Martin H. Redish Festschrift: PREFACE

By Pfander, James E. | Northwestern University Law Review, April 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Martin H. Redish Festschrift: PREFACE


Pfander, James E., Northwestern University Law Review


I am pleased to offer these introductory remarks in connection with the publication of what I think of as the Marty Redish issue of the Northwestern University Law Review. The pieces in this issue were presented on March 30, 2012, at a daylong symposium in honor of Marty's long and fruitful career as a member of the Northwestern law faculty. I happen to know that Marty was very pleased to learn that we were collecting these essays in a Festschrift. Festschriftis the German term for a "celebration in writing" that occurs while the honoree remains alive. (Needless to say, the Germans also have a word for written celebrations that take place after death: Gedenkschrift.)

In any case, I can confirm that the event in March did not anticipate the publication of a Gedenkschrift. Marty joined the faculty in 1973. Within five years, he had compiled a publication record that most law professors would consider a lifetime achievement, and he shows no sign of letting up. Today, his works in progress include any number of articles and three or four book projects. He continues to teach well-received classes in civil procedure, federal courts, and constitutional law, and he was just given the decanal award honoring the best teacher in a first-year course. And while he mainly spent the day enjoying the presentations of our panelists and contributors, he did on one or two occasions comment gently on his commentators. All these signs of vitality confirm that we should view the publication of this symposium issue, marking what will soon be Marty's fortieth year at Northwestern, as less a eulogy than a mid-career checkup.

It's hard to overstate the significance of that career and its importance to Northwestern University School of Law. Marty has taught generations of Northwestern law students; I mean that literally: over the course of the day's event in March, we heard from a father and daughter who both took civil procedure from Professor Redish. No doubt, he'll soon be instructing a member of the third generation on the mysteries of the Erie doctrine. He has worked with countless law students on senior research projects, publishing coauthored articles in the nation's finest law journals, and in doing so, he has helped to launch a host of successful academic careers. We heard from a number of these Northwestern alumni in an engaging session over the lunch hour. A second group of former students taped brief greetings that were pasted together and shown at the beginning of dinner as one long smartphone thank you letter. Carter Phillips captured the group's sentiments well when he explained in his keynote remarks that Marty has been, for a generation and more, the public face of Northwestern legal scholarship.

Apart from his many contributions to Northwestern students and faculty, Marty has been a tireless colleague and mentor, reading and commenting on the work of us lesser mortals and giving encouragement to up-and-comers everywhere. …

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