Thayer’s beliefs that judicial review should be used very cautiously influenced a number of Supreme Court justices, including Felix Frankfurter and John M. Harlan II.
Thayer began his career as a successful lawyer in Boston, but it was as a member of the law faculty at Harvard University that he made his greatest contribution to modern American jurisprudence. While at Harvard, he (along with James Barr Ames, John Chipman Gray, and Christopher C. Langdell) created what is known as the “case method” of legal education, where students explore the major principles of law through the close analysis of court cases rather than simply the examination of broad theories and practices. The case method of legal education is now preferred by virtually all major law schools in the United States.
James Bradley Thayer
An expert on constitutional law, Thayer was also well known for his staunch support of judicial self-restraint
Harlan, John M., II