The Aging Brain and the Torts Professor

The Washington Post has an interesting article on “The Aging Brain” this week. I was particularly drawn to one observation . . .

“Expertise — a composer’s virtuosity or a professor’s knowledge of his subject — remains intact throughout life. Those synapses seem to be set in stone, so an 80-year-old law professor may forget where he left his glasses but still grasp the nuances of torts.”

I will note that they do not suggest that a contracts professor can function in the same way or that contracts contains any nuanced meaning — adding credibility to the study. This is yet another reason for me not to change my class notes after roughly 20 years.

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11 thoughts on “The Aging Brain and the Torts Professor

  1. Torts is so much more interesting than Contracts. So much more of the human element involved. I got my two best Law School grades in Torts and Contracts, unfortunately NY State Property Law did me in. Though I did talk
    Mario Cuomo into giving me a “B” in Criminal Procedure.

  2. The Post article is basically a rehash of stuff that’s been published many times elsewhere, but with pretty pictures and the kind of ignorance that is a Post health & science trademark. The “expertise” is well remembered information in this case, which doesn’t mean that new information, particularly disconfirmatory information is well used.

  3. I will have you know that I have not lost my glasses in…..um….never mind. Now where is my wrist watch? I know it is around here somewhere.

  4. My current lawyer is 80. I have had to rewrite every letter he has sent out to the opposing parties. I sure wish he was one of the ones written about in your post. I do not know how he functions in court but in the more pedantic acts I think he suffers from age.

  5. Rich
    1, December 7, 2011 at 9:52 am
    … The “expertise” is well remembered information in this case, which doesn’t mean that new information, particularly disconfirmatory information is well used.
    ————————-
    coughsupttercough…. um, uh, that issue is totally unfamiliar to me … I don’t have to deal with that issue EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY at work… nope… no idea what you’re talking about….

  6. It is known that aging brains has trouble with learning and short-term memory, not so much with long-term memory, so it is not very surprising that old lawyers would remember their college studies. They might not remember the names of their clients or students though.

  7. Now Mesopo,

    If that’s on the recievers receiving end that makes you the best torts attorney…. No work and all pay….

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