Professor Hans Smit Remembered as an Odysseus at Memorial Service
New York, Feb. 20, 2012—A huge crowd turned out at Columbia Law School on Feb. 9 to celebrate the life of Hans Smit ’58 LL.B., a leading scholar and practitioner in the fields of international arbitration and international procedure who taught at the Law School more than 50 years until his death on Jan. 7. Smit was the Stanley H. Fuld Professor Emeritus of Law.
A videotape of the event can be viewed here.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59 spoke fondly of Smit, who had mentored her when she was a young lawyer and eventually recruited her to join the Law School as its first female tenure-track professor in 1972.
“Hans was a giant—almost literally at six-four, and certainly metaphorically,” Sovern said. In addition to making substantive contributions to the international law program, he noted, “Hans was one of those memorable teachers whose students, decades later, still reminisce about his classes.”