Several members of his extended family were present to witness the occasion of the first, but not the last, of his cousins’ generation to earn a graduate degree.
Below left: B.Michael flanked by his parents, Bert and Sheila. Below right (from left to right): his grandmother, “Mother”, B.Michael, mother Sheila, cousin Christopher, father Bert, sister-in-law Lisa, older brother Stephen. Not pictured: cousin Sheilah.
One cultural artifact from that time period, the plaque below, remained in his files for safekeeping. It did, however, find its way to Peter Alexander — one of that year’s formidable advocates, who remembers Bert from Moot Court — in 2020.
Here are some of B.Michael’s “deliverables” as a law student, in chronological order. N.B. Except for the first paper, on which he states his name, the others are submitted under his assigned number, which presumably changed each quarter. He is #258 in the winter of 1982-3; #387 during the summer of 1983, and #331 during the fall of 1983.
This additional page from his Corporations class contains a doodle! So very rare in any of B.Michael’s law school notebooks. Curious what he may have been wanting to “remember” in that moment, and to what “a little piece of life” refers. Perhaps a commentary on there being more to life than Ford Motor Company, or Corporations, or law school?
At age 23, B.Michael began his 19th continuous year of formal education, and the first among his extended family to pursue a post-undergraduate degree.
From his official acceptance in March through to the beginning of classes in September, B.Michael was engaged in a robust process of orientation. See packet below with communiques from administrators, professors, fellow students, affinity organizations et al.
One key component of his onboarding was a “First Year Survival Package” which came from the National Black American Law Students Association, now NBLSA, which was just 13 years old when he began at Northeastern.