It was the late summer of 2012 in Boston, and I had just driven up from Austin. My apartment wasn’t ready for me to move into it, I had just left a relationship to which I would later return a better person, and I hadn’t studied for a real exam in 7 years. I lie: 9 years. I didn’t study for a single exam during my grad school days as a composer at Indiana University. (Is that why you haven’t heard of my music, perhaps? 😅)
I was beginning a next journey as a student at Boston College Law School — a school I knew next to nothing about prior to matriculation other than that its football team did something admirable some time ago and that my 8th grade social studies teacher held the fondest of memories of the institution from her time in Chestnut Hill as an undergraduate student. I was completely out of my element in all respects. This is how I live my life.
One of my courses during my first 1L semester was Contracts. My professor in this topic was and is the most impressive, illustrious, indefatigable, inimitable, and indispensable legend of a person with whom one could hardly imagine having such fortune to be born so as to enjoy the same space and time as: Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger. I don’t exaggerate; I write from my experience.
We law students referred to Professor Hillinger as “imh,” which tends to autocorrect to “OMG!” for good reason: Not only is that the effect imh produces in her students during her class out of anxiety and revelation, but it’s also the effect she produces in her former students when they remember back to their experience as a confused and intellectually disheveled law student: of imh’s inclusivity; her intimate care and love for her stressed-out and unreasonable students, which love she continues to share in abundance; her support for her students who have relied in any way emotionally or otherwise personally in imh’s staggeringly large network of students and former students, faculty, and friends; her commitment to establishing communal experiential spaces for students of all financial means who wish to gain practical experience in the law in areas that make real, meaningful impact on society; her humanity.
I would urge those with the means to do so to consider a donation to imh’s Public Interest Legacy Fund. One of the many beneficial goals of the Fund is to promote work to dismantle systemic racism. A donation then serves to ensure that systemic racism is dismantled in perpetuity — so I hope, as that’s how long the Fund deserves to last.