Professor Cabot: A Tribute from Paige Greene ’13

Professor Edward “Ned” Cabot, a founding member of the Trinity College Public Policy and Law Department and long-time professor, passed away on May 15, 2018. His impact was enormous and his loss has been and will continue to be deeply felt within the Public Policy and Law Community. The Policy Voice will be posting a series of tributes and reflections from faculty and alumni/alumnae throughout the coming year, of which this from Ms. Greene is the second.

By Paige Greene ’13

Public Policy and Law Alumnae

In May 2018 I graduated from law school and on October 1, I found out that I passed the Illinois Bar Exam. In November, I’ll be admitted to the Illinois bar. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, none of this would have happened if Professor Cabot hadn’t taken an interest in me early on in undergrad and encouraged me to go to law school.

From an early age, I knew that I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer but I did not have any attorneys in my family and only knew one or two family friends that were attorneys. When I got to Trinity I knew that majoring in Public Policy and Law would get me one step closer to my dream, but still, I had so many questions about what it took to get there. Because he was a lawyer, I relied on Professor Cabot to help me find my path to my legal career.

A lot of his students reminisce about Professor Cabot’s PBPL 201 course which he taught like a first-year law school course, Socratic Method style. And while this course was one of the most formative experiences of my time at Trinity and gave me a flavor of the career I am pursuing now, it was the one on one conversations we had of which I am fondest. In those conversations, Professor Cabot always encouraged me, he helped me improve my public speaking and my writing, he challenged me to think deeply about policy and legal issues, and he also gave me incredible advice.

I specifically remember during my senior year asking for Professor Cabot’s advice about whether or not I should go directly to law school or take a job. While many of my classmates were going straight to law school, I was undecided. I didn’t know what to do. So Professor Cabot helped me figure it out.  We talked extensively about my career goals and why I wanted to go to law school in the first place. Fortunately, I left our conversation knowing exactly what I needed to do. I decided to work for a few years first. It was exactly what I needed to do at the time and I owe Professor Cabot so much for helping me make that important decision.

Eventually, Professor Cabot came through for me again and wrote me a recommendation letter for my law school applications. So when I say that I would not be where I am today without Professor Cabot’s help and guidance, I actually mean that. Professor Cabot always encouraged and supported my dream of being a lawyer.

What made Professor Cabot so remarkable to me was how deeply he cared about his students’ life outcomes. He wasn’t just there to teach us about the law and to give us a grade. Yes, he helped mold us into thoughtful, collaborative, skilled students and young professionals. But more importantly he took the time to know each of us individually and he always made time for us outside of the classroom. He took a truly holistic approach to teaching and I will always be grateful for having him in my life.

Professor Cabot’s legacy will carry on through the lives of all of the students to whom he served as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Today as I embark on what I hope will be a long legal career, I will do my best to be to someone else what Professor Cabot was to me.

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