Stanford Law Professor Emeritus Robert Gordon Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

On April 28, 2022, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) announced that Robert Gordon, Stanford Professor of Law, Emeritus, was elected to the academy. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and 60 other scholars, the AAAS is both an honorary society that celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center that brings together leaders from across disciplines, professions and perspectives to address significant challenges in society.

Robert W. Gordon

Gordon, along with eight other Stanford professors, will join the AAAS members who came before them, including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others.

Stanford Law School Professor, Emeritus, Robert Gordon

A preeminent legal historian, prolific scholar, and gifted teacher, Professor Robert W. Gordon’s expertise in American legal history, evidence, the legal profession, and law and globalization spans four decades, his influence on generations of lawyers and legal scholars incalculable. 

Gordon has written extensively on contract law, legal philosophy, and on the history and current ethics and practices of the organized bar. He is known for his key works, Taming the Past: Law in History and History in Law (essays on legal history and the uses of history in legal argument); The Legacy of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1992), and Storie Critiche del Diritto (Critical Legal Histories) (1995), and is editor of Law, Society, and History: Themes in the Legal Sociology and Legal History of Lawrence M. Friedman, which examines and celebrates the scholarship of Stanford’s Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law Lawrence Friedman.

Gordon has served on several American Bar Association and Connecticut Bar task forces on professional ethics and practice and on the Advisory Board of the Legal Profession Program of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation). In addition, he is a past president of the American Society for Legal History.

Gordon, who joined Stanford Law School in 1982, also taught at the University of Buffalo Law School SUNY and the University of Wisconsin, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Toronto, and the European University Institute. In addition, he was the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School. 

Gordon received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. Before going to law school, he worked as a newspaper reporter and served in the U.S. Army. Following law school, he served in the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts.