Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



When I was asked to speak on behalf of the students regarding Professor Charney's contributions to the Law School, I did initially wonder how closely my relationship with him mirrored the experiences of other students. I worked for him for almost two years as a research assistant for the American Journal of International Law; I spoke with him frequently, either in person or via e-mail, about various international legal issues; and he advised me on both my student note for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and on my PhD dissertation. Thus, I knew the image that I had of him, but I wasn't sure if his other students saw him the same way. So, I spoke with some of his other students about their experiences with him. I also spoke with his secretary here at the Law School and with some of his friends whom I knew outside of the law school setting. I shared my stories and impressions with them, and they shared some of their stories with me, and in these discussions, it seemed that one particular theme repeatedly emerged. This theme confirmed my personal image of Professor Charney, based on my own relationship with him, and I understood better how he had touched the lives of many of his students. Usually, it is foolish to attempt to summarize the life of a great individual with only a few words, but in this instance, I believe that one particular phrase is genuinely emblematic of Professor Charney's impact on his students. Just as he was in dealing with his family, friends, and colleagues, in dealing with his students, Professor Charney was a man of commitment underpinned by conviction.