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John H. Langbein

Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Legal History and Professorial Lecturer in Law
John H. Langbein is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Legal History and Professorial Lecturer in Law.  He is an eminent legal historian and a leading American authority on trust, probate, pension, and investment law. He teaches and writes in the fields of Anglo-American and European legal history, modern comparative law, trust and estate law, and pension and employee benefit law (ERISA). He has long been active in law reform work, serving under gubernatorial appointment as a Uniform Law Commissioner since 1984. He was the reporter and principal drafter for the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (1994), which governs fiduciary investing in most American states, and he was Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers (3 vols. 1999-2011). Professor Langbein has written extensively about the history of civil and criminal procedure, and about the contrasts between modern American and Continental procedure. His book, The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial (2003), received the Coif Biennial Book Award (2006) as the outstanding American book on law. In 2000 the American Society for Legal History awarded him the Sutherland Prize for his "pioneering work" in legal history. In 2009 he published History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions (with R. Lerner & B. Smith), a textbook on the history of the legal system. He also coauthors a course book on pension and benefit law -- Pension & Employee Benefit Law (with D. Pratt & S. Stabile, 5th ed. 2010). Professor Langbein was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.  He is an honorary fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy.  He is admitted to the bar in Florida and the District of Columbia, and as a barrister of the Inner Temple in England. 

Ph.D., Cambridge, 1971
LL.B., Cambridge, 1969
LL.B., Harvard, 1968
A.B., Columbia, 1964

Courses Taught
Trusts and Estates: Family Wealth Transmission
History of the Common Law: Procedure and Institutions
Pension and Employee Benefit Law
Comparative Law 
Fiduciary Law