Logo   Tapping Reeve House and Law School
Stop at this Litchfield CT house and take a look at the small, simple edifice beside it, which was the nation's first school of law, established by Mr Tapping Reeve in 1775.




Mr Tapping Reeve (1744-1823), recently married to the sister of Aaron Burr, moved to the thriving New England town of Litchfield, Connecticut in 1773 to take up the practice of law.

At the time, the American colonies had no school of law. Those wishing to learn the law were taught by other lawyers, so in 1774, Aaron Burr came to Litchfield to live with his sister Sally Burr Reeve and her husband Tapping Reeve to learn the law.

Other young men came to Reeve to learn law. In time the number of students exceeded the capacity of the law office in Reeve's house, and so in 1784 he had the law school building next door to the house built.

Between 1774 and 1833, when the school closed, over 1100 students came to Litchfield to study at the Tapping Reeve School of Law. Among them were young men who went on to become 128 US senators and congressmen, two vice-presidents of the United States, three justices of the Supreme Court, fourteen state governors, and many others who had prominent legal careers in commerce, industry and government.

Tapping Reeve's lectures, organized into an 18-month course of instruction, became the gold standard for legal practice in the young United States of America. The notes that his students took during the lectures became the foundation for the law libraries in their offices, and the legal reference-works of their time.

If you have any interest in the law, or in the early history of the United States, the Tapping Reeve House and Law School is a worthy place to visit, open mid-April through November (closed Sunday).

Interested in the history of Litchfield? Make the short stroll across the town green to the Litchfield History Museum for a broader look. More...

Tapping Reeve House and Law School
The Litchfield Historical Society
P O Box 385
82 South Street
Litchfield CT 06759
Tel: 860-567-4501
Fax: 860-567-3565

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Tapping Reeve House & Law School, Litchfield CT

Tapping Reeve House & Law School,
Litchfield CT.





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