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Legal History

  • A Labor of Love on Love’s Labors

    July 1, 2008

    As a 3L at Yale Law School in the mid-1960s, Charles Donahue studied a series of decisions by Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) that became the basis of marriage law in Western Europe for the next three centuries. At the time, he didn’t realize how they would come to rule his own life.

  • Glenn Cohen wearing bright red glasses

    Four young HLS faculty members selected to participate in Junior Faculty Forum

    May 15, 2008

    Assistant Professors I. Glenn Cohen '03, Adriaan Lanni, Jed Shugerman, and Matthew Stephenson '03 each had papers selected for the ninth annual Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum, which will take place at Yale Law School in June.

  • Professor Charles Donahue

    Donahue to publish study of marriage and law in the Middle Ages

    February 20, 2008

    This month, Cambridge University Press will publish Professor Charles Donahue’s “Law, Marriage, and Society in the Later Middle Ages: Arguments about Marriage in Five Courts,” a 696-page comprehensive study of medieval marriage culture and litigation.

  • Professor Harold Berman at the podium

    Harold J. Berman, 1918-2007

    November 13, 2007

    Professor Emeritus Harold J. Berman, an expert on comparative, international, and Soviet law as well as legal history and philosophy and the intersection of law and religion, died November 13. He was 89. Known for his energetic and outgoing personality, Berman recently celebrated his 60th anniversary as a law professor.

  • Who Said It?

    July 4, 2007

    A quiz, courtesy of the Potter Stewart, of famous quotations.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money

    July 1, 2007

    Finally, the Supreme Court may have to decide what the Second Amendment means. But how much will really change?

  • Assistant Professor Adriaan Lanni studies the rhetoric and speeches of Athenian law.

    From Here to Modernity

    July 23, 2006

    Scholars have long been fascinated by the democracy of classical Athens and the ways it is mirrored in democratic governments of today. Athenian law, on the other hand, has received little attention, since no modern legal system is descended from it.

  • Illustrations from a 16th century book

    Exhibit highlights the first international war crimes tribunal

    April 1, 2006

    Included in a recent HLS library exhibit, these illustrations from a 16th-century book show instruments of torture and a criminal on the way to…

  • Blood and Hope: Samuel Pisar’s triumph of the spirit

    September 1, 2005

    As a renowned international attorney and a Holocaust survivor, Samuel Pisar LL.M. '55 S.J.D. '59 has experienced mankind's capacity for genius and madness. His survival was a triumph of human spirit. His advocacy for peaceful coexistence is a message from one who has lived through hell on earth.

  • Crime Pays

    July 1, 2005

    For 19th century printers, crime was good business. Brutal murders and other horrific crimes translated into profit when they became the subjects of single-page printings. Today close to 400 of these broadsides, most printed in England from 1820 to 1860, are preserved in an HLS library collection. They highlight acts of wrongdoing, purported confessions from the accused (often set in verse), and accounts of trials and public executions. Many are illustrated with woodcuts.

  • Walter Seward wearing Harvard hat

    Survival of the Fittest

    September 1, 2004

    Some honors take longer to attain than others. More than 75 years after graduating from law school, 108-year-old Walter Seward '24 ('27) has earned distinction as Harvard's oldest living graduate.

  • Nazi defendants in the first of the 13 Nuremberg war crimes trials on Nov. 11, 1945.

    Documenting Nuremberg

    April 1, 2004

    HLS Library digitizes more than 1 million pages of Nuremberg Trial documents

  • Josh Gottheimer

    Spreading the Words

    April 1, 2004

    Thanks to Josh Gottheimer '04, the greatest American civil rights speeches are together for the first time, demonstrating the injustices and progress of a growing nation and ultimately, he says, hope for its future.

  • Julieanna L. Richardson '80

    A Different Voice

    April 1, 2004

    Richardson is founder and executive director of the Chicago-based nonprofit organization The HistoryMakers.

  • One woman in a class full of men

    When I’m ’64

    July 1, 2003

    In her new book, Judith Richards Hope details the struggles and successes of the women classmates who "took the place of a man."

  • A Man of Letters

    A Man of Letters

    April 1, 2003

    John Knox LL.M. '36 was not short on confidence. "My name will survive as long as man survives," he wrote while an HLS student, "because I am writing the greatest diary that has ever been written."

  • The Sorrow and the Hope

    July 1, 2002

    Benjamin Ferencz '43 had an opportunity Eli Rosenbaum could never have--to bring Nazis before a criminal tribunal. In 1947 Ferencz served as chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trial of 22 SS officers, including six generals, accused of mass murder.

  • Eli Rosenbaum '80

    Never Forget

    July 1, 2002

    Eli Rosenbaum '80 is driven to bring Nazis to justice before it's too late.

  • Meltzer and Driver laughing

    The New 1L

    July 1, 2002

    For the first time in decades, HLS has changed the basic structure of its first-year experience, and students and faculty are singing the praises of The New 1L.

  • Mary Ann Glendon

    Glendon on Roosevelt and Rights

    September 12, 2001

    Professor Mary Ann Glendon set out to write a straightforward history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But Eleanor Roosevelt would not let her do it.

  • Book Gift Makes HLS Preeminent Resource for Anglo-American Legal History

    July 1, 2001

    Surviving a journey of centuries, about 1,000 volumes of rare English law books spanning 400 years of legal writing were delivered to Langdell Library this…