Remembering Dean Ed Potts

Dean Potts at an Emeritus Faculty Breakfast in 2007

Dean Potts, third in from right, at an Emeritus Faculty Breakfast in 2007. Pictured from left: Professor Steve Schooner; Professor Emeritus David Robinson, Jr.; Leroy S. Merrifield, Lobingier Professor Emeritus of Jurisprudence and Comparative Law; Professor Emeritus David B. Weaver; Frederick J. Lees, E.K. Gubin Professor Emeritus of Government Contracts Law; Professor Emeritus Eric. S. Sirulnik; Professor Emeritus Edward A. Potts; Professor Emeritus Ralph C. Nash, Jr.; and Professor Emeritus Robert Stanek.

On the Passing of Associate Dean Ed Potts, J.D. '52, the GW Law Community Shares Memories

October 15, 2010 - The George Washington University Law School reflects on the life and legacy of former Associate Dean Ed Potts, J.D. '52, who passed away on October 8. He served the Law School for 36 years as an associate dean and a professor, retiring in 1988. Dean Potts was known to faculty, staff, alumni, and students as a "go-to" gentleman who could get things done. His dedication to improving operations for all areas of the Law School as well as his warm and engaging personality made him an invaluable member of the community.

"Many alumni and colleagues have told me over the years how much they appreciated Ed's leadership, kindness, and wealth of knowledge," Dean Frederick M. Lawrence said. "Our thoughts are with Ed's family, friends, students, and colleagues during this difficult time, in the hopes that they will be comforted by memories of a cherished friend."

A. Howard Metro, J.D. '72, recalls that Dean Potts always went above and beyond to help any student who needed support. When Metro was forced to consider taking leave from his studies due to family illness and financial difficulties, Dean Potts said, "No! You are not withdrawing," and quickly facilitated funding for Metro to continue his law studies. Metro went on to graduate cum laude, become President of the Montgomery County Bar Association, and now is a partner with McMillan Metro in Rockville, Md.; success, he says, he owes partly to Dean Potts and the Law School. In recognition of Dean Potts, Metro has pledged to donate $500 to GW Law for discretionary use by the dean for students for every year he practices law in honor of his memory.

"But for him, I would not have graduated or become a lawyer," Metro said. "There is no question in my mind that he touched many of the students in each class, willingly giving them his time and his wisdom, to help each reach his or her goals."

In a retirement tribute to Dean Potts written in 1988 by longtime colleague and friend the late David E. Seidelson, Seidelson said "The only thing bigger than Ed's heart is his integrity." That statement captures Dean Potts's legacy at our Law School.

To share memories of Dean Potts, to be posted on this site, please e-mail