I want to thank Al for inviting me into the Lounge. He has been urging me to pull up a chair for a number of years. Now that I have some time between writing projects and before classes start up again, I thought I'd finally take him up on his offer.
Al and I first met when we both moved to the Triangle in 2008, he to UNC and me to Duke for a VAP. It was a great experience for me to have such a well-established and compatible legal historian nearby to talk shop with as I transitioned from grad school to law teaching. We quickly realized that we shared many of the same views on our discipline, as well as life generally.
Eventually we began meeting up for lunch at Nantucket Grill in Chapel Hill (pictured) on a somewhat regular basis. He’d have the clam chowder. I’d have a burger. (And who could forget the ginormous desserts!) We’d discuss various goings on in history, legal history, and the legal academy, and whatever else came to mind; it was mostly an exercise in free association. When I was on the teaching market Al, gracious as always, kept up my spirits when I worried if I was ever going to get a job. He would never accept credit for it, but he is largely responsible for me having the job I have (and love). Al and I catch up from time to time at the occasional conference, but I do miss those lunches.
So, during my time in the Lounge I want to write in the spirit of my lunches with Al. I plan to say a few things about history and legal history, and yes, popular constitutionalism too. (Al knows me too well.) I’d also like to talk about legal education and pedagogy, and perhaps a few other things that come to mind. I’m sure I’ll work in a random post or two about my Steelers as well; training camp has begun after all.