On Making History


Like a lot of lawyers, I would have been a history major if I could have made a living from it. Starting in the 8th grade, I read every historical biography I could lay my hands on. I searched the Arlington Public Library for biographies about women. That meant I read a lot of biographies about American Red Cross founder Clara Barton. As I recall, I read of no other woman. But biographies of lawyers were plentiful.

The leap from appreciating history to studying law is a short one. Lawyers predominate among the figures of American history. By definition, our history shapes our law and our law shapes our history. Just as precedent controls the law, history informs the present.

Excerpted from the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, Fall 2011, Vol. 1, No. 1. To read the full article, click here.

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