Lawrence M. Friedman

The Law Is Continually Adapting to the Values of Contemporary Society. Sometimes Rapidly, Sometimes Slowly

Lawrence M. Friedman (born April 2, 1930)

is an American law professor and expert in American legal history. He has been a member of the faculty at Stanford Law School since 1968.

Friedman received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago in 1948 and his J.D. and LL.M from the University of Chicago Law School (where he was on the staff of theUniversity of Chicago Law Review) in 1951 and 1953, respectively. Admitted to the bar in Illinois in 1951, he was associated with the firm of D'Ancona, Pflaum, Wyatt, and Riskind inChicago from 1955 to 1957. Friedman taught at Saint Louis University School of Law as Assistant Professor of Law (1957–60) and as Associate Professor of Law (1960–61). He then moved to the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was Associate Professor of Law (1961–65) and then Professor of Law (1965–68). He was a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School from 1966 to 1967 and moved to Stanford in 1968. He holds courtesy appointments with Stanford's department of history and political science.

Friedman is the recipient of six honorary law degrees: LL.D. degrees from the University of Puget Sound Law School (1977), John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (1989), University of Lund (Sweden) (1993), John Marshall Law School (1995), and University of Macerata (Italy) (1998), and a D.Juris. from the University of Milan (Italy) (2006).

Friedman is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been the President of Law and Society Association and the Research Committee on Sociology of Law.

In 2007, Brian Leiter found that Friedman was the most-cited law professor in the field of legal history, with 1890 citations between 2000 and 2007.

Friedman is internationally recognized in the field of legal history. He is regarded as one of the founders of the Law and Society movement in North America and an influential figure within the sociology of law.

Among his most significant works are:

  • Inside the Castle: Law and the Family in 20th Century America, 2011 (co-authored with Joanna Grossman).
  • A History of American Law, 3rd ed., New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
  • American Law in the 20th Century, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002
  • Crime and Punishment in American History,", New York (Basic Books) 1993)
  • The Horizontal Society, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. 310 pages.
  • The Legal System: A Social Science Perspective, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1975.
  • "Guarding Life's Dark Secret: Legal and Social Controls over Reputation, Propriety, and Privacy," Stanford University Press, 2007.

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