Duquesne Law Review


David W. Raack


Despite its recent increase in popularity, the subject of legal history is generally viewed as having relatively little importance in the law school curriculum. While there may at one time have been some justification for this view, the changes in legal history-both as a scholarly discipline and as a law school courseover the past several decades, and the shift away from an exclusive focus on medieval English law, have made legal history a subject with much potential for legal education. A course in legal history can enhance students' understanding of the legal system and the long-term forces at work within it, can reveal the historical contingency of the present law, and can illustrate some of the ways law is affected by non-legal influences. Given these possible benefits, legal history-especially American legal history-deserves a more prominent place in legal education.

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