Monday, November 1, 2010

Legal History in U.S. Law Schools

Greetings to the Legal History Blog, and thanks to Mary, Dan, Karen and Clara for all the great services the blog provides.

A recent paper of Bill Novak's, wending its way toward publication in the Michigan State Law Review, adverts to the unparalleled interest in legal history among current U.S. law teachers. Bill references the 2009-10 AALS Directory's list of Law Teachers by Subject. He aroused my curiosity and so I did some rough counts, based on names per column and columns per subject. Nearly 500 teachers name Legal History as a subject of interest, well above the mean number per subject (about 340) and nearly double the median (about 260). Legal History sits between Civil Rights (more than 600 teachers) and Criminal Justice and Employment Discrimination (each about 440). Legal History is by considerable measure the most heavily populated among the subjects one might term "theory/perspective," outpolling Law and Social Science (about 340), Law and Economics (fewer than 300), Law and Literature (fewer than 200), and Critical Race Theory and Feminist Legal Theory (both fewer than 100). It also outpolls major substantive law subjects such as Antitrust and Labor Law (each about 370), Women and the Law (fewer than 300) and Immigration Law (about 220). I am now interested enough to be working on this measure over time. Hopefully more figures will emerge over the course of the coming month!

1 comment:

  1. Chris, this is so interesting. But I wonder whether the AALS listings underplay the some areas, e.g. law & economics. The AALS listing is based on what courses you teach, not what your scholarly focus or methodology is. I think there are lots of law & econ scholars who don't teach a course called "law and economics," but instead bring law & econ into other courses. Here's just one example: http://utdirect.utexas.edu/loreg/pcrs.WBX?id=js59483. I expect the same is true of critical race theory and feminist legal theory.

    Still, this is interesting & I'd love to hear more!

    ReplyDelete