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Robert Cochran Publishes Louis D. Brandeis’s MIT Lectures On Law (1892-1894)

Robert Cochran, director of The Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, and Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, has published Louis D. Brandeis's MIT Lectures On Law (1892-1894), a book of edits to Brandeis's lectures during his time as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Published by the Carolina Academic Press in April, the book was five years in the making.

"My main field of study has been in legal ethics," Cochran noted. "Brandeis the lawyer conducted outstanding work in public service. He was known as 'the people's lawyer.'"

Cochran has retained admiration for Brandeis's work throughout his career. When given the opportunity to label a faculty endowment funded through Pepperdine in 1998, Cochran chose Brandeis as the namesake. For years, Cochran studied biographies, which referenced lectures given by Brandeis at MIT.

"In no other publication has anyone edited these lectures," Cochran said.

Cochran reached out to the law library at the University of Louisville, Kentucky's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, which housed the original teaching notes. The library gave Cochran copies of the notes that, he said, seemed to have been dictated.

"Some of the notes had handwritten script," Cochran said. "It was a real thrill to work with them."

Additionally, Cochran noted that Brandeis's secretary had placed the lectures in alphabetical order.

"It took quite a bit of time to organize them in a timeline," Cochran said. "I was able to follow topics and cross references mentioned in the lectures to determine their order."

Cochran has since incorporated some of Brandeis's teachings in his own lectures at Pepperdine.

"He talked about all areas of law," Cochran said. "Litigation, anti-trusts, contracts, evidence. Topics that cover major areas of study. He was, in a way, ahead of his time. He recognized the influence of the sociology and anthropology of law. He recognized the importance of economics and law and the relationship between the two. Most importantly, he understood the importance of public service."

The book can be purchased at, or by following this link,