Lary Lawrence - In Memoriam

In Memory of Professor Lary Lawrence

Professor Lary Lawrence, who served on the Loyola Law School faculty from 1984-2013, and who held the Harriet L. Bradley Chair of Contract Law, passed away on November 17, 2019, after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease.  

Lary was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved with his family to California when he was a young child.  He received his B.A. in Philosophy from UCLA in 1970.  He then attended U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where he was an associate editor of the California Law Review. Lary graduated in 1973, Order of the Coif, and ranked third in his class.  After spending a year as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, he returned to Los Angeles where he was engaged in private practice with several major law firms, including Nossaman, Waters, Kreuger, Marsh & Riordan, and served as in-house counsel for International House of Pancakes.  In 1977, Lary left private practice in order to enter law teaching, a career he would pursue with passion for the rest of his professional life.  Before joining the Loyola faculty in 1984, Lary was a full-time professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia (1977-1979) and at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1979-1984).

He taught courses in Contracts, Commercial Law, Debtors' and Creditors' Rights, Secured Transactions, and International Business Transactions.  Lary was among the nation's leading scholars in commercial law.  He and Ronald Anderson initially co-authored Anderson on the Uniform Commercial Code, but after Anderson died in 1999, Lary remained the sole author of this 24-volume treatise, whose title became Lawrence's Anderson on the Uniform Commercial Code (Thomson Reuters, 3d ed. 2000).  Lary also authored or co-authored an array of other works, including: Payment Systems (Thomson Reuters 2002), with Bryan Hull; Contracts & Sales: Contemporary Cases and Problems (LexisNexis 2002), with William McGovern and Bryan Hull; An Introduction to Payment Systems (Aspen 1997); several volumes of the Treatise on the Uniform Commercial Code (Little, Brown & Co.1993), with Thomas Crandall and Michael Herbert; Cases and Problems on Contracts and Sales (Matthew Bender 1986), with William McGovern; and three volumes of the Uniform Commercial Code Series (Callaghan & Co. 1984, 1993), with William Hawkland.

During his years on the Loyola faculty, Lary was also a visiting professor at law schools around the world, including the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing; the University of San Diego's law program in Paris; and Monash University in Melbourne.

Lary's attachment to the Uniform Commercial Code was surpassed only by his deep and unwavering devotion to his students, particularly being the faculty advisor for the Black Law Students Association. Passionately committed to the civil rights movement, Lary led his life on the principle that by taking one step at a time - by working with each of the students who came his way - he could help make the world a better place. He spent countless hours tutoring his students - both one-on-one and in small groups - helping them to decipher concepts that had once seemed incomprehensible.  His door was always open and the chairs were often filled. Lary's office was a testament to his dedication: its walls were decked with pictures and posters of the nation's civil rights leaders, while tucked into the nooks and crannies of its shelves were numerous plaques and awards given him over the years by BLSA and other student groups in appreciation of his devoted support.

Lary was a loving husband and father. He was also a fine tennis player and an avid dancer. He is survived by his wife Konjit; by his daughter Deleyla, a graduate of the University of Michigan and of Loyola Law School; by his daughter Simone, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University; and by his younger brothers Greg and Keith.

Lary was a beloved professor colleague and friend. He will be missed by all.