Announcing Legal History Writing Competition

Eighth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Eighth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School.

The competition is designed to encourage scholarship and to acquaint students with the AALL and law librarianship, and is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses to attend the AALL Annual Meeting.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., April 18, 2016 (EST).

Posted in for Students, Front Page News

New Exhibit: Early English Legal Manuscripts

frankpledge_smTarlton Law Library is fortunate to hold  several hundred legal manuscripts from the early modern period, almost entirely from the United Kingdom. The earliest date from the fourteenth century, and the most recent are from the early twentieth century. Some are single sheets just a few inches across, others are multiple pages on the largest parchment available. Still others are written on paper. Many kinds of legal transactions are represented, as are documents from both civil, criminal, and ecclesiastical courts.

View of Frankpledge, 1534

For more information, please contact

Elizabeth Haluska-Rausch, Curator of Rare Books

Posted in Exhibits, Front Page News, Rare Books

Spring 2016 Course Offerings

The Tarlton Law Library will be offering four different legal research courses for the spring 2016 semester:

These are all short professional skills courses for one pass/fail credit to help prepare you for practice. Read more ›

Posted in for Students, Front Page News

New title at Tarlton by Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz. Abraham: The World’s First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer. New York: Nextbook, 2015. Read more ›

Posted in Collection Highlights, for Faculty, for Students, New Titles

New title at Tarlton about affirmative action

George Gerapetritis. Affirmative Action Policies and Judicial Review Worldwide. New York: Springer, 2016. Read more ›

Posted in for Faculty, for Students, New Titles

A Legal Holiday Tradition

Attorney businessman, and part-time author, Williston Fish created the sentimental “Last Will of Charles Lounsbury” in 1897.  Also known as A Last Will, The Hobo’s Will or The Happy Testament, it first appearedChatto & Windus, The Happy Testament in Harper’s Weekly in 1898.  It was reprinted many times, often in a garbled or “improved” form. This fictional “prose-poetry” testament was often printed in the guise of an actual legal instrument, frequently without attribution, or at least accurate attribution

For generations of attorneys, it became a classic that circulated widely around the holidays as a gift-book or holiday greeting.

For more on Williston Fish visit the online exhibit.

Posted in Exhibits, Rare Books

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