Robert A. Burt


Jay Katz has been one of the most profound and enduring influences on my life as a legal scholar. His influence began at the very moment I entered the Yale Law School as a student in 1962. My understanding of the uses of psychoanalysis in legal analysis begins with the memory of my first encounter with him. I believe that my personal experience mirrors more generally how Jay came to influence all of his students-those lucky enough to sit in his classes as well as those who have only encountered him through his writings.

Here then is my memory of my first classroom session with Jay Katz. I had just arrived at Yale Law School in 1962 after two years at Oxford studying law. Yale treated my Oxford degree as the equivalent of the first year course of study; so I began in effect as a transfer student with second-year status. (If you'll excuse the pun, it was transference all the way down from that moment onward.) This transfer status meant that I was immediately eligible for taking some upper-class courses and I enrolled in Family Law - taught by Professors Joe Goldstein and Jay Katz - and this was the first class I attended on my first day at Yale.