Stephen A. Conrad

Stephen A. Conrad

Professor of Law

  • B.A., Haverford College
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • J.D., Yale University
  • Associate, Ropes & Gray, Boston, Mass.
  • PhD in History, Harvard University

Before becoming a lawyer, Professor Conrad became a historian. In fact, Conrad still publishes as frequently in history journals as in law reviews.

At Harvard, his history dissertation was about a school of eighteenth-century philosophy that greatly influenced the American Founding, especially the framing of our federal Constitution and early Supreme Court jurisprudence. As a student at the Yale Law School, Conrad pursued the connections between his history background and legal scholarship. Since then his research has been supported by many preeminent fellowships at, for example, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson Program at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Humanities Center, and twice from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

At Indiana Law, Conrad teaches most of his courses from an outsider's perspective, specifically seeking to question critically the very authority of legalism, as an ethos and ideology of rule-following. This is true not only of his courses in American legal and constitutional history, but in family law, as well.

Drawing on his days as an associate at the law firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, Conrad also teaches one course very much focused on training for the everyday practice of law: Remedies & Equity, a course he "tries to conduct as if [he] were the supervising partner in a law firm."

Although an avowed "left liberal," he has been closely associated with The Liberty Fund in Indianapolis. He also has a longstanding association with many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered support and advocacy organizations, both at Indiana University and in the greater Bloomington community.

Selected Works
  • James Wilson, in THE YALE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN LAW (Roger K. Newman, Ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.
  • Citizenship in BERKSHIRE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD HISTORY (William Hardy McNeill and Jerry H. Bentley, Eds.). Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing, 2005.
  • James Wilson in OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY: IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BRITISH ACADEMY: FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE YEAR 2000 (H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Howard Harrison, Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • James Wilson, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT (Alan Charles Kors, Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Citizenship, in THE OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Kermit Hall and David Scott Clark, Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Teaching Law After September 11th, 9 IDEAS: THE MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL HUMANITIES CENTER 47 (2002).
  • The Rhetorical Constitution of "Civil Society" at the Founding: One Lawyer's Anxious Vision, 72 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 335 (1997).
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