Who do you believe are great judges? Why do those judges make your list? Does Henry J. Friendly make your list as a great judge? He certainly makes mine. This Article challenges judges, attorneys, legal academics, and law students to explore the elementary question of what makes a great judge while asking whether Friendly was one. To aid that pursuit, this Article: (1) briefly lists the traits that make a great judge, (2) recounts Friendly’s amazing academic and legal careers that equipped him with the necessary traits to be a great judge, (3) discusses Friendly’s rise to the Second Circuit and his outsized presence on that court, and most importantly, (4) analyzes Friendly’s historic and lasting contributions to the law. Because Friendly exemplified all of the traits of a great judge, I conclude that he was a great judge. I recommend that you, too, contemplate, study, and discover what made Friendly a great judge. In the process, you might become a better judge, attorney, legal academic, or law student. Friendly’s impact on you would then only add to his monumental and lasting impact on the law itself.In answering Professor Lucas’s first question, consider also Linda Przybyszewski's review essay on Gerald Gunther’s biography of Learned Hand, The Dilemma of Judicial Biography Or Who Cares Who Is the Great Appellate Judge? Law and Social Inquiry 21 (January 1996): 135-140.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog