Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Tribute to Molly Lien

We at the Legal Skills Prof Blog are saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Molly Lien.  Molly was much beloved throughout the legal writing profession and at the law schools she taught at.  Our sympathy goes out to her family.

I have collected a few of the tributes to Molly:

"I am so sad today. My dear friend, Molly Lien, died this morning during surgery. Molly was a colleague of mine at Chicago Kent for many years, succeeded me as director of the Legal Writing program, was a wonderful teacher, and the epitome of a caring, loving individual, concerned about her students and others. She went on to direct the program at John Marshall and taught there, before she retired to Traverse City Michigan a few years ago. . . . She was one of the kindest, most generous, loving persons I have ever known. She will be greatly missed."  Ralph Brill

"Molly was a brilliant and generous colleague.   She was a lovely and gracious woman.  Many of us benefited from her wisdom and kindness."  Maureen Collins

"Molly was indeed a tremendous teacher, mentor, and friend. May she rest in peace and may her kindness and friendship live on in our memories."  Mark Wojcik

"Your spirit will live on in all of us you touched, Molly. Congratulations on a life well-lived and a career well done."  Brad Clary

"When I was a new director with lots of questions I shared with the listserve, Molly was the one who picked up the phone and called with answers.  She will truly be missed." Gail Stephenson

"I don't have enough words to describe my sorrow at losing dear Molly, without a doubt one of the most wonderful people ever put on this earth."  Ralph Brill

"Molly personified the best parts of our community.  Everyone who knew her loved her.  I will miss her so much."  Terrill Pollman

"Thank you, Ralph, for sharing Mark's post; thank you, Mark, for such a wonderful tribute to Molly; and thanks to all for expressing your comments about how special Molly was and the footprint she left on the legal writing community.  I remember Molly with great respect and a smile."  Deborah McGregor

"Over the past year, I have had to dig deep inside to find courage I didn't know I had.  So many times, I have thought of Molly and her strength and fortitude during one particular terrible year in her career.  Molly showed us all that kindness, forgiveness, and the ability to show our dissenters just how wrong they are pave the true path to success, contentment, and respect.  I loved Molly dearly and will miss her with all my heart.  I join the rest of the academy in mourning her loss and honoring her life."  Lisa McElroy

"Molly was a kind and gracious mentor to me when I was a terrified new director.  Rest in peace, dear lady."  Kirsten Dauphinais

"This is a sad day indeed.  Molly was the best of us.  Always there to lend a hand, offer wise advice, and give support.  We lost one of the nicest people on the planet, but we have been blessed by knowing her.  She was a mentor to many of us, and her legacy is her kindness.  She is a role model for all of us on how to teach and how to live.  Let us always remember this great woman. "  Grace Tonner

"Molly was a mentor to me in so many ways, I can't begin to name them. I am grateful for having been the recipient of her advice, her support, and her friendship. I took my son to meet Molly when he was looking at law schools, and she unquestionably influenced his ultimate choice. I don't look forward to sharing this sad news with him and his wife, both graduates of Chicago-Kent. It was a privilege to know Molly. She will never be forgotten by this community or by anyone who knew her." Coleen Barger

"Molly certainly was someone who touched many of us, far and wide, and who stood up for and symbolized the fight for recognition of the legal writing community, in ways that we won't forget."  Diane Edelman


Molly was one of the first persons I met in the legal writing profession.  She interviewed me at the AALS meat market in 1993.   We got along so well that our talk went twenty minutes into the next person's time.  Molly was always a pleasure to talk to when I ran into her at meetings.  She was always concerned about what was going on in my career and my life.  Molly will be missed.

It is heartwarming to read what everybody has said about Molly.  She was a wonderful person, and the legal writing profession is a great group of people.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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