“It wasn’t like I was Doogie Howser,” Liz Glazer said of her precocious success, but she wasn’t far off. She picked up a master’s degree in philosophy during her four years as an undergraduate, then shot through law school and landed a job at a Wall Street firm before becoming a full-time law professor at age 27. And then, shortly after attaining hard-won tenure, she quit to pursue a life in stand-up comedy.
Ms. Glazer’s “success-mindedness” was instilled in her by her family. She grew up in New Jersey, where she was one of the few conservative Jews attending an Orthodox day school. She was far from a class clown. All four of her grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and her mother had been born in a displaced-persons camp. “My parents inherited their parents’ trauma to the tune of thinking the Nazis would come to our house if I didn’t go to law school,” she said.
At the University of Pennsylvania, she studied philosophy, writing her master’s thesis on Kantian aesthetics. Ms. Glazer’s mentor, Heidi Hurd, who taught both philosophy and law, gave her a piece of advice: Become a law professor. “The jobs are relatively easier to get than philosophy professorships, and you can teach law and write about philosophy,” Ms. Glazer said.
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