Saturday, March 07, 2009

The thing about the Boalts is that they met on their way to graduate schools in countries other than their own. Later she founded a graduate school in honor of him, the law school of the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall.

They met on a ship going to Europe where he was going to study law and she was going to study music. They married. Time passed. He worked professionally. She provided a rootin', tootin' developing area with cultural influence. He worked as a lawyer and judge. He died. She decided firmly that the university at Berkeley needed a law school. The building it was housed in was named Boalt Hall. Later the building was torn down as the school got bigger. Later still the whole school was named Boalt Hall.Love and law and making it so kids didn't need to leave to study.

I went to a symposium put on by some women of Boalt Hall that included talking about how the legal system might better hear what poor women say when they speak in a way that is natural to them--about how the legal system might process different sounds into power. I think that as law schools go, Boalt has a little more underlying music.

--information about the Boalts and Boalt Hall from a small book put out by the University of California system about buildings named for people throughout the system. The unstated message of the book to donors--think big.