The Case for American History in the Law-School Curriculum


This article argues for the teaching of American History throughout the first year of law school. I do not believe that students can fully understand the cases they are reading in other courses without a knowledge of environing context. Understanding American History -- which is many respects doesn't paint a flattering picture -- may also help students in making fundamental choices about what role they wish to play in their careers as lawyers. I believe it is time to recognize that too much of the profession is run as a business and not as a noble calling dedicated to helping those who cannot help themselves. My own view is that the latter approach leads to happiness and peace of mind in the lives of lawyers and thus may counter the malaise that seems to have settled over the profession -- one in which attorneys are dissatisfied with their personal and professional lives.


Legal Education | Legal History | Legal Profession

Date of this Version

October 2006