About Jerome Hall

Picture of Jerome HallJerome Hall (1901-1992) was a pioneer in interdisciplinary analysis of legal problems. So influential is Hall’s scholarship that, though he died in 1992, his work is still cited regularly in major law journals. A member of the Indiana University Law faculty from 1939 to 1970, Hall was internationally recognized for his books, articles, and speeches on criminal law and jurisprudence. He was the only person to hold simultaneously the presidency of both the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy and the American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Hall's full biography appears here.

During his long and distinguished career, Hall brought his astonishing breadth of knowledge to hundreds of Indiana University students and to the rest of the world. Asked by the U.S. Department of State to assist in the reconstruction of Korea's legal system in 1954, Hall was later named honorary director of the Korean Legal Institute and lectured in Japan, Formosa (Taiwan), the Philippines, and India. As a Fulbright Scholar, he lectured at the University of London and Queen’s University in Belfast, and, as a Ford Foundation Lecturer, he spoke in Mexico and South America. His books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, German, French, and Portuguese.

Never one to rest, after his retirement from Indiana in 1970, Hall joined Hastings College Sixty-Five Club of legal scholars who were invited to San Francisco to lecture full time after “retirement.”

Among Hall’s major books were:

  • Theft, Law and Society (1935)
  • Readings in Jurisprudence (1938)
  • General Principles of Criminal Law (1947)
  • Cases and Readings on Criminal Law and Procedure (1949)
  • Living Law of Democratic Society (1949)
  • Studies in Jurisprudence and Criminal Theory (1958)
  • Comparative Law and Social Theory (1963)
  • Foundations in Jurisprudence (1973)
  • Law, Social Science and Criminal Theory (1982)

A full bibliography of his writings can be found here.

In 2015, Lowell E. Baier, a 1964 graduate of the Law School and one of Hall’s students, presented a major gift to the Maurer School of Law. As a result, the building was named in honor of Baier, and the law library became the Jerome Hall Law Library. At the naming ceremony Baier noted, “I am deeply honored by the opportunity to make this gift to the Law School. In particular, I am pleased that the library will be renamed in honor of Professor Hall, whose teaching and mentoring were so crucial to my success as a student, and whose wisdom has continued to guide me throughout my career. This gift will ensure the continuing integrity of the law school building and the law library, its very soul, inspiring the best in academic and scholastic achievement -- remember, a sense of place creates a sense of purpose.”

To read a tribute to Hall, written by Lowell Baier, click here.