I’m chatting with University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School Dean Darby Dickerson about her rewrite of a popular ”Hamilton” tune to keep her students’ spirits up. ...
Deans Do Cool Stuff Too! I can always count on Pepperdine Law Dean Paul Caron to keep me up to date on all the “Hamilton”-related developments in legal education via his TaxProfBlog. And I was delighted to see last week the inclusion of this YouTube video produced by the University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School.It’s an adaptation of the popular “Hamilton” tune “You’ll be Back,” written to assure law students that they will return to campus someday. (Favorite line: “But if push comes to shove, we can send those really long assignments to remind you of our love.”) Bonus: It’s sung by lawyer Kevin Goertzen, who has Broadway bonafides.
I caught up with UIC John Marshall Dean Darby Dickerson, who rewrote the lyrics of the song—sung by King George III in the hit show—to find out how it came together. Turns out Dickerson is a “Hamilton” superfan. (It seems there are many in the legal academy.) She saw the original Broadway cast and took in the show another 13 times in Chicago. (It was playing at a theater three blocks from the law school.)
Dickerson told me that she was inspired by this video, created last year by Jennifer Walker Elrod and Charles Eskridge, both federal judges in Texas, which centers on the eventual reopening of courts. It took about three hours to come up with law school-specific lyrics, said Dickerson, who added that she had some help from law school communications director Michael Huggins. “I did spend time with a rhyming dictionary counting all of the syllables!” she told me.
Dickerson knew Goertzen from her days as dean of Stetson University College of Law. He graduated from the Florida law school in 2013 and later worked with Dickerson at Texas Tech University School of Law. But before he moved into law, he was an actor on Broadway. Kudos to the law school for offering some levity during a pretty heavy time.
For more on my obsession with interest in Hamilton, see here and: