Litchfield Law School Collection


Accession #:
Collections of Papers
Tapping Reeve; James Gould
between 1773 and 1990
Litchfield Law School Collection
Held at:
Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, Litchfield Historical Society
4 boxes and 50 volumes
In 1773, the newly married Tapping Reeve and Sally Burr Reeve settled in Litchfield where Reeve promptly established a legal practice. The following year, Sally's brother Aaron Burr came to live with them and Reeve began to instruct him in the law. Several prominent residents of Litchfield also sent their sons to Reeve for legal training, establishing his reputation as a teacher and forming the nucleus of what was to become America's first formal school of law.

As the number of students increased, Reeve began to develop a series of formal lectures that prepared students to take the bar exam and practice law. In the years following the Revolution most lawyers taught through the apprenticeship system because there were no schools that offered law degrees. Reeve’s decision to pass ...

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