James B. Wadley and Nancy G. Maxwell were the first two candidates interviewed in Chicago who received offers, and both accepted. After earning his law degree from Tulane, Wadley had spent seven years at the University of Florida, first as Director of its Eastern Water Law Center and then of its Land Use Law Center. He held a joint appointment with the Schools of Agriculture and Law. He was writing a treatise on Agricultural Law with Florida Professor Julian Juergensmeyer and wanted to develop a teaching specialty in the area.
Kansas was a natural place to do so and Washburn was eager to develop a unique program meeting local and regional needs. (History of Washburn Law School 1903-2003, p. 291)