The first face to greet you upon entering The New York Law Institute’s offices at 120 Broadway is one from two centuries ago… Chancellor James Kent’s oil painting gently smiles at you , with a kindly countenance and benign sense of mystery….
And The New York Law Institute is not alone in honoring James Kent….
There’s a Chancellor Kent Professorship and a Kent Hall at Columbia University….
Bronze busts of Ancient Athenian Solon & Chancellor Kent represent law in the main reading room of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building….
Chicago-Kent College of Law is named for him….
Yale also has a Chancellor Kent Professorship…
Kent is best known today for his Commentaries, modeled after Blackstone’s, and among the first comprehensive analysis of American Law. He not only initiated the practice of issuing written opinions, but was instrumental in having them collected into official law reports.
And James Kent’s connection to The New York Law Institute? Kent drafted our first constitution, served as first President and contributed a set of his Commentaries as the first books in its collection….
And he’s the first face you’ll see when visiting our offices at 120 Broadway!