In this article, Professor Carrington offers an intellectual history of Thomas McIntyre Cooley. Cooley, a close contemporary of Dean Langdell, was in his time the premier judge, law teacher, and legal scholar in America, overshadowing not only Langdell, but his somewhat younger associate, Oliver Wendell Holmes. The twentieth century has neglected, even scorned, Cooley, while elevating Langdell and Holmes: Langdell as the patron of the technographic profession trained by Hessians, and Holmes as the patron of a disengaged academic sub-profession. In the Jacksonian universe producing Cooley, there was little appreciation of the likes of either Landgell and his successors, or Holmes and his. This article compares the law teachings of Cooley to that of Langdell, and his judging to that of Holmes, and imagines that Cooley might in the twenty-first century regain some of the respect he lost in the twentieth.
Paul D. Carrington, Law as “The Common Thoughts of Men”: The Law-Teaching and Judging of Thomas McIntyre Cooley, 49 Stanford Law Review 495-546 (1997)