- W. James Hill, one of the first assistant deans at the University
of California, Berkeley's School of Law (Boalt Hall), died
on Monday (Aug. 14) following complications from Parkinson's
disease. He was 82.
Oakland, was only the second person to serve as assistant
dean at Boalt Hall and did so from 1964 to 1988, under four
law school deans. During those years, there were no associate
deans, just the dean of the law school and one assistant dean.
responsible for admissions, alumni relations, fundraising
and placement. He did it all," said law professor Jesse Choper,
a dean of the law school while Hill was at Boalt Hall. "He
was a great favorite of the students. Everyone loved him."
native of Minneapolis, was born March 22, 1918, and named
William James Hill, though friends and colleagues knew him
as Jim Hill. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University
and his law degree from Boalt Hall in 1961.
World War II, Hill served as a lieutenant commander in the
early 1950s, he worked as a journalist, serving as a copy
editor at the Minneapolis Tribune and, later, as editor and
publisher of the La Mesa Scout in La Mesa, California.
early 1960s, he served as chief counsel at the California
State Banking Department in San Francisco and as assistant
general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
to Boalt Hall in 1964.
the sweetest of men, and he contributed a sense of warmth
and community to this large place that we sorely missed when
he retired," said emeritus law professor Sanford H. Kadish,
a former dean at Boalt Hall. "In short, Jim made the music
around here, and I don't mean just the piano."
for his wit and humor, wrote many of the parody songs performed
at faculty shows. I. Michael Heyman, a former UC Berkeley
chancellor and emeritus law professor, said Hill played the
piano very well and inspired his brother, Hollywood director
George Roy Hill, to use the Scott Joplin piece "The Entertainer"
for his movie, "The Sting."
survived by his wife, Aurora, of Oakland; five children -
Christopher Hill, of Oakland; Kate Hill, of Palo Alto; Timothy
Hill, of Los Angeles; Jonathan Hill, of San Francisco; and
Mary Hill-Melero, of Oakland - and four grandchildren.
will be private. A memorial will be scheduled at UC Berkeley
sometime in the fall.
ask that donations in his memory be sent to the Boalt Hall
Fund. Checks should be made out to "UC Regents" with a note
"in memory of Dean Hill" on the check or on an accompanying
note. Mail checks to: University of California, Berkeley,
School of Law, Boalt Hall Fund, 308 Boalt Hall, Berkeley,