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Oral History Project: Interview Subjects: James Brown

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Photo of Jerome A. Barron Photo of James M. Brown Photo of Ruth C. Burg Photo of Paul G. Dembling Photo of Jack H. Friedenthal Photo of Thomas A. Morrison Photo of Ralph Clarke Nash, Jr. Photo of Arnold W. Reitze, Jr. Photo of David Robinson, Jr. Photo of Lewis A. Schiller Photo of Teresa Moran Schwartz Photo of Eric Scott Sirulnik Photo of Robert V. Stanek Photo of James E. Starrs Photo of David B. Weaver Photo of Glen E. Weston

James M. Brown

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For the full video interview, please email Jennie Meade at

About The Narrator: James M. Brown (1921-2015)

Professor Emeritus of Law James Milton Brown was born in Streator, Illinois, in 1921.  A U.S. Army veteran of the Second World War, he received his undergraduate degree in 1943 from the University of Illinois, and his J.D. in 1963 from the University of Florida where he was Associate Editor of the Law Review.  A fifteen-year career in the lumber business, general contracting, and land development preceded Professor Brown’s academic law career.  He was a Sterling Fellow at Yale (1963-1964), and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law (1964-1965).  In 1965, he joined the law faculty at GW as Associate Professor, and was Professor of Law from 1968 until his retirement in 1992 when he became Professor Emeritus of Law.

Professor Brown taught many property-related courses, among them Real Property, Personal Property, Land Use, Legal Problems of Technological Hazards, Local Government, Modern Real Estate Transactions, and the course for which he is most noted, Land Development Law (“LDL”).  LDL, or “The Game” as it became known, aimed to teach basic concepts of land management and control through a simulation “game” driven by the participation of the students.  The course grew from Professor Brown’s conviction that simulation of practical experience in handling land development scenarios could be an invaluable supplement to classroom study, and give students exposure to the realities of law practice.  He first introduced the course in 1970, and developed it over the course of approximately twenty years.

Professor Brown was active outside the classroom.  He was the principal investigator for the F.E.M.A. study Earthquake Insurance and Antitrust Risks (1985-1989), commissioner of the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (1991-1992), and member of the Maryland Land Use Roundtable.

Professor Brown died May 19, 2015, in Brooksville, Florida.   

About This Interview


Jennie C. Meade, Director of Special Collections

Interview Date/Location:

;Saturday, January 22, 2011, at Professor Brown's home in Brooksville, Florida.


JACOB Catalog Record