Malcolm L. MorrisMalcolm L. Morris
Professor Emeritus

B.S., Cornell University
J.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
LL.M., Northwestern University



Phone: 815-753-0280
Room: 172C


Professor Morris is a recognized leader in the Illinois Bar and an active participant in the national legal arena.  In 2008, he was elected a Laureate of the Illinois Academy of Lawyers, the highest distinction awarded by the Illinois State Bar Association.  Prior to his election, Professor Morris had received two awards for outstanding achievement and one for outstanding contribution to the bar association.  He also received the prestigious Austin Fleming Award for his work editing the "Counselor."  He chaired both the Legal Education, Competence and Admission and the Business Advice and Financial Planning Section Councils for the bar association, and also served on its Trust & Estates section council.   Presently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Institute of Local Government Law and serves as the editor of its journal.

On the national level, Professor Morris is a member of the Board of Directors of the Law School Admission Council and serves on the governing board of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity.  He has chaired and was member of the Donative Transfers, Fiduciaries and Estate Planning Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, and served two terms on the American Bar Association’s Bar Admissions Committee. 

Professor Morris has an extensive publication record.  His work has appeared in many law reviews, including those published by the University of Pittsburgh, Arizona State, University of Florida, Villanova, Utah and University of Missouri law schools. He served as the reporter for and drafted the commentary for two Model Notary Acts promulgated by the National Notary Association, co-authored a notary law and practice casebook and appeared before a Congressional subcommittee as an expert witness on a federal notary bill.  In recognition of this work, he received the Association’s Achievement Award in 2001 and in 2007 was recognized as one of the most influential people in notarization. 

Professor Morris has served as Interim Dean, Associate Dean, and the first Director of Skills Training at the College of Law.   He has taught courses in areas of Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning, Property, Federal Taxation, Agency & Partnership, and Electronic Commerce. 

Recent Activities

  • Named Chair of the ISBA Committee on Legal Education, Admission and Competence.

Books and Commentaries

  • Commentary, MODEL NOTARY ACT OF 2010 (forthcoming).
  • Commentary, MODEL NOTARY ACT OF 2002 (2002). 
  • NOTARY LAW AND PRACTICE: CASES AND MATERIALS (NNA Publishing, 1997) (with Closen, Ahlers, Jarvis and Spike).


  • Education Expense Epiphanies, 47 Buff. L. Rev. 875 (1999).
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  • Nomadic Notaries, 32 J. Marshall L. Rev. 985 (1999).
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  • Troubled Taxpayers' Tolling Troubles, 47 Syracuse L. Rev. 121 (1996), reprinted in Dig. Tax Articles (1998).
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  • Suffering Soliman's Solution, 55 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 99 (1993).
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  • Determining Deductions Deserves Deductibility, 21 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 75 (1993).
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  • News from the Home Office Front, 80 Ill. B.J. 244 (1992).
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  • Troubling Transfer Tax Tie-Ins, 1991 Utah L. Rev. 749.
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  • An "Imputed Interest" Corollary to the "Constructive Transfer" Doctrine: Pay the Tax or Follow the Leder?, 54 Mo. L. Rev. 599 (1989).
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  • Taxing Economic Loss Recovered in Personal Injury Actions: Towards A Capital Idea?, 38 U. Fla. L. Rev. 735 (1986).
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  • Reliance on Counsel as Reasonable Cause: To the Back Burner After Boyle?, 31 Vill. L. Rev. 525 (1986).
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  • The Tax Posture of Gifts in Estate Planning: Dinosaur or Dynasty?, 64 Neb. L. Rev. 25 (1984).
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  • Disclaiming Joint Interests: One New Trick and No Longer a Dog?, 1983 Ariz. St. L.J. 45, (reprinted in DIGEST OF TAX ARTICLES, December 1984).
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  • Rediscovering the Resulting Trust: Modern Maneuvers for a Dated Doctrine?, 17 Akron L. Rev. 43 (1983).
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Areas of Expertise:

Estate Planning, Property, Trusts and Wills, Tax