Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Clinedinst Studio, ca.1917

  • Brandeis_by Clinedinst Studio_ca.1917_olvwork373539_Harvard Law Library.tif

    Louis Dembitz Brandeis by Clinedinst Studio, Washington, D.C., circa 1917

    Photograph of Brandeis wearing his judicial robe, taken shortly after his appointment to the U. S. Supreme Court in 1916.

  • US Supreme Court in 1917_by Harris & Ewing_olvwork362661_cropped.tif

    Justices of the United States Supreme Court by Harris & Ewing, 1917

    Group photo of U.S. Supreme Court justices including HLS alumni Brandeis (top left) and Holmes (front, second from right).

  • Brandeis by Harris & Ewing_ maybe1935_olvwork283030.tif

    Louis Dembitz Brandeis by Harris & Ewing, 1935?

    An older Brandeis, towards the end of his career as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis, circa 1917
By Clinedinst Studio, Washington, D.C.
Louis Dembitz Brandeis visuals collection

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (LL.B. 1877) entered Harvard Law School (HLS) in September 1875, just shy of his nineteenth birthday, and graduated in 1877 at the young age of 20. Brandeis maintained a close relationship with the Law School after his graduation serving as a HLS instructor in evidence (1882-1883), as the first treasurer of the Harvard Law Review, as well as one of the founders of the School’s first alumni organization, the Harvard Law School Association. In what became a highly contentious move, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to the U.S. Supreme Court in January, 1916. Many conservative politicians at the time disliked Brandeis’ national reputation as the “people’s attorney” and a proponent of progressive social reform. Despite this, on June 1, 1916, the Senate voted 47 to 22 to appoint Brandeis as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, where he remained until 1939. He was the seventh HLS alumnus appointed to the Court and the Court’s first Jewish justice.