These courses offer context, perspective and introductory readings about or relevant to legal history to interested students.
Advanced Courses and Seminars
These advanced courses immerse students in the study of legal history. Students are advised to enroll in a foundational course prior to taking an advanced offering.
American Legal History, 1776 – 1865 (Gordon-Reed)
American Legal History: Law and Social Reform, 1929-1973 (Brown-Nagin)
Legal History: English Legal History (Donohue)
Making Legal History (Rosenberg)
The Constitutional Law of Money (Desan)
Politics, Social Life and Law in Jeffersonian America (Gordon-Reed)
American Legal Education (Coquillette)**
**taught by non-affiliated faculty or visiting faculty
The Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Legal History Fellowship
The Berger-DeWolfe Legal History Fellowship is awarded annually to an applicant to support the completion of major piece of scholarship in the field of legal history. Fellows are invited to be a part of the Legal History workshop, which meets periodically through the academic year. For more information about qualifications and the application process, see the website description of the fellowship.
The Law School offers a coordinated degree program with the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Students in the program earn a JD and a PhD, allowing them to integrate the study of law with their doctoral studies in history. Several members of the Harvard History Department work in areas related or highly relevant to the law.
To be admitted to the JD/PHD program, students must apply to and be separately admitted to both the Law School and to GSAS. The Law School has a financial assistance program for some eligible JD/PhD students. Additional questions about the coordinated JD/PhD program may be addressed to Thomas Graca, HLS Assistant Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs, and to Patrick O’Brien, GSAS Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
Students who wish to pursue academic careers in this area should enroll in a variety of the offerings described above combined with significant research and writing under the direction of relevant faculty. For further information, contact program leaders and advising faculty.