While I don’t know what things were like at Ivy League law schools such as Harvard and Stanford, at Hamline, for many–myself not the least among them–the end of the last class on friday triggered an alcohol fueled release of tension and revelry that went on until the wee hours of saturday morning.
This worked well in theory, but it turned out that Hamline scheduled a Real Estate Transactions class from 9 to noon saturday morning. The class was taught by a prominent and seasoned practicing real estate lawyer who didn’t want to take off work while he generously donated his time to the school.
The attorney, who’s name escapes me, was a wonderful character who made the minutiae of complex commercial real estate transactions seem as interesting as anybody could. On one occasion he described the potential for a one-inch boundary dispute between two large and contiguous commercial buildings downtown as something that would make him bolt upright in the middle of the night, covered with sweat. In fact, he described and I saw a brass monument with a boundry line indicator placed in the sidewalk in front of Dayton’s back in the day for the very purpose of preventing such a lawsuit.
But I digress. Due to his past experience with the wayward nature of law students on friday night, the class had a strict two absence/late rule. More than two, and you received a three credit F. A few weeks into class, when all the absences had been used up, I was once again on the left side of the 90 seat amphitheater and gazed upon some hung-over classmates. Pasty faces with a fine patina of sweat, baseball hats with stray hairs pointing out in all directions, unblinking stares, faces radiating pain waves… It occurred to me that one could to to the morgue and secure a group of three day old corpses and populate the room with a more enthusiastic audience.
I admired this professor who diligently shouldered on, discussing the intricacies of eminent domain and sales contracts, in front of a class with many who didn’t want to be there, or were barely capable of being there.