John S. Bradway
Professor of Law 1931-1959, Professor of Law Emeritus 1959-1970

John Saeger Bradway founded the Duke Legal Aid Clinic in 1931 and served as its director until 1959 when he assumed emeritus status. A pioneer in clinical education, Bradway modeled the Duke clinic on one he had established at the University of Southern California in 1929, seeking to combine the theoretical training of the classroom with practical and, in his view, essential instruction for students in draftsmanship, trial and appellate practice, research and writing, counseling, and negotiation. The clinic served members of minority, indigent, immigrant, and military communities and others who were not otherwise able to afford legal services. The clinical staff included five North Carolina lawyers who assisted with clinic and case management and client representation.

Bradway devoted much of his career to legal aid. He served as secretary of the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations (NALAO) from 1922 to 1940, and as president 1940 to 1942.  He chaired the legal aid committees of the Pennsylvania and North Carolina Bar Associations, the Legal Aid Clinics Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Research Committee for the Interprofessional Commission on Marriage and Divorce Laws.  He was active with the National Conference of Social Work, the American Association of Social Workers, and the International Bar Association.

Bradway also served as president of the State Legislative Council, the North Carolina Mental Hygiene Society, and the North Carolina Conference for Social Service, and as director of the North Carolina League for Crippled Children.  Locally he served as president of the Durham Council of Social Agencies, Family Service Agency, Rotary Club, and the Crime Study Club, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Durham Child Guidance Clinic, Salvation Army Home and Hospital, YWCA, and Community Chest.  He chaired a committee appointed by the Durham City Council in 1933 to establish a Juvenile Court, and a similar committee in 1948 to examine sub-standard housing. 

A native of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Bradway received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Haverford College, in 1911 and 1915 respectively. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1914, after which he entered general practice.  He began his teaching career in 1927 in the University of Pennsylvania’s Sociology Department and the Pennsylvania School of Social and Health Work before joining the faculty of the University of Southern California in 1929 as professor of law and director of the Legal Aid Clinic.

Following his 1959 retirement from teaching at Duke Law, Bradway taught at California Western University and the Hastings College of Law.  He died on January 2, 1985 in Eureka, California.


Duke University, School of Law, Bulletin of Duke University School of Law [serial]

Historical Note, Guide to the John S. Bradway Papers, 1914-1949 (2014)[]



John S. Bradway
Historic Faculty