Thursday, April 10, 2008


The Heart of the Law School

Visiting Harvard Law last week, I was struck by how separated the students were from the faculty, and, physically, from one another (since the school is in several buildings). Baylor has the advantage of being much smaller, and one thing that comes from that is that people know one another. In fact, I have never been at a school where so many of the students know a member of the custodial staff by name, and I think that is a wonderful thing.

As I prepare to go into school (and perhaps get one of Maria's great breakfast burritos), I was thinking about those members of our community who aren't heralded.

Who deserves recognition, my friends?

I might have taken hostages if it hadn't have been for Meredith, Angela, Becky, Jeri, and Laura. Everyone in the Dean's suite is awesome.

But, to pick out just one person, which is a tough task, I am going to say Heather. She's now in the CSO, but back in the day, I had about a billion problems with my student loans. No one was better at wading through the bureaucracy of Robinson Tower and getting me help. Also, look at how much she has done for the CSO since getting over there. She's so talented, she even found ME a job. That took some doing, I'm sure.

And if I don't mention Monica, she'll send me hate mail.
It's bad if you get hate mail from CSO.
There is one woman whose name escapes me at the moment (perhaps one of my colleagues can help me). She is one of those that cleans out the trash sacks in the study rooms each day. That's my usual time to be in there, so I see her often.

Every day I see her, she greets me, smiles, and asks me how my day is going. Though our conversations usually last about 15 seconds, it brings me "outside of myself" for just a few moments.

These mini-conversations have brightened several days when I've been particularly stressed about something or other. I'm now going to be more mindful of those moments, and see if I can provide the same "brightening experience."

Great topic.
Prof. Osler,

Jimmy, with the custodial staff, always has a smile and a "How are you doing?" whenever I see him. He's a great example of someone that uses their job to connect with others in a meaningful way.
If I were in Law school I would not care about their number on some ranking list if there were people like this attending.
I agree with all of the people that have already been mentioned but I also want to add Linda Lampert. I don't think the students realize how much she does to keep this place running. Without her things would run much less smoothly on the 3rd floor.
Jimmy and the custodial staff were always so nice. I remember I was up there late one night studying for finals and I must have looked bad because Jimmy told me to go home and get some rest. That was the best advice I had that day because I was too tired and over-studying.

Jimmy also likes the law school so much that he bought a brick outside with his family's name on it. That impressed me. I do remember that someone from my law school class was attempting to raise enought money to buy a brick out in the front to honor the custodial staff, but I am unsure if they ever raised the amount needed...
I'll add $10 for the brick. I would also add $10 for the administrative staff. every one of them truly cares about the mission of this school (unless that includes IT)
Jimmy seems to always be here and, as Justin mentioned, it's nice to talk to him, since he's a sort of benevolent third party overlooking the inner-workings of the law school with a big smile. The place wouldn't be the same without him, imo.

As for the CSO staff, I don't know much about their workings just yet, but I can second Linda Lampert. I don't make it up to the 3rd floor very often, but somebody has to be holding things together. She seems to be silently doing just that.

Also, I noticed that Dean Toben did not leave here until a little after eight last night. His car was already in the parking lot when I arrived here before seven this morning.

I think all of the above herald the fact that this school has hard-working, humble individuals at every level that are absolutely invaluable to the student body.
don't forget nancy. :)
Jimmy. 'nuff said.
I second everything said so far. We are extremely blessed to be surrounded by so many people who genuinely care about us so personally.

I must say, though, that I have always been a major Heather fan, and she gets extra tiaras in my book since moving over to CSO. She is not only constantly selling Baylor Law in general to prospective employers but has also put that same incredible amount of energy into helping individual students and graduates with their job searches (and, sometimes, woes). I cannot begin to tell you the many ways in which she has touched my time at Baylor Law--from a box of Kleenex next to a bowl of chocolate, to dealing with the infamous Robinson Tower, to proactively finding and sending along job opportunities to individual students and graduates because that's how well she's kept up with their searches and careers (which not only helps those students but all of us in terms of networking).

And, on a completely unrelated note:
To mention but a few of the wonderful people who made a law student life worth living:Laura, Meredith, Angela, Becky, Monica, Kat, Jimmy, Maria, Nancy, and for those you you who remember, Ms. May. Without their help I would have been lost.

Jimmy should be named the patron saint of Baylor Law School. Never have I seen a man so dedicated to a job that many consider menial. I can identify with Misty's story because I've seen him counsel just about everyone in the law school.

Similarly, Maria and Nancy deserve recognition. All three are with you during those dark days of 1L when you're not sure what you've gotten yourself into and whether you'll make it or not. (Haven't taken PC yet, so I'm sure they'll be with me through that as well.)

One name which has been conspicuously absent is Linda McGennis at the library circulation desk. The library runs much smoother with her.

All deserve recognition. Can we name a classroom after Jimmy and hang a portrait? The guy deserves more than just a brick.

Misty: Jimmy and Nancy got their brick. It's kinda in front of the side door to the building (where the rack of Baylor Lariat newspapers is).
To all: I second all of this. This school is built on the efforts of many of those who don't get much mention on the web site. These members of the staff are treasured by the students because they truly have served the students, something we faculty should always remember.
Jimmy and Nancy. We would stink without them. :)
Jimmy, Ms. Nancy and Maria are the heart of the school. They go out of their way every single day to make the student's lives easier. You will never hear them complain and they always ALWAYS have encouraging words. They also clean up after all the people who refuse to clean up their own messes in the lounge...

Jimmy always smiles and goes out of his way to know everyone's name. If I am here late he makes a point to find me and walk me out to my car when i'm ready to leave.

Ms. Nancy and Maria - amazing women. They have the best hugs and got me through PC.
Anon at 9:49 PM,

That is great about the brick! Thanks for the update!
Jerri, Laura & Meredith

Without those three this school would not function
Jerri, Laura & Meredith

Without those three this school would not function
Misty, I believe it says "Jimmy & Nancy / Encouragers of the Class of '06"

-Anon 9:49 PM
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