Lessons Learned | Everyday Heroes Project

Today is the law school's memorial service for the man who inspired my "Everyday Heroes" project. Lots of mixed emotions about his passing. I'm not sure how I earned the opportunity to speak at his service, but I hope my simple words can at least partially express the gratitude I feel for his influence in my life and in the entire legal community.

Below are a few of my favorite "lessons" learned at the feet of a great man:

1. How to handle traffic cops: “When you get caught speeding, don't say ‘I’m sorry.’ Say, ‘IF I was speeding, I am sorry.’ ADMIT NOTHING.”

2. How to use computers in class: “I'm not opposed to playing games. If you want to play solitaire, bring a deck of cards.”

3. How to choose an expert witness: “For expert witnesses, there are two requirements: must have gray hair, and must have hemorrhoids to convey the proper level of concern.”

4. How to keep your family from malnourishment: “The children of lawyers who don't read footnotes will STARVE.”

5. How to give a good speech: “It was horrible! He covered everything but his 1990 colonoscopy. Good example of a bad speech. Everyone wants to go home, so unless you're awfully funny, keep it brief."

6. How to be a righteous lawyer: "Let me give you a hypothetical. Jesus goes to law school, graduates, and what does He do? Criminal prosecution or defense? That's right, he's defending these monsters. He's a defense attorney. That's my gospel insight for the day.”

Above all, Professor Goldsmith demonstrated the power of one--that "
creativity and commitment to a cause can produce positive results."

Here's to living a "can-do" life.


  1. I just wanted to tell you that you did an amazing job today. What wonderful remarks and an amazing service. It was very emotional and moving. Thank you for sharing and helping everyone remember a wonderful man. We are all better for have knowing him. Thank you.

  2. I wish I could have been there. I feel so honored to have taken his classes and learned from him. What a great man. Thank you for honoring him and for showing him to the world.