Page 15 - Autobiography of a Law School
P. 15

and as teacher, I cannot easily separate “me” from “us” or “it.”
Second, my pre-law school history closely resembles life stories of
many early students who were directly affected by the Great
Depression and World War II. My story is to some extent their story
as well, and the stories of those founding students deserve to be
told. Third, if this were someone else’s story, I would take it with a
grain of salt. I think readers deserve to know who it is that, without
credentials or traditional objective research undertakes to describe
how people and events created an institution. Fourth, the most
likely motivation is that this is my book, and I choose to tell our
common story—mine and the Law Center’s—the only way I know
how. What I recount is, within reasonable boundaries, true. I invite
anyone who is better able to sort fact from fallible memory to write
a rebuttal. Some history has been sanitized. I am content to leave
curious readers wondering what was left out.

         At a late point in the undertaking, I realized that my target
audience lies thirty-five years in the future, in 2047 when the Law
Center will celebrate its one hundredth birthday. No one who was
part of the school in the formative years will be alive on that
anniversary, and this text will be the only source of information
about that critical time. If it is not rebutted, what I have to say will
become definitive. With that in mind, I have tried to remain true to
the spirit of history and truth. I expect some disagreement with what
I say. Mostly, I hope I produced a good read that also serves a
literary and history purpose.1

1 I found it liberating to write without having a historian’s solemn burden to
investigate and report only pure fact. In Chapter 5, I admit I do not remember the
identity of the first student I called on. In Appendix VIII, I state my own beginning
date as 1956, even though my Instructor title was not tenure-track. I also
accommodated a colleague’s questionable claim for the date on which his tenure
track commenced. I have similarly advanced the beginning time of other colleagues
whenever I noticed that they started as visitors. There are no other conscious

   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20