Never in Professor Becker’s Class

Law school has changed since I graduated in 1981.  As a professor at Fordham and NYU Schools of Law, I have had students walk in late, text and surf the internet during class.  To this day, my first reaction is always the same:  this would never have happened in Professor Becker’s class!


Debra Wolf, Class of 1981


So!  Some years after graduating from Wash. U.  a potential client walks into my office and says:  “Mr. Schmidt, can you make for me a fee simple absolute?”  I said, “No!” and threw him out of my office.



Dan Schmidt LW ’83

The Dalai Lama of Future Interests

In the spring semester of 1980 I took Professor Becker’s Law of Future Interests and the Rule Against Perpetuities class.  Not having had the good fortune to take Property from Professor Becker as a first year student I didn’t know what to expect, other than the rumors that this was the most difficult class in Law School.  We met in the late afternoon, at a time of day that was conducive to sleepiness.  Except it wasn’t!  Not in Professor Becker’s class!  It was the most intellectually stimulating class I have ever taken, and I loved every minute of it.  I never dragged my feet to his class, never felt like skipping, never begrudged the time.   I wished that I could spend every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon for the rest of my life attending this class.  With Professor Becker at the helm I knew it would never get old and I envisioned a group of us getting together over the years discussing A to B for life then to C in ever more complicated iterations.  It is a real regret that this little fantasy did not happen and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend one semester sitting at the feet of a true master of his craft, and a wonderful human being as well.

Thank you, Professor Becker – it was a joy and honor to be your student.

Wendy W. Waller, JD 1981

Thank you for all the years of pouring yourself into the lives of young people

” Thank you for all the years of pouring yourself into the lives of young people. May your example and legacy live on in perpetuity (unless, of course, that violates some rule).”

Thank you.
Dr. Robert D. Mansfield JD”83
Discipleship isn’t just taking a course or even regurgitating the information to someone else, it is the intentional effort to help someone else grow closer to the Lord.

First Cup of Coffee

The first cup of coffee I ever had was the result of my staying up all night preparing to be called on for the very first time in Professor Becker’s Real Property class, first year.  I was so tired in the morning before class that I figured a large cup of coffee would allow me to make it through class and the rest of the morning.  I ended up going home sick and missing Professor Becker’s class;  he was very understanding and a bit amused, and I’ve never been a big coffee drinker since!

Dan Sherman – class of 1988 and big fan of Professor Becker!

Reaching Out

“The sentiment that I’d like to express is that David Becker changed the trajectory of my career in the most positive way. When he reached out to me as a young law student, he truly helped me reach my potential. His assistance in helping me improve my performance has aided me both in law school and in my career.”

Bob Millstone, JD 1988

Triple Threat

“Dave Becker is a triple threat; lawyer, professor, and tireless advocate for Washington University. The school, its students and alumnae are forever in debt for his devotion to the law school and its mission to provide a quality legal education. In addition, the greatest testament to a teacher is whether that teacher is able to make a life-long impact on his/her students. Hundreds of Washington University Law School students–and now alumnae–surely echo a resounding cheer for the lifelong lessons that David instilled both in the classroom and outside of it (and especially the basketball court!). He is one of the most humble and caring persons that I have ever met. It has truly been an honor to have had some small association with him over the last thirty years.”

Mark McCareins, JD 1981