RS 29

I had always been interested in legal history and my Master’s degree was in English legal history under Rheinstein. I wrote a master’s thesis about an Elizabethan English judge named Sir James Dyer. I was very interested in legal history but I thought I had better switch to the US, for a reason that sounds strange today. I thought, to do English legal history properly you have to spend a lot of time in England, and how are you going to do that? It was before the age of mass travel, middle-class travel. I will never be able to travel, I thought, so US history would be better, because here I am in the United States. And then I was introduced toWillardHurst. That was very important. I spent a summer at Madison. I worked on a project which Hurst paid for and I went there a couple of summers, and then he called me and he said, ‘Would you like to come here for an interview?’ I went, and I got an offer, and I moved to Wisconsin. I was happy to do this. Not that I was unhappy in St. Louis and St. Louis University, but Madison was a wonderful place and the law school was marvellous. And there were people all over the university who were interested in legal history, and in law and society. It was a very good atmosphere. Very good cohort. It had a very good reputation among people for whom that kind of reputation matters. At Harvard Law School if you had said Wisconsin it would be like saying Wyoming. It was just nothing to them. Hurst himself was an interesting man in so many ways. He was a marvellous person. He was a Midwesterner, born in Rockford, Illinois, which is not far fromMadison. And he didn’t drive a car. Only late in life did he ever get on an airplane. He was a workhorse. But – and this is very important, as all the people who came in contact with him would testify – hard as he worked, and dedicated as he was to his work, he would never deny time to a student or a colleague. He would spend endless amounts of time trying to help younger people. When someone was hired at Wisconsin they would have lunch with Hurst, and he would give them what we called lawrence m. friedman in interview 107 How did legal history come into your career? And it had a very good reputation, too.