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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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The Inspirational Story of New Supreme Court Clerk Isaac Lidsky

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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The story of new Supreme Court Clerk Isaac Lidsky is inspiring – also disconcerting, I might add, for his foray as a child actor – Weasel, aka Screech 2 on the inexplicably long-lived Saved by the Bell: The New Class (aren’t these people supposed to end up in rehab?) – but unrelentingly inspiring.

Isaac Lidsky has been an associate at Jones Day’s Washington, D.C. office for only three months, so he was unsure where to find the Erwin Griswold conference room, where our interview would take place. He asked for my elbow to guide him.

I had never been to the conference room either. But I can see. Isaac Lidsky is blind. As I followed signs, and Jones Day workers showed me the way with Lidsky at my side, the magnitude of what lies ahead for Lidsky became real.

Starting July 14, Lidsky will be making his way through the marble halls of the Supreme Court as a law clerk — the same maze-like hallways that famously confound new, sighted justices for the first months of their tenure.

A small number of clerks with disabilities have served the Court, but, before Lidsky, no blind person has taken on the reading-intensive job that entails digesting hundreds of petitions and writing memos and rough drafts of decisions.

I’m trying to reconcile my shriveled, cynical heart with the after-school-specialness of it all – the story is simply…. ugh… heartwarming.

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2 Responses

  1. mrshl says:

    Stories like this always make me feel like the most underachieving dude ever. Which I might be. But it doesn’t prevent me from being awed.

    I am seriously awed.

  2. lukegilman says:

    Same here. I was just trying to figure out how he does it, pretty amazing –

    Optical character recognition software now enables Lidsky to “read” scanned and digitized pages by listening as the computer recites the printed words to him. He can speed up the reading, to the point where “I can listen to things as fast as people can read them. I can do the functional equivalent of skimming.” He has become proficient enough that he can even listen to two documents at once.

    Emphasis mine – that’s a neat trick.

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