It's Easy To Judge This Teacher By His Students Karen Fay ---------------------------------- School of Continuing Studies When Judge John Hardwicke began teaching at Hopkins, Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States. He remembers because Eisenhower was instrumental to his appointment as a faculty member. "I was a young--and poor--law associate at Piper& Marbury. One of the partners who taught in the evenings for the School of Continuing Studies [then known as McCoy College] was named by Eisenhower to the federal district court," explains Hardwicke. "He had to relinquish his teaching position, and William Marbury suggested I take his place, in addition to my responsibilities with the firm." Forty years later, Judge Hardwicke has yet to miss a semester teaching business law to undergraduate students in the school's Division of Business and Management. "I love to teach," he says simply. "And, I enjoy Hopkins because of the marvelous students I encounter." "Judge Hardwicke is one of the most sought-after of our faculty members," says Ken Westary, associate program director of undergraduate business programs at the school. "Even the School of Arts and Sciences students who are studying pre-law specifically seek him out." Hardwicke's teaching methods, in addition to his breadth of knowledge about the subject matter, may have much to do with his popularity. "Part-time students are sometimes at a disadvantage in that they have been away from scholastic studies for an extended period of time. I try to help them learn how to listen and take good notes--to really savor what's important in the lecture." "For students who have had little exposure with the subject, Judge Hardwicke begins at the foundation. He treats it like a science--going back to the roots of law in society to make it more understandable," says Bill Eddy, a former student of Hardwicke's currently working on his undergraduate business degree. "He begins with simple terms, and gradually makes it more difficult. "Every class session was intense," Eddy continues. "In terms of material covered, the information on such topics as business contracts can immediately apply to real life situations." The fact that he knows the material is unquestionable. "I live what I teach," Hardwicke says. His particular skill, honed in more than 30 years of general practice in Baltimore City, focuses on negotiation, contract, and corporate litigation. In 1989, then-Governor Schaefer appointed him Maryland's first chief administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings. He and the 65 judges he supervises hear approximately 50,000 cases a year. "I admire his commitment," Eddy says. "Judge Hardwicke's pores emit justice. He sees the purity of it." And, he's written the book on business law. Literally. Business Law, the textbook he authored, published by Barron's Education Services, Inc., is used not only at Hopkins, but in classrooms across the nation. While law may be Hardwicke's favorite topic, he admits a fondness for ancient history and reading. "I taught myself Greek about 10 years ago. While I'm not fluent, I am able to read interlinear books that have Greek and English printed side by side." In all his years of teaching, the only problem for Hardwicke is leaving the courtroom in time to get to class. But, he has no plans to give it up anytime soon. "Teaching may very well be the most important thing I've done," Hardwicke states. "It's particularly positive when I encounter former students now successful in their professions." "I'm amazed he's been teaching so long--especially with his schedule," says Terry Coburn, another student of Hardwicke's who received her bachelor's degree in business in May. "Judge Hardwicke inspired me so much I took a second business law class he taught. And, I gave him a nearly perfect evaluation." At 68, Hardwicke is not slowing down. "My six-year term in office is nearly complete, but I've asked Gov. Glendenning to reappoint me to my current position. I also have the option to resume my law practice. "As for teaching," he says, "it's unthinkable for me at this point not to be able to discuss law in a classroom setting because I enjoy it so much. I plan to celebrate a 50th anniversary of teaching at Hopkins."
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