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Wayne Law Bids Fond Farewell to Long-time Law Library Director Georgia Clark

November 21, 2008

DETROIT (Nov. 19, 2008) – Wayne State University Law School Law Library Director Georgia Clark has announced her retirement after more than 35 years of service to Wayne Law students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community. Her last day at the Law School will be Monday, Nov. 24, 2008.

“On behalf of Wayne Law, it is with both great pleasure and sadness that we bid farewell to Georgia and wish her the best on her next journey,” said Wayne Law Dean and Professor Robert M. Ackerman. “The Law School has had the honor of benefiting from her unwavering dedication and service for many years. Georgia has tremendously impacted this Law School and this community, and is a living legend to whom we are all very grateful.”

“I will miss everyone I've come in contact with at the university, the Law School and the University Libraries,” Clark said. “My entire career has involved working with people to accomplish good things. Many law school graduates have helped me do that by designating their donations throughout the years. Providing a wide group of users with access to legal and law-related information has been a personal mission and [Wayne State University] has provided me with both the venue and audience for the past 35 years.”

Clark earned her bachelor's degree from College of St. Scholastica , and her master's degree in library science from the University of Michigan . Shortly after earning her degrees, she married George S. Clark, a then-student in Wayne Law's concurrent M.B.A. and J.D. degree program (whom she honored through a generous donation to the Law School Capital Campaign in 1999).

Clark joined Wayne Law in 1973, was hired as the library director in 1976, and has been a driving force in preserving legal documents and enhancing the accessibility of services to a large public ever since.  

“ When Georgia came to the Law School she completely took hold of the library and improved the system, the acquisition policy and the overall operation,” said Donald Gordon, former Wayne Law Dean. “I can't find the words to express how pleasant and competent she was. She really dedicated so much of herself to the library.

One such example of Clark’s dedication includes her role in launching one of largest library consortiums in existence today. In 1976 she, along with former Dean Gordon and Jerry Dupont, University of Hawaii Law School Library Director, set out to raise funds in the Detroit and Honolulu legal communities in an effort to provide greater informational access to a larger number of people. Together they formed a non-profit cooperative of libraries, known as the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC).

Today, LLMC’s subscribers span the globe as the Consortium has expanded to include preservation and accessibility digitally through LLMC-Digital. Approximately 90 percent of American Association of Law Libraries-affiliated American law schools, 75 percent of Canadian law schools and virtually every library serving units of the U.S. Federal Court System are members and have access to more than 50-million page images.

“With Georgia’s diligence throughout the years LLMC's membership grew to over 900 libraries, its master collection of legal microforms grew to over 105,000 volumes, and it placed over three million copies of those masters into libraries worldwide,” Dupont said. “It is now well on track toward its goal of building the world¹s largest and most comprehensive, legal research library on the Web.”

Clark’s passion and commitment also led her to serve as the President of the Steering Committee that organized the Michigan Association of Law Libraries. And in recognition of her outstanding dedication and service to the University, the University Libraries and the Law School, she is a past recipient of the G. Flint Purdy Memorial Award for Service. She has also been named a recipient of the Wayne Law Review editorial board’s Outstanding Contributor Award and was honored as the Special Treasure of Detroit Honoree at the Law School’s 11th annual gala in 2008.

A book is currently on display in the Wayne Law Library now through Jan. 31, 2009, within which faculty members, students, alumni and friends can add comments and share memories. To send Georgia a message personally, please send an email to georgia.clark@wayne.edu. For information on how to make a gift to the Law Library in Georgia’s name, please call the Law School Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (313) 577-4141 or send an email to am2674@wayne.edu.

“More than they will ever know, innumerable people around the country, and indeed around the world, have benefited from her dedication, perseverance and vision,” Dupont said. “I can testify that nobody could have asked for a more loyal, steadfast or pleasant partner. I feel very honored and exceedingly lucky to have had her as a colleague.”

About Wayne State University Law School
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

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