Browning Symposium

The Honorable James R. Browning

The Browning Symposium series honors Judge James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Browning, who was reared in Belt, Montana, graduated from The University of Montana School of Law in 1941. He was a member of the first editorial board of the Montana Law Review and ultimately served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

In September of 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Judge Browning to the Ninth Circuit. His forty year tenure on the Court is the longest of any federal judge in the country. Prior to joining the court, Judge Browning was Clerk of the United States Supreme Court.

Judge Browning served with distinction as Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit from 1976 to 1988. As Chief Judge, Judge Browning was credited with reorganizing and modernizing the administration of the Ninth Circuit. Thanks to his political savvy and remarkable leadership skills, Judge Browning was successful in keeping the Ninth Circuit intact despite persistent efforts to divide the circuit.

In 1991, Judge Browning received the coveted Edward J. Devitt Award for Distinguished Service to Justice, an award presented annually to a federal judge. In September of 2001, the State Bar of Montana bestowed on Judge Browning the Bar’s highest honor, the William J. Jameson Award. In 2005, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco was renamed the James R. Browning United States Courthouse.

Save the Date

The annual Browning Symposium will be September 24-25, 2020, at the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law in Missoula, Montana. The topic this biennium is consumer law in the 21st century, and Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former Ohio attorney general, will give the keynote address.


Rooms with a discounted rate are available at the DoubleTree. We encourage you to make a room reservation as soon as possible. Be sure to mention the University of Montana during booking to receive the discount.


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula - Edgewater
100 Madison Street
Missoula, Montana 59802
(406) 728-3100

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James R. Browning Distinguished Lecture in Law

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 79th Annual Browning Lecture. Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, including the CDC’s recommendation to cancel all events with more than 50 people, Governor Bullock’s declaration of a state of emergency in Montana, and the temporary closing of the Law School building and transition of all university and law school classes to remote online learning for the rest of the semester, we are unable to proceed with the spring 2020 lecture.

Call for Papers

The Montana Law Review is seeking panelists to share their expertise on cutting-edge consumer issues during the symposium and to publish papers in a special symposium edition of the Montana Law Review. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, cryptocurrency, social media influencers, challenges to disclosures, student loans, credit card debt, debt collection, healthcare fraud, pharmaceutical litigation and data privacy.

Western Montana in the fall is a beautiful place to consider these important issues, and the Montana Law Review will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for selected participants. Missoula offers unmatched outdoor recreation opportunities, including world-class fishing and hiking, and is located only hours from Glacier National Park.

Interested participants should submit a short abstract for an unpublished paper, along with institutional affiliation and contact information, to symposium editor Kelsey Dayton at The Montana Law Review will select participants on a rolling basis beginning in April.

Continuing Legal Education

Online registration will be available soon.

Homecoming & Griz Football

Join us for Homecoming September 21-26!

The University of Montana Grizzlies will take on the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. You may purchase your tickets online from Griz Tix. Tickets to the homecoming game will be held for law alums under “Law School Alumni.”


A parking permit or guest pass is required to park on the UM campus throughout the year, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily parking passes for visitors to the University, available for $3.50, are sold at University Police, University Center Bookstore and Info Desk, the Treasury Office in the Lommasson Center, and the cashier’s window at Missoula College. More information, including a map of parking lots around campus and transportation alternatives, can be found at UM's Visitor Parking Page. View a map of the parking lot and law school entrances here. Parking Lot P is the closest lot to the law school.

Support the Montana Law Review

The Montana Law Review is a student-run organization, and we would not be able to publish a biannual publication, host symposia regarding emerging changes in the law, and host national lecturers without the support of those in the Montana law community. Donate to the Browning Symposium here. Thank you for your support!