You are here

Thomas P. Gallanis

Professor of Law
Legal History of England and Continental Europe
Secondary Appointment in History
454 Boyd Law Building
Office Hours:
By appointment
Phone Number:
(319) 335-9018

Thomas P. Gallanis is a prize-winning legal historian with expertise in English and European legal history from the eleventh to the nineteenth centuries. He holds the Allan D. Vestal Chair in Law and has a secondary, zero-time appointment in the Department of History.

He received a B.A. summa cum laude with distinction in history from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he held a Bradley Fellowship in Legal History, and an LL.M. with first class honors in legal history and comparative law and a Ph.D. in legal history from Cambridge University. At Cambridge, he was a Benefactors’ Scholar of St. John's College and was awarded the Hamson prize in comparative law, the Mansergh prize in history, and the Wright and Hughes prizes for academic excellence.

He has been elected to full-year fellowships as a visiting fellow of All Souls College in Oxford and as a Mellon fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has also been the Herbert Smith Freehills visitor in the law faculty of Cambridge University and a visiting fellow of Magdalene College.  He is currently a part-time visiting fellow at the University of St. Andrews.

His scholarly articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals in the United States, England, France, and China as well as in U.S. law reviews. He was awarded the Selden Society's David Yale Prize for his scholarly article on the history of evidence law in English courts, which was judged “a distinguished contribution to the history of the laws and legal institutions of England and Wales.”

With an international team of scholars, he recently published The Oxford Edition of Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England with Oxford University Press.

He is preparing, for publication by the Selden Society, a scholarly edition of the judicial notes of Sir Dudley Ryder, who served as Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench.


Professor Gallanis teaches a course on The Development of the Western European Legal Tradition.

Awards & Service

  • Visiting Fellow, University of St. Andrews (2016-19)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills Visitor, Cambridge Law Faculty (2014)
  • Visiting Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge (2014)
  • Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford (2012-13)
  • Editorial Board, Continuity and Change (2012- )
  • Advisory Board, Studies in the History of Private Law (2007- )
  • Editorial Committee, Journal of Legal History (2001- )
  • Editorial Board, Law and History Review (2005-12)
  • American Society for Legal History (Secretary 2007-09; Board of Directors 2005-07)
  • Mellon Fellow in Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2000-01)
  • David Yale Prize, Selden Society (1999)