History & the Law

Lawyers Make History: Sir John Gay Alleyne, a barrister, had a hand in developing what became Mount Gay rum distillery. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.

Sir John Gay Alleyne: Barrister, Politician & Rum Maker

Alternative Legal Careers, 1700s Caribbean Edition As one who most definitely chose an unconventional path for the use of my law degree, I tend to collect the stories of others who have done the same….

Lawyers Make History: A courthouse in Concepción de Ataco, El Salvador. Photo credit: Lori Tripoli.

Courthouses Around the World: Concepción de Ataco, El Salvador

Standing outside the gates to the small courthouse in Concepción de Ataco, El Salvador, one cannot help but think about the role of courts and how architecture and design reinforce that role, or not. Should…

Lawyers Make History: The Antigua courthouse in St. John's is now a museum. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.

An Antigua Courthouse Turned Museum in St. John’s

“Everything in the island speaks of evanescence and the lapse of time,” Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote of Antigua in his 1950 book, The Traveller’s Tree, and the 1750s Antigua courthouse in St. John’s is no…

The American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has announced that Phyllis Randolph Frye, a City of Houston Municipal Courts associate judge who reportedly is the first openly transgender judge to be appointed in Texas, is one of the recipients of the 2017 Stonewall Awards.

American Bar Association Honors Transgender Judge

Appreciating Phyllis Randolph Frye The American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual  Orientation and Gender Identity has announced that Phyllis Randolph Frye, a City of Houston Municipal Courts associate judge who reportedly is the first openly…

A one-room, freestanding law office from the late 1700s, now at Old Sturbridge Village, Mass. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Work in a One-Room Law Office

Who Was John McClellan, and Why Is His Office in Old Sturbridge Village? A desk, a fireplace, and a bookcase full of volumes of American Jurist mark the 1796 office of lawyer John McClellan of…

The Old Courthouse, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Courthouses around the World: Old Courthouse, Cong, Ireland

An Approachable Courthouse in County Mayo The Old Courthouse on Abbey Street in Cong, Ireland now serves as a tourist office. The Proclamation of the Irish Republic is displayed outside, as it is at other…

What we can learn from the life and death of Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade

Not Exactly a Roe Model

The Life and Death of Roe v. Wade Class Action Plaintiff Norma McCorvey Obituaries of the recently deceased Norma McCorvey, perhaps best known as the class action plaintiff pseudonymously named Jane Roe in the Supreme Court…

The other guy confessed, but you're the accused. Should the government get to suppress the confession?

The Other Guy Confessed. Shouldn’t You Know?

Marking the Passing of E. Clinton Bamberger Say you happen to be standing trial for murder. Let’s suppose that somehow you got yourself entangled in a bit of a mess and that you weren’t alone when…

What exactly are federal judges committing to when they take the bench?

The Equality of Poor and Rich, So Help Me God

More than 125 years ago, the first Judiciary Act was passed by the first Congress.  The first president—George Washington—signed it the same day. The Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73 (Sept. 24, 1789) establishes district…

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