It’s close. But one of the few things Westport has more of than entitled drivers is lawyers.
We’ve got partners in huge New York firms, and folks who practice out of their homes.
We’ve got attorneys whose careers have nothing to do with law. We’ve got our share of disbarred lawyers too.
Their degrees come from Harvard and Texas, UConn and Hastings, and every school in between.
But what no Westport lawyer has is a degree from Westport Law School.
Once upon a time — people did.
Local realtor/amateur historian Mary Palmieri Gai has unearthed a fantastic nugget: Westport once had a law school. It is mentioned in books that list law schools, which she found while researching nearby property.
It was located at what is now 29 Ferry Lane East, off South Compo. The post-and-beam house — which dates to at least 1811 — has ceilings that are higher than usual for that era. Mary says such construction “suggests a law school.”
Originally a saltbox or vernacular colonial, it has been expanded several times since.
There is not much more in any archives about Westport’s Law School. There is a rumor that the house served as a staging area for the 1912 train accident mentioned recently in “06880” (details of which Mary also unearthed).
Mary’s love of history began 30 years ago, when she learned that her husband is cousins of the Burritts (of Burritts Landing fame). Interestingly, Mr. Burritt ran the Saugatuck River ferry that gave its name to Ferry Lane.
That has nothing to do with Westport’s law school — whose existence, including its actual name, has been lost to the ages.
But the weekend weather forecast is for rain. Perhaps one of our town’s many attorneys — one who particularly likes doing detailed research — can spend some time digging into the days when Westport had fewer lawyers than today.
But one more law school.