Hon. Erik Kimball
In the fall of our third year, I was lined up to work at a large Boston law firm after graduation, apparently destined for the real estate department. I just needed to graduate. Looking at the course catalog for our final semester, I chose my last few classes based on my experience with the professors more than any other factor. Ingrid Hillinger had taught an Article 9 class that I thought was one of the best classes I had ever taken, so I signed up for bankruptcy.
The best way to sum up her influence is to say that halfway through the class I called my firm to ask if I could switch to the bankruptcy practice. There are only 349 U.S. bankruptcy judge positions; four of them are held by Ingrid’s former students. I am still inspired by her enthusiasm for the law, her work ethic, and her engagement in life in general. Ingrid inspired me to find something that I love to do rather than just something that made good money. That has made a huge difference in my professional and personal life alike.
On our first day at BCLS, Dan Coquillette, who was dean at the time, gave a welcome speech. That speech has stayed with me for almost 28 years. His primary theme was that we were there to help each other learn. We were members of the BC Law family. We were now part of a profession. We should treat each other with respect in the most collegial manner possible. I carried that theme through law school, into private practice, into business, back into private practice, and onto the bench. If you start by thinking of all lawyers – your opponents as well as your colleagues – as part of the same profession, most of the difficulties in legal practice fall aside.
Judge Kimball lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his spouse Mary, who teaches at Florida Atlantic University, and their 11 year-old son, Eamon, who likes to surf, sings in a regional chorus, and has performed with the Palm Beach Opera and the National Honor Choir. Several days a week you can find Judge Kimball paddle-boarding the intra-coastal and ocean waters around Jupiter.
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