When asked to write a reflection on my experience as a VISTA volunteer, my response was similar to Dorothy Parker’s in the movie “Jerry McGuire:” You had me at hello. Writing this article was an easy sale. Reflecting and writing about my experience as a VISTA volunteer in 1968-1969 is a pleasurable task.
The timing is fortuitous. I am in a reflective mood because I turned 70 in May, and in Minnesota 70 is the mandatory retirement age for judges. After serving two years as Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and 19 years on the Minnesota Supreme Court, I must retire. It is an excellent time to reflect on how VISTA has influenced my life and career, especially as a justice — a lot!
I frequently talk to students about civics and the role of the judiciary. My enthusiastic description of my job as a supreme court justice often prompts the question: “How can I get a job like yours?” I respond by telling them to show up for life’s opportunities.
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