Nicholas Triffin

Nicholas Triffin

Died April 8, 2000

Originally in the Class of ’64, Nick prepared at Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven and Ste. Croix in Paris, France while being raised in both Connecticut and France. Nick studied political science and economics at the Universita di Roma and graduated cum Laude from Yale with majors in political science and philosophy in 1965. He later received an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1968, specializing in international law on the way to the private practice of law at the Manhattan firm of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher.

Then the world of masters of library science in 1978 from the Rutgers Graduate School of Information and Library.

Nick then rose through the world of law library science until he reported in the class book and directory for our 25th reunion in 1990 that he was professor of law and director of the Law Library at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY. Before that time, Nick was a law librarian at the University of Connecticut Law School and Hamline University Law School in St. Paul, MN. Nick was the director of the Institute of International Commercial Law at Pace Law School until he stepped down as director of the Pace Law Library and became a full-time professor of international law and advanced legal research in 1998. That fall, he spent a sabbatical semester at Yale Law School, where he revisited the study of international law in preparation for his new teaching assignment at Pace. He loved being back at Yale and often spoke warmly of the gracious hospitality shown him by the Yale community during his time there.

Nick was a rare book collector, a home vintner and an avid white water kayaker. For many years he was a member of the Wilton CT’s Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

As an instructor at Pace, Nick was extremely popular with his students, who valued his commitment to them. He produced pages of insightful comments on students’ written work and was always accessible.

He died on April 8, 2000 after a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, survived by his wife, Madeleine, co-author with Nick of Drafting History of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and son, Rob. His daughter, Amy, an accomplished artist, predeceased him in 1992.

Nick is remembered as continuing to fulfill his personal and professional obligations with grace and dignity even as disease made him frail. He taught his last class just a few days before his death. According to those around him, it never occurred to Nick to give up.