Sacerrimus intimæ pietatis indagator ("Devoted investigator of profound faithfulness"). Born April 2, 1936, in Edinburgh, Scotland, John Antony Weir, called “Tony” by friends and colleagues, graduated in 1952 from Fettes College, Edinburgh. Both polymath and polyglot, he was excused from regular classes in his last year at Fettes to roam through self-designed reading lists. At age sixteen he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. He deferred enrollment at Trinity for several years so that he could perform military service in the Cameronians, a Scots rifle regiment.
Initially a student of classical languages, Weir switched to law at Trinity and graduated in 1960 with a first. He spent the years from 1960 to 1962 at Tulane University Law School where he earned an LL.M. and then taught briefly. According to Stephen Zimmermann, who graduated from the law school with an LL.B. in 1964 and became a cherished friend who met Weir soon after his arrival, he must have enjoyed the conviviality of the Cameronians, for he gave up a military barracks for a Tulane law students’ dormitory. There he took under his wing a number of anxious first-year students, coached them through their first examinations, and assured them that diligent study would repay them handsomely.