California, Exercise, Law School Deans, Law Schools

Walk With Me

As many might guess, I’m not a big fan of walking. I find the activity primitive in terms of travel, and I think people under the age of 70 who use walking for “exercise” should be hunted by wild animals for my amusement.

But as a form of meeting, walking makes a lot of sense. I’ve heard of people who have running meetings, and that seems stupid to me. One’s ability to make a decision should not be artificially limited by one’s physical fitness. But a walking meeting would seem to attract only those who really wanted/needed to be at the meeting, and the informal nature of the strolling activity would probably limit self-centered monologues.

It should go almost without saying that the person ready to implement this concept is an academic out in California. That’s right, a law school out west is ready to bring you the walking office hours….

The walking idea comes from Frank H. Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law. He sent out a letter to all students, inviting them to walk to work with him in the mornings.

But, this is a law school dean we’re talking about. The invitation reflects how a rigorous legal mind would think through organizing friends for a walk to work — details, precision, and of course, a waiver:

I invite you to walk with me to UC Hastings. From time to time, I walk to work. The route proceeds from the Forest Hill neighborhood, north through the Inner Sunset, enters Golden Gate Park at 9th Avenue, proceeds along the Panhandle, takes a slight detour through Alamo Square Park, continues along Golden Gate Avenue and ends at school. This route is approximately 4.6 miles. The pace is approximately 17 minutes per mile, but if faster walkers are amenable it could be increased to 15 minutes per mile.

I will be walking on Friday, September 23, beginning at 6:30 am. You may join me at the JP Murphy playground at 6:30 am; the 9th Avenue entrance to Golden Gate Park at 6:45 am; Faletti’s (at 308 Broderick Street) at 7:10-7:15 am; Alamo Square Park at 7:30-7:40 am.

If there is interest, I am open to walking from other starting points within the City. This is a social event and it is not an official activity of the College. Any walkers assume all risks and will be asked to sign an appropriate release form.

Please contact [Redacted] Please note space is limited; please provide your cell phone number when you RSVP and specify the rendezvous. Thank you.

Dean Frank H. Wu
Chancellor and Dean

Oh, lawyer jokes (he’s joking about the waiver, right?). I know how this story ends, though. When they reach the school, the student says, “Dean Wu, why am I still unemployed, and why is there only one set of footprints?” And the Dean responds, “Because you were carrying me.”

I’m just kidding. Maybe it’s because I’m recovering from massive illness, but I actually think this is kind of sweet. That’s right, I just said something nice about a law school dean.

Can you imagine dealilng with sniveling, gunner law students trying to suck up to you at 6:30 in the morning, before you even get to work? Frank Wu is a saint.

And for some students, face time with the dean might salve some of the bitterness that bubbles over as they realize how hard it is to find a legal job in this economy.

Even though Dean Wu’s letter sounds a bit like a dorky personal ad, he might be onto something. Now we need to find a hardcore dean on the East Coast who will try this during the freezing months.

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