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January 5, 2011

Defending my students

Teaching forms a bond between teacher and student that can be a lifetime relationship.  This was true of some of my professors such as Dan Freed, and it made his impact on my life profound and important.

Now that I am on the other side, as a professor, I am getting a sense of that relationship from that angle.  I'm loyal to my former students, and passionate about their work and vocation.  More than anything, I am proud of what they are doing. 

I am also finding something I didn't expect-- that I am fiercely protective of them at times.  Last week, some of my favorite students, outstanding lawyers, were fired by Craig Watkins, the D.A. in Dallas.  Mr. Watkins is someone I have greatly respected on many levels, so I was sorely disappointed to learn that the firings were part of a purge of his office directed at those with Republican ties.  This wasn't the case of a new D.A. cleaning house-- Watkins had just been re-elected to a second term, and those fired were career prosecutors. 

The best I could do about things was to write; that's what we professors do.  You can read my op-ed from today's Dallas Morning News here.  (I'm not sure what to make of their teaser's reference to my conclusion as a "head shot," though).

To the life of the student and professor, there are few relationships so important.  I'm surprised that we reflect on the nature of that relationship so rarely.

-- Mark Osler

January 5, 2011 | Permalink


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