Remembering Morris Cohen

By: January 17, 2011

He was a beloved law librarian and law professor

A recent edition of the Appreciations column in The New York Times paid tribute to the late Morris Cohen, the venerable Yale Law School librarian and professor and namesake of the school’s MORRIS online library catalogue.

The piece tells the story of how Cohen, who died on December 26, “became a librarian after seven not very satisfying years as a lawyer” and soon established himself as a dedicated and celebrated librarian with a passion for organization and accessibility — particularly of American legal texts from before 1860.

Cohen was also passionate about his catalogue of “juvenile jurisprudence” — his collection of 200 children’s books with a legal angle. As a nod to him and his work, then, we’d like to offer our own recommendation for a preschooler lawyer-in-waiting: The Great Paper Caper, by Oliver Jeffers. Think of it as an episode of Law and Order, except the crime that gets investigated and tried is the mysterious cutting down of various trees, and the judge is a deer in a powdered wig. We hope Cohen would have approved.

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