Legal History

Owing to longstanding links between the Corcoran Department of History and the Law School, UVA is one of the nation’s premier centers for legal history. We have a large group, with depth in U.S. law and unusual range covering law’s history around the world. Members of our community study everything from crime in colonial Virginia and slaves’ use of the law to the Civil War and civil rights. We write about the law of piracy in the Mediterranean and legal relations across the Indian Ocean. Some of us explore colonial and post-colonial legal regimes from India to Mexico; others study modern human rights. We also contribute our scholarship to resolving current legal controversies. Our JD/MA program in legal history allows graduate and law students to share their distinct perspectives in their courses and outside of them. Two other activities bring us together. Our Legal History Workshop draws scholars from beyond UVA to discuss their scholarly work with us. More informally, we gather in a Legal History Writing Group to share writing in progress.


Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law, Professor of History
Law WB 389
Office Hours: F 12:00 - 1:30
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Labor History, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Julian Bishko Professor of History, Professor of Law
Nau 454
Office Hours: Mon. and Weds., 10:30-12:00; and by appointment
Themes: Empire & Colonialism, Legal History, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Associate Professor of Law, Associate Professor of History
Themes: Legal History, Political History
John B. Minor Professor of Law and Professor of History
361 Law
Office Hours: N/A
Themes: Intellectual History & History of Ideas, Legal History

Graduate Student

20th Century U.S., American Political Development, American Legal History, History of Capitalism
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Legal History, Political History