Reflections (On Law Review, Legal Education, Law Practice, and My Alma Mater)

It is an honor for me to offer some reflections in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Michigan Law Review. I have many fond memories of my time at the University of Michigan Law School, both as a law student and a member of the faculty. I was therefore pleased to accept the assignment to present the keynote address at the Centennial Celebration banquet. It is hard for me to believe that it has been almost 40 years since I was invited to serve on the Michigan Law Review. I remember it like it was yesterday, for it was a very exciting moment for me. In those days, an invitation to try out for the Law Review was based solely on grades – if you were in the top 10% of the class at the end of your first year, you received an invitation. In my year, I think the grade-point cutoff for Review was about 3.2 or 3.3. We had no A+, A-, or B+ grades then – the top of the grade range was A, B, and C+ – so a 3.3 was a sterling GPA. A’s were hard to come by in those days. An “invitation” from the Law Review did not guarantee election. Rather, those of us who received an invitation were required to write Notes or Comments during our second year, after which we faced an election. And, not everyone who accepted an invitation to try out was ultimately elected to serve on the Review. In fact, our names did not appear on the Law Review masthead until the end of our second year of law school, after we were elected to serve.