Law Review

Each day, KHC  features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “150 Years in Kansas Law” by Leon B. Graves.

District Court, Santa Fe, KS, 1912

Haskell County District Court in Santa Fe, KS, 1912. Photo by F. M. Steele.
Kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Lawyers arrived in Kansas Territory shortly after it was created by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Most of the territory’s early lawyers had received training in law offices, although the  quality of that training varied. Law school graduates were scarce on the frontier, but with the establishment of law schools at the University of Kansas and Washburn University, formal education became the preferred, and eventually exclusive, means of preparation for a law career. In “150 Years in Kansas Law,” Leon Graves, a lawyer and independent scholar of early Kansas legal history, discusses how social, economic, and technological advances continue to change the work of lawyers and judges today.

Leon Graves

Leon Graves

“In Kansas, the practice of law has changed in response to changes in the economy, changes wrought by technology, and changes in public policy,” said Graves. “Adaptation of the law to changing conditions has made possible transactions involving billions of dollars, with relatively few of them coming to the attention of the courts. I have seen much change since my admission to the bar, and I anticipate more to come.”

Graves’ research interests include the lives of Arthur Capper and other U.S. Senators from Kansas and school segregation in Kansas before the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Bring Leon Graves’ “150 Years in Kansas Law” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, for more information.