Thomas C. Galligan, Jr.
“I think this one may be the best conferences I attend,” Tony
said as he kicked at the sand in front of him.
never came to it before I became a dean,” Amanda answered, “but I
think you’re right. It’s
know I think it was pretty well attended for years and then died down
and now it’s back.”
do recall that when I first started teaching you and Bill and a few
other folks left town for the meeting.
I didn’t know what SEAALS was and thought maybe you were all
going off to look at ocean creatures.”
Amanda brushed her hair out of her face; the wind blew it right
funny–Southeast Association of American Law Schools,” said Tony with
realize that now,” Amanda responded.
it’s a great meeting; you get to go to the beach and see old friends;
what more could you ask for?”
think the young scholars panels are fabulous.
They may be the real reason for the comeback.”
Amanda veered off to the water and got her feet wet.
opportunity for junior faculty to get something ready to present and get
to know one another.” Tony
showed no sign of going in the water.
water’s nice,” Amanda said, noticing Tony’s reticence to follow
water may be nice but if I get wet then I’ll just get more sand on me
because it will stick to me more and then it will be even harder to get
the sand off. I imagine
being a dean is a little bit like that.”
again,” said Amanda, still knowing from her years as one of Tony’s
colleagues when not to bite.
mean once you become a dean and get used to all the stuff that comes
with it, it’s harder to conceive of yourself as not being a dean.
I may be wrong but that’s what I’ve noticed in the deans
I’ve worked with. Like the
water and the sand; once you get wet you get more sand stuck to you and
it’s harder to get it off. Once
you’re a dean, it’s harder to get rid of that dean feeling.”
know these little conversations are getting a little like My Dinner
with Andre.” Amanda
movie?” Tony asked.
The Louis Malle film with Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory.
Yes, the actor’s name really was Andre.
But these talks are like the movie because the conversations get
weirder as they go on and I’m not sure there’s any meaning at
all.” Amanda smiled,
walking in the ocean again.
needs meaning? It’s good
conversation. But I think
I’m right about the dean thing. You
just went in the water again. You
like it; you like the way the water feels; you get in the water and a
little sand comes off but by getting wetter the sand will stick even
more later.” Tony shrugged
his shoulders, as if he had proven his point.
“How do you think of yourself now?”
think of myself as being on the beach.”
mean on this beach, not On the Beach as in Ava Gardner and
Gregory Peck?” Tony asked.
“I thought I would make a movie reference too.”
for you. They made a remake
you know?” Amanda was now
walking in the water.
didn’t know that: I usually don’t like remakes.
But look Amanda. Now
you are actually walking in the water.
How do you think of yourself?
As a dean?”
I guess I do.” Amanda
year we talked about scholarship and faculty relations and the year
before that we talked about how important teaching was to you as a dean
but this year you admit you think of yourself as a dean.”
didn’t say that I didn’t think of myself as a dean last year or the
year before. I did.
But, yes, this year I do think of myself as a dean.”
that means,” said Tony, trying to put an exclamation mark on the
“And, would it be hard for you not to be a dean?” asked
Tony looking down at Amanda’s feet in the water.
don’t know.” Amanda
an honest answer.”
is,” Amanda said. “I
really enjoy the job. There
are times when I wish I could devote a lot more time to my scholarship.
There are times I just don’t feel I am as current as I want to
be in my subjects. But other
than that I get to teach which I still love and I very much enjoy
representing the institution.”
do you want to do it for the rest of your career?”
don’t think that’s a question I can answer.
You know how I am Tony. I
do something. I try to do it
the best I can and after a certain point I sort of need to reinvent
myself. I’m extremely
happy now but who knows what I might want to do in five years?”
moss grows on a rolling stone?” Tony
didn’t say that or mean it. I
just want to keep learning things and having new challenges.”
what did you learn this year?” Tony
a dean; as a person; how?” Amanda
was now sloshing along in the water up to her knees.
not going to come in and rescue you if you get in too deep.” Tony
can swim. Thanks.”
watch out for sharks!” Tony
yelled. “What did you
I took a leadership course,” said Amanda..
“Sort of a community leadership institute that lasted all
you learn how to lead?” Tony
not sure I could tell you what that means,” said Amanda.
