Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Class of 1970 Reunion Dinner

Last Friday, I attended the Class of 1970 Reunion Dinner and presented after-dinner remarks on current law students. Members of the class of 1970 began law school in the fall of 1967 and were probably born in 1945 or so, making them close to 60 years old today.

It was interesting to listen to their conversations about being a student at that time. The law school class was of course male-dominated, a dominant concern at the time was the Vietnam War and the draft, and during dinner some alumni talked about draft deferments and law students dropping out of law school to pursue coveted positions in the National Guard which, in contrast to the current Iraq War, normally meant duty away from the front lines.

It was also particularly interesting to hear the animated discussion between two alums about old Professor Simmons, who taught first year civil procedure in 1967. Good old Professor Simmons. He was apparently the Professor Kingsfield of his day, most noted for intimidating his students in the classroom. Not only have I never met him, but I have never once heard his name mentioned even by the emeritus professors reminiscing about their colleagues.

It was a bit like the scene in "A Christmas Carol" where Scrooge, accompanied by the Ghost of Christmas Future, overhears some commodities traders talking about how pathetic it was that no one showed up at Scrooge's funeral. Can you imagine your entire professional life reduced to a conversation between a couple of 60-year-old guys saying, "Professor Madison? Yeah, I think I took a course from him."

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