Thursday, December 6, 2012

Macias reviews Pearson, "Remaking Custom"

The latest issue of the Journal of Legal Education includes a review of Ellen Holmes Pearson, Remaking Custom: Law and Identity in the Early American Republic (University of Virginia Press, 2011). Reviewer Steven J. Macias (Southern Illinois University) offers this introduction:
Ellen Holmes Pearson makes the case that early republican legal scholars—those writing to circa 1830—were central to defining national identity and to creating an American culture. In a sense, these scholars, whom Pearson terms “legists,” were the progenitors of the modern-day law professor. Remaking Custom, therefore, should be of interest to all those concerned not only with the history of legal scholars but also with these legists’ potential for actively shaping the legal system. Pearson’s work is perhaps even more important at a time when the value of professors’ legal scholarship is so hostilely questioned by the bench, bar and public more generally.
Read on here.