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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Law - I loved this story!

"Hitting the Books in the Golden Years," a story in the Education Section of today's NY Times, begins:

It took everyone at the Syracuse University law school a little while to get used to the idea of an 81-year-old first-year student.

"It's not easy to make a decision to give a seat to someone in their, you know, waning years, when so many young people hope to get in," said William Banks, a professor on the admissions committee.

"Yes, I was kind of surprised we admitted someone that age," said JoAnn Larkin, a student affairs administrator. "I was surprised an 81-year-old would think that this is something an 81-year-old would want to do. I thought, there might be, you know, problems."

Problems? "You know, the problems you'd anticipate with any 81-year-old law student," Ms. Larkin said.

More from later in the story:
In Mrs. Goldstein's case, it seems there was always a lawyer lurking inside, trying to get free. After getting her teaching degree in 1943, she settled down to raise those eight children, but helped her husband, David, with the family optical business. In 1958, they went to Japan, where he negotiated a deal to distribute Olympus Optical microscopes. "I took one look at the contract and ripped it up," Mrs. Goldstein said. "I rewrote it to make sure there was no way out for Olympus. That's the trick - think of every angle." * * *

Tough? She fell in November and broke an arm. "It was a Saturday," she said. "I was in school Monday, didn't miss a class." "That's my mother," said her son Jeremy. "Broke an arm? I got another arm. I got two legs."

Of the 280 who started in 2001, she is one of 231 expected to graduate next month. Her law interests come from her life experience. She likes corporate and securities law (her husband's business was nearly ruined in a fraudulent takeover and she hates "Enron people.")

The day after graduation she will begin a bar review course. She plans to take the New York and New Jersey bar exams. "That will get me a waiver to practice in Washington," she said. "You can get a government job." Is she serious? "I might be," she said. Is she serious? "I don't know," said her son Jeremy. "She says to me, 'Jeremy, you know what a starting lawyer makes at the S.E.C. - $85,000!' "

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 21, 2004 11:12 AM
Posted to General Law Related