Oral History Collection

MAIN ENTRY: Phelan, Dr. Marilyn
DATE OF INTERVIEW: September 9, 1998
LOCATION OF INTERVIEW: Lubbock, Texas
INTERVIEWER: Fred Allison
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 1 hour, 20 minutes
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: Dr. Phelan discusses her career as an attorney and a law professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law.
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE: Marilyn Phelan
Born: Lubbock, Texas
Graduated from Levelland High School
Texas Tech University
University of Texas School of Law
Attended before obtaining her Ph.D. (1959)
Passed bar exam (1962)
Received J. D. degree (1972)
Levelland, Texas (again)
Began law practice (1962)
Women in law school
3% of the law school student body were women
(1962)
40 - 50% are women in 1998
The 1960s
Law firms would not interview female law graduates
Only two women attorneys in Lubbock
Judge Pat Moor
Joyce Hill
Interest in law
Parents opinions of women attorneys
Father: supportive
Mother: "a woman’s place is in the home" opinion
Women in law school/profession
Professors would not call on women in class
Law firms would not interview women graduates
Irritating, but expected
Law practice
Tax law
Minor in accounting
Decided to become a certified public accountant
Changes in the tax law
Basic concepts/theories do not change
Tax code changes almost every year
Taxes
Economic state of the Bahamas
Internal Revenue Service
Taxes (again)
Law practice
Husband
Six years as law partners
Education
Family
Law practice (again)
Specializations
Take an exam to become a specialized attorney
At one point you could not become specialized
Texas Tech University
Law school faculty (1974)
Taught elementary accounting (1969) while obtaining
a master’s and doctorate
After receiving doctorate, became a full-time faculty
member
Taught accounting and tax courses
Began teaching tax in law school
Associate dean of graduate studies
General Council, Texas Tech University
Cases
Governmental immunity
Texas Tech protected under the law
TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO Termination of tenured faculty
Protected under 14th Amendment
Law Students
Less motivated now than in the past
Texas Tech is occasionally number one for students
who pass the bar
Texas Tech University Law School requirement
Advice for those interested in attending law school
Have an interest in law
Willing to spend time to the profession
Types of law
Common Law came from England
Civil Law
Napoleonic Law
Court Reform
Perceptions of lawyers
Has worsened
Schools teach courses in ethics and professional
responsibility
Texas State Bar
Policing agent for lawyers
Cannot practice without passing the state bar exam
After passing the bar, lawyers continue to take
updated law courses
Lubbock County Bar Association
Malpractice against attorney
How to file a malpractice complaint
Legal fees
Specializations (again)
Mediation
Effect of Women on the legal profession
Tend not to charge as much as men
Museum Laws
Developed course
TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE: Museum Law (continued)
Museum Science
Effect of Texas Tech University’s School of Law on
Lubbock
Most Lubbock lawyers are Tech graduates
Brought a lot of lawyers to town, causing competition
and making lower fees
Awards
Teaching
Students
American State Bar
Expensive
Many dropped membership because the Bar took
position on certain issues
Abortion
Organization involvement
Internal Revenue Service (again)
Organization involvement (again)
Politics
TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO: Blank
RANGE DATES: c. 1950-1998
BULK DATES: 1962-1998