St. Mary's Law Journal


William H. Rehnquist taught for St. Mary’s University School of Law for four summers while serving as the sixteenth Chief Justice of the United States. For two weeks each July in 1991, 1994, 1998, and 2000, Rehnquist lectured on The Supreme Court in United States History as part of the law school’s Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria. St. Mary’s has conducted the Institute as an annual five-week summer program at the University of Innsbruck since 1986, with the generous administrative support of that university’s Roman Law Institute. Rehnquist felt welcome in Innsbruck and earned the St. Mary’s faculty’s fond regard as well as the students’ admiration. This essay gathers memories of summers spent with Chief Justice Rehnquist in Austria. Many of those recollections are shared by faculty members, students, and guests who participated in the Innsbruck program when the Chief Justice headlined the faculty as the “Distinguished Visiting Jurist.” Those various memories are a special part of the history of St. Mary’s University School of Law. These reminiscences offer an extra-judicial perspective on Chief Justice Rehnquist. This essay offers a perspective on Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist as a teacher, a guest, and a traveler, rather than Rehnquist as a lawyer, a jurist, or a scholar. During his four summers in Innsbruck, Rehnquist was a very grateful guest. Time and again he expressed his appreciation to St. Mary’s University and to those who assisted him during his visits. Spending two weeks with the Chief Justice was always a lesson in civility and good manners. As a guest, a traveler, and teacher, he set a high standard for courtesy, thoughtfulness, and professionalism. Indeed, he was excellent company.


St. Mary's University School of Law