Litchfield Law School Notebooks 1790-1833: 9 linear feet in 29 containers
After graduating from Harvard Law School's LL.M. program and while serving as a Visiting Scholar and American Bar Foundation Fellow in Legal History at the Yale Law School, Charles C. Goetsch '76 began identifying and collecting the most important Litchfield Law School Notebooks. The Litchfield Law School was the first law school in America and was founded by Judge Tapping Reeve in 1784. Charles C. Goetsch traveled to university libraries and historical societies where he obtained copies of the most representative notebooks from the Early Period (1790-1798) when Tapping Reeve alone lectured, the Middle Period (1798-1820) when Reeve and James Gould lectured, and the Late Period (1820-1833) when Gould alone lectured. The following notebooks are held: Eliphalet Dyer (1790-93), Asa Bacon Jr. (1794), Seth P. Staples (1798), Daniel Sheldon Jr. (1798), Aaron Burr Reeve (1802-07), Ely Warner (1808-09), Timothy Follet (1812-13), Origen Storrs Seymour (1824-25), and George Flagg Mann (1826-27).
Shirley R. Bysiewicz Papers: .25 linear feet in 2 containers
The Bysiewicz Papers reflect her time at the University of Connecticut School of Law from 1956 to 1989. Shirley Raissi Bysiewicz was the first woman tenured professor at the School of Law. From 1956-1983 she served as a law librarian and director of the law library. Concurrently she was professor of law and taught courses in woman and the law, juvenile law, elder law, legal research and writing, judicial clerkship clinic, and legislation. Bysiewicz was known as an advocate of children's rights, and authored “Juvenile Law Handbook.” She also wrote other legal books, among them “Dictionary of Legal Terms” and “Effective Legal Research.” Bysiewicz was involved in many organizations outside the law school. She was appointed to the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, organized a committee on the status of women for the Connecticut Bar Association, and was a member of the Association of American Law School Committee on Women in Legal Education.
Joseph Steffan Collection: 45 linear feet in 111 containers
The Joseph Steffan papers span the years 1987 to 1994. The collection includes legal documents, Naval Academy papers, correspondence, media coverage, and a draft of his book “Honor Bound.” Steffan studied at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (1983-1987), North Dakota State University (1987-1989), and the University of Connecticut School of Law (1991-1994), where he received a J.D.
On April 1, 1987 the Naval Academic Board recommended that Steffan be dismissed under Performance Manual Sec. 2.153e-Homosexuality. Steffan resigned from the Naval Academy six weeks short of his graduation date. In 1988, Steffan, with the help of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, wrote to the Secretary of the Navy to request that his letter of resignation be withdrawn and to be reinstated. There was no response to the request. On January 29, 1989, Joseph Steffan v. Richard Cheney, was filed in the Federal District courthouse in Washington D.C. in an effort to get Steffan reinstated. Judge Oliver Gasch was assigned the case. As the case gained national attention Marc Wolinsky, an attorney at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, became the representing lawyer on the case. In 1993, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Steffan and ordered him reinstated. The Navy appealed the case and in 1994 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed the order in Joseph C. Steffan v. William J. Perry.
Wesley W. Horton Collection:
Papers donated by Wesley W. Horton comprise the correspondence, press, trial notes and court documents from the litigation surrounding Horton v. Meskill from 1973-1988. On November 21, 1973, Horton filed a suit in Connecticut Superior Court in an attempt to overturn Connecticut's system of fixed grants to town school systems. In December of 1974 Judge Rubino ruled Connecticut's use of property tax to finance education was unconstitutional. Governor Ella Grasso appealed Rubino's decision to the Connecticut State Supreme Court in 1975. After years of legal appeals and legislative stalling the General Assembly allocated additional funding to be phased in over a five-year period. Horton decided in 1979 not to challenge the new finance law.
In 1980 with little noted progress Horton decided to go back to court and reopen the 1973 case. When the case came to trial in 1984, Judge Arthur L. Spada issued an 83-page ruling ordering the State to spend more money on local public schools. This time Governor O'Neil appealed Judge Spada's decision. The Court affirmed that the Guaranteed Tax Base formula was constitutional and didn't order specific expenditures.
Law School Photographs
The photographs reflect the academic and student life at the Law School. The images are arranged in groupings of Law School faculty and staff, events, students, and campus buildings.