Wayne Morse graduated from the progressive University of Wisconsin with a degree in economics and speech, and later taught at the University of Minnesota, concurrently earning his law degree. He took his first law professorship at the University of Oregon School of Law in 1929, and within nine months became the dean. At thirty-one, he was the youngest dean of any ABA-accredited law school in the country. His educational ambitions did not cease when he became dean; Morse finished and earned his Doctorate in Law from Columbia in 1932.
Morse used his legal skills with extraordinary effectiveness as a labor arbitrator, a position that eventually consumed Morse’s time and energy to the point where he resigned as dean. Morse’s mission as an arbitrator was to uphold what he saw as the sanctity of the contract, the rule of law in the field of labor relations. Deeply committed to fairness and justice, he was popular both with unions and employers. He later served on the National War Labor Board, a national twelve-person group that negotiated with both labor and industry leaders to insure the production of materials necessary for the Second World War.