Roll Over Langdell, Tell Llewellyn the News: A Brief History of American Legal Education Academic Article uri icon


  • The origin of this essay is a presentation the author made at the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas on December 10, 2008. This essay is derived from the author's presentation, which originally was entitled "A Brief and Highly Selective History of American Legal Education and Jurisprudence. " In this essay, the author provides an overview of the history and development of legal education in America, emphasizing the establishment and evolution of the case method of instruction in American law schools and focusing on the influence of American jurisprudence on the development of legal education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing on Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Benjamin N. Cardozo, and Karl N. Llewellyn (among others), the author discusses the impact that American legal education has had on American jurisprudence and the reciprocal impact that American jurisprudence has had on both the means and the ends of legal education in the United States. The author concludes with a brief exploration of the direction of American legal education in the early twenty-first century.

published proceedings

  • Oklahoma City University Law Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Alton, S. R

complete list of authors

  • Alton, Stephen R

publication date

  • July 2010