I grew up as the environmental movement did, in the 1960s and 1970s. In college at Yale, engineering professor Charlie Walker became my mentor and taught me that there are practical solutions for almost all environmental problems. This hopeful point of view inspired me to devote myself to the subject, first as an academic pursuit. As I neared graduation and was trying to decide on a path, Professor Walker handed me a book: Defending the Environment by Joseph Sax.1 That book was visionary in its description of private citizens’ ability to protect and defend the environment through the legal system. It furthered my view that these problems could be solved and instilled in me the desire to study environmental law from Professor Sax at the University of Michigan. But I was not admitted to Michigan and instead spent my first year of law school at the University of Virginia, before again applying to Michigan as a transfer student. At the time, it was uncommon to transfer between law schools and usually required fairly serious exigent circumstances. To my mind, being able to study environmental law under Professor Sax was such a circumstance. Professor L. Hart Wright, University of Michigan’s famous former tax professor, agreed, and I was off to Michigan, one of eight transfer students that year.
The Legacy of Professor Joe Sax,
Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjeal/vol4/iss1/7