CHAPTER 3

Remove the Shroud

Courage: the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.

—MAYA ANGELOU, AMERICAN AUTHOR AND POET

In the opening episode of The Paper Chase, a 1978–1979 television series about first-year Harvard Law student James Hart, our protagonist arrives late to his first class with legendary professor Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr. Even worse, he has not read the assigned material.

When this becomes evident, Professor Kingsfield—played by legendary actor John Houseman—walks over and throws an imaginary funeral shroud over the law student. Basically, he has pronounced that the student is dead to him now. Why should the professor waste his valuable time on someone who is ...

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