Brophy teaches in property law and trusts and estates, and is the author of a number of publications in these areas. He received an A.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. His books include University, Court, and Slave: Proslavey Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of Civil War (2016), Reparation Pro and Con (2006), and Reconstructing the Dreamland: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (2002). He is the co-author of Integrating Spaces (2011) and Experiencing Trusts and Estates (forthcoming 2017) and co-editor of Transformations in American Legal History (2009 and 2010) and Companion to American Legal History (2013). He is co-editor of the American Journal of Legal History.