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John D. Lyons-A Student's Recollections, 15 Arizona L. Rev. 589 (1973)


Little more than a decade has passed since I was a student at the law school, yet new experiences have buried many events which at the time seemed indelible. Even the names and faces of cherished classmates have been obliterated by the toll of time. Yet encounters with Dean Lyons during that era (1956-59) remain vivid. Since they are also wrinkles in a huge print he has left on the legal profession, I am grateful for the opportunity to record some of them in the pages of the Review. When my class arrived at the school for registration, each of us was ushered into Dean Lyons' office for a personal chat and an evaluation of our programs. He queried us about our families, our finances, our plans for outside activities, and gave much needed advice. There was no associate dean then; John Lyons did it all, with warmth, zest andconcem. As was inevitable in those days, about a third of the class flunked out. Career plans some had made in grade school were destroyed. John Lyons was on hand again to handle the delicate, unpleasant task of informing those who failed. He did it in a quiet, confidential personal conference. I never heard an account from a classmate of the content of any of these epochal confrontations, but they must have contained some magic, for I don't remember a single classmate whose dreams had been shattered by academic failure who failed to accept his fate in good spirits, and with pride intact.

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