“It was a great experience but I wonder sometimes what
leadership really is. When I
was a kid I thought of leaders as people like Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Eleanor Roosevelt, and John
F. Kennedy. Add Mother
Teresa, Howard Baker, but all the people on my list were big time
list,” Tony said.
my point. Those were the
people I thought of as leaders, not people like me.
I guess in retrospect the principal of my high school was a
leader. Having to deal with
all those revolutionary kids in the late 60s and early 70s.
Trying to teach us and keep our respect without letting us take
over the place. But nowadays
the way the phrase is used, I wonder if everyone isn’t a leader.”
Amanda was having to pick her feet up in the water to move
to me that may be a perversion of the term, leader,” said Tony.
“At least it seems a little broad.”
suppose so,” Amanda said, huffing and puffing a little as she moved
through the water. “Jamie
definitely thinks of the principal of the school he went to as a
went to a private school right?” Tony
both did,” said Amanda. “He
went to an all male school in our town and I went to a women’s school.
That’s how we met–at a dance.
Anyway, they called their principal a headmaster.
Jamie started at his school in seventh grade in 1967 and he
graduated in 1973, so he was there in some pretty wild times.
Lots of rebellion and change and drugs.
was actually practicing law at the time so I don’t remember it quite
as fondly as you do.” Tony
funny. Anyway, every morning
at Jamie’s school the entire student body would get together for a
morning meeting. There would
be a reading and announcements and sometimes a program.
When Jamie first started he says that the reading would sometimes
be sort of religious but as the years went by
the readings all became more secular.
Filled with meaning, but not religious.”
Amanda smiled and wiped her hair back again.
age before its time?” Tony
not but you get the picture. All
these boys would meet in the auditorium and everyone had an assigned
seat. The seniors sat in the
front in alphabetical order and then the seventh graders sat behind them
in alphabetical order and so on, back to the eleventh grade.”
gave the readings?” Tony
the start of the year teachers were in charge.
Then in the mid to late fall seniors started being interspersed
among the readers. The
problem was–and this is what the story is about–sometimes the
assignment would get screwed up or the speaker would be sick.
And no one at school would know about the problem until the
meeting or right before it when the speaker didn’t show up. “
what would they do, skip the reading?”
Tony was curious.
then the headmaster would have to step up and give a little talk.”
I see the relevance of this conversation to being a dean.
The headmaster would have to get up in front of this auditorium
full of kids and give a meaningful talk with little or no notice.
How may times as dean have you had to get up in front of a bunch
of people and say something that you weren’t prepared for?”
Tony nodded as he asked the question.
That is some of the relevance of the story.
And the answer to your question about how many times does a dean
have to give off the cuff remarks is very often.
The worst may be when you walk into a law firm to meet with a
single alum and he or she says ‘Dean, we’ll be going to the large
conference room now for your remarks.’”
Amanda smiled as she thought back upon the first time she had
entered a conference room under such circumstances.
you always have to be prepared.” Tony
I’ll bet that the point of the story is that the headmaster was
prepared and always gave a good talk.”
Tony said, anticipating the story.
yes and no,” said Amanda. “The
headmaster was always prepared and always gave a good talk.
He had been an NCAA mile champion before World War II and a
marine during the war so he had many experiences, many very male
experiences, which allowed him to talk about reaching down for more,
whatever it was: heroism, loyalty, and team work.
And he had talked about many of those things, many times over the
years. So while the talks
were usually good the students, by the time they were seniors, had heard
many of them. And Mick
Jagger, Janis Joplin, and The Allman Brothers usually were a lot more
meaningful to them than any story from an authority figure.
That’s just the way it was.”
does the story have a happy ending about leaders being prepared?”
Tony swatted at a fly.
and no. The story has
plot thickens.” Tony said.
it does,” said Amanda. “Have
you ever met our friend, Marty Blake?”
don’t think so,” said Tony.
he was in our wedding. Jamie
has known Blake since they were fourteen.
They went to college together.
Now, Blake practices law in D.C.
In any event, Blake is one of the best lawyers I know.
He is smart, sharp, quick, and hard working.
