[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/11/art.bokaganclap0511.gi.jpg caption="Elena Kagan's friends are recalling their experiences with Obama's high court nominee."](CNN) - In the Hunter College High School yearbook of 1977, Elena Kagan is pictured in a judge's robe and holding a gavel.
Next to the photo is a quote from former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter that says, "Government is itself an art ... one of the subtlest of arts."
Now Kagan herself is a candidate to join the nation's highest court.
Friends from her past say the 50-year-old Kagan's successful career and possible lifetime Supreme Court appointment came as no surprise.