20 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 1153 (1989)
A Law Student's Responsibility for a Liberal Education

handle is hein.journals/text20 and id is 1177 raw text is: A LAW STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR A
by Thomas E. Baker**
Liberal education is education in culture or toward culture. The
finished product of a liberal education is a cultured human being.'
This definition is from Leo Strauss. Strauss was a German Jew
who emigrated from Germany to the United States in the 1930s.2
After World War II, Strauss joined the department of political science
at the University of Chicago and remained a professor there and at
other liberal arts colleges until his death in 1973. Strauss wrote more
books than some professors read, mostly dealing with Western po-
litical philosophy. His scholarly emphasis ranged from classical an-
tiquity to medieval Judaism to early modern Europe. He did not
focus on the American regime, although he held the deeds and
thoughts of the Framers in high regard.' But more important for
our course, through his teaching Professor Strauss influenced a large
*  AUTHOR'S NOTE: Last spring my colleague James E. Viator and I were selected
to receive a SmithKline Beckman Bicentennial Award in Legal Education, one of six awarded
nationwide. The Award is funded by the SmithKline Beckman Foundation, a private foundation
financially supported by the corporation of the same name, and is administered by the Institute
for Educational Affairs, a non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C. The
purposes of the Award were to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the Constitution
of the United States and to restore the study of the Constitution to a prominent position in
the law school classroom. We developed a course on the intellectual history of the founding
generation entitled The Framers' Constitution. See Baker & Viator, Not Another Consti-
tutional Law Course: A Proposal to Teach A Course on the Constitution (forthcoming). The
last class session of the course involved a roundtable discussion on perspectives. We went
around the room to summarize what each of us would take away from the semester's effort.
The session proved to be one of the most profound and revealing class discussions I have
participated in, as a student or as a ten-year veteran law teacher. At the encouragement of
my colleague and my students, I have set down my own homily which follows, with few
editorial changes. This is a way for me to thank Jim and our students for a special teaching
**  Professor, Texas Tech University School of Law. B.S. cum laude, 1974, Florida State
University; J.D. with high honors, 1977, University of Florida.
2. See G. S. Wood, The Fundamentalists and the Constitution, THE N.Y. REV. BOOKS
33 (Feb. 18, 1988); see also Weisberg, The Cult of Leo Strauss: An Obscure Philosopher's
Washington Disciples, NEWSWEEK, Aug. 3, 1987, at 61.


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