A Green Flag for Gratitude

As you probably know, I am quite new to law librarianship and the legal information field. I was fortunate enough to have my paper on citators and descriptions of negative precedent published, and while my name will fill the “Creator” field, there are many many people without whom my project could not have happened. So, let me take some time to say thanks. Of course, the familiar caveat applies — any errors or omissions in the paper are entirely my responsibility. Any insights, however, are purely coincidental and likely attributable to the after-mentioned.

First to two very special people who played very different roles: Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, let me join his team for a summer to work his brilliant ideas about citation analysis. His thinking (and some of his data) form the backbone of my paper. Thank you for taking me under your wing, Ed! And to Sara Sampson, who taught two classes I took the same semester of graduate school and who was and is an incredible mentor to many. Sara, thanks so much for encouraging me to speak up and also for showing me how to Shepardize with the print volumes!

And now, let me also say thanks:

To other members of the Fastcase team who were amazing: Christina Steinbrecker Jack, “Other Deb” Deborah Letz, Ryan Semmler, Chris Jamros, the entire dev team, and Jennifer Owens, not to mention Phil Rosenthal, who probably has no idea that my meeting him is how I got introduced to Fastcase. You were all so welcoming and helpful, and I apologize for eating too many subs at my desk.

To my colleagues and mentors at Carolina Law who talked with me all throughout my time in graduate school and took the chance of hiring me full-time right after I graduated: Anne Klinefelter steered me away from many errors and gave very helpful feedback, Leslie Street has been an excellent supervisor (two times over!), and Julie Kimbrough, who prevented me from writing about “metadicta,” whatever the hell I thought that was. (OK, I know what it is and I might still write about it someday!) And to Stacey Byrd, who got me my first job as a circulation assistant in the law library!

To my master’s paper advisor, Ryan Shaw, whose comments and guidance strengthened my work, and to Lara Bailey, who is awesome. To James Duggan, editor of LLJ, who cite-checked and line edited my work. Now I get one of those “LLJ Author” ribbons, right? To Susan Nevelow-Mart, whose work was extremely helpful in exploring this area of study and who invited me to workshop an earlier paper at the Boulder Conference. And to Brett Currier, for being my fellow traveler through the world of graduate school, and for tolerating my linguistic prescriptivism.

To my parents, Paul and Hannah Kirschenfeld, for supporting me since birth and helping me attend the schools I wanted to (and mostly leaving me alone while I was there!) and who endured many tough times raising a stubborn, argumentative young man. I love you both very much.

To my wife, Debbie, who read many versions of the paper and did a bunch of editing, and who also married me. I knew from the moment I met you that we’d spend the rest of our lives together – I love you.

And to four very special cats: Mitch, Sherman, and William, you guys are the absolute worst-best pets and you are very cute, and to Maddox, whom I miss dearly, and who is surely best friends with all the other pets over the rainbow bridge – love you, yogurt-friend.

There are so many others who deserve recognition that I didn’t have time or the proper memory to name – my thank you to you all as well!