Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Paul M. Kurtz

First Page



Hal Maier has played many roles in my life: he has been my teacher, my boss, my advisor, my colleague, and most and best of all, my friend. In all those roles, he has exhibited enthusiasm, patience, tact, and brilliance. Not at all a bad combination, I would say.

Come with me back to his classroom, circa 1970-1971. The subject is Conflict of Laws (which was required back then) or Law of the European Economic Community (which one with no interest in international law only took because of the masterful teacher). Clad in white shirt and oh-so-narrow tie which he constantly seemed to be adjusting, Professor Maier was one of those teachers who wandered around the front of the classroom, seeming to come toward the student he was engaging in conversation. Always a conversation, not a performance. Careful question after careful question. No yelling or screaming, but a brilliant demonstration of complete control of the subject. What the hell does "renvoi" mean anyway? The flat-topped fellow pacing the front of the room in his comfortable shoes kept prodding and poking until we all understood. One always left his classroom feeling that some progress had been made in the grand mission of trying to figure out this law stuff.