The Day I Flunked out of Law School
The dean of the University of Colorado School of Law decided that I couldn’t return to classes next fall because my grades were too low. He said I would never make a lawyer.
Even today words cannot describe my upset. I’d never really failed at anything significant.
After all, the University of Colorado at Boulder was a Taj Mahal—the door to judicial clerkships and prestigious law firms.
But I decided to try again and went to see Clifford Mills, the dean of Westminster College of Law—a poor man’s school with no tenured professors or law review.
After reading my college transcript, Dean Mills let me enroll at Westminster, on one condition, that I repeat all my first-year classes, this time paying attention.
“I’ll be looking over your shoulder,” he said.
One door had closed. But others opened.
Given a second chance, I worked much harder, becoming fascinated by the law of evidence.
In my second year the professor who taught the course passed away. I was asked to take over—inconceivable at a law school like Boulder.Evidence became a lifelong specialty, and for many years I taught classes on the subject for judges, law students and practicing lawyers throughout the country. Meanwhile I worked days in the Denver City Attorney’s office as a clerk. It was anything but glamorous. But it led to a job as an assistant city attorney after graduation. I became a county judge at age 28, one of Denver’s youngest.
Later I was elected as a district judge, and then appointed by the President to the federal judiciary as a U.S. district judge.And, ultimately, I did return to Boulder—to receive the University of Colorado’s George Norlin Award, and an honorary doctorate of law.
Sooner or later everyone will fall short at something important to them—whether it be a job, a dream or a relationship.
Flunking out of law school, I believe, made me a better judge, it certainly taught me about the frailties of the human condition, and about the need to give people second chances. But failure also taught me that life is a road with unpredictable forks and unexpected tomorrows.To take advantage of them, you can’t let yourself be destroyed by a defeat, or let others set the limits on your ability to achieve.
1.flunk n. 失败，不及格 v. （使）失败，（使） 考试不及格
Several students have been flunked out.
2.clerkship n. 书记的职位
3.tenure n. 享有，保有时间
4.glamorous adj. 富有魅力的，迷人的
My job is not a very glamorous one but it does have its moment.
5.judiciary n. 司法部，司法制度，法官 adj. 司法的，法院的，法官的
6.doctorate n. 博士学位
I am going to start my doctorate in biochemistry next year.
7.frailty['freilti] n. 脆弱，意志薄弱，虚弱，弱点
One of the frailties of human nature is laziness.