Bernard J. "Bud" Nussbaum (1955)  

Not only did Dean Levi provide me with a full three-year tuition scholarship, he also got me a job working in the then Law School dorm (Beecher hall) kitchen. That kindness nearly undid me and here’s how.

Sometime during the first year, Justice Felix Frankfurter visited the Law School and stayed at Beecher. At the end of my breakfast serving stint, I sat down at a table where he was chatting with some second and third years. He turned to me and asked if I knew Judy Weinshall who was then a third-year student and, I think, first in her class. It happened that I did know Judy. She apparently had attended one of the Justice’s class sessions. He asked what she was like. I responded roughly as follows: “She’s very nice, extremely bright, but, Mr. Justice, I don’t think you’d be interested in her.” He asked, “Why not?” I responded, “Because she is married.” The unstunnable Mr. Justice Frankfurter was stunned. I thought that my blurt-out prematurely but inevitably ended my Law School career. After all, the words—my words—would spread, yielding profound disgrace. It turned out that I never heard a word about it.

Then, in my third year, I happened to be chairman of the National Conference of Law Reviews which was having its annual session at The University of Chicago. Dean Levi asked me to accompany him to the dinner where he would be welcoming the attendees and where I was to introduce the dinner speaker. As we were walking from the School to the Quadrangle Club, I told Dean Levi that I wanted to tell him a story so that he would not worry about how I was going to conduct myself. I told him the above. Dean Levi, given to pointed but brief critiques, simply said, “Oh my god, Nussbaum.”

Since then, I’ve made many gaffes, and hopefully I’ve done some things right too. If the latter is true, that had its birth at the special place where both you and I studied law, learned a great deal about the “learned” part of our profession, about ourselves, and about the richness of life.