Letters to the Editor
bc law magazine
The picture that appeared on pages 48 and 49 of the Spring/Summer 2004 issue is of the editorial staff of volume 2 of the Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law, published in 1955.
Standing, left to right, are Associate Professor William J. Curran, the editor in chief, and Arthur J. O’Keefe, the case director. Seated, left to right, are Robert J. Sherer, chairman; myself, legislation director; and Paul A. Kelley, index director.
—John A. Tierney ’56 Associate Justice of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, retired
History Revealed Further
Although I was distressed to find in the Class Notes of the Spring/Summer 2004 issue that there was no news about any of the classes of the 1950s, I was very pleased to see the large picture of a group of us from the class of 1956. We were working on the school’s first effort at a legal journal or publication, the Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law. Standing to the rear and looking as young as any of us was Professor William J. Curran, who was of the class of 1950 and who later became a professor of legal medicine at Harvard School of Public Health.
From looking at the other Class Notes, it seems remarkable, in light of the Class Notes for other classes, that we were all males. There were only two women in our class, but one exceeded us all to achieve renown as Congresswoman Margaret Heckler, who was also my moot court partner. Another significant distinction is that all four of us were from Dorchester, a circumstance that Father Drinan, as Dean, was setting out to change. We all wore suit coats and ties, and two ashtrays were filled with cigarette butts—both perhaps to indicate how hard we were working, although now they would be out of place. There have been more changes in these almost fifty years than that from typewriter to laptop.
As a historical note, the Annual Survey was BC Law’s first entry into the area of law reviews, which I think may have been one of the early desires of Father Drinan as dean. A good law school needed the prestige of a law review. At that time, the publication of annual reviews of law of a state or jurisdiction was a novel idea for a law review because it seemed that most existing law reviews were publishing articles of little interest, on extremely specialized and exotic subjects, and might be running out of good topics. I guess this was pretty wrong! BC continued to publish this journal until 1986.
BC Law started publishing, in 1959, the BC Commercial and Industrial Law
Review. This seemed another effort to fill a void in the law review market.
My belief is that this was the brainchild of a young professor, William E. Hogan,
who was a member of the class of 1952. Also at about that time, in 1955 or 1956,
the Uniform Commercial Code came into effect. Our class of 1956 was the last
class not to study the UCC; we had separate courses in “Bills and Notes”
and “Sales.” Professor Hogan taught the new class on the UCC and
became quite an expert in the new field. He went on to become a professor at
Cornell Law School and later New York University Law School.
—Paul A. Kelley ’56