Reginald H. Alleyne
Professor of Law, Emeritus
Reginald Alleyne was a stalwart of the UCLA law faculty for a quarter century (1969-1994). His life was a success story of our time. Growing up in Boston, Reg was from the beginning a good student. He became an athlete—track, swimming, cycling, skiing—and he also became a musician, first playing the violin (Boston Youth Symphony) and later saxophone, guitar, and (best known to his UCLA colleagues) flute.
Reg was one of the trail blazers of his generation. His first degree, a B.S. in chemistry, was earned close to home, at Tufts University. After finishing college, Reg played an early pathbreaking role: as a black officer in the U.S. Navy. He ended his tour of duty in the rank of Lieutenant. Then came law study: a J.D. from Howard University's law school, followed by a prestigious clerkship with Judge Henry Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. After a year of research for the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, he served in the office of the State of Washington's attorney general, and as a contract compliance attorney for the Navy. He became a labor lawyer, serving as a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. In 1969 Reg was awarded an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School, after which he came to UCLA, where he and Henry McGee became the first black members to serve on the law faculty.
From his earliest days at UCLA, Reg taught courses in employment law, constitutional law, and civil procedure. His legal scholarship centered on labor law, but he also contributed op-ed pieces to newspapers on political issues, and especially civil rights. (For a time he headed the Seattle chapter of CORE, the Congress on Racial Equality.) His interest in labor law led him into doing labor arbitration, with the result that each of his roles—scholar and arbitrator—informed the other one. He became nationally known in the field of arbitration, serving for a time as vice president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He was the arbitrator in a number of cases involving prominent major league ballplayers. This work, although demanding, fed his continued interest in sports; he had always been a fan of the Boston Red Sox, and in Los Angeles he became a supporter of the Dodgers. (It is regrettable that Reg missed the victory of the Red Sox in the 2004 World Series.) Throughout his life he enjoyed chess, backgammon, and Scrabble—and, above all, music.
Reg Alleyne was an exceptionally good citizen, in every dimension of the term. He served the UCLA law faculty well, not just in the ordinary ways that scholars help administer the University, but as a voice in faculty deliberations that exemplified the man: courageous, stable, reflective, sensible, generous-spirited, alert to opportunities for the institution to do the right thing—and, without fail, good humored. He took on essential tasks that devoured time and yet were thankless, such as Law School admissions. He gave strong support to younger faculty members who still remember his wise advice with gratitude. Reg was the sort of person whose face at one's office door always brought the anticipation of something pleasant, or something worth while, or (most typically) both. He played in the band that accompanied the Law School's student-faculty musical shows, and he was a sure-handed outfielder in the law faculty's softball team, the Harmless Errors.
Reg's citizenship in the larger community would be hard for anyone to equal. He was a longtime member of the board of directors of the Center for Law in the Public Interest (Los Angeles), and served in similar posts with the Los Angeles County Employees Relation Commission and the Los Angeles Police Commission's Black Advisory Committee. He advised not just the police but the Los Angeles City Council. He capped his public service with two years in a most exacting position, as chairman of the California Public Employment Relations Board.
After Reg retired from the UCLA law faculty in 1994, he returned to his boyhood home, teaching some courses at Boston College Law School. He died in Newton, Massachusetts, in March 2004. His UCLA colleagues missed him from the day he left, and lament his loss. He is survived by his children, David, Paul, and Rebecca Alleyne, and Valerie Udeozor; his former wife, Delores Alleyne; and his sister, Dolores Goode.
Kenneth L. Karst