Professor Shimm was a native of New York City, graduated with honors in 1947 from Columbia University after a hiatus of three years serving in the Army in World War II and emerging as a Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He attended Yale Law School, again graduating with honors, in 1950. He practiced law privately in New York City from 1950 to 1951 and was an attorney for the Wage Stabilization Board in Washington, D.C., from 1951 to 1952. He first taught law as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago in 1952 and came to Duke Law School the following year. In addition to his teaching and his work with Duke Law publications, he served as Associate Dean of the Law School from 1978 to 1983. He also taught at New York University and the Universities of Southern California, North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas.

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