildings, should bring the atmosphere of science to the university. During my campus tour, my guide enthusiastically compared the Law Quad to Hogwarts, Harry Potter`s magical gothic school of magic. The comparison seemed a bit cheesy at the time, somehow forced. The buildings are beautiful, but I can`t fly on a broom or evoke frogs from spiders, even though I`ve tried so hard.