A.J. Nussbaum (1991)  

A few thoughts

The beginning. New Grad, new people. The fountain, Dean’s welcome (The most expensive words a client will ever utter, “It’s the principle of the thing that counts.”). Classmate wants to know if his limbs will freeze in winter. Fairness, four-letter word. First class, Elements with Sunstein – take notes/write faster. Don’t write everything. Civ pro with the Dean? What’s everybody else writing? What did he say? Normative.

The Green Lounge. New people. Smart people. Busy people. Books, books, books. Watch out for the chili dog. Faculty everywhere. They talk to me; eat with us. Some manners better than others. Wine mess. Professors have homes? Dean teaches? Sykes for torts or fun? Street law cool.

Hyde Park. Thai food. Tiki. Ann Sather’s cinnamon buns. Pool at Ida Noyes, old but friendly. Wright was here. Was Lochner right? Tennis by the library.

Exams. Badger says relax. Proctor says smoke outside. Write fast. Keep writing. Who could possibly read this?

Jobs. Corporate? Litigation? Government? Who hires a first year? Stay? Go? Split?

2L/3L. Windermere or Regents? Law review. Hard work. Classes – Coase, duck rabbit, separation of powers, “read on” securities laws. Cases get longer. Classes not easier. Plaintiff lives in Pennsylvania. Fed jur. Blum’s wide ties. Bernie will never stop. Dean still teaching; judges teaching; economists teaching; teaching not a four-letter word…. Professors keep at it. Collective action. Want me to want to know. Make me want. More to know. More jobs. Clerk? Clinic? Moot court? Legal ethics? The bar.

And so it goes. Always more. Barely oriented and then disoriented but faculty everywhere along the way. Graduate but don’t say goodbye.

Back for interviews. Green Lounge still there; artwork still there. Students seem smart. Profs still call me. Still call me Mr. Still sit with me. No chili dogs. Classmates everywhere – professors, Dean of Students, colleagues.

Katz lecture (Epstein!) hard to follow but it’s great fun trying. Wakes me up. Going back each year I feel meaningfully taller, or maybe taller in meaning. Law school lifted me up.