About the Program

Legal history has long been a curricular priority at the Law School and a strength of its faculty. UVA’s curriculum places the development of the law in historical context so that students can better understand both the past and present legal landscape. With 20 scholars in the Law School and 15 scholars in the Corcoran Department of History all teaching or doing work in legal history, UVA offers an unparalleled variety of lecture courses, seminars and clinics in the field. 

The Legal History Program is structured around two related components: 

Dual Degree (J.D.-M.A.) in History

The heart of the program is the Dual-Degree (J.D.-M.A.) Program in History, which enables law students to earn an M.A. in history during the same three years they are earning their J.D. As part of the program, J.D.-M.A. candidates present drafts of their theses to faculty. 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.  

About the J.D.-M.A. in History

Global Legal History

UVA is an international leader in opening global legal history to serious study worldwide. The Law School’s Legal History Program is affiliated with GLH@UVA, a cross-disciplinary enterprise focusing on global legal history based in UVA’s Corcoran Department of History. GLH@UVA aims to broaden awareness of the history of legal life around the globe.  

Program Committee

The program is run by an interdisciplinary Program Committee consisting of Charles Barzun, Fahad Bishara and Paul Halliday.

Faculty Director(s)
Charles Barzun
Professor of Law
Joel B. Piassick Research Professor of Law
Director, Program on Legal and Constitutional History