As many of you are no doubt aware, the centennial of Julia Child’s birth was August fifteenth. I was reminded of this yesterday when we enjoyed a Salade Niçoise made from her recipe:
While this may not seem to have anything directly to do with the law, it served to remind me of a conversation I had with several of my colleagues a few years ago about the people who most influenced our legal career. As we listed the individuals who we felt were the most influential, all of us listed more individuals who are not lawyers than ones who are although all of us listed a least one first year law school professor. The “rules” of the game we played excluded family members.
My list, in order of my exposure to them:
- Julia Child — The structure she created to explain the French culinary tradition convinced me that organization enhances all learning. I have been teaching my students to “cook” ever since.
- Joseph Koffler — my first year torts professor who demonstrated that demanding high performance from your students is crucial, but not as important as demanding it from yourself.
- Douglas Hofstadter — a computer science professor at Indiana University whose 1979 book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, is the most significant work of non-fiction I have ever read.
So who are the three to five people who most influenced your legal career and why?