Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1928-1939
Bigelow was a gifted teacher, known for his lively and cogent classroom presentations and his sharp, analytical mind. Though he was not hesitant to critique any muddled or imprecise arguments made by his students, he nonetheless elicited great affection among the student body. His retirement announcement in The University of Chicago Magazine stated, “He has never told a class what the law is; instead, he let the class find out for themselves, supplying a skillful guidance to legal discovery.” [See the full May 1939 announcement in the Bigelow Documents series!]
In addition to criminal law and conflict of laws, Bigelow was an expert in property law. He authored casebooks titled Cases on the Law of Personal Property (1917) and Cases on Rights in Land (1919), both of which became standard legal textbooks, thus influencing law students across the country. The latter casebook included “Introduction to the Law of Real Property,” a historical overview that proved eminently useful for students of property law. Bigelow served as an advisor to the American Law Institute. He was also a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Order of the Coif.
For more information on Bigelow, see the Harry A. Bigelow Papers, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
Changes at Chicago's Law School, Harry A. Bigelow, 1931
The Establishment of the University of Chicago Law Review, Harry A. Bigelow, 1933
The Law School, Harry A. Bigelow, 1931
New Law School Curriculum, Harry A. Bigelow, 1937
The Law School Plan in Action, Ernest Kirschten, 1938
News of the Quadrangles, William V. Morgenstern, 1939
Harry A. Bigelow, Sheldon Tefft, 1967
Legal and Pre-legal Education (Address), Harry A. Bigelow, 1932