Roscoe Pound, in whose honor the Pound Civil Justice Institute was established in 1956, served as Dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936. He is credited with creating “sociological jurisprudence,” an approach to legal concepts in which the law is recognized as a dynamic system influenced by social conditions—and then, in turn, influences society as a whole.
Dean Pound was a brilliant legal mind—admitted to the Nebraska Bar after only one year of Harvard Law School—but also a botanist. He was well educated in natural and social sciences, jurisprudence, linguistics, and literature. A true Renaissance man, he cemented his connection with the consumer bar in 1953, when he was engaged to serve as the editor-in-chief of the law journal of the National Association of Claimants’ Compensation Attorneys (NACCA). This organization was the precursor to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).
Pound’s mission lives on in the daily work of the Pound Civil Justice Institute. His emphasis on excellence in legal research and education, a commitment to open debate among all those who love the law, and a focus on multidisciplinary research continue to light the path and serve Dean Pound’s legacy.