SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Professor Norman Garland to receive honorary degree at 2016 commencement

May 9, 2016

Professor Norman Garland to Receive Honorary Degree

The Southwestern Board of Trustees has selected Professor Norman M. Garland to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Southwestern’s 101st Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2016. Professor Garland is a highly respected teacher and scholar whose commitment, creativity and enthusiasm for academic innovation has had a tremendous impact on his students and the advancement of Southwestern for more than four decades.

A pioneer in legal education, Professor Garland has contributed tremendously to the development of Southwestern’s cutting edge curriculum and to the adoption of technology-based resources in law classrooms around the country. When he first arrived at Southwestern in 1975, he was instrumental in the formation and teaching of Southwestern’s unique two-year SCALE curriculum. He has taught criminal law and procedure, evidence and trial advocacy to more than 3,000 students in both the traditional and SCALE programs over the years. Professor Garland has also coached numerous award-winning interscholastic teams and serves as faculty advisor to individual students participating in Southwestern’s exciting Amicus Project. Reflecting his abiding interest in the development of Southwestern students as outstanding trial and appellate lawyers, Professor Garland and his wife, Melissa Grossan ’79, funded the renovation of the campus’ original courtroom that now bears his name. He was selected as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in 1992, and as the Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law in 2008.

Professor Garland earned his B.S.B.A. degree in Accounting and his J.D. degree, cum laude, at Northwestern University where he was editor of the law review. He was an E. Barrett Prettyman Legal Intern Fellow at Georgetown University while completing his LL.M. in Trial Advocacy. Early in his legal career, as an attorney with the corporate antitrust firm of Howrey & Simon, Professor Garland handled most of the firm’s pro bono criminal defense work in addition to civil cases. A few years later, he returned to Northwestern to teach law and serve as assistant dean of admissions. During that time, he also served as general counsel for the Better Government Association (BGA), a local watchdog group, and was often aided by his students in the BGA’s undercover investigations of graft and corruption in Chicago government.

Always interested in methods to improve law teaching, Professor Garland was one of the first law professors in the country to incorporate computer and internet-related resources in the classroom. In 1998, he received the first “TWEN Innovation in Teaching Award” from West Group. A year later, his expertise was recognized by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction which awarded him one of five CALI Fellowships to create computer-based learning materials. He served on the faculty of Emory University School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Program for several years, and spent a semester there as a visiting professor of law. Professor Garland has also served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for over two decades. He is the author of six books on criminal law, evidence and procedure, as well as a number of scholarly articles on those subjects.