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Professor Wendell Holmes retires after 34 years at LSU Law

Professor Wendell Holmes

Professor Wendell Holmes

After 34 years at LSU Law, Curry Family Professor of Law and Erick Vincent Anderson Professor of Law Wendell Holmes is retiring at the end of this year.

“I’ll definitely miss the interaction with my students,” Holmes said in early December while on a short break from grading final exams for the last time. “At the end of the day, that’s why most of us go into teaching in the first place.”

After earning his law degree in 1977 from Tulane University — where he was managing editor of Tulane Law Review and an Order of the Coif member — Holmes practiced law with Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada in Jackson, Mississippi, for six years. During his time with the firm, Holmes served as partner from 1981 to 1983 and he spent several years as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Millsaps College.

“That was sort of what planted the teaching bug in me,” he said. “Eventually I decided that I enjoyed teaching more than practicing law and then I got an opportunity at Ole Miss.”

Holmes spent four years at the University of Mississippi School of Law before joining the LSU Law faculty in 1987. He was already familiar with the Paul M. Hebert Law Center and Baton Rouge because he had spent the 1986 fall semester there as a visiting professor. Holmes’ wife, Dr. Ann Sumner Holmes, also joined the LSU faculty in 1987 and is retiring at the end of this year as associate dean of the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College.

“For over 30 years, Professor Holmes has delivered to his students rigorous training in commercial law topics, always presented in a calm and steady fashion, just as he has given the faculty his steadfast presence as our colleague and often faculty leader across the same number of years,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Lockridge. “Attorneys in the state know him as a regular LSU CLE speaker and treatise author on Louisiana business organizations. He will be missed by all of us, and we wish Wendell and Ann all the best in their retirement.”

During his time at LSU Law, Holmes taught Contracts, Business Associations, Commercial Paper, UCC Sales, UCC Security Devices, and Obligations, among other courses. He also co-authored Louisiana Civil Law Treatise: Business Organizations (West Publishing Company, 2nd ed. 2017) published many articles, and lectured extensively in continuing legal education programs.

“One of the most rewarding things for me during my time at LSU Law was being director of our summer program in France nine times,” said Holmes, who last served as director in 2019. “I love traveling and I love France, so that was something I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of. I also feel very fortunate just to have had the opportunity to educate so many students during my career, which I guess would be thousands over all the years.”