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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Professor O'Connor?
Posted 11:49 AM by Olaeron Lucet
Retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has signed on to teach at the University of Arizona - James Rogers College of Law. According to the school's website, Justice O'Connor will co-teach a 1 credit course on the Supreme Court with her former clerk RonNell Andersen Jones. Ms. Jones also clerked for Judge William A. Fletcher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The class will only run around 2 weeks, and with only 1 credit hour at stake, the students will likely expect only a glazing over the different areas relevant to SCOTUS. However, while this class may not be monumentally enlightening in its topics, the mere presence of a Justice that writes so many of the opinions we read daily is enough to make this author swoon. It's like a kid getting to meet Mickey Mouse for the first time.

It is opportunities like these that are what help do a few things. 1) For students that are law nerds, a Justice's presence poses the opportunity to ask questions and get insight into a world that we mostly can only imagine what is like. 2) For a school with struggling rankings *ahem* it will really boost interest in the school. This boost would then be bolstered by the visits that surely would follow once a SCOTUS Justice shows up to teach. 3) It increases the credibility of the school, making it a "player" in the legal world.

All in all, this sounds like it will be a great opportunity to Arizona students. What makes me wonder is that fact that the course will only be around 2 weeks. Perhaps, then, Justice O'Connor would be willing to have similar classes at other schools? My instincts say no, as her given reason for retirement was to spend more time with family, but a legal nerd like me can hope.

Lastly, I think if any Justice were to retire and teach I would be giddy and try to attend. Some people do not care for O'Connor, but even if you do not, the opportunity to get a first hand view (although vicarious) into the SCOTUS is invaluable. There are very few SCOTUS clerks, and even fewer Justices. This sounds like a juicy opportunity.

As seen in the
National Jurist
and on

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