In Memoriam: Professor Anne C. Fleming

Published date01 October 2020
Date01 October 2020
In Memoriam: Professor Anne C. Fleming
The editors and staff of The Georgetown Law Journal respectfully dedicate
Volume 109 to Professor Anne C. Fleming, who passed days before the start of
the 2020–2021 academic year. Professor Daniel R. Ernst provides the following
* * *
Anne C. Fleming became a law school colleague of mine when she joined the
Georgetown Law faculty in 2014. However, I first met Professor Fleming as a
potential disciplinary colleague and as a new entrant to the academic field of legal
history. Her contributions to Georgetown Law and to American legal history are
equally salient.
The principal learned society for legal history in the United States—the
American Society for Legal History—offers a prize that is named for a great
mentor of legal historians to the best papers written by graduate students, who
present them at the Society’s annual meeting. I attended the Kathryn T. Preyer
Award panel in November 2011. One of the commentators was Charles
McCurdy, a historian at the University of Virginia, whose research I had admired
since my early days as a legal historian. McCurdy commenced with the observa-
tion, “Kitty would have loved these papers,” then proceeded to explain why, and
concluded that—with new entrants like these—the field of legal history was cer-
tain to thrive for years to come.
A similar thought occurred as I listened to the
papers, and I was moved when McCurdy articulated it, thereby connecting a
departed generation, represented by Kitty Preyer, to an entering generation. One
of those recipients was Anne Fleming for The Borrower’s Tale: A History of
Poor Debtors in Lochner Era New York City, which she subsequently published
in the field’s top journal.
By this point in time, Fleming was well accomplished. She was an honors grad-
uate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, she was an edi-
tor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and worked at the
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, the Public Defender Service for the
District of Columbia, and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she was not only
a student attorney but also Intake Director. After law school, she clerked for the
Honorable Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of the U.S. District Court of the
Southern District of New York and then for the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell
* Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal History, Georgetown University Law Center. © 2020,
Daniel R. Ernst.
1. Karen Tani, Preyer Prizes to Fleming, Schoeppner, Arlyck, LEGAL HIST. BLOG (Nov. 14, 2011,
5:30 PM),
2. See 30 LAW & HIST. REV. 1053 (2012).

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