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The Legal Education of a Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'s Law Commonplace (1763)

53 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2006  

Daniel Coquillette

Boston College - Law School; Harvard Law School


This article is based on the exciting discovery of a never before printed Law Commonplace, written by the 18th-century lawyer and patriot, Josiah Quincy, Junior. Quincy was co-counsel with Adams in the famous Boston Massacre Trial, a leader of Committee on Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty, and author of the first American law reports. His Law Commonplace provides an exceptional window into the political, racial and gender controversies of the evolving American legal system, and profoundly challenges our conventional views on the origin of American legal education. In certain areas, particularly jury trial, it also has present constitutional significance, as compelling evidence of the state of the law referenced by the Seventh Amendment.

Keywords: Josiah Quincy Jr., law commonplace, jury trial, legal education

Suggested Citation

Coquillette, Daniel, The Legal Education of a Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'s Law Commonplace (1763). Arizona State Law Journal, Summer 2007; Boston College Law School Research Paper No. 114. Available at SSRN:

Daniel Coquillette (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

Harvard Law School

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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