Linda L. Berger

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For three years, I had the great good fortune to work in the office next to Jack Sammons. My good fortune extended to a coincidence of timing that allowed me to work with Jack on a co-authored article, The Law's Mystery. During the time I worked next door, I felt cursed by an inability to grasp concepts that to Jack appeared inevitable and essential, whether those inevitabilities and essences were to be found within the law, good lawyering, or good legal education. The curse persisted throughout the writing of The Law's Mystery.

For Jack, the essence of a life well lived within the law could be found in the phrase practical wisdom and for me, that phrase was the mystery. It's not that there were no definitions: instead, they were too simple or too many, too diverse or too abstract. Where were the living stories of practical wisdom at work within the law? Where were the concrete images of the practically wise? I understood that practical wisdom grew out of practice and grew into action. But when I attempted to seize upon it for study and description, I chased an elusion. For this Symposium honoring Jack's scholarship, I decided to see again if I could catch a glimpse.