Law School’s John Witt is named the Duffy Class of 1960 Professor

John Fabian Witt, newly appointed as the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law, is a specialist in the history of American law and in torts.

He is the author of “Patriots and Cosmopolitans: Hidden Histories of American Law,” which explores law and nationhood at key moments in American history from the country’s founding to the Cold War. His book “The Accidental Republic: Crippled Workingmen, Destitute Widows and the Remaking of American Law,” was honored with the William Nelson Cromwell Prize from the American Society of Legal History, the J. Willard Hurst Book Prize from the Law and Society Association, the Thomas J. Wilson Prize at Harvard University Press and the Firestone Library Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics. A third book, “Lincoln’s Code: War and Humanity in America,” is forthcoming.

Witt holds three Yale degrees: a B.A. from Yale College (1994), a J.D. from the Law School (1999) and a Ph.D. in history (2000). He was the winner of the John Addison Porter and George Washington Egleston dissertation prizes.

Before joining the Yale Law School faculty as a professor of law and of history in 2009, Witt taught for nine years at Columbia University, where he was the George Welwood Murray Professor of Legal History. He has also been a visiting associate professor at Harvard Law School and a Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2000-2001.

Witt serves on the academic advisory board for the New York Historical Society Institute for Constitutional History and on the editorial boards of Law and History Review and Law and Social Inquiry.

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