Monday, December 21, 2015

Coquillette and Kimball's "On the Battlefield of Merit"

Daniel R. Coquillette, Boston College Law School, and Bruce A. Kimball, the Ohio State University, have published On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century, with the Harvard University Press:
Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, and foreign heads of state, along with senators, congressional representatives, social critics, civil rights activists, university presidents, state and federal judges, military generals, novelists, spies, Olympians, film and TV producers, CEOs, and one First Lady have graduated from the school since its founding in 1817.

During its first century, Harvard Law School pioneered revolutionary educational ideas, including professional legal education within a university, Socratic questioning and case analysis, and the admission and training of students based on academic merit. But the school struggled to navigate its way through the many political, social, economic, and legal crises of the century, and it earned both scars and plaudits as a result. On the Battlefield of Merit offers a candid, critical, definitive account of a unique legal institution during its first century of influence.

Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball examine the school’s ties with institutional slavery, its buffeting between Federalists and Republicans, its deep involvement in the Civil War, its reluctance to admit minorities and women, its anti-Catholicism, and its financial missteps at the turn of the twentieth century. On the Battlefield of Merit brings the story of Harvard Law School up to 1909—a time when hard-earned accomplishment led to self-satisfaction and vulnerabilities that would ultimately challenge its position as the leading law school in the nation. A second volume will continue this history through the twentieth century.
HUP posted a pointer to an interview of Professor Coquillette on WBUR on the Royall family and the controversy over Harvard Law School’s official seal.

TOC after the jump

Frontispiece: Winslow Homer (1836–1910), “Prisoners from the Front” (1866)
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. The English and Continental Roots of American Legal Education
  • 2. American Antecedents of Harvard Law School
  • 3. Founding a University Professional School of Law
  • 4. The School Saved
  • 5. Joseph Story’s Law School in the Young Republic
  • 6. The Greenleaf Transition
  • 7. The Gathering Storm
  • 8. Civil War and Aftermath
  • 9. Dean Langdell, First Casebooks, and Justice Holmes
  • 10. Curricular and Pedagogical Revolution
  • 11. Creating the “New System” of Legal Education
  • 12. The Paths of Four Students
  • 13. The “New System,” Triumphant and Invidious
  • 14. Students of Color at Harvard Law School
  • 15. “Beloved Dean Ames”
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
    • A. Enrollment and Number of LL.B.s Awarded, 1817–1910
    • B. Number of LL.B.s Awarded, 1820–1910
    • C. Documents Establishing the Royall Professorship, Harvard Law School, and Dane Professorship
    • D. Professorial Appointments, 1815–1910
    • E. Annual Expenses, Endowment, and Cash Reserves, 1830–1909
    • F. Largest Endowments of American Universities, 1875–1930
    • G. Student Research Papers Addressing the Period, 1817–1910
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

1 comment:

Shag from Brookline said...

The book description and Table of Contents suggest a most interesting read. I had occasion to research activities in Boston in the 1850s respecting the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and trials in Boston thereunder. The student body at the law school at Cambridge [when did the name change come about?] included a fair portion from the slave states who strongly protested Boston's mood to protect fugitive slaves; even some faculty [the faculty may have consisted of two/three professors at the time] took sides. Perhaps this was an early "originalist" movement? To its credit, even back then, the law school was diverse - geographically at least.