William A. Schnader

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William A. Schnader
File:William A. Schnader, 1886-1968.jpg
c. 1931
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
In office
November 1, 1930 – January 15, 1935
Governor John Stuchell Fisher
Gifford Pinchot
Preceded by Cyrus Woods
Succeeded by Charles Margiotti
Personal details
Born October 5, 1886
Bowmansville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Died March 18, 1968
Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ethel Keller Heintsh (m. 1915[1])

William A. Schnader (October 5, 1886 – March 18, 1968[2]) was Attorney General of Pennsylvania and co-founder of the law firm Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis.[3]

Schnader graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1908. After earning a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Schnader went on to become Special Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 1923 and Attorney General in 1930. He served as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania under two successive governors, during which time he directed major new codifications of the laws of corporations and banking. In 1934, Schnader was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor. He lost to Democrat George Howard Earle.

In 1935, following his unsuccessful bid for Governor of Pennsylvania, Schnader and Bernard G. Segal, the former Deputy Attorney General, joined with Francis A. Lewis, who had been a partner in another law firm and the treasurer of Schnader's gubernatorial campaign, to form the law firm of Schnader & Lewis in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, they added Bernard Segal as a named partner. In the early years, the members of the firm gained prominent clients and soon national recognition handling a major case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1948, Earl G. Harrison, after resigning as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, joined the firm as the fourth named partner.

Schnader was active in creating the Uniform Commercial Code[4] – in fact, he dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the organization, drafting, development and promotion of a nationwide system of business law, which earned him the title, "Father of the Uniform Commercial Code." Notably, much of this work was accomplished while in a wheelchair following a crippling stroke. For this "conspicuous service to American jurisprudence," he was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Bar Association in 1960. His public service included many other contributions, including five years' work as Chairman of the American Bar Association Bill of Rights Committee (the forerunner of the present Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities), and service as President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 1962–63.


  1. Rothrock, W. A., Jr., ed. (1931). The Pennsylvania Manual. 87. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. p. 160.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "William Schnader, Lawyer, 81, is Dead". The New York Times. March 19, 1968. p. 44.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Schnader Harrison: A Survivor at 75," The Legal Intelligencer, August 8, 2005
  4. William A. Schnader, A Short History of the Preparation and Enactment of the Uniform Commercial Code, 22 U. Miami L. Rev. 1 (1967)

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Political offices
Preceded by
Cyrus Woods
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Charles Margiotti
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gifford Pinchot
Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Arthur James