Constitutional Law and Legal History


Conference: The Legacy of Charles W. McCurdy, Nov. 1-2, 2015

The Law School’s curriculum places the history of law and the ongoing story of the Constitution in context so that students can better understand both the past and present legal landscape. With more than 25 faculty members in constitutional law and legal history, Virginia offers an unparalleled variety of lecture courses, seminars and colloquia in the field. Students interested in exploring legal history in depth have the option to complete a dual J.D.-M.A. in history in three years, working closely not only with Law School faculty but also with a wide range of faculty in the Corcoran Department of History. Hands-on experiences are also available through three clinics, on appellate litigation, the First Amendment and Supreme Court litigation, which offer students access to the practice of appeals based on constitutional argument. Virginia enriches its curriculum through lunch workshops and other events in which new and established scholars in the field discuss their work.

Program on Legal and Constitutional History

Virginia’s Program on Legal and Constitutional History creates a rich intellectual community of scholars and students with shared historical interests. It sponsors a dual-degree opportunity and a fellowship, and organizes workshops and author talks focused in the field.

J.D.-M.A. Program

In cooperation with the University of Virginia’s Corcoran Department of History, the Law School allows students to obtain a J.D. and an M.A. in history in three years. Several veterans of the dual-degree program have gone on to successful careers in legal academia, and recent graduates have clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justices. Law students interested in the program should contact the Law School faculty advisor, Professor Risa L. Goluboff.

Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship in Legal History

Offered through a partnership between the Miller Center and the Law School, the yearlong McCurdy Fellowship allows scholars to work in residence at the Law School while completing dissertations in legal and political history. The fellowship, which carries a $32,000 stipend, includes a mentorship program, the opportunity to coordinate and present work at the Law School's legal history workshop and the Miller Center’s Spring Fellowship Conference. More

Event Programming

The program sponsors a series of monthly legal history lunch workshops in which scholars and Virginia faculty members present works in progress. Advanced J.D.-M.A. candidates participate in these workshops and even present drafts of their own M.A. theses.

The program also sponsors a series of lectures and panel discussions in which authors of recent important books are invited to engage in discussions of their work with students and faculty participating in the Colloquium in American Legal History.

An informal legal history writing group allows faculty, law students and graduate students from the history department to present works-in-progress over dinner at the homes of faculty members.

Legal History Workshops, 2014-15

12 p.m., Faculty Lounge

Fall 2014
September 22 — Ajay Mehrotra, Indiana
October 27 — Rohit De, Yale

Spring 2015
January 26 — Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago
March 30 — David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis
April 13 — Taja-Nia Henderson, Rutgers

Contact: Professor Risa Goluboff