Sincerely, Marvin Chirelstein
New York, October 12, 2015—Throughout his half century teaching career, Columbia Law School Professor Marvin A. Chirelstein would often shuffle back and forth at the front of a classroom, mumbling under his breath that the material for the day was boring—so obvious he could hardly get through it.
His shtick reflected students’ fears that studying tax or contract law would prove less than exciting.
“In fact,” said Stephen B. Cohen, a tax law professor at Georgetown University Law Center who studied under Chirelstein, “he was never boring and what he said was never obvious. With each class, like magic, he provided insights that none of us could anticipate or figure out without him. The intellectual content was stunning.”
Dean Gillian Lester said the late Professor Marvin Chirelstein "really lit up contracts for me, and allowed me as a teacher to light it up
for my students."
|A number of Chirelstein's Columbia Law School colleagues spoke at the event, including (clockwise from top left) Dean Emerita Barbara Aronstein Black '55, Professors Carol Sanger, Robert E. Scott, and John C. Coffee Jr. Among the attendees was Chirelstein's widow, Ellen (bottom right).|
Coffee said Chirelstein studied the New York Daily News racing form every day in the faculty lounge, often trying to convert Coffee into a fan.