Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (2015)

Now available for pre-order.

James Madison’s Notes on the 1787 Constitutional Convention have acquired nearly...



Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Colonies: An Annotated Digital Catalogue (with Sharon H. O'Connor) (2014)

In recognition of the three-hundred anniversary of the accession of George I, the Ames Foundation...



Blackstone in America: Selected Essays of Kathryn Preyer (with Maeva Marcus and R. Kent Newmyer) (2009)

Reviews: "...a book that should be put before every beginning student of American constitutional and...



The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire (2004)

The Transatlantic Constitution makes a major impact on the way we see the legacy of...


Contributions to Books


Colonial Constitutionalism and Constitutional Law, Transformations in American Legal History: Essays in Honor of Morton J. Horwitz (2009)

This essay reconsiders the transformation of colonial constitutionalism to Constitutional Law. The transformation of constitutional...



The Colonial Period: The Sources of Colonial Law, The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (2009)



How Bad Were the Official Records of the Federal Convention?, The George Washington Law Review (2012)

The official records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 have been neglected and dismissed by...



Appeals to the Privy Council Before American Independence: An Annotated Digital Catalogue (with Sharon Hamby O'Connor), Law Library Journal (2012)

Between the later seventeenth century and American independence, appeals from colonial high courts were taken...



Expounding the Law: Law and Judicial Duty, The George Washington Law Review (2010)

Written as a comment on Philip Hamburger's book, Law and Judicial Duty, this essay explains...



James Madison, Law Student and Demi-Lawyer, Law and History Review (2010)

We think of James Madison as a political theorist, legislative drafter, and constitutional interpreter. Recent...



Blackstone in America, Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations (2010)

Remarks delivered at Rethinking the History of Early American Law: Kathryn Preyer's Blackstone in America,...



Absent From the Convention: Libraries, Law and Political Philosophy: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations (2009)

Presentation by Professor Mary Sarah Bilder, as commentator, at the conference "John Adams & Thomas...



English Settlement and Local Governance, The Cambridge History of Law in America Volume 1: Early America (1580–1815), Cambridge University Press (2008)

This essay traces colonial American institutional development between 1570 and the 1720s. An American manner...



Idea or Practice: A Brief Historiography of Judicial Review, Journal of Policy History (2008)

Judicial review may be the most publicly contested aspect of American constitutionalism. The conventional beliefs...



Why We Have Judicial Review, Yale Law Journal Pocket Part (2007)

This paper accompanies Mary Sarah Bilder, The Corporate Origins of Judicial Review , 116 Yale...



The Corporate Origins of Judicial Review, Yale Law Journal (2006)

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from...



The Origins of Judicial Review, BC Law Magazine (2006)


The Lost Lawyers: Early American Legal Literates and Transatlantic Legal Culture, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 11 (Winter 1999): 47-117. (1999)

From the author's introduction:

Paul C. Kurtz wrote well, spoke and argued eloquently, wore a...



The Origin of the Appeal in America, Hastings Law Journal 48 (July 1997): 913-968. (1997)

The appeal has been treated by academics as a mere legal procedure, possessing no particular...



The Struggle over Immigration: Indentured Servants, Slaves, and Articles of Commerce, Missouri Law Review 61 (Fall 1996): 743-824. (1996)

In this article first published in 1996, the author discusses the pre-1889 understanding of immigration...



The Shrinking Back: The Law of Biography, "The Shrinking Back: The Law of Biography." Stanford Law Review 43 (January 1991): 299-360. (1992)

The Article argues that quotations of copyrighted material used as "fact" should be protected. The...


Selected Professional Activities

The Judiciary and Its Development through the Perspective of Founder James Madison, FJC Judges Workshop and Second Circuit Judicial Conference (2015)
Madison's Hand, James Madison and the Constitutional Convention, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford (2015)

Also presented at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, Montpelier, VA in May...

Madison's Notes, Constitutional History Seminar, Georgetown University Law School (2015)
The London Book Trade and the Making of Irish, Scottish, and American Literature: A lunch talk with Joseph Rezek, Boston University (2014)

Respondent to a presentation by Joseph Rezek:

Joseph Rezek, Assistant Professor of English, will discuss...

Panelist, The Future of the American Revolution, Colonial Society of Massachusetts (2014)
Panelist, The History of the Use of History in Constitutional Law, The Role of History in Constitutional Law, Stanford Law School (2014)
Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention, Legal History Workshop (2013)

Professor Bilder gave her presentation, "Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention," as part of the...

Member, Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Judicial Nominations (2013)

In March 2013, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren named Prof. Bilder to the Advisory Committee on...

James Madison and Constitutional Compromise, Yale Alumni Reunion (2012)
Book Historical Approaches to Legal History in the Early American Republic, Harvard University Humanities Center Seminar in the History of the Book (2012)
How Bad were the Original Convention Records?, George Washington University Law School (2011)
Panelist, Kathryn Preyer Memorial Papers Panel, American Society for Legal History (2011)
Speaker, Magna Charta or Carta?, McMullen Art Museum Exhibit Opening (2011)
Speaker, Rhode Island Charter Day, The John Clarke Society of Early American Democracy (2011)
Rhode Island and James Madison, Hope Club (2011)
Madison's Hand, Law and History Consortium (2011)
Madison's Hand, Colloquium on Constitutional Theory, History and Law (2010)
Panelist, Graduate Student Forum, Colonial Society of Massachusetts (2010)
Panelist, Blackstone in America, Massachusetts Historical Society (2010)
Madison's Hand, Brigham Young University Law School (2009)
Rethinking Separation of Powers, Judicial Review: Historical Debate, Modern Perspectives, and Comparative Approaches (2009)
Madison's Hand, Boston College Law School Summer Workshop (2009)
The Authenticity of Madison's Notes, University of Wisconsin Law School (2009)
The Authenticity of Madison's Notes, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Center for Law, Culture and the Humanities (2009)
Board member of Law and History Review, American Society for Legal History (2007)



The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire, Boston College Law School Faculty Papers (2005)

Departing from traditional approaches to colonial legal history, Mary Sarah Bilder argues that American law...