Legal Theory, Legal History, & the Social Sciences

Legal History

The study of law and history at NYU Law has deep roots. The Legal History Colloquium is the longest-running legal history workshop in the country, and the Samuel I. Golieb Fellowship Program, which produces leading entry-level academics, is the oldest legal history fellowship program in the United States. The Law School’s legal history program also continues to grow and evolve; NYU is one of the few law schools today to offer non-US legal history.

The core law and history faculty include Daniel Hulsebosch, William Nelson ’65, and John Phillip Reid. Nelson pioneered research into early American county court records as sources of legal and social history. His research interests are legal history in colonial America and legal history in New York. Nelson and Reid co-teach the Colloquium on Legal and Constitutional History. Reid’s research areas include the history of Anglo-American liberty and the legal history of the North American fur trade. Hulsebosch specializes in imperial legal history. His scholarship ranges from early modern England to 19th-century United States. Throughout his work, he explores the relationships among migration, territorial expansion, and the development of legal institutions and doctrines. He teaches American Legal History and co-teaches the Legal History Colloquium with David Golove, one of several other faculty that have a strong and abiding interest in history, particularly in constitutional tradition. Barry Friedman, Helen Hershkoff, Roderick Hills Jr., Deborah Malamud, and Richard Pildes draw on a historical perspective to deepen students’ understanding of the evolution of the law.

NYU Law students can take up to 10 credits from NYU’s history department. They may also pursue a joint JD/PhD, conditional on being admitted to each program independently.