Directions from World: Famous Comparatist on Spending Year in London – Theodore J St Antoine – England 1957

Because I received a Fulbright grant to study law and economics at the London School of Economics, I was released early from my service as a U.S. Army lawyer. I was still very much under the influence of military discipline, however, when I first went to see my faculty advisor at LSE, he was Otto Kahn-Freund, perhaps the world’s most famous comparative scholar on labor and employment law. He was familiar with the American scene, having visited at Penn, Yale, and my own law school, Michigan.

Kahn-Freund eyed me sternly: “I assume you’re ready to do a good deal of serious research this year?”

“Oh, yes sir, yes sir,” said I.

“And you will be spending a good deal of time in our splendid library?”

Again, it was, “yes sir, yes sir.”

“And you will have a publishable product at the end of the year?”

Here I wavered, “Well, sir, I can’t promise that — but I certainly will try. Yes sir.”

At this point, Kahn-Freund leaned back and pondered a moment. Then he leaned forward, smiled broadly, and declared: “Well, Mr. St. Antoine, if I were you, I wouldn’t do any of those things. I know something about American law schools. You have already done plenty of legal research and writing. This is a year to broaden your interests and contacts in the active world. I will see you get acquainted with everybody who is anybody in English labor relations and labor law. Beyond that, you should spend your time at the Royal Festival Hall, the Covent Garden Opera House, and the West End theatre!”

What could I say to that but, “Yes sir, yes sir!”

Theodore J St Antoine – Fulbright to England 1957

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