In Memory

Marlee Kline

MARLEE KLINE, a professor of Law at UBC since 1989, died November 29, 2001. Since March 2000, Marlee fought leukemia with the courage, dignity, and quiet determination that characterized her life and her work. Her passing, at age 41, is a great loss to UBC'S intellectual community, especially the feminist community. Marlee will be remembered as a dedicated and inspiring teacher and a brilliant scholar. She was a compassionate and supportive colleague. Colleague Ruth Buchanan said, "She had a quality of rapt attention that made you feel that when she listened to you there was absolutely nothing else on her mind," despite her numerous responsibilities within and beyond the university. Marlee's research on child welfare law, restructuring of the welfare state and especially the structures of sexism and racism within law was foundational, inspiring academics around the world. Within the law school, Marlee worked hard to strengthen the First Nations Law Program, as well as Feminist Legal Studies. Marlee had a significant impact on many students, particularly those marginalized within society or within the law school. She taught Social Welfare Law, Feminist Perspectives on Law, Feminist Legal Theory, and Property Law. Margot Young, currently the Walter Owen Visiting Chair at the Law Faculty, said, "I know how dedicated Marlee was to teaching, how much time she put into her classes and into providing extensive feedback on student work. Marlee was committed to a critical, challenging, and engaged study of law and legal institutions. "She worked hard to incorporate alternative and diverse perspectives into class materials and discussion. "She also offered to many students the kind of support and regard that made it possible for them to flourish during their law school studies." In 2001 the J.C. Smith Scholar Award was awarded to Marlee in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the law faculty. Marlee leaves behind her partner Joel Bakan [class of 77], also a professor in the faculty, and their five-year-old son Myim, as well as many cherished friends. Many lives were touched and changed by Marlee's approach to law, her teaching, and her insights about law, justice and power. We will miss her enormously. written by Prof. Susan Boyd and first appeared in UBC Reports, volumn 47, number 20, December 13, 2001