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Legal History Roundtable

scholarly events

 Mary Bilder Frank Herrmann  Jim Rogers Dan Coquillette

In the fall of 2013, the Boston College Law School Legal History Roundtable started its 12th successful year. The Roundtable draws on Boston College Law School’s and Boston College’s strength and interest in legal history. The Roundtable offers an opportunity for Boston College faculty and faculty from other area institutions, students, and members of the Boston College community to meet and discuss a pre-circulated paper in legal history. Meeting several times each semester, the Roundtable seeks to promote an informal, collegial atmosphere of informed discussion.

For the 2013-2014 academic year, Professor Mary Sarah Bilder, Professor Daniel R. Coquillette, Professor Frank Herrmann and Professor James S. Rogers are conveners.

The Roundtable generally meets in the afternoon at 4:30 pm in the Boston College Law School Library conference room. Jointly sponsored lectures may be held in other locations. Refreshments are available at beginning at 4:15 pm. Papers will be available on the website shortly before each presentation.

For more information, please contact Judy Yi by calling the administrative assistants' office at (617) 552-4125 or emailing

Fall 2013

Thursday, Oct. 3: Daniel Klerman
“Legal Fictions as Strategic Instruments”

Daniel Klerman received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. Since 1998, Professor Klerman has been a full-time faculty member at USC Law School. In addition, he has taught at the University of Chicago Law School, Stanford Law School, the California Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University Law School, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. In 2004, he was awarded the Sutherland Prize from the American Society for Legal History for best article on English legal history. In 2001, he received the David Yale Prize from the Selden Society for distinguished contribution to the history of the laws and legal institutions of England and Wales. Professor Klerman’s scholarship concentrates on English legal history, civil procedure, and law and economics. He teaches Civil Procedure, Choice of Law, English Legal History, and Law, Language and Values.

Thursday, Oct. 24: Peter Pihos
The Local War on Drugs: Policing Chicago, 1968 – 1988

Peter C. Pihos is a candidate for a Ph.D. in History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is completing his dissertation, entitled Police Power and Civil Rights: the Battle for Chicago since the 1960s. After receiving a J.D. and an M.A. in Law & Society from New York University, he clerked for the honorable Dianne P. Wood of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. During the 2012-2013 academic year, he was the Raoul Berger - Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellow in Legal History at Harvard Law School. He currently a dissertation completion fellow at Penn's School of Arts and Sciences.

Spring 2014

Thursday, Jan. 23: Robert Gordon
"Markets, Morals and Lawyers – Can Lawyers Palliate the Pathologies of Commercial Societies, or Only Make Them Worse?"

Robert W. Gordon, Stanford Law School, has written extensively on contract law, legal philosophy, and on the history and current ethics and practices of the organized bar. Among Professor Gordon’s key works are The Legacy of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1992), and Storie Critiche del Diritto (Critical Legal Histories) (1995). Professor Gordon received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. Before going to law school, he worked as a newspaper reporter and served in the U.S. Army. Following law school, he served in the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts (1971). Professor Gordon has taught at Yale Law School, the University of Buffalo Law School SUNY, and the University of Wisconsin, and was a visiting professor at Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Toronto, and the European University Institute. Professor Gordon is a past president of the American Society for Legal History.

Thursday, Feb. 20: Brad Snyder
"The House of Truth"

A University of Wisconsin law professor, Brad Snyder teaches civil procedure, constitutional law, and constitutional history. He has written law review articles for the Law & History Review (forthcoming), Ohio State Law Journal, and Vanderbilt Law Review. Prior to teaching law, Snyder worked as an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP and wrote two critically acclaimed books about baseball including A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports (Viking/Penguin, 2006). A graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School, he clerked for the Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Snyder is currently working on a book project about Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, and other young progressives who lived at and frequented a Dupont Circle salon known as the House of Truth.


Previous presenters include:

Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor of Law and History at Harvard University
Emily Kadens, Baker and Botts Professor in Law at the University of Texas Austin
Sir John Baker, St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge
Anne Fleming, Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
Michael Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Professor of Law, University of Kansas
Pauline R. Maier, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History, MIT
Jack Rakove, William Robertson Co Professor of History and American Studies, Stanford Law School
Gerard N. Magliocca
, Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis
Hon. Margaret H. Marshall
Aniceto Masferrer, Professor of Legal History, University of Valencia and President, the Society for Comparative Legal History' (ESCLH)
Kristen Stilt, Northwestern University Law School
Abigail Chandler, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Hendrick Hartog, 
Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor of the History of American Law and Liberty of Princeton University
Jedidiah Kroncke, 
Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellow, Harvard Law School
Intisar Rabb,
 Professor, Boston College Law School
Professor Kif Augustine-Adams, J. Reuben Clark Law School
Professor Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University
Karen Beck, Curator of Rare Books, Boston College Law School
Professor Warren Billings, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, University of New Orleans History Department
Professor Barbara Black, Columbia Law School
Professor Susanna Blumenthal, University of Michigan Law School
Professor Emeritus Morris Cohen, Yale University Law School
Professor Kristin Collins, Boston University Law School
Professor Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut History Department
Professor Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
Professor Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
Professor Mary Dudziak, Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science, University of Southern California
Professor William B. Gould IV, Stanford University Law School
Professor Ariela Gross, University of Southern California Law School
Professor Paul Halliday, University of Virginia History Department
Professor Richard Helmholz, University of Chicago Law School
Professor Francis R. Herrmann, S.J., Boston College Law School
Professor Marilynn Johnson, Boston College History Department
Professor Bernie D. Jones, Suffolk University Law School
Professor Carolyn Jones, University of Iowa Law School

Professor Laura Kalman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Professor Linda Kerber, University of Iowa History Department
Professor Ken Kersch, Director of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, Boston College
Professor Marjorie Kornhauser, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
Professor Pnina Lahav, Boston University School of Law
Professor Kenneth Mack, Harvard Law School
Professor Joyce Malcolm, Bentley College History Department
Professor Ray Madoff, Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
Dr. Maeva Marcus, Editor of the Documentary History of the Supreme Court
Professor Jennifer Mnookin, University of Virginia Law School
Professor William Nancarrow, Curry College History Department (former Ph.D. candidate at Boston College)
Professor James Oldham, Georgetown University Law Center
Professor Ileana Porras, Visiting Professor at Boston College Law School
Professor James Rogers, Boston College Law School
Professor David Seipp, Boston University Law School
Professor Jed Shugerman, Harvard Law School
Mr. Anthony Taussig, London
Dean William Treanor, Fordham University Law School
Professor Russell Versteeg, New England School of Law
Dr. Michael von der Linn, Antiquarian Book Department, Law Book Exchange
Professor Robert Williams, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
Professor Michael Wilrich, Brandeis University History Department