Legal History

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Whereas smaller law schools might boast one or two legal historians, Georgetown Law’s size allows it to have a virtual history department within its walls. Legal historians at Georgetown Law study domestic topics ranging from constitutional history to the twentieth century history of the administrative state to the history of consumer lending, and international topics such as eighteenth century English legal history and Chinese legal history.

Georgetown Law students enjoy unique opportunities to conduct original research in rare books and manuscripts at the National Archives, Library of Congress, Folger Library, and the Special Collections Department of Georgetown Law's Edward Bennett Williams Library. 

While some go on to pursue doctoral degrees in history, the many more students who become lawyers gain valuable insights into the origins or earlier phases of their fields of practice thanks in part to their unique access to original works.


Randy Barnett Profile
Randy Barnett
Laura Donohue Profile
Laura Donohue
Daniel Ernst Profile
Daniel Ernst
Anne Fleming Profile
Anne Fleming
James Oldham Profile
James Oldham
Jeffrey Shulman Profile
Jeffrey Shulman
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Advanced Constitutional Law Seminar: The Framing and Ratification of the Constitution

British Legal History Seminar: from the Celts to the Industrial Age, 1-1890 C.E.

English Legal History Seminar: Foundations of American Law

Jury Trials in America: Understanding and Practicing Before a Pure Form Democracy

Supreme Court History from John Jay to John Roberts
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  • Randy E. Barnett, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People (New York: Broadside Books 2016).   
  • Randy E. Barnett, Foreword: Why Popular Sovereignty Requires the Due Process of Law to Challenge "Irrational or Arbitrary" Statutes, 14 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 355-372 (2016).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Martin S. Lederman, Reconstructing RFRA: The Contested Legacy of Religious Freedom Restoration, 125 Yale L.J. F. 416-441 (2016).    [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
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Faculty in the News

"Before We Go To War With North Korea, The President Owes Americans A Public Debate," coverage by The Federalist, January 16, 2018, quoting Associate Professor Marty Lederman.

"Boycotting Trump: A budding movement among House Democrats ignores recent history," coverage by The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2018, quoting Professor Randy Barnett.

"Trump’s War on Pot Could Split Republicans in 2018," coverage by Bloomberg Businessweek, January 11, 2018, quoting Professor Randy Barnett.

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Centers & Institutes

Center for the Constitution




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