And he is as quick with his tongue as anyone I have ever seen or
heard. When Blake and Jamie
were in ninth grade, they had an English teacher named Loomis.
Blake once raised his hand and asked if Loomis wanted the
students’ summer addresses. When
Loomis asked why, Blake responded, ‘So you can mail us those papers we
turned in last month after you finally grade them.
Another time, Blake asked Loomis if he was gong to turn their
papers back before they were all yellow around the edges.
The class loved it but the teacher was furious.”
this guy Blake could push. I
wish I had more like him in class.”
time, when they were seniors, they had Loomis for English again and they
were reading Hamlet. At
some point, in reference to a question, Loomis told the class that in
Hamlet’s day, since Hamlet was a prince, he had the right to fire his
tutor, Polonius. In response
to that statement, Blake spoke out from the back of the room and said,
‘In that case, Loomis you would have been out on your butt a long time
friend could be sharp.” Tony
said. “I would love to
meet him some day.”
any event, you recall the procedure in the morning meeting?”
think so,” said Tony.
seniors, including Blake, sat in the front of the auditorium in
Blake, whose name stats with B, would be in the front row,” Tony was
visualizing the scene.
said Amanda. “And when the
scheduled speaker did not show up, it was up to the headmaster to give
on the day in question, the scheduled speaker no doubt did not show
up.” Tony said.
is exactly right. So, Jamie
tells me, the headmaster made his way to the podium.
The headmaster looked to the wings and seeing no one was there,
heaved his shoulders and sighed. The
sigh was no doubt, in part, a product of the number of times the
headmaster had to send kids home because he thought their hair was too
long or they had been caught with marijuana in their locker.
And then the headmaster began by saying, ‘When I was in the
Pacific in World War II____’ But before he could get any further he
Blake?” Tony asked.
Blake, who said: ‘Oh my God, not again.’
And I think the headmaster just kind of lost it.
Jamie says he got red in the face and his hands started to shake
and he looked down at Blake with fire in his eyes.
But instead of screaming or yelling, the headmaster with his
voice shaking, said: ‘You know Mr. Blake – they called each other
Mr., very male oriented place – I do the best I can.
It is not easy for me to get up here and give a speech out of
thin air. If you think you
could do a better job, you get up here right now and you do it.’”
is right. But not as wow as
what happened next.”
mean Blake ______?”
said Amanda. “Blake got up
from his chair, walked around to the stairs leading up to the stage,
walked up on the stage, and gave about a four or five minute speech on
Harvey the Rabbit and reality and imagination and sanity and the lack
thereof. Blake had a story,
a message, and a theme. When
he finished, Blake nodded and started walking back to his seat.”
can imagine the reaction,” said Amanda.
me anyway,” said Tony.
at first the room was kind of quiet.
I’m not sure who expected what but then, from the back of the
room, someone started to clap. And
soon the place had basically erupted.”
praise of the talk.” Tony
praise of the talk.”
does this story deal with leadership at all?”
Tony opined. “Seems
to me it’s a testament for revolution and anarchy.
I’m not saying that’s not a type of leadership but____”
me finish,” said Amanda, standing still in water up past her knees.
“After about thirty seconds of applause and screaming, Blake
reached his seat and sat back down.
Then the headmaster returned to the podium.
The students all quieted right back down.
I suppose they were scared he was going to yell at them.”
of like the scene when Oliver Twist asks for more.”
like that. Jamie says you
could hear a pin drop.” Amanda
what did the headmaster do? Did
he yell?” Not realizing
it, Tony had waded into the water over his ankles.
The headmaster looked at the student body and then he looked down
at Blake and shook his head. He
smiled and shook his head. And
in the calmest voice, the headmaster said, ‘Blake I have to hand it to
you. That was a great talk
and a great message. Well
and the place went wild again. Only
this time, I like to think they went wild not just for Blake’s
brilliance but for the headmaster too.”
story,” said Tony, looking down, realizing he was in the water and
backing out quickly. “Damn,”
He shook his feet, one at a time, as if that would do any good.
“But so what? What
does it have to do with being a dean?”
think it has some real application.
Otherwise I wouldn’t have told it.
