Michael was a wonderful lawyer, mentor, roll model and friend. I was
one of the students who worked with Michael in the Human Rights Clinic
at Yale, first suing dictators, and then on the Haitian refugee
litigation suing the United States. It was an incredible experience
that deeply shaped how I try to work and to teach.
Here are three things I think I learned from Michael that I’ve tried to
pass on to my students and colleagues: 1. Work on things you believe in.
2. Empower yourself and those around you to get stuff done and keep
fighting no matter what. 3. Love your team.
The issues I work on now–financial regulation, consumer protection and
access to finance–are far removed from human rights litigation, but I
hope that the values we all learned from Michael as a team are still
what drive me today.
Michael reached out to me when my father passed away, nearly 20 years
ago now. I asked him when it would feel ok again. Oh, he said, you
never get over it. It just hurts a little less over time. That has been
true, as I am sure it will be for you and your family.
Michael S. Barr
University of Michigan Law School
Professor of Public Policy