W. Scott Miller Jr. finally eyes retirement after more than 60 years of career and service

W. Scott Miller Jr. received his J.D. from the University of Louisville Law School in 1951 and has created quite the resume since, including a 64-year law practice career (Miller and Miller).

Now, Miller is eyeing retirement “sometime in 2016,” according to his daughter, Stephanie Miller, who also received her J.D. from Louisville (1981). He will do so with a long list of military, community and university service few others can claim.

Miller served as Chairman of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees in the early 80s, and a board member from 1974-82. He has served on the Board of Governors at Louisville General Hospital, as part of the National Conference on Uniform State Laws, and as part of the Kentucky State Senate (1958-1973), including a seat as vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Miller was co-sponsor of a bill that created the first Public Defender Law, which was passed in the 1970 Legislative Session, but was then vetoed. He also wrote and sponsored a bill establishing the Horizontal Property Law in Kentucky, making Kentucky the third state to enact a condominium law.

He sponsored a program to extend public water to all of Jefferson County and beyond in 1966. He researched and developed the proposed River Grant Colleges to follow the program of the Sea Grant and Land Grant College, and worked on the Water Pollution Control Act of 1972.

Miller was also a legal officer for the U.S. Power Squadron, a probate commissioner, a special trial commissioner, and co-sponsor of the Kentucky Wild Rivers Bill. This is just scratching the surface of his entire portfolio.

Miller, a U.S. Navy WWII veteran, also served as a pro bono adjunct professor at the Brandeis School of Law, focusing on admiralty and water rights, from 1977-1995, and then again in 2009. According to Stephanie, he is devoted to giving back to the university.

“Dad loves to teach. He would get up to teach an 8 a.m. class and then head straight to the office and work all day. He’s done so much for the university and he feels that UofL has done a lot for him,” she said.

In 1970, as floor manager in the Kentucky Senate, Miller was the prime sponsor of the bill to put the University of Louisville into the state system. In 1988, Miller received an honorary LLD degree from the Brandeis School of Law.

Stephanie joined Miller and Miller in 1982, also with a focus on admiralty. The practice was started by her father and grandfather, the late W. Scott Miller Sr., who graduated in 1930 from the Jefferson School of Law and served as a judge in Jefferson Circuit Court, Chancery Branch, Division II, from 1946-52.

In fact, when Stephanie’s father decides to retire, he’ll not only leave behind a long legacy of service, but also a family legacy deeply rooted in the law.

Stephanie’s brother Johnathan also graduated from Brandeis School of Law in 1978, while her daughter, Shannon Fauver, is a 2003 Brandeis graduate.

In total, including W. Scott Miller Sr., there are five Brandeis School of Law graduates in the family (and six total attorneys: Stephanie’s daughter, Harper Tobin, received her JD from Case Western University in Cleveland, while her other daughter, Jennifer Pearson is an RN with a degree from UofL).

“Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a lawyer. I grew up with (Brandeis School of Law) Dean (James) Merritt often at our house, as was the late Professor Nathan Lord.  And, with dad being in the legislature, I was around lawyers all the time,” Stephanie said. “I always adored my father and his work.”