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The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel Hosts International Gathering of Legal Historians

November 17, 2010

Topics will include a new look at Roe v. Wade, historical perspectives on race in juvenile justice, indigenous groups’ rights to natural resources and emerging issues in citizenship and immigration. Panelists will include Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist who is now a senior research scholar in law and the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. The plenary, “Callings in Legal History and Transformed Lives,” will be given by Hendrik Hartog, the Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University. Presenters will feature legal historians from Brazil, Israel, France, England, China, Australia and Canada, as well as the U.S. “Philadelphia is the very birthplace of democracy, so I can’t imagine a more fitting place to gather so many legal historians,” said Associate Professor Donald Tibbs of the law school faculty and author of the upcoming book, From Black Power to Prison Power: the Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union. “Given the quality of scholarship that will be presented, I expect that a great deal of light will be shed on new as well as familiar historical topics.”

ASLH President Constance Backhouse, who is also Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, said the event will showcase emerging stars in legal history.

“This will be the most internationally diverse conference in the history of the American Society for Legal History,” Backhouse said. The event will include a reception at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where participants will examine a vast collection of original historical documents from copies of the Declaration of Independence to the Emancipation Proclamation. The plenary session, at 4:30 pm on Friday, Nov. 19, will be held in the Drexel University Main Auditorium and followed by a reception in the Main Building at 3141 Chestnut Ave. Panel discussions and other presentations will occur at the Doubletree Hotel at 237 South Broad St.

The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University takes a comprehensive approach to integrating experiential learning and a more traditional law school curriculum. Students gain hands-on experience through co-op placements, clinics and pro bono service, as well as simulations in class that prepare them for courtrooms, boardrooms and beyond.


News media contacts: Sarah Greenblatt, Earle Mack School of Law 215-571-4804,

Chris Silvestri, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705,

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