Steve Lash//August 2, 2010
//August 2, 2010
As reported in today’s Maryland Lawyer, many former students of the late University of Baltimore law professor Royal G. Shannonhouse III will remember him — quite fondly — as the school’s answer to Charles W. Kingsfield Jr., the contracts professor in the novel, movie and television series The Paper Chase who made his students’ life a living hell.
The most memorable scene from the 1973 movie — and one that now seems quaint in an era of cellphones — is when Kingsfield, played by John Houseman, reaches into his pocket and tells student James T. Hart in front of the whole class, “Mister Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”
Hart, played by Timothy Bottoms, responds to the professor’s comment by calling him “a son of a bitch.”
But Kingsfield, as is his wont, gets in the last word: “Mr. Hart, that is the smartest thing you’ve said all day. You may take your seat.”
Who was your Professor Kingsfield? Tell us about him or her in the Comments.