Professor Bill Bridge
Associate Professor of Law
Professor Bill Bridge earned both his undergraduate and J.D. degrees from Georgetown University.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Georgetown Law Journal as a law student, Professor Bridge was assistant dean and adjunct professor at Georgetown when he accepted the Jervey Fellowship in Foreign Law from Columbia University in 1976.
Fluent in French, he studied at the Faculties of Letters and of Law at the University of Caen, France, in 1970 to 1971, and at the French Court of Cassation, the French Council of State, and the French Center for Comparative Law in 1977 to 1978.
Professor Bridge joined the faculty at SMU in 1977 and began teaching in 1978 after his fellowship in France. In his almost 40 years at SMU, he has served as president of the Faculty Senate, advisor to the Barristers, director of the Law School’s Oxford Summer Program, chair of more law school and university committees than he would care to remember, and as a very wise advisor to the dean.
During his time here, Professor Bridge has taught criminal law, advanced criminal law, evidence, professional responsibility, comparative law, juvenile law, legal research and writing, lawyering, law and literature, problems of proof, and lawyer as reader and writer. Our computerized records only go back to the year 2000, so we have had to do some extrapolating here, but we estimate that Professor Bridge has taught 9,132 students during his time at SMU.
Isn’t that amazing? We asked a few of them to share some stories. Anyone here remember his mantras of "subpoena your mother," and “you always put your pants on with the same leg first?” One former student highlighted another one, while also explaining what makes Professor Bridge so special. She wrote: “In the stressful transition that was becoming a 1L, Professor Bridge's Criminal Law class was the first class that confirmed to me I had chosen the correct career. Practicing criminal law, I am reminded over and OVER again of the truth that holds more value in my life now than I could ever had imagined. "If it isn't on the record, IT DIDN'T HAPPEN." Professor Bridge's legacy will live on in our minds and work for decades to come. It was an honor to be taught by him, and it is an honor to hear his lecture today.”
All who had him as a professor and mentor couldn’t agree more. Professor Bill Bridge will be missed at the law school by faculty, staff, and students.