Students often remain connected to Michigan Law for a lifetime—but that connection is not exclusive to students.
As you’ll read in this issue of the Law Quadrangle, many of our emeritus faculty remain regulars in the Quad. Collectively, they’ve amassed a stunning array of accolades for work in their respective fields. They also are a veritable encyclopedia of Michigan Law lore—from timeless stories of students’ shenanigans, to the local impact of history-making world events, to I-knew-them-when tales of some of our most prominent alumni.
Our emeritus faculty, however, do not gather simply to reminisce about their glory days. They engage in serious, spirited debate about vexing legal problems. The same intellectual curiosity and relentless examination of complex issues that makes them pillars in our profession drives them to continue questioning—and to continue challenging each other—as they have done for decades.
Watching this group banter is like sitting at a family dinner table (a really smart dinner table, but a dinner table nonetheless). They love to argue, and they know how to push each other’s buttons. Sometimes the best they can do is agree to disagree. But there also is an undercurrent of respect and affection fostered by years spent making one another better scholars, lawyers, and teachers, and of sharing countless inside jokes and memories.
The continued engagement of our emeritus faculty demonstrates more than just the endurance of the relationships that are built here. Their ability to engage in rigorous debate, then smile and carry on, encapsulates a significant aspect of what makes Michigan Law special. We all become better lawyers and better people when an open exchange of ideas among people with different life experiences and worldviews causes us to reevaluate our assumptions.