The former dean of the University of Alabama School of Law, Daniel John Meador, passed away on Saturday at the age of 86. Meador was also a retired law professor from the University of Virginia, according to AL.com. A friend of the family said Meador died from leukemia.
“Dan Meador was the epitome of a gentleman and a scholar,” said Champ Lyons Jr. of Point Clear, a retired justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. “He was a lawyer’s lawyer.”
Meador was the dean for the law school at Alabama from 1966-1970.
“Alabama is a better state and the University of Alabama Law School is an infinitely better place due to his stellar four years of splendid service to his alma mater,” Robert L. Potts, chancellor emeritus of Arkansas State University, wrote in a recent profile of Meador.
Potts is a 1969 graduate of the law school under Meador’s leadership.
“Those of us who were fortunate enough to study at his feet and to be imbued with his grand vision for the law school, lawyer-leaders and the legal profession have profited immensely for his having passed our way,” he said.
Meador studied at The Citadel and has a degree from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. In 1954, Meador earned his graduate degree from Harvard. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Korea.
Following the Korean War Meador clerked for Justice Hugo L. Black of the U.S. Supreme Court. He joined Virginia’s law faculty in 1957.
“We are not just another educational institution,” Meador told law school alumni at a 1967 luncheon address in Montgomery. “We intend to turn out men with an intellectual toughness who can work hard and are dedicated to the best values of our legal tradition.”
After leaving Alabama in 1970, Meador rejoined the law faculty at Virginia and held the James Monroe Professor of Law distinction until he retired in 1994. While teaching at Virginia, Meador received the Raven Award, the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award.
“Dan Meador lived an extraordinarily full life as a teacher, scholar, dean, public servant, legal reformer and novelist,” said Paul G. Mahoney, dean of the UVa law school, in a statement released by the university. “He inspired generations of students and even in retirement his intellectual energy and commitment to improving the administration of justice did not fade.”
From 1977-79, Meador worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Virginia law professor emeritus Stanley D. Henderson told the Daily Progress newspaper of Charlottesville, Va., “He never took himself too seriously. He was never grim about things. He was a thoughtful and careful person about what he said and what he did.”