Monday, May 2, 2022

In Memoriam: Anne Wells

Few have made their mark on Loyola Law School or the legal profession like Professor Anne Wells ’91, who at the height of her career as a law firm partner specializing in bankruptcy law, a field she was instrumental in shaping, returned to LLS to teach.
Wells, who passed away on April 24, 2022, brought nearly 15 of practice experience – including founding her own business law firm – to the law school when she joined the faculty in 2009 to teach Ethical Lawyering and Legal Research & Writing. Later, she added Law & Process: Privacy Torts, Legal Drafting, Torts II and, of course, Bankruptcy.

“For many years, and in many roles, Anne represented the best of who we are and hope to be. She cared deeply about students and their success,” said Dean Michael Waterstone. “She believed deeply in our equity and inclusion mission, and devoted her time and talents to always working to be a community where everyone belongs. And she was both fun, and funny. I will miss her greatly.”

Over time, Wells expanded her role as a student mentor as Director of Academic Success, helping students navigate the unique challenges of law school coursework. That is no surprise considering the superlatives she earned during her time as a student, which included graduating cum laude and Order of the Coif, and serving as Comment Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review. Additionally, she was a member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society, which awarded Wells the 2022 David P. Leonard Memorial Faculty Service Award, recognizing faculty who have made exceptional contributions to the LLS community.

Always generous with her time, Wells volunteered with a number of organizations. She was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, which helps organize such LLS tent-pole events as the Alumni Grand Reunion. Elsewhere, Wells was a volunteer coach and site coordinator of the APLA AIDS Marathon Training Program, served on the Occidental College Tiger Club Alumni Board and was member of the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council.
“Professor Wells provided a safe and inclusive space for so many Loyola students,” said Mieko Failey ’13, Legal Director, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. “Her impact lives on through the countless students she supported in becoming attorneys who will carry on her legacy of building more inclusive and affirming communities.”

Beyond the classroom, Wells influenced bankruptcy law through her scholarship that often crossed over with issues of ethical lawyering. She was an editorial board member of the California Bankruptcy Journal for well over a decade, fusing her experience both as an academic and that of a practicing attorney who parlayed her experience as a law firm partner to form her own firm, Futter-Wells, PC, in 2007. Her articles included “Avoiding Ethical and Management Minefields in the Bankruptcy Practice,” “Navigating Ethical Minefields on the Bankruptcy Bandwagon” and many more.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Professor Anne Wells Memorial Scholarship at Loyola Law School. Donate via this link or by writing a check to Loyola Marymount University and send to the address below.
Loyola Law School
University Hall
C/o AIS University Advancement
1 LMU Drive, Suite 2800
Los Angeles, CA 90045

The family is having a private memorial service. The law school is planning a celebration of Professor Wells’ life on the LLS campus, and will provide details soon.

Share your remembrance of Professor Wells by submitting a Comment below:


Anonymous said...

Professor Wells was a kind, passionate, knowledgeable professor with a great heart for her students. I remember her commiserating with me when our midterm fell on my birthday. While she couldn't actually change the date of the midterm, her empathy went a long way, and I remember doing well in the midterm. One fond memory of many.

She will be greatly missed.

-Jennifer Lobliner-Cortez, '19, Managing Partner of Law Office of Jennifer Lobliner-Cortez

Professor Gary Craig, Associate Dean for Faculty said...

Professor Wells was passionate about helping Loyola Law students achieve their dream of graduating and becoming lawyers. Nothing gave her greater joy than working with students to build their skills and confidence to overcome the challenges of law school. She leaves behind a legacy of exceptional teaching and compassionate counseling.

Professor Jean Boylan '86 said...

We mourn the loss and honor the impact on the lives Anne tirelessly supported through her role as professor and Director of Academic Support. Anne was a dedicated teacher, counselor and mentor to 13 years of Loyola Law School students. She was passionate about inspiring and helping students achieve their greatest potential. As a friend and colleague, she was kind, smart and generous with her time. She will be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

Anne Wells embodied so much about the spirit and kindness I aspire to in my own teaching and support for students. Being a law student is incredibly challenging, and Professor Wells invariably would empathize with students and ensure care for students remained central to the institution. I appreciated her greatly and will miss her kindness and compassion.

Professor John Nockleby

Kimi Elguea said...

I was one of those students.

Amy Karnikian, '16 said...

I had the pleasure of being one of the many lucky students who were taught by Professor Wells. She was such a kind soul and I remember my days in her class very fondly - something that's not always easy in law school! My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. She will be missed by many.

Brittany Ortiz said...

Professor Wells was not only a good professor, she was also a good person. You didn’t have to know her for long to realize she was special. A piece of my heart is definitely missing because of her passing. She will be sorely missed. Sincerest condolences to her family.

Kathleen Becket,'19 said...

Professor Wells remains in a class of her own in terms of caring, compassionate pedagogy and serving by example. She was always humble, available and an excellent listener. One vivid memory (of many) was during Summer Institute, when she shared a story of a recent mentee getting her dream job in public interest. Anne's joy in the success of her former student was palpable, as was her commitment to student success generally. Her legacy lives on in her many students, Loyola's participation in the William's Institute Moot Court, Summer Institute and so, so many other things. Godspeed Anne. You will not be forgotten.

Ericka Coronado said...

Professor Wells left a mark on so many students, not just as an educator, but as a person. She was always genuine, empathetic and encouraging. She could go from talking about study strategies to sharing funny stories about dogs, and never hesitated to share her time and wisdom. I am forever grateful for having had the pleasure of knowing her and will never forget the impact she made on me as a student, and as a lawyer. Fly High, Anne. You are forever in my heart. -Ericka Coronado (Class of 2014)