Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Proofitatus Est Puddinatis

First Page



When the Review invited me to write a brief preface to the fiftieth volume, I understood Moses' feelings as he stood on Mount Pisgah and considered the years which had passed. Surely I wasn't there when this movement started-I'm not that old. Historical records, however, verify that I was indeed a member of the Review's first editorial board. Looking back, I must admit that I am very proud to have been a member of the Review. The Review enjoys a nationwide reputation as a scholarly publication that, in the main, publishes articles that are timely and of interest to scholars and practitioners alike. I have found myself saying from time to time, 'Yes, a fine publication and I was on the Review when the first volume was published," as if I had helped to lead it through the wilderness to the promised land. Most of the Review's charter members were veterans. The returning soldiers, sailors, marines, and other service personnel had learned a new lingo during wartime. In my case, the Navy made me learn starboard and port, forward and aft, when I was perfectly happy with right and left, front and back. Alas, the Review made us learn another new language. Our writings soon became filled with "supras," "ids," "ibids," and "infras." We old salts of the first volume greatly impressed the second volume's recruits with our command of this newfound language. The use of the language continues. In a 1979 article, I counted twelve straight "ids," which isn't even a record.

By now, gentle reader, you are asking where this preface is going. My testimony can add little, if anything to the solid reputation that the Review enjoys. It occurs to me, however, that I can offer irrefutable proof that the Review attained, and continues to attain, success in one of its major goals. A law review seeks to train, strengthen, and improve the thinking and writing skills of law students who participate in its endeavors. My proposition is that the law students who belonged to the Vanderbilt Law Review profited from that experience and that their careers show it. Perhaps the Latin axiom, Proofitatus est puddinatis, states it well. Review graduates are at the top of their profession as judges, commissioners, international lawyers, and just regular old lawyers.

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