By Richardson R. Lynn
A LIFETIME OF PLEASANT WORK collects law review tributes to law professors and deans. Some are famous and others little-known, but all changed the character of their law schools and the lives of their students. When Samuel Williston retired from the Harvard Law School, he thanked the Harvard Corporation for "a lifetime of pleasant work." Those lucky enough to teach law students know what others only suspect: it is the best job in America. The joys of law school teaching and the personalities of law professors are revealed each year in law reviews which feature articles, memoirs, and brief remarks about law professors who die, retire, or move to other schools. These 145 tributes tell the story of legal education while they tell of heroes--brilliant, dedicated teachers and scholars who made unforgettable impressions on the lawyers they taught.
Facetiously, Dean Erwin Griswold said, "The only test of a good law teacher is whether he can be heard in the back row." Most lawyers, however, remember at least one professor who touched lives and careers in dramatic ways. Willis L. M. Reese spoke of hundreds of law teachers when he wrote of Eliot Cheatham, "He has taught well and has given of himself freely. He has helped countless persons and has made countless persons better for having known him. He has proved himself great in what may be the greatest of all professions."
Richardson R. Lynn is Dean of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, former dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, and a long-time collector of law review tributes. He is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School.
September 2010, Paperback, 504 pages