"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Star Born in 1937 Passes On Through the Sky

April 22, 2020 @ 8:02 pm

One of my top several favorite law professors just passed away, Barbara Babcock. She used to say, “in 1937, a star was born” and then explained that was the year of her birth as well as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that set forth the rules for lawsuits in federal courts. She always repeated, “read the rules, read the rules!”

Prior to joining Stanford Law School, she was head of the public defenders association in DC. She was later appointed by our last human rights hero, President Jimmy Carter, to be Assistant Attorney General of Civil Division at Department of Justice.

Prof. Babcock (along with Gerald Gunther, Bob Rabin, Deborah Hensler, and some others) personified Stanford for me: warm, gentle, kind, easy-going. She was so nice. I really loved being in her class, even for a subject that I Ioathed as pedantic, Civil Procedure, but which is probably the most important for my work.

I don’t know what Stanford will become without her and Prof Gunther but I hope the newer faculty carry on their tradition.

– Robert J. Gaudet, Jr., Stanford Law School, J.D. (2002)


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