It was an honor and a joy to deliver the Tenth Annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service and to publish it now in the Maine Law Review. I thank you for this opportunity.
I have always believed that a life worth living includes two necessary components: passion and connection. I experience those components both in my work and in my personal life. I love the passion I find in my work - both in my advocacy efforts to advance justice in the world and in the teaching through which I try to pass on to others whatever skills and wisdom I have accumulated over the years. And I love the passion I find in my personal life, in my efforts to explore and commit to the joys and challenges of intimacy and friendship.
The connections that I treasure track my various passions: starting from the connections I experience in an intimate relationship and in personal friendships, to the connections I have with colleagues, students, and mentors. Judge Frank Morey Coffin is a remarkable and joyous connection in my life. It is the connection of a mentor, of a teacher, and of a friend. And in the example of his life, Judge Coffin has demonstrated his passion for making the world a better place, for imparting wisdom (and jibes and practical jokes) to his students, and for maintaining a full and happy home life.
I have been enriched by this connection with Judge Coffin - both enriched with little pearls of wisdom and with great peals of laughter - and I am everlastingly grateful for those riches.
I can think of no finer way to honor that connection, and to pay back some of the amazing gifts showered on me by Judge Coffin, than to deliver (and publish) the Coffin lecture on law and public service, which encompasses so many of the passions and connections of my life. And on this occasion of the Tenth Annual Coffin Lecture, I feel I stand here as a representative of every former, and current, law clerk of Judge Coffin, all of whom, I know, would echo my gratitude and joy for their connection to the judge.