Jean A. Mortland

  • Jean A. MortlandJean A. Mortland
    B.S., The Ohio State University, 1952
    J.D., Franklin University Law School, 1964
    LL.M., New York University, 1969



    Professor Emerita Jean A. Mortland is remembered as much for her reputation within the national and regional legal community as she is for her work in the classroom. She paved the way for women in the legal profession and served as a role model to future female students, attorneys and faculty members.

    She received her bachelor’s degree in 1952 from Ohio State University and returned to Law School at Franklin University to earn her JD in 1964. She also received her LL.M. from New York University Law School in 1969.

    She was admitted to the bar in 1964, passing the exam with the highest score that year. As one of the first female attorneys working for Nationwide Insurance, she practiced in the area of group contracts before returning to the Law School to begin her teaching career. She joined the Franklin Law School faculty in 1965 at a time there were few women in the legal profession or in law school. She taught Property, Insurance Law, Indian Law and Conflicts of Laws. At the time, she also served as the Law School’s first librarian. In 1988, she assumed the status of Professor Emeritus.

    Professor Mortland’s greatest legacy may be her scholarly work. She published extensively in the areas of real property, insurance, land transactions, and conflicts of laws. From 1982-87 she was editor of the ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal, a nationally recognized publication.

    “During the years when there was not that much active (faculty) scholarship at the Law School, Jean was the editor, year after year, of the American Bar Association’s Real Property Journal, a nationally recognized journal,” Professor Mike Distelhorst said in his nomination of Professor Mortland. “That indicates that the national real property bar recognized her as one of their top academic authorities.”

    Mortland was an active member of the bar and the community. She was chair of the Uniform State Laws Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association; chair of the Capital Significant Probate Trust Decisions Committee; and vice chair of the Brokers and Brokerage Committee of the ABA.

    She received the Nettie Cronise Lutes Award from the Ohio State Bar Association in 1998. The award, named for the first woman to practice law in Ohio, honors women who improve the legal profession through their own professional achievement and who have been instrumental in opening the door to other women to join and excel in the profession.

    “She was very much beloved by former students and local lawyers for the one-on-one kindness and brilliance of her help,” Distelhorst said.

    Professor Mortland died in April 2006.