Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Center for Law and Liberal Education

The Center for Law and Liberal Education was formed in 1977. Professor Edward N. Beiser, who became the director of the Center, had worked on planning the Center with other faculty members, Harold Ward, a chemistry professor with a law degree, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, a sociology professor and author of Lawyers and Their Society: a Comparative Study of the Legal Profession in Germany the United States, and history professor Gordon Wood, who wrote The History of the American Republic. The goals of the Center were the coordination of faculty members whose work touched on legal issues, the addition of faculty scholars from the legal profession, and the development of an undergraduate concentration in Law and Society. The first appointment was that of James Friedman ’71 to a junior faculty position called Preceptor in Law and Liberal Education. His first course offering was on “The Legal Process and Energy Policy.” To mark the first anniversary of the Center in December 1977, Anthony Lewis spoke on “Law in a Civilized Society,” and commented on the future of the Center, “It will help to make law, as a way of looking at society, a more pervasive part of our civilization.” The purpose of the Center is the study of legal institutions, not preprofessional education. An honors concentration developed by the Center entitled Law and Society is open to fifteen members of the junior class.