Joseph Hylton, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Law

  • Areas Of Law: Legal History, Property, Sports Law
  • Professional Memberships:
    American Bar Association, Virginia State Bar
  • Current Courses: The Law Governing Lawyers
  • Other Courses Taught:
    Property, Law Governing Lawyers, Comparative Constitutional Law, American Legal History, American Constitutional History


J. Gordon Hylton is a native of Giles County, Virginia. He is a graduate of Giles High School, Oberlin College, and the University of Virginia Law School, and holds he also holds a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. Following Law School, he clerked for Justice Albertis Harrison of the Virginia Supreme Court and for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Professor Hylton is the author or co-author of five books, which include Property Law and the Public Interest (1998; 2nd ed., 2003; 3rd ed., 2007); Professional Values and Individual Autonomy: The United States Supreme Court and Lawyer Advertising (1998); Sports Law and Regulation (1999); A Concise Introduction to Property Law (2011); and The Wisconsin Law of Wills and Trusts (2013).  He is also a former Fulbright Scholar, and the former chair of the Association of American Law Schools Sections of Legal History, Sports Law, and Law and Agriculture.  He co-chaired the committee that created the Marquette Sports Law program in 1996 and 1997, and from 1997 to 1999, he was the Director of the National Sports Law Institute.

His current research interests focus on the history of the legal profession and legal education, the history of civil rights, and the legal history of American sports. In 2011, he was designated "easily the best historian of sports law" the by the Sports Law Blog.

In addition to Marquette, Professor Hylton has taught at the University of Virginia, Washington University, Washington and Lee University, and Chicago-Kent, as well as two Ukrainian universities: the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and Kyiv International University.  He also regularly teaches courses on American legal and constitutional history in the undergraduate college at Marquette.

Recent Publications and Presentations