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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 5978318

Albert Sacks papers


Papers relating to the professional life of Albert M. Sacks’s including tenure at Harvard Law School as both faculty (1952-1967, 1982-1990) and Dean (1971-1981), his co-authorship of The Legal Process with Henry Hart (pub. 1958), and presidency of American Association of Law Schools (1980-1981).


  • Creation: 1915-1991.

Conditions Governing Access

Due to the nature of the collection, many folders in Series I and II are closed for 50 or 80 years according to University policy to protect student and institutional privacy. Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 4 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Historical and Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Historical and Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.


1 collection (221 manuscript boxes, 29 Paige boxes, 1 oversize box; 123 linear feet.)

The Papers of Albert M. Sacks consist of materials relating primarily to his career as first a faculty member, then later Dean of Harvard Law School and his work as the coauthor of The Legal Process with Henry M. Hart. The entire collection spans from 1915 to 1991, though most of the papers date from between 1955 to 1989. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, transcripts, teaching notes, articles, news clippings, telegrams, speeches, reprints, bibliographies, drafts of The Legal Process and other articles. The Albert M. Sacks papers consist mainly of three areas- his work with Henry Hart on The Legal Process , his time as a faculty member of the Harvard Law School including his years as Dean and his extracurricular activities, including his presidency of the Association of American Law Schools and his involvement in civil rights (both the NAACP and also on behalf of the Wampanoag tribe). He was also active in constitutional law, participating in a movement to pass an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget. The papers also contain some personal materials, including letters congratulating Sacks on his appointment to Dean and personal biographical notes.

Historical/Biographical Information

  • 1920Born in the Bronx, New York City
  • 1940Graduated City College of NY
  • 1947-1948President of Harvard Law Review
  • 1948Graduated Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude
  • 1949-1950Law Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter
  • 1950-1952Associate at Covington and Burling
  • 1952Joined faculty of HLS
  • 1955Became a professor at HLS
  • 1968-1971Assistant Dean of HLS
  • 1969Became Dane Professor of Law
  • 1971-1981Dean of Harvard Law School
  • 1980-1981President of the Association of American Law Schools
  • 1991Died in Belmont, MA

Born in the Bronx, New York City
Graduated City College of NY
President of Harvard Law Review
Graduated Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude
Law Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter
Associate at Covington and Burling
Joined faculty of HLS
Became a professor at HLS
Assistant Dean of HLS
Became Dane Professor of Law
Dean of Harvard Law School
President of the Association of American Law Schools
Died in Belmont, MA

Series List/Description

  1. Series I. Harvard Law School, 1952-1990 1952-1990 Includescorrespondence, class-specific teaching materials and other papersrelevant to Sack’s tenure as a faculty member of the Harvard LawSchool. Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and his class on theLegal Process are particularly represented, as is his seminar inCivil Rights. Some papers in this series will be closed.
  2. ___Subseries A. Faculty Papers, 1952-19671952-1967Materials from his time as a professor at Harvard Law Schoolbefore his deanship.
  3. ___ Subseries B. Committees, 1952-19901952-1990Papers from the Committee on Legal Education, the Committeeon Planning and Development, and other Law School committees.
  4. ___ Subseries C. Faculty Papers, 1982-19901982-1990Materials from his time as a professor at Harvard Law Schoolafter his deanship.
  5. ___ Subseries D. Teaching Materials, 1952-19671952-1967Consists ofclass notes, relevant articles and briefs regarding his classes inCivil Procedure, Constitutional Law, the Legal Process, his seminarin Civil Rights and others. Student papers from these classes havebeen set aside.
  6. Series II. HLS Dean, 1968-1981 1968-1981 Includescorrespondence, memoranda, reports and administrative papersaccumulated during Sacks' tenure as first, Associate Dean and thenDean in 1971 until his resignation in 1981.
  7. ___Subseries A. Associate Dean, 1968-19711968-1971
  8. ___Subseries B. Dean, 1971-19811971-1981
  9. Series III. Correspondence, 1949-19901949-1990

    Arrangedalphabetically by correspondent. Covers a wide range of topics,mostly having to do with his career in law and at the Harvard LawSchool. Also includes a significant section having to do with JusticeFrankfurter, other Justices (Supreme Court and circuit) and lawclerks, including a written piece by Sacks on Frankfurter.Additionally, there is a section regarding recommendations andresumes for law clerkships with various justices, which is closed for80 years from the date of creation.

  10. Series IV. Legal Process, 1952-19901952-1990

    Materialsinclude drafts of the book, both bound and loose, as well as somenotes and documentation pertaining to permissions, rights and usageof the Legal Process book. Supplements to The Legal Process writtenby other authors are also included.

  11. Series V. Other Professional Materials, 1916-1990 1916-1990 Containspapers concerning areas of Sacks' professional life not included inother series, including speeches given by Sacks not related to HLS.Also includes materials regarding travel to conferences. Materialregarding Sack’s participation in professional groups such as theAmerican Association of Law School, which Sacks was president of from1980 to 1981 is included.
  12. ___Subseries A. Major Organizations, 1946-1990 1946-1990
  13. ______Sub-subseries 1. Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 1946-19751946-1975
  14. ______Sub-subseries 2. Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of CivilProcedure, 1961-19901961-1990
  15. ______Sub-subseries 3. American Arbitration Association (AAA), 1985-19901985-1990
  16. ______Sub-subseries 4. American Bar Association (ABA), 1961-19891961-1989
  17. ______Sub-subseries 5. Association of American Law Schools (AALS), 1954-19901954-1990
  18. ______Sub-subseries 6. Boston Home Rule Commission, 1961-19771961-1977
  19. ______Sub-subseries 7. Ford Foundation, 1949-19631949-1963
  20. ______Sub-subseries 8. Practicing Law Institute (PLI), 1968-19711968-1971
  21. ___Subseries B. Minor Organizations, 1957-19871957-1987
  22. ___Subseries C. Subject Files, 1916-19901916-1990
  23. Series VI. Writings by authors other than Sacks, 1930-19911930-1991

    Variouspapers collected by Sacks but not written by him.

  24. Series VII. Personal and miscellany, 1915-19901915-1990

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Library by Adelle Sacks, August 1993.

Related Material

Additional material at Harvard University related to this collection:

  1. Harvard Law School.Office of the Dean. General correspondence, 1969-1984 (inclusive). Hollis 002024726.
  2. Harvard Law School. Office of the Dean. General correspondence,1966-1985 (inclusive). Hollis 002024833.
  3. Harvard Law School. Office of the Dean. Generalcorrespondence, 1971-1988 (inclusive), 1981-1988 (bulk). Hollis 005801376.
  4. Harvard Law School. Office of the Dean.Records of the Office of the Dean, 1910-1982 (inclusive). Hollis 000604043.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Hsu, 2012, and Margaret Peachy, 2014.

Sacks, Albert, Papers, 1915-1991: Finding Aid.
Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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