David Farquhar Cavers
Assistant Professor of Law, 1931-1932, Professor of Law, 1932-1945

David Cavers taught at Duke Law for fourteen years.  His classes covered a variety of topics but his special field of interest was the conflict of laws.  By 1933 he was already known as an innovator of the subject.  Perhaps his most signal contribution to Duke and legal scholarship  was the conception, inauguration, and early guidance and development of Law & Contemporary Problems.  In 1932 he sent a memo to Dean Justin Miller proposing a new sort of law review.  The result of this suggestion was the publication of Law & Contemporary Problems the following year.  Cavers served as the journal’s editor for a decade.

Cavers completed a BS in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1923, and an LL.B. at Harvard in 1926.  He practiced law for a few years before becoming an instructor in law at Harvard in 1929.  Cavers then spent a year as an assistant professor of law at West Virginia University.  He joined the Duke Law faculty in 1931, becoming a full professor in 1932.  While on the Duke faculty Cavers was a visiting professor at Yale and the University of Chicago.   During World War II he worked in the Office of Price Administration, first in the capacity of consultant and later as assistant general counsel.  In 1945 Cavers returned to a position on the faculty of Harvard Law.  He was honored by Duke University and President Terry Sanford with the degree of Doctor of Laws at the commencement ceremony in 1979.  Cavers died in 1988.


David F. Cavers Honored [perma.cc/P29L-TE82], 51 no. 3 L&CP xxi-xxii (Summer 1988)

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

Erwin N. Griswold, David F. Cavers [perma.cc/5SB9-SPKS], 51 no. 3 L&CP i-iv (Summer 1988)

Memorandum to Dean Miller from David F. Cavers: Suggestions With Reference to the Proposed Duke Law Review [perma.cc/BS4C-2T4Y], 41 no. 2 L&CP 167-171 (Spring 1977)

Photo courtesy of University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf1-01591, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

David Farquhar Cavers
Historic Faculty