Dr. Isidore Starr
Isidore Starr (affectionately called Iz) is an accomplished lawyer and teacher widely
recognized as the "father of lawrelated education (LRE)." He was born in 1911 to
RussianAmerican parents who instilled in him a great love of this country.
He began teaching in
1934 at Brooklyn Technical High School and, at the same time, started law school at
St. John's University School of Law. He brought law into his
classroom using case studies and role-plays thatbrought the subject to life for
students. His students lovedportraying Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton, and
as recently as 2007, Dr. Starr himself conducted a workshop on
the founders' views
of the power of the President, dressed as Hamilton.
Starr served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46 during World War II. For ten months, he served in the Philippines as
a lieutenant and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.He participated in a major conference on "Teaching
about the Bill of Rights" that was co-chaired by
Brennan and Douglas and helped LRE make great strides in the 1960s. A career highlight was the chance to show a
film he developed with Encyclopedia Britannica on the Gideon case to the U.S. Supreme Court justices.All his
life, Dr. Starr promoted what he called "law studies" in the schools. He was passionate about teaching in the
New York Public Schools (1934-1961) and in the education of teachers at Queens College (1961-1975). He inspired
thousands of teachers at summer institutes and ABA conferences. Countless teachers, lawyers and LRE leaders can
pinpoint the moment they first met Dr. Starr and recall how he changed their lives.
Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship named their most prestigious LRE award: The Isidore Starr
Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education. In 1975 he retired to Arizona, where he thought his work might
slow down a bit. However, duty called and before he knew it he was conducting summer institutes and selling LRE
to the state bar association and people like Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He co-founded Arizona Bar Foundation's
Center for Law-Related Education.Dr. Starr is the author of too many books and articles to mention here. His
degrees include: BA (City College of New York), L.L.B. (St. John's University), MA (Columbia University), J.S.D.
(Brooklyn Law School of st. Lawrence University), and a Ph.D. (New School for Social Research). Dr. Starr would
be the first to tell you that his success was made possible through the strong family support of Kay, his wife
of over 65 years, now deceased, and his son, Larry, a professor of music at the University of Washington, and
Larry's wife and three children (Iz's lucky grandchildren).The world is a much better place and the LRE world is
very lucky to have had a passionate advocate for the last 100 years.