In Memoriam: Herma Hill Kay

In Memoriam: Herma Hill Kay

University of California Berkeley School of Law professor and former dean Herma Hill Kay passed away. She was 82.

An excerpt from memorial notice sent out by Berkeley's Interim Dean Melissa Murray:

Professor Kay was on the Berkeley faculty for 57 years, from 1960 to 2017. She served as Dean from 1992 to 2000—the first woman to lead a top ten U.S. law school. Over the course of her long career, Professor Kay made enormous contributions to the law, to women in the law, to the law school, and to the Berkeley campus.

She was a co-author of the leading casebooks on Sex Discrimination and Law, and Conflict of Laws. Her casebook on Sex Discrimination in the Law, which she co-authored with Kenneth Davidson and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was the first published course material in the field. She also served as a Co-Reporter of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act in 1968. She published numerous articles and book chapters on subjects including sexual discrimination and the law, conflict of law, family law, divorce, adoption, reproductive rights, and representing under-represented women. At the time of her death, she was nearing completion of a history of women in law teaching between 1900 and 2000. The first part of this work recounts the stories of the fourteen women appointed to a law faculty in the U.S. before 1960, when she joined the UC Berkeley School of Law faculty.

Professor Kay became a member of ALI Council in 1985, taking Emeritus status in 2012. She was a member of several ALI Committees including Executive, Nominating, and Membership. Professor Kay was also an Adviser on ALI’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution, Restatement of Employment Law, and Restatement of Conflict of Laws projects.

Read the full memorial notice from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Learn more about Herma Hill Kay in a recent feature.