Philip Pro Lecture in Legal History: "The Lady and George Washington: Female Genius in the Age of the Constitution" by Professor Mary Bilder


Monday, February 10, 2020 -
5:30pm to 6:30pm


BSL Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility #151

The Lady and George Washington: Female Genius in the Age of the Constitution

by Mary S. Bilder 

Founders Professor of Law

Boston College Law School


Monday, February 10, 2020

05:30 p.m. - 06:30 p.m.

Reception to follow

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law - Thomas and Mack Moot Court

Approved for 1 CLE credit

Sponsored by UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law and UNLV History Department

This event is free and open to the public but registration is required. Please register here.


Lecture Description
As George Washington waited for the Constitutional Convention to begin in Philadelphia in 1787, he heard a lecture by Eliza Harriot O'Connor at the University of Pennsylvania. O'Connor represented a vision of female genius in the Age of the Constitution. O'Connor and other reformers believed that the absence of female education was solely responsible for female non-participation in governance. Professor Bilder will argue that the Constitution was tolerant of this belief in female genius and female inclusion in the political state. 

About the Speaker

Professor Mary Sarah Bilder is the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College Law School. Her most recent book, Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (2015), was awarded the 2016 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy, and was named a finalist for the 2016 George Washington Book Prize. She received her B.A. with Honors (English) and the Dean’s Prize from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, and her A.M. (History) and Ph.D. from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization/American Studies. She was a law clerk to the Hon. Francis Murnaghan, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. She has taught at Boston College since 1994 and also has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School. She teaches in the areas of property, trusts and estates, and American legal and constitutional history. Her recent scholarship has focused on the history of the Constitution, James Madison and the Founders, the history of judicial review, and colonial and founding era constitutionalism. Professor Bilder is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Antiquarian Association, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is member of the Massachusetts Bar Association (inactive status) and the State Bar of Wisconsin (inactive status). She twice received the Emil Slizewski Faculty Teaching Award. She is also the author of The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire (2004), awarded the Littleton-Griswold Award from the American Historical Association. Her articles appear in important collected volumes of essays and a wide variety of prestigious journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, Law and History Review, Law Library Journal, and the Journal of Policy History. She is completing a book, The Lady and George Washington: Female Genius in the Age of the Constitution, and co-authored article, “The Library of Robert Morris: Antebellum Civil Rights Lawyer & Activist.”