Emory Law Journal

Encomium
Michael J. Perry Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law; Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University School of Law.

In the summer of 1991—the summer he turned thirty—David Bederman began his career as a law professor. This past summer (2011), David turned fifty. Fifty is, from my vantage point, young. (I turned sixty-five about six months before David turned fifty.) Young enough to make David’s overall record of accomplishment all the more remarkable.

This Issue of the Emory Law Journal amply documents that David was an outstanding legal scholar. As David’s students and colleagues know, however, David was not just an outstanding scholar. David was also a consummate teacher. In my experience, relatively few outstanding scholars—too few—are also outstanding teachers. Moreover, David did yeoman service—much more, by any reasonable standard, than his fair share—as a citizen of the faculty of Emory Law: chairing important faculty committees and shepherding important faculty projects, such as the drafting, a few years ago, of Emory Law’s strategic plan. Few law professors anywhere can match David’s remarkable overall record of accomplishment. David was, for all of us who were privileged to serve alongside him as members of the law faculty at Emory, an exemplary—indeed, inspiring—colleague: outstanding scholar, consummate teacher, and uncommonly generous citizen of the faculty.

One more thing about David merits saying in this encomium, and it bears emphasis: Not least—certainly not least—David was a thoroughly decent, kind, and warm human being.

It was a great honor for me, in the years after my arrival at Emory Law in the summer of 2003, to be David Bederman’s colleague.

Footnotes

Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law; Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University School of Law.