Legal Information Symposium – The Legal Treatise: Past, Present, and Future

Scan of the first two pages of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, with an image of William Blackstone

The Lillian Goldman Law Library, with the generous support of the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School, is pleased to announce its second legal information symposium: “The Legal Treatise: Past, Present, and Future,” scheduled to take place at Yale Law School on Friday, March 24, 2023. The papers presented at this event will be published as a special symposium issue of Law Library Journal.

This symposium will examine the legal treatise as a source and genre through the lenses of history, authorship, identity, and transition. The eminent legal historian John H. Langbein, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, will open the symposium with a keynote address entitled “The Rise and Fall of Legal Academic Treatise Writing in the United States.”

To attend in person or receive a link to watch the symposium via livestream, please register here.

A list of the presenters and their accepted papers appears below. A schedule can be found on the event page for the symposium.

Jane Bahnson (Duke University School of Law) and Wickliffe Shreve (Duke University School of Law) – Legal Treatises and the Evolution of Civil Rights CaseLaw

John Cannan (Villanova University School of Law) – Joel Bishop's Reign as King of the Treatise Writers and What It Means for Persuasive Authority

M.H. Hoeflich (University of Kansas School of Law) – Reprinting English Treatises in Antebellum America

Carlton F.W. Larson (UC Davis School of Law) – Treason and the Treatise: English Legal Treatises in the American Revolution and Early National Period

John Moreland (Indiana University Maurer School of Law) – To Train the Legal Mind: An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery and the Creation of a Pro-Slavery Legal Education

Dana Neacsu (Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University) and Paul D. Callister (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law) – The Persistent Treatise

Shawn Nevers (Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law) – The Treatise and the Code

Wesley M. Oliver (Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University) and Nicole Singleton (Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University) – Nineteenth-Century Treatise Writers and Legal Codifiers Created a Fossil Record of Framing-Era Miranda Warnings

Kent Olson (University of Virginia School of Law (retired)) – Citation of Treatises in Law Reviews: Bluebook and Reality

Anne Rajotte (University of Connecticut School of Law) – Zephaniah Swift and Swift’s System of Laws

Simon Stern (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) – The Treatise and the Human Figure

Amanda Watson (University of Houston Law Center) – Beyond Titles: Curating Relevant Law Library Collections

We would like to thank all those who submitted a proposal for their participation. Accepted papers were selected from nearly sixty submissions reviewed by a symposium steering committee chaired by Nicholas Mignanelli (Yale Law School) and consisting of Michael Chiorazzi (University of Miami School of Law), Kathryn James (Yale Law School), Anne Klinefelter (UNC School of Law), Julie Krishnaswami (Yale Law School), and Fred Shapiro (Yale Law School).

Please contact Law Library Administration with any questions about the symposium.

Library Programming

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