Summer 2020

Beware the Ides of March

We are all shook up. Nothing has been the same since the Ides of March delivered the virus that brought the world to a near standstill. Beware, we’ve been told, of the Ides. In Shakespeare’s day, a soothsayer warned the protagonist in Julius Caesar to be cautious. In Roman times, the Ides were a time for settling debts.

There can be little doubt today that we are paying those debts, many of them of our own making and long overdue. As the Covid-19 pandemic has opened our eyes to social, political, and cultural failures, we have discovered fault lines seemingly everywhere: in our hospitals, school rooms, prisons, supply chains, courthouses, government seats, financial markets, business centers, underserved communities, police stations—the list goes on and on.

Where to turn for guidance, for the comfort of bona fide ideas, for the tickle of hope that there may be ways to fix the mess we’re in?

Being at a law school, BC Law Magazine naturally looked to its brain trust, the faculty, for answers. Surveyed for explanations of how Covid-19 could have laid us so low and for how the law and its ethical underpinnings could lift us back up, the professors articulated a vision for the future and identified actions that could help the body politic achieve new levels of honesty and equality. The result is The Vision Project, a collection of interviews that runs in this issue and expands online at

In the midst of this global reckoning, it is heartening to read stories of moments when right prevails over wrong and the rule of law shows its muscle. That happened last December when Jeff Gould ’06 and colleagues at a small, boutique firm in Washington, DC, won a staggering $1 billion jury verdict for their client Sony in a copyright infringement case against internet service provider Cox Communications. How did they do it? The answer may surprise you, but you can wager that music played the best hand. Read the story titled “The Land of Music and Piracy.”

Just to ensure that there were other interesting distractions in the magazine to amuse you, we elicited a story from Therese Pritchard ’78 about how she made it to the top of big law driven not by ambition so much as pure fascination with the cases in front of her (“The Chair”). And we explain how Jim Champy ’68 applied his business re-engineering knowhow to philanthropy on behalf of Boston College Law School. It’s some story (“The One-Man Brain Trust”).

Vicki Sanders, Editor

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