Harry Wellington was one of life’s great gentlemen and one of the Yale Law School’s greatest professors.
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Yes, I know he was a stellar scholar and administrator at Yale and at New York Law School.
Still, I saw him as teacher: getting his students to think and reason and write with his love of them and of the law, and not fear of the lash of sarcasm. That was new forty years or more ago, and he was a pioneer in the kindly — and vastly more effective — teaching of law.
Not long ago, when I wrote a column for the New York Times, Harry Wellington sent me fan mail about something I had written. It brought tears to my eyes that he remembered me and was still so full of kindness and regard, just as it brings tears to my eyes to think that he is no longer with us. He was a superb teacher and a great friend to his students and to the law, and a shining, dashingly handsome example of Yale Law School at its best — which is awfully good. We who knew him and had him teach us were blessed. To have him as both friend and teacher was to be doubly blessed. His loss is terrible.