Freund, Ernst, 1864-1932

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Professor of law. J.U.D., University of Heidelberg, 1884; Ph. D. Columbia University, 1897. Professor of administrative law and municipal corporations, Columbia University, 1892-1893. Instructor in Roman law and jurisprudence, University of Chicago, 1894-1895; assistant professor, 1895-1900; associate professor of jurisprudence and public law, 1900-1902; professor of law, 1902-1932; J.P. Wilson Professor of Law, 1929-1932.

From the description of Papers, 1882-1934 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52247040

Ernst Freund, 1864-1932, was professor of law at the University of Chicago from 1902 to his death. Born in New York City during a brief visit by his German parents, Freund was raised in Dresden and Frankfurt-am-Main. He was educated at the Universities of Berlin and Heidelberg, receiving a Doctor of Law degree from the latter in 1884. Soon after, Freund immigrated to the United States where he practiced law in New York City. In 1892, he expanded his career by accepting a position as acting professor of administrative law at Columbia College. This position sparked an interest in teaching, which led Freund, in 1894, to abandon his law practice in order to accept a full-time appointment on the political science faculty at the University of Chicago as instructor of Roman law and jurisprudence. During his early years at Chicago, Freund pursued a part-time graduate career at Columbia, which awarded him a Ph.D. in political science in 1897.

Ernst Freund played a significant role in the founding of the University of Chicago Law School. William Rainey Harper's original plan for legal education at Chicago was to integrate a research-oriented institute of jurisprudence into the graduate programs of the university proper. In spite of his interest in political science and jurisprudence, Freund urged Harper to develop instead a professional graduate law school whose standards would surpass those of Harvard and Columbia. It was Freund's argument that legal research was already being conducted in the Departments of History, Political Science, Sociology, and Political Economy. If the new Law School attracted a quality faculty interested in the teaching of law, a research relationship would naturally develop. Freund's idea of legal curriculum incorporated traditional methods with a new emphasis on the Law School's responsibility to the University and community at large. In addition to standard courses, Freund advocated the teaching of constitutional and international law, administrative law, and various courses under the rubric of jurisprudence, which were then being taught in other departments of the University. This curriculum broke with the Harvard plan that stressed more strictly legal subjects which was then accepted as the model for American legal education. In spite of this concept of legal education, Freund turned to Harvard for leadership in organizing the new Law School. He recommended that Harper recruit Harvard's Joseph H. Beale, one of the foremost legal scholars in the nation, on a two-year appointment to put the new school in order. Beale accepted Harper's offer only after making it clear that Freund's plan would have to be modified. The resulting curriculum is described by Frank Ellsworth in his Developments in American Legal Education at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Ph.D. dissertation, 1976). Ellsworth writes:

By merging the traditional technical insight of Beale with the innovative ideals of Freund, a blend of the traditional and a farsighted curriculum occured and resulted in the first significant effort to liberalize the curriculum in legal education since Langdell's work at Harvard.

Freund joined the faculty of the new Law School as Professor in 1902. He continued in that position until 1929 when he was appointed the first holder of the John P. Wilson Professorship in Law, a position he held until his death in 1932.

Freund's career was composed of three basic parts: teacher, scholar, and advisor. In each of these areas, he integrated traditional legal scholarship, augmented by his experience in the German university, with a new emphasis on the interdisciplinary approach to legal education. Freund taught subjects which ranged from administrative law to social legislation and domestic relations. His scholarship rested on such significant contributions as The Police Power: Public Policy and Constitutional Rights (1904) and Standards of American Legislation (1917) for which he was awarded the James Barr Ames medal of the Harvard Law School. Along with these and other major works were numerous articles in the Social Science Review, Labor Legislation Review, and the Political Science Quarterly, which dealt with subjects that ranged from health insurance to illegitimacy. Freund played a major role as advisor to legislative agencies around the United States. He served as commissioner from Illinois to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He drafted the act creating the Illinois State Immigrant's Commission and served as president of the Immigrant's Protective League. His devotion to these and other social welfare activities led Jane Addams to eulogize him as one who, "never once failed to be sensitive to injustice and preventable suffering."

From the guide to the Freund, Ernst. Papers, 1882-1934, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part b. Correspondence (H-M), 1910-1915. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 1, part a. Correspondence (A-H), 1905-1910. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part c. Correspondence (N-W), 1910-1915. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Papers of Manley Ottmer Hudson, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Roscoe Pound Papers Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Correspondence, 1898-1954 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part a. Correspondence (A-G) 1910-1915. [microform]. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964. Papers, 1888-1964. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hazeltine, Harold D. (Harold Dexter), 1871-1960. Correspondence, 1898-1954. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Freund, Ernst, 1864-1932. Papers, 1882-1934 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964. Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Freund, Ernst. Papers, 1882-1934 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939. person
associatedWith American Association for Labor Legislation. corporateBody
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Hazeltine, Harold D. (Harold Dexter), 1871-1960. person
associatedWith Hudson, Manley O. (Manley Ottmer), 1886-1960. person
associatedWith Nestor, Agnes. person
associatedWith Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964. person
associatedWith Social Science Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Library. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Law--Study and teaching
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Birth 1864-01-30

Death 1932-10-20

English

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