Saturday, February 20, 2010

Robert Justin Lipkin, 1943-2010 (Memorial Update)

I learned today from Jack Balkin at Balkinization that my co-blogger, Robert Justin ('Bobby') Lipkin, has died. Alas, I only knew Bobby from his thoughtful posts and writings, as well as from kind e-mail correspondence. His training in philosophy was evident both in his published work and the posts here at Ratio Juris. I readily inferred from his written words that Bobby's heart and mind worked in perfect tandem toward the greater good. And I'm sure Jack's sentiment rings true among those who knew him: "Bobby was a lovely man and will be deeply missed."

Jim Chen writes that he is "quite shaken" by news of Professor Lipkin's death, and that "truly no one had a kinder soul than Bobby."

The memorial notice from Widener Law is here.

Update from Professor Andrew Strauss of Widener Law School:

My colleagues and I would like to let you know that Widener Law School will be hosting a memorial for Bobby at 4:00 on March 8th at the Law School's Delaware Campus in Wilmington. The formal program will last about an hour to be followed by a reception where people can share their thoughts and memories on a more informal basis. The address and directions to the Delaware campus are here: Click here: Widener Law - Delaware Visitors Center.

Also, we are preparing a book of thoughts and remembrances about Bobby for his family and other people who were close to him. In addition to the comments from the list serve, if anyone would like to write something specifically for the book, please let either Associate Dean Erin Daly or me know in the next few days. Also, please feel free to email with any questions about the memorial. I can be reached at, and Erin can be reached at

Andrew Strauss
Distinguished Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803



Anonymous Dan Feehan said...

One of the best professors I have had. He loved this country, warts and all, and truly was interested in exploring philosophical and legal solutions for American government. He was cordial to all students, had a great sense of humor, and was a true mastermind of American jurisprudence. He will be greatly missed; not only by the people that took his class, but those future student who will never be under his tutelage.

2/21/2010 11:45 AM  
Blogger Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

Thank you Dan. It's nice to hear from one of Bobby's students.

2/21/2010 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra King said...

Hello Jim
I am truly heartbroken. Bobby was my colleague, but above all, he was a beloved friend. I will be archiving his site to memorialize him and his writings

Bobby Lipkin, I miss you.

2/22/2010 12:45 PM  
Blogger Jim Chen said...

Dear Cass,

I too miss Bobby. I recall how he connected the two of us. I very much appreciate what you're doing to preserve Essentially Contested America.


2/22/2010 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby Lipkin will be sorely missed. He was cut from a different cloth. He had a genuine concern for his students and wanted nothing more than for them to succeed. He never appeared to worry that students wouldn't understand or would fall behind as he had a sincere belief that eventually the light would go on and we would "get it." He was as passionate about constitutional law as anyone that I'd ever seen and it certainly came through in every class he taught. He may no longer be with us in person but he is certainly with us in spirit. His legacy will live on especially in those students that were lucky enough to have had him. They will carry his lessons with them wherever the law may guide them.

2/22/2010 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Kevin Rogers said...

Prof. Lipkin was my first introduction to constitutional law, and the first law professor who actively encouraged me to study it further. I owe him a debt of gratitude for his enthusiastic treatment of an arcane subject that has become one of the great intellectual pursuits of my adult life. I have missed his daily blogs - it appears I will have to get used to it. Rest in peace, good sir.

2/24/2010 6:57 PM  

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