I suppose what I like the best about the story is that the
headmaster found himself in a really tough spot, with no speaker.
He reacted emotionally with the sigh and the invitation to Blake
to put up or shut up. And
we’ve all done something like that at sometime.
Then, when Blake lit it up, the headmaster didn’t get mad.
Instead he acted graciously and gave Blake the credit.
The headmaster didn’t hold a grudge and indulge
anger he must have felt.
He really did act magnanimously.
I think that’s a good lesson in leadership – for a dean or
for anyone else. Then, in
the end he got some of the credit from a very tough crowd.
I think, at least I hope that, a lot of that cheering was for
him. And in those days, that
student body could be a hostile audience.”
Amanda folded her arms across her chest, the way Tony often did
and she leaned back at the waist, waiting for his response.
I can see it,” said Tony. “Angry,
tired person, rises above it, shares credit, gives praise.
Shows students how to behave.
Acts selfless. Gets
credit he was not seeking. Fair
to say ‘acts selfless’ isn’t it?”
I would agree the headmaster’s behavior was selfless,” Amanda agreed
with hesitation, not because she did not think that the headmaster’s
action had been selfless but because she was afraid Tony had some
Socratic trap waiting for her. And
she was right.
certainly, every leader is not so selfless, is he?
Or she? That’s true
however you might define a leader. I’ve
known some deans who weren’t selfless; so have you.
In fact, I’d venture to say that one of the traits that
attracts people to leadership is that people are not selfless; they have
all have egos Tony,” said Amanda.
what Freud said.”
certainly have an ego Tony.”
know I do. And Amanda, even
though I love you and it may not show through in these dialogues we
write for this symposium, you have an ego too.
Don’t you?” Tony
I admit it; I have an ego. I’m
flattered that you have noticed.”
Amanda swished her right leg in the waves.
like it when people praise your teaching.
I recall distinctly two years ago when we had our conversation at
the AALS recruitment conference that you said teaching was the best
thing you had done in your first two years as a dean.”
did say that.”
you had all sorts of reasons why that was true and why your teaching as
a dean was a good thing for the institution but I quite perceptively
pointed out that one of the reasons you had taught and claimed it was so
good for all concerned was that you liked to teach.”
you did and I did. And I do. So?”
You never would have said ‘So?!’ back when you were my
protege and I was your mentor. You
get more assertive every year.”
don’t deny it! So?”
Amanda repeated her “So?”
Tony continued as if he were in charge, “I think one of the reasons
you like to teach – and you are good at it – is because of your ego.
You get ego satisfaction out of it.”
not so self-deluded I would deny that fact.
Some of my love of teaching is definitely performance buzz, or
ego satisfaction as you call it.”
Amanda leaned down and ran her hands through the surf.
natural. And last year, at
the AALS conversation, you talked about how the faculty was your most
important constituency and you really viewed yourself primarily as a
faculty member and not primarily as an administrator.”
Tony scratched his ear in the same way he did when he tried to
make a point in class.
could interpret that conversation that way I suppose.
That’s ego driven in a way isn’t it?”
don’t really want to give up your identity as a faculty member.
You want to be a part of the group you came from.
And remember, you said your symbol for tenure and a faculty
member was Indiana Jones – having the freedom to go out and do great
stuff - and you, humble dean, would support him.
Don’t paint the picture too selflessly Amanda; the artist’s
hand may show through a little too clearly.”
mean I’m trying to sound too good for ego satisfaction reasons?”
Amanda crossed her arms again.
said that, not me. But from
a self analytical perspective – maybe so.
My point is only that you may have painted that headmaster with
too idealistic a brush. Human
at the start but super human at the end.
I think people are more selfish than that,” Tony said.
included – at least maybe.” Tony
smiled. “I’m hurt.”
you’re hurt. I’m sorry
then. I just didn’t want
you to believe everyone was or should be altruistic.”
Tony smiled back.
guess I don’t,” said Amanda. “But
doesn’t a great leader have to be a little bit altruistic?”
but not entirely.” Tony
one is truly altruistic,” Amanda said.
“You know Tony, you are the one always asking me the questions
in these conversations. Let
me ask you one. Give me an
example of a great dean who has a great ego.”
it would be tacky to name names. And
I don’t want to defame the dead even if it isn’t actionable.
