Article byPosted Featured AuthorDecember 2022
On November 17, 2022, Mississippi College School of Law’s Alumni Association celebrated one of its longest-serving, most impactful professors: Lee Hetherington.
Over 40 years at MC Law, Professor Hetherington touched thousands of lawyers’ lives with wit and wisdom. So many were privileged as students to share the classroom with one of the most entertaining and informative professors in their educational experience.
Professor Hetherington has led quite a storied life, with more than a few things that alums and friends may be surprised to find out, such as his pre-MC Law adventures in the entertainment industry as a singer, writer, and Hollywood executive.
He completely financed his legal education as the lead singer of one of the most popular cover bands of the era, The Royal American Showmen. His first job directly out of law school was in New York City with one of the largest music publishing companies in the country. (While in New York, he received his LLM from NYU.)
Later, Professor Hetherington served as a Vice President of Columbia Pictures Television in Hollywood. He also co-authored several books on Entertainment Law, Internet Law and Negotiation. These life experiences may help explain why Professor Hetherington did such a memorable Elvis impersonation, jump suit and all, during the early days of the law school.
Surprise has been part and parcel of Professor Hetherington’s repertoire. Former student Terryl Rushing describes his teaching style:
Professor Hetherington slyly entices a student up into a tree, to give an opinion on some legal issue. Then he pushes the student a little bit out on limb. If the hapless guy (or girl) is unenlightened, he’ll push them farther and farther out, until they’ve modified their opinion so many times that they’re hopelessly confused. That’s when he saws the limb off.
In addition, few people know that Professor Hetherington was a dedicated contributor to this very newsletter, writing under the pen name Captain Equity. His articles in the CABA newsletter archives are a veritable history of Mississippi political events and beyond, with no one spared his incisive wit.
Given his musical background, it was only fitting that Professor Hetherington be celebrated with a night of music. At the Old Capitol Inn, Trey Jones (Class of ‘98) and his band, Luckenbach, kept the crowd on their feet with a set list full of Willie Nelson’s biggest hits. When not on the dance floor, attendees could capture the moment at a photo booth or grab a signed copy of The Royal American Showmen concert poster from Professor Hetherington’s touring days. The night ended with Professor Hetherington joining Luckenbach onstage for a final song, in celebration of his 40 years of service to MC Law and the capital area legal community.
If you couldn’t make the party, you can still celebrate Professor Hetherington’s legacy by donating to the H. Lee Hetherington Fund. The Fund hopes to raise $25,000 to name a faculty office at MC Law in Professor Hetherington’s honor. Any donations made in excess of this amount will be added to the MC Law Annual Fund in honor of Professor Hetherington. Questions concerning the Fund may be directed to Ora Durham at firstname.lastname@example.org.