Tapping Reeve


Reevewas the founder the first formal law school in America. In 1772, he set up a law practice in Litchfield, Connecticut. The following year he commenced teaching law to his first student Aaron Burr, who also was his brother-in-law. Demand for his expertise increased to the point Reeve needed to construct a one room school house next to his home in 1784. This school became known as Litchfield Law School.

He hired his former student James Gould in 1798 as his associate, and the two would command one of the most prestigious schools in the country until Reeve retired in 1820. Gould remained there until 1830, and the school closed in 1833.

Among the other notable students of the school were Vice President John C. Calhoun, 101 United States Congressmen, 28 United States Senators, 6 Presidential Cabinet Members, 3 Justices of the United States Supreme Court, and 14 State Governors.