Alive and Well in Broward County, Florida

Michael A. Sobel and sons.

By Michael A. Sobel

Wiest Class, 1979

Last evening a warm ocean breeze gently swept across my cheeks. It helped to ease the potent humidity by taking regular sips from my glass of cool chardonnay. I watched a flock of pelicans flying just above me in precise formation as I picked up a stack of old reading material, including several Cooley Benchmark Column publications.

 It was disheartening to read that so many alumni from my era had died. I think I enrolled in the Clark Class but graduated early with the Weist Class (1979). Things have been busy, so I have not been back to visit Cooley since graduation day, over 32 years ago, but fond memories have survived.
I cherish thoughts of watching Gunsmoke reruns in the student lounge while eating those chewy, delicious cinnamon rolls topped with thick pastry creme that we got from what was then the second floor cafeteria
I earned the Book Award in Dean Krinock’s Professional Ethics class, and maybe also a top grade in young Professor Weiner’s Criminal Law class. There was also a really nice guy teaching first year Contracts named Otto Stockmeyer. Glad to see he and Professor Weiner are still there.
Professor Rooney, a Harvard Law graduate, in freshman year Property class laughed with sinister joy after giving a midterm exam on material that he assured us would not be on the test.  Looking back, he was right:  getting blind sided did help prepare us for the often grueling pursuit of justice and practice of law.
And then there was Professor Don LeDuc in first year torts and Professor Needham who taught Civil Procedure; these may have been my two worst grades. So ironically, of course, I have enjoyed over 32 years of successfully practicing torts and civil litigation. Truth be told, they were all great teachers, and a relatively new Thomas M. Cooley Law School, lead by Justice Thomas E. Brennan, really did prepare me well for a lifetime of fulfillment in the law.
So now, with much pride as a father and lawyer, both of my sons have decided to join and expand my practice. The Sobel Law Firm: Two Generations – Committed to Personal Service. Helping one client at a time. Never any advertising, just word of mouth and hard work. Thank you to Thomas M. Cooley Law School for giving me the skills and opportunity for a very good life as part of an honorable profession.
Please know that at least one alumni law practice is booming in Pompano Beach, Florida, and not all the graduates from the early days are dead. 🙂  I will update you again on our firm’s progress in another three decades.
Best,
Michael A. Sobel
Sobel Law Firm
Michael A. Sobel, P.A.
1701 E. Atlantic Blvd., Suite 2
Pompano Beach, FL 33060-9946

5 Comments

Filed under About Cooley Law School, History, Alumni Stories and News, The Value of a Legal Education

5 responses to “Alive and Well in Broward County, Florida

  1. Prof. Otto Stockmeyer

    Good to hear of your success, Michael. After 33 years at the lectern, I retired from full-time teaching in 2010, but still so some substituting in Contracts if someone can’t make their class for some reason. It gives me my occasional classroom fix without any blue books to grade. You didn’t say whether your sons went to Cooley, but I can tell you that over the years I’ve taught many sons and daughters of former students. Best wishes!

  2. Thank you Professor Stockmeyer. You look great! Just the same. Talk about OCD, I actually still have all those Contracts I class notes on my bookshelf. I’ve gotta stop saving everything. LOL I’ve been drafting contracts (and breaking them) for 3 decades now and I’m just starting to get that “Meeting of the Minds” thing you were talking about. All the best…and be sure to give me a call for dinner if you’re ever passing through S. Florida.

  3. Jack Rooney

    “Sinister”? Perhaps sardonic.
    I’m glad your life has gone well.

    • Michael Sobel

      Prof Rooney,
      I’m not sure what sardonic means, but I’m going to look it up in Websters right away.
      Meanwhile, however wonderful my life has been, I truly have you, in part, to thank.
      Best,
      Michael
      P.S. I recall you mentioned that you would retire as soon as any student admitted being born in 1955, the same year you graduated law school. That first student was me. I think you were being sardonic then too:-)
      Thanks for being a great teacher. Other then being a great parent, there is nothing more important in life!

  4. Anonymous

    Prof. Rooney,
    I’m not sure what sardonic means, but I’m going to look it up in my Black’s Law Dictionary. LOL However wonderful my life has been, I truly have you and Cooley Law School, in part, to thank.
    Best,
    Michael
    P.S. I recall you mentioned in class that you would retire as soon as any student admitted being born in 1955, the same year you graduated law school. That first student was me. I think you were being “sardonic” then too;-)
    Thanks for being a great teacher. Other then being a great parent, there is nothing more important in life.

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