Eugene Wambaugh held several degrees from Harvard University. After practicing law in Cincinnati from 1880 to 1889, he joined the law faculty of University of Iowa College of Law in 1889. He was a law professor at Iowa until 1892. While at Iowa, he was influential in establishing the "case study" method of legal education.
He left Iowa for Harvard Law School, where he remained until taking emeritus status in 1925. During World War I, he served as an advisor to the State Department. He died in 1940.