E-Mail from Kim O'Leary


Gary was my clinical supervisor.  While I was aware of the importance of Gary's work, to me he was first and foremost my teacher.  Gary's inspiration was that he made you feel like you could do anything you put your mind to.  More, he helped me gel my incoherent ideas into coherent
ones, without ever making me feel that they were anything but great ideas.  He was the quitessential example of integrity in action.  Every act he took, every decision he made, every idea he explored was based on an integrity so deeply ingrained he made you feel that there was no
other way of being.  He had a deep and abiding respect for his students - he had a way of making me feel like I was his equal, when of course he and I both knew I was not.  He always appeared to be completely interested in what I had to say on a topic that, in retrospect, he must have thought about for about two dozen years or so before I even knew about the topic.  He conveyed excitement all the time - excitement in ideas, in practicing law, in helping people, in building bridges and in
taking on new challenges.  Excitement in teaching.  Exictement in learning. 

After I graduated, I became a private practitioner helping
plaintiffs in Title VII cases, then a legal services lawyer, then a clinical law professor.  Gary allowed me to believe that these were all aspects of the same work - that arbitrary divisions were useless.  He taught me that one could be completely open-minded and completely
idealistic and yet have very strong ideas about how the world ought to work, and what justice ought to mean.  He taught me that I could learn from my students and that all of their questions and concerns should be treated with respect, because they are the future of our work.  Gary
taught me that if you truly admire someone, the best thing you can do is give them honest,  constructive critique.  He taught me to consider it my obligation and my privilege to try to help others in whatever community I worked and lived in.  He also taught me that a person can be passionately devoted to work and passtionately devoted to family at the same time.  He admired Jeanne more than anyone else, and was always telling me about her work with pride and excitement.  He bragged about his children.  I was truly lucky to have such a teacher, and every day I try to remember these lessons and live a bit of his legacy in my life and pass on a portion of Gary's legacy to my students.
 

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