To be considered “a Cardozo” is the ultimate accolade in the legal profession. More typically, a subject is judged “no Cardozo.”

The list of greats published in this issue includes many “Cardozos,” starting, naturally, with the progenitor himself. Scanning the roster, I note a pattern – and realize that if I had had this list before my marriage 35 years ago, I never would have relinquished “Smith,” my maiden name. Having three names doesn’t guarantee a spot on this list, but it definitely helps: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Reginald Heber Smith. Charles Evans Hughes. And so on. It’s now clear to me that, even in law school, I should have made more of a model of Benjamin Nathan Cardozo.

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