Update: Neither of the following count as early scholarship, but ... in honor of her impending nomination to be Supreme Court Justice, here's a link to Judge Sotomayor's 2004 tribute to John Sexton, which appeared in the NYU Annual Survey of American Law. Also, here is a link to the New York Times website, which has the judge's 2002 speech to the Berkeley law students. It appeared in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal. Here's a link to the table of contents of the issue. Also, here is a link to Judge Sotomayor's note in the Yale Law Journal, "Statehood and the Equal Footing Doctrine: The Case for Puerto Rican Seabed Rights" and here's a link to her co-authored article in the Suffolk Law Review, "Returning Majesty to the Law and Politics: A Modern Approach."
I've been following every now and then talk about senior theses of now famous people. And since we like lists here at the faculty lounge--lists of lateral moves, lists of visitors, all sorts of things that someone might think infringes on privacy, like lists of what we're paid--I thought I'd compile a list of senior theses (or other scholarly work, like law journal notes) of the now famous.
So here we have links to:
Secretary Hillary Clinton's Wellesley Honors Thesis, "'There is only one fight': An Analysis of the Alinsky Model."
Governor Jennifer Granholm's co-authored note ("A Nation Less Secure: Diminished Access to Public Information") in the Harvard Civil Rights--Civil Liberties Law Review.
President Barack Obama's Harvard Law Review casenote.
Michelle Robinson Obama's Princeton University's Honors Thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community".
Judge Diane Pamela Wood's note in the Texas Law Review, "Coordinating the EPA, NEPA, and the Clearn Water Act."
And while she's less famous than the people above, I find it interesting that Laurie Magid, the (now former) US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has a couple of articles up on ssrn from back in the days when she taught at Villanova. Ah, the intersection of the academy and high-powered political positions.
I cannot now find Justice Roberts' Harvard thesis, but there are a couple of articles that talk about it and another award-winning undergraduate paper, on Daniel Webster. Nor can I find David Souter's thesis, which was on Holmes' philosophy (perhaps that wasn't as well-plowed in 1961 as it is today.)
I'll keep digging and adding to this. Hey, this is the internet age--there ought to be a lot of good scholarship out there on the now famous! Nominations of other work to link to are always appreciated.
Update 2: I've recently learned that Megyn M. Kelly of Fox News fame was an editor of the Albany Law Review while in school. I can't find any student publications by her, but here's a co-authored article, "The Conflicting Roles of Lawyer As Director," which appeared in Litigation in 1996, while she was (apparently) a summer associate at Bickel and Brewer. (She graduated from Albany Law School in 1997).
Update 3: Dan Abrams of NBC and a 1992 graduate of Columbia Law School published "Ending the Other Arms Race: An Argument for a Ban on Assault Weapons" in volume 10 of the Yale Law & Policy Review in 1992.
Update 5 (as of October 10, 2010): I guess that the History Channel has now canceled the show "Chasing Mummies." Probably for the best; I agreed with the New York Times critic, Neil Genzlinger, who thought that the star of the show, Zahi Hawass, was too full of himself for the show's good. In fairness to Dr. Hawass, we don't know how much the show's producers asked him to bend his personality to add drama to the show. For all I know, he's a super nice and self-effacing man -- we just didn't see that side of him in the show.
But what interests me is this: Hawass has a Ph.D. in "Oriental Studies" from the University of Pennsylvania (in 1987 no less)! His dissertation was "The Funerary Establishments of Khufu, Khafra and Menkaura During the Old Kingdom." It's available here (nearly 900 pages!); looks like mighty serious and interesting stuff -- which doesn't surprise me in the least.