Soia Mentschikoff was one of the first and most important woman law professors of the 20th Century.
Soia Mentschikoff received an A.B. degree from Hunter College in 1934 and an LL.B degree from Columbia Law School in 1937. She practiced law in New York City from 1937 to 1947. In 1956, she received an LL.D degree from Smith College. 1947, Dr. Mentschikoff became the first woman to teach law at Harvard Law School and four years later, in 1951, she became the first woman to teach law at the University of Chicago. It was during her tenure as a law professor that Dr. Mentschikoff planned and drafted The Uniform Commercial Code with her husband, Karl N. Llewellyn, an eminent authority on American jurisprudence and Professor of Law at Columbia University and University of Chicago. Her expertise in commercial law and her work to unify treatment of commercial transactions in the United States established her as a major international figure.
Soia Mentschikoff served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Miami in 1967, and then Dean of the School of Law from 1974 through 1982. During her tenure as Dean at the University of Miami, Dr. Mentschikoff raised the School of Law to national prominence. Miami developed one of the first “clinical” law programs, where first year students learn technical skills actually used in the practice of law, rather than merely reading cases and materials on particular legal topics.