The lives and careers of late LSU Law Professors Robert A. Pascal and Athanassios N. Yiannopoulos were celebrated at a panel discussion at the Louisiana Supreme Court on Nov. 13 that featured two LSU Law professors and two alumni.
“It was a glorious event that honored two of LSU Law’s most distinguished professors,” says LSU Law Professor Paul Baier, who was among the four panelists at the event. Also on the panel was LSU Law Professor Olivier Moréteau, along with Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Professors Dian Tooley-Knoblette (a 1980 LSU Law graduate) and James Etienne Viator (a 1985 LSU Law graduate).
The panelists, all of whom were either colleagues or students of the late professors—or both—compared the teaching methods and styles of Pascal and Yiannopoulos, discussed their respective areas of expertise and legacies, and shared personal moments with the late professors.
“It was a very lively event with some wonderful discussion,” says Moréteau, who compiled and edited a book of Pascal’s essays, “Robert Anthony Pascal: A Priest of Right Order,” which was published in 2018.
Born in 1915, Pascal graduated from Jesuit High School in New Orleans and then went on to earn his undergraduate degree at Loyola and law degree from Loyola Law School. He as a research assistant at LSU in 1938, when he witnessed the inaugurations of the LSU Law Building. In 1940, he became the first student to earn a Master of Civil Law from LSU Law, and in 1941 added an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School.
After completing his military service with the U.S. Coast Guard, Pascal joined the LSU Law faculty as a full-time assistant professor in 1945. While on leaves of absence from LSU, Pascal taught at the University of Chicago (1951) and the University of Rome (1951-52 and 1963-64). Pascal retired on June 2, 1980, and was named an LSU Law Professor Emeritus. He passed on at the age of 102 on Jan. 19, 2018.
Yiannopoulos—better known as “Thanassi” to his friends and “Yippy” to his students—was born in 1928 in Thessaloniki, Greece. After finishing law school with highest honors at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Athanassios trained to be an infantry reserve officer and interpreter. He eventually served as military secretary for the commander-in-chief, King Paul, before being honorably discharged in 1953.
Immediately following, he entered the United States on a Fulbright scholarship to study law at the University of Chicago. After receiving an LLM in 1954, he earned a Doctorate of Laws from the University of California Berkeley. After teaching abroad at the University of Cologne and receiving a second doctorate degree there, he began teaching law at LSU Law in 1959.
Two decades and many stories later he moved to New Orleans and began teaching at Tulane University Law School, and continued lecturing through 2016. He passed on Feb. 1, 2017, at the age of 88.
The Nov. 13 event was co-sponsored by the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society and the LSU Center of Civil Law Studies.