Legal History

1091 ABA Journal Legal History articles.

‘White Fright’ author discusses historical lynch mobs and the attack on the Capitol

Historian Jane Dailey discusses her new book, White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America’s Racist History, and what America’s history with lynch mobs can teach us about the attack on the Capitol.

Top 5 Your Voice columns of 2020

From what law students can learn from the musical Hamilton to tips on marketing your practice during the pandemic, the ABA Journal’s Your Voice section hosted a number of fascinating columns in 2020.

Top 10 stories of 2020

When we look back at our most-read stories every year, there is usually a pretty eclectic mix. Our readers tend to like unusual headlines, lawyer discipline stories and legal education news. But this year’s most-read stories were fittingly more serious.

Check out our 9 favorite Instagram posts from 2020

It’s been quite a year, to say the least, and it’s hard to believe 2021 is just around the corner.

Over the last year, we’ve featured on our Instagram…

Serial killings are waning, leading to speculation about the cause
The number of serial killings surged in the 1980s and has been dropping ever since.
Pardon me? A look at the broad, yet somewhat-murky clemency powers of a president

Presidents have long used the pardon power in ways that have resulted in outrage and controversy. One of the broadest, yet least-understood clauses in the U.S. Constitution, the pardon power has been the subject of renewed focus and attention, thanks to the parlor game of what President Donald Trump can or cannot do with regards to granting clemency.

Yale law librarian’s top 10 quotes of the year include 1 by Justice Ginsburg before her death
A quote attributed to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before her death has made a top 10 list of quotes for the year compiled by Yale Law School law librarian Fred Shapiro.
Afternoon Briefs: Prison contraband hidden in footballs; Kamala Harris’ husband gets teaching job

Sensing technology detects football contraband tossed into prison

Footballs and packages tossed into a Mississippi prison yard early Monday morning contained cellphones, marijuana, cigars and barbecue chicken wings. Officials at…

Joe Lieberman reflects on 50 years in law and politics, ‘recounts’ Bush v. Gore

As far as the 2000 election, “not all the lawsuits that I thought were plausible, and should be filed, were filed,” says Joe Lieberman, a former longtime senator from Connecticut and nominee for vice president in the 2000 election.

Lawyers involved in the gun debate are primed for the Supreme Court to take the next big case

As fatal police shootings and gun violence ravage Black communities, and mass shootings and active shooter drills have become ingrained in the American experience, local and state governments have countered the threat by creating more gun laws. As gun rights groups have fought those laws in the courts, it’s become a common refrain that trial judges are flouting the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller and undermining Second Amendment rights.

Jan. 13, 1914: Wright brothers awarded patent on flying machine
Posthumous bar admission granted in case of Black man who sought law license in 1882
A Black man who sought to become a lawyer in Dallas in 1882 after reading the law has been granted bar admission posthumously, thanks to the work of two appeals judges who did the historical research.
Afternoon Briefs: Secretaries get extra bonuses at this law firm; AG Barr warns of liberal DAs

Secretaries at this law firm get extra bonuses; associates left out

Goodwin Procter will pay an extra $1,000 to all secretaries to recognize “hard work during these challenging times,” according…

Oct. 24, 1865: The ‘Demon of Andersonville’ is convicted

Capt. Heinrich Hartmann Wirz wasn’t the only Confederate soldier prosecuted for war crimes after the Civil War—there were thousands of them—but Wirz was easily the most reviled.

Is this a moment or a movement? 6 civil rights lawyers reflect on recent demands for racial justice

Lawyers have a long tradition of supporting efforts to bring racial and social justice to this country. Recent killings of unarmed Black people by police have sparked a new wave of protests and demonstrations on a scale not seen in decades. Once again, the nation has been forced to pay attention.

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