Socratic Soccer

–From João Teixeira Freire, University of Lisbon College of Law, Date of event: 2001

This one happened last year, on a final exam of European Community Law, at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

The professor, after asking a few simple questions that the student—who was very nervous—failed to answer, asked an even simpler one: “Where was the founding treaty of the European Community signed?”

The student tried to remember, but nothing would come to his mind, so the professor, almost desperate, said, “Okay, I’ll give you a hint. Do you like soccer?”

“Yes!” the student replied enthusiastically, as if grateful for a topic he could finally comprehend.

“Okay, great. Where does Batistuta play?”

The student answered promptly: “For Lazio!”

“So, then, the answer is …”

“The Treaty of Lazio!!!”

(The right answer was Treaty of Rome. To those less familiar with European soccer teams, Lazio is from that city.)

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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