Adriaan Lanni is currently the Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Her research focuses on law and society in classical Athens using methods—particularly legal theory and sociology—that draw as much on her training as a lawyer and law professor as on her background in ancient history. Both Lanni’s research in ancient law and her teaching at Harvard Law School are motivated by a desire to explore what truly “popular” justice might look like, what its limits are, and how far our own system has moved from any genuinely democratic method of adjudication. Her publications include Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Law and Order in Ancient Athens (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and articles on ancient law and the modern criminal jury.
At Radcliffe, Lanni is working on “Crime and Justice in Democratic Athens,” a book-length study of a criminal justice system starkly different from our own—one in which the formal legal system was dependent on and intertwined with private justice and in which private citizens, acting as prosecutors and as jurors, continuously redefined what constituted a criminal offense against the community.
Lanni received a BA, summa cum laude, in classical civilization from Yale University; an MPhil in classics from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar; a JD from Yale Law School; and a PhD in history from the University of Michigan.