AuthorLangevoort, Donald C.

This volume of the annual ILEP law review symposium honors Joel Seligman, whose influence on the field of corporate and securities law has been immense, and whose efforts with Ed Labaton, Harvey Goldschmidt, and Jim Cox to begin the remarkable series of symposia under ILEP's auspices more than twenty-five years ago deserve genuine admiration and thanks. A short introduction like this can hardly describe, much less adequately assess, the massive impact of Joel's scholarship. So, I will limit myself at the outset to an honorific recitation of key scholarly contributions he has made and continues to make.

Joel graduated from Harvard Law School in 1974 and became a Nader's raider. Within a couple of years, he, Ralph Nader, and Mark Green produced a monograph still famous today for its insistent call for the federalization of corporations chartering and corporation law. (1) Joel also wrote a book critiquing of Harvard Law School and its pedagogy, (2) with an introduction by Nader, gamering not-entirely-kind reviews from establishment academics like Archibald Cox (3) and Paul Brest. (4) But much of what Joel said there coheres with how legal education would evolve over the next decades at many law schools.

By this time, Joel was teaching at Northeastern, and his scholarly engine was kicking into high gear. Joel decided to devote the extraordinary time and effort necessary to produce the first thorough history of the Securities and Exchange Commission, surely a labor of love and immense ambition: The Transformation of Wall Street: A History of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Modern Corporate Finance. At this time, not only Wall Street, but securities regulation as a field of law, was undergoing revolutionary intellectual transformation. Joel's research would not only involve extensive archival investigation but interviews with many people who had constructed the framework for the field as we know it and wanted to preserve and protect it. Quite a few of the interviewees had recently helped build out the edifice via the Special Study of the Securities Markets in the 1960s, and many of these had turned their attention to the American Law Institute's ambitious Federal Securities Code project. Their voices fill the pages of Transformation of Wall Street, and I suspect filled Joel's mind as well. Published in 1982, Transformation was a profound achievement just a few years into an academic career.

This was the motivation for two things to happen in Joel's academic career. Fie moved to George Washington University, where he would stay for a few years before another move to the University of Michigan. And he began to work with Louis Loss at Harvard (who presumably had forgotten about the Harvard Law School book) to take on an even larger challenge: an expansion and revision of Loss's multi-volume treatise, Securities Regulation, which in its first two iterations beginning in the 1950s had essentially created securities law as a doctrinal field. (5) The Loss-Seligman collaboration expanded the treatise to eleven volumes beginning in 1989, (6) which would continue on as an updating project over the next decades with the eventual addition of Troy Paredes as a co-author. (7)


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