Any discussion about the American Inns of Court movement in Pennsylvania without making immediate mention of Judge Lowell Reed would be impossible. He was the moving force behind the state’s first Inn, the Temple American Inn of Court and the state’s most recently chartered Inn, the Buck’s County American Inn of Court – and many, if not most, in between. He has been a tireless proponent of the value of the Inns to the profession, while at the same time, serving as a sterling personification of the highest ideals of the organization.
Judge Reed grew up in the dairy farm community of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and attended a one-room country school. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin (B.B.A. 1952) and there attended his first year of law school. His law studies were interrupted by Korean War service; he served as a Naval Intelligence Officer in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C., later attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Judge Reed earned his Juris Doctor degree at Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia in 1958. He was a law clerk to the late Honorable Ethan Allen Doty of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.
Judge Reed distinguished himself as a trial lawyer concentrating in the fields of medical malpractice, toxic torts, occupational injury, products liability and complex litigation. In 1987, he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to fill the seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania vacated by Judge Anthony Scirica, when he acceded to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. When he was appointed to the bench, Judge Reed was a senior partner of Rawle & Henderson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a firm founded in 1783 by William Rawle, who had studied at the Middle Temple in London. Judge Reed assumed senior status on June 21, 1999.
Among other accomplishments of his career, the positions in which Judge Reed has served with distinction include: Lecturer in Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 1966 to 1981; course planner, author and lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1973 to date; President, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, 1983-84; Philadelphia Bar Association: Chairman, Medico Legal Committee; Member, Committee on the Bicentennial of the Constitution and of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention. He is a member of the Philadelphia and American Bar Associations, the Historical Society of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is a faculty advisor for the Academy of Advocacy of Temple University Beasley School of Law and a member of the American Judicature Society.
Judge Reed has served on the Abington, Pennsylvania Board of School Directors, as President of the Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association, and as an Elder and Trustee of the Abington Presbyterian Church. He has also served on the Board of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and is a past Trustee of the Abington Memorial Hospital Foundation. Judge Reed has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Temple Law Alumni Association during several terms; currently, he is a member and co-chair of the Law Day Committee. In 1988, the Temple Law Alumni Association bestowed upon him its Special Achievement Award and in 2001 the Temple University General Alumni Association awarded him its Certificate of Honor.
In 1990, working with Dean Robert Reinstein, Judge Reed was a co-founder and President of the Temple American Inn of Court, serving in that position from 1991 to 1993. Today, he is still a very active and involved mentor and leader as a Master of the Bench in the Temple Inn. He generously continues to devote considerable time, travel and energy to assure that other Inns get off to a successful start and share his guidance in Inn administration and operation with other Inns around the state and across the country.
Since its beginning, Judge Reed has dedicated himself to making the Temple Inn one of the crown jewels in the American Inns of Court movement. At his urging, the original members decided not to rely on guest speakers and classroom-type programs; instead they made a commitment, which continues to this day, of developing their own interactive programs, which consistently have earned national recognition, capturing eight program awards in the past nine years.
Judge Reed has been instrumental in both creating and participating in special programs for mentoring new attorneys and law students, with a focus on civility and ethics. An enthusiastic supporter of the American Inns of Court’s Pegasus Trust Scholarship program, Judge Reed has encouraged numerous young lawyers to apply for the London work-study program and helped organize efforts to host a Pegasus Trust Scholar. In 1998, when Senior Law Lord Robert Goff attended the American Inns of Court National Conference at Princeton University, Judge Reed was instrumental in hosting him during a visit to Philadelphia and arranging a special tour of some of America’s significant historic sites.
Any discussion about the American Inns of Court movement in Pennsylvania without making immediate mention of Judge Lowell Reed would be unthinkable. His years of dedicated service, continued leadership and the ongoing value of his contribution to the American Inns of Court will benefit lawyers nationwide.