Harry Richards held degrees from University of Iowa and Harvard Law School. After graduating law school in 1895, he practiced law for several years in Missouri and Iowa. In 1898, he joined the faculty at University of Iowa College of Law. In 1903 he left Iowa to serve as dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School, a position he held until his death in 1929. A thorough tribute may be found at 5 Wis. L. Rev. 257 (1929).