Jack's career has been conventional only in his continuity at a single law school for almost thirty-five years. (As for his time at Antioch School of Law, Tim Floyd reminded us at the Symposium dinner last night that while at Antioch, Jack did pioneering and influential work on lawyer competency. It would be surprising if even Jack remembers he was there before arriving at Mercer Law School, determined to shake it up.).
Institutional longevity aside, Jack's career has been exceptional, marked by a multitude of concerns that he somehow wove together. Whatever the coursework or scholarly task at hand, his eye was also on the relationships among our students; the interactions among them, their teachers and the Law School administration; the School's role within the national academy (where he eschewed fashion); and the desirability of shaping course content and instruction not only to the larger purposes of law, but even more to its institutions of practice. Thus clinical education for Jack went well beyond a vehicle for skills training;, it was a key part of the student's introduction to the better mores of a profession. Similar curriculum design, to which he recurrently returned in intense bursts at several critical times in his career, meant much more than collecting the subjects, concepts, and skills a hypothetical lawyer might need to know. It was instead a means to connect the particular students of this Law School to the right teachers, at the most fruitful moments, of what he viewed as just the first three years of a lifetime of legal study, practice, jurisprudence, and ethics.
Lewis, Harold S. Jr.
"Mercer Law Review Luncheon Symposium Remarks for Jack Sammons,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 66:
2, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol66/iss2/10