My point is only that you don’t have to be selfless to be a
great dean or leader.”
Townshend,” Tony fired back quickly.
lead guitarist for The Who?”
just lead guitarist but songwriter and sometimes vocalist,” said Tony.
“I don’t think Pete Townshend is what you would call selfless.
I think he has strong ideas about a lot of things and he
articulates them. That’s a
you have ever seen The Who in concert, Pete Townshend runs the
show. It is very much his
band. And it is very much
his show. Not only that but
many of the songs are extremely introspective.
They are about him I think and his never ending quest for
knowledge about himself. They
are great songs but their subject reflects at least some egotism.
And I don’t use that word in a negative sense here.”
have really gotten into that ‘so’ stuff,” Tony said.
“So, Pete Townshend probably could have been a pretty good solo
act. And when he is not
playing with the band, he is a very good performer.
Great song writer; great guitarist; good singer.
But he’s not thought of that way.
He didn’t limit himself to being a solo act.
You know what he did; it’s rock history.”
me” Amanda said.
surrounded himself with some of the best talent in the history of rock
n’ roll. John Entwistle,
who just passed away last June, was a fantastic bass player.
The bass lines in those early Who songs were way, way, way
ahead of their time and more driving and funky than almost anything
going on outside The Parliament Funkadelic.
Entwistle was absolutely fantastic.
And Pete Townshend, as the leader of the pack, let him rip.”
Pete Townshend surrounded himself with good people, even though he may
not have been selfless?” Amanda
In addition to John Entwistle, the late Keith Moon, the original
drummer, was amazing. When
he wasn’t all whacked out on liquor or something, Keith Moon was so
darn fast it was like having two drummers.”
Amanda continued, the band was better because the personnel around the
resident genius was great? And
maybe that’s okay for a law school too?”
if the dean is not up to Pete Townshend’s genius, yes.
And finally, the lead singer, Roger Daltry is one of the
strongest, most dynamic, most dramatic, and best-looking singers ever.
How hard do you think it was for a young, not so selfless Pete
Townshend, putting his band together to let some movie idol guy sing his
mean it was Pete Townshend’s generation, not Roger Daltry’s?
And Tommy wasn’t all about Roger Daltry?”
you see my point. Pete
Townshend is no shrinking violet. But
he made the whole operation better by putting great people around him.
I have a friend who says Who fans have a chip on their
shoulder because they are always standing up for their favorite band
saying it is underrated and one of the greatest bands ever.
I think The Who is one
of the greatest bands ever. And
I think that’s so because of strong, not always selfless, leadership.
They were greater than they would have been if they had only been
Pete Townshend. So, he’s my
symbol of great leadership, although I bet I would have liked the
headmaster in your story too.”
isn’t Pete Townshend anti-leader too?
Isn’t he the one who wrote Won’t Get Fooled Again?”
You’re right. The new
boss is the same as the old boss. Maybe
it’s not a bad thing for a leader to be suspicious or skeptical of
leadership, including his or her own.”
Tony proudly crossed his arms.
I have just one thing to say,” said Amanda.
answered Amanda and began wildly splashing him with water.
Dean and Professor of Law, University of
C. Galligan, Jr., The View From the Podium, 31 U.
L. Rev. 593, 597 (2000).
what is this?” Tony
not sure. I think it’s a
footnote.” Amanda said in response.
is this Galligan guy?” Tony
have never heard of him, but I don’t think we ought to upset him.”
too nice Amanda,” Tony humphed.
Thomas C. Galligan, Jr., So It Goes, 33 U.
L. Rev. 31 (2001).
that guy again,” Tony whispered.
see,” said Amanda. “Shhhh.”
For another law review article (I know it’s hard to call this
one an article) with a reference to The Who and the band’s work, see
Luke Ellis, Talking About My Generation: Assumption of Risk and the
Rights of Injured Concert Fans in the Twenty-First Century, 80
Tex. L. Rev. 607 (2002).
See Ben Barton, Associate Professor of Law,
we don’t want to see him, could we just call him up?”
Tony wondered aloud.
email him,” said Amanda.