Elon Law lost a tremendous teacher, scholar, mentor, and colleague this past Wednesday, Prof. Michael Rich. Mike’s commitment to Elon, and particularly the work that he did in service of its new legal education program — after his cancer diagnosis — was a marvel of professionalism and dedication. More broadly, the legal community has lost a scholar of immense talent, whose foundational work in policing and algorithmic computing will inform future scholarship and policy for years. That he was also beloved by his students demonstrates that he was truly the ideal law professor and colleague. Our world is much poorer in Mike’s absence.
On a personal note, Mike was a close colleague and even closer friend. His integrity, humor, candor, and enormous insight will be missed dearly. Even though Mike is no longer with us, his character and integrity will inspire me for the rest of my days, and I consider myself fortunate to have known and worked closely with him at Elon these past several years.
For the benefit of Hearsay Culture listeners and for those who didn’t know his work, I’m reposting my August 2013 Hearsay Culture interview with Mike, and will re-air it next Friday at 2pm pacific on KZSU. At that time, Mike was just getting into the policing and algorithmic computing issues about which he later became known. Much more than just having a dear and close friend and colleague on the show, Mike’s work deserved (and deserves) significant attention. Mike was, naturally, a terrific guest, and I loved having him on the show. Mike’s groundbreaking work can be found on Google Scholar.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s wonderful wife Amy Minardo, as well as Mike and Amy’s beautiful daughters. May Mike’s memory be a blessing to all.