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sity proper in another, and where there is should be expected to teach a man to , local and institutional jealousy. The man, practical lawyer. I do not believe in una as I said, to lead this advance and to co- our law colleges into business colleges; ! ordinate these things, is the bar examiner. on the other band, I believe that the piles He is the custodian of legal education. Ile should be protected. The study of the Low is a state officer, an oflicer of the court, the

should be encouraged, because it is necpuenty only one, in fact, whose duty it is to exam- to an intelligent citizensbip; but there is 19 ine into the question. He would be a power reason for unduly encouraging the increasen before any legislative committee.

of the number of practicing lawyers. In But, on the other hand, it would be absurd much to commend in the ideas expressendling for any one to underrate the value of a Mr. Lucien Alexander in bis admirabile size knowledge of the rules of pleading and prac- per before the Section of Legal Educalion at tice, of the vast unwritten code of local pro- Narragansett Pier some years ago. lle, sua cedure, and, above all, of business methods will remember, advocated that Inw silom, and principles. I often think that a knowl- graduates should, before being admitted to edge of the latter is almost as important as the bar, be required to spend one year as of pleading and practice itself. The lawyer bona fide clerks or assistants in law omers must, to a large extent, be a business man. or that the law schools themselves should lle must, at any rate, be the adviser and “provide one year or more of training op counselor of businessmen; yet there are voted largely to matters of practice for tliiver hundreds of graduates of law schools, bun- gentlemen of legal education desirous of im dreds of college graduates, who would have ing called to the bar, and which might proga to be introduced to a bill of lading if they erly be designated as post-graduate curs met it on the street, and are totally ignorant in practice.” I would, however, recommend of business methods and customs. Yet I that this added training be given after the am inclined to believe that these tbings can- first bar examinations; that, on passing thens, not be thoroughly acquired in the law schools. the order of the court shall be that all The methods of business, the business mind, cessful candidates shall be admitted to the must be met with and encountered before

bar one year from date, provided that at that they can be understood. Court procedure and

time they are able to furnish evidence of olie pleading and practice, and, above all, the un

year's actual clerksbip in an office, or the written rules of the courts and the customs actual study of local law and local procedure. of the profession, must, like true conversion, On the other hand, as I have before statou. be personally experienced. Many law school

I insist that the office students shall be re gentlemen will say, "No," but the bar ex

quired to reach the same general standaris aminers uniformly agree with me, and the

of scholarship as the graduates of the law practicing lawyers agree with me also. I be

schools. lieve that an apprenticeship in the office and an actual acquaintance with the methods

The election of officers for the Section of practice are as necessary to the young lawyer as actual experience in the hospital

for the ensuing year resulted as follows: is to the young surgeon. Many surgeons, it is true, bave never had it, but—“the provi

Chairman, Harry S. Richards, Dean Unidences of God are inscrutable, and dead men versity of Wisconsin School of Law. tell no tales."

Personally I would favor a probationary Secretary, Charles M. Hepburn, Univer. period. I do not believe that the law school sity of Indiana School of Law.

A Criticism of the Case System.

Dean of the National University Law School, W

ington, D. C.


HE so-called "case system” which I totle, Plato, and the Christ, and that its

here venture to call into question is ultimate facts and truths were as well entrenched behind a barrier of authority known, or as intelligently denied, two almost impervious to direct attack. How- thousand years ago as they are to-day. cvcr, a novel and independent view of The fundamental reason why there has even a more venerable institution may been no great advance in the philosophy sometimes be of interest, and fair and of to-day over that of centuries ago, why, truthful criticism is obnoxious only to for example, if we attempted to draw up men of narrow spirit or the exponents of a federal Constitution to-day, it would a doubtful cause.

not be readily admitted to be greatly suIn the interest of clearness it may be perior to that of our great-great-grandwell to begin by definition. The expres- fathers, is because the same methods of sion or formula "case system” is used in approaching such subjects would be and three almost entirely distinct, if not mu- are now being used that were being used tually repugnant, meanings: First, in then, methods then and now universally the sense in which its originator used it , employed in such divisions of mental acand in which it was never a real case sys- tivity for the very reason that they are tem at all; secondly, in the sense in which appropriate to the attainment of the best we so often see it used in the catalogues results when applied to the particular and other advertising matter of law subject matters under investigation. schools to express the "casebook system," If science worthy of the name is modor the nearest approach to carrying out ern science exclusively, it is because a Professor Langdell's original idea of relatively new method of study and inwhich its inherent impracticability per- vestigation, the inductive method, has mitted; and, thirdly, in a new sense, in . come to be universally employed, and a which a real case system is more or less priori argument has yielded to the inquisunconsciously employed by all successful itive microscope. The modern scientist and practical law schools. By way of says to his brother or to his pupil: "Do preface to what follows it may be said not take what I say about it. Do not that a system peculiarly adapted to the take what anybody says about it. Examstudy of one sort of thing may be equally ine with your own eyes, touch with your ill-adapted to the study of an essentially own hands, then think with your own antipodal branch of human learning. For brain, and draw your own conclusions.” instance, if we speak reverently of an- It being premised or postulated that you cient philosophy on the one hand, but of have a brain capable of thinking and inmodern science on the other, this sug- dependence enough to form your own gestive mode of speech results from a conclusions. A few decades ago this realization of the fact that real philoso- comparatively new, but essentially simphy is as old as Confucius, Buddha, Aris- ple, method of dealing with the phenom

ena of the sciences, whether biological, are the phenomena of the science of the chemico-physical, or mechanical, had law, with which the student should have spread from the laboratories of the in

a first-hand acquaintance, and to which vestigators, the pioneers of science, to the

the inductive method may at least tlie. schools, and, very logically and proper- oretically be applied ?" ly, the same methods (so far at least as One might suppose that, as in the sei. methods adapted to original research can ence of ethics its phenomena are the more be used by way of a sort of object lesson al relations arising among and between verification by the student) were begin

the units of society, so in legal science ning to be applied in the universities to its phenomena are the legal relations of the acquisition of a first-hand knowledge the social units both with the state and of the sciences as were already universal- between themselves, which arise from an ly, in vogue in extending them and to

intercourse somewhat minutely regulated which their marvelous modern develop- by customs which change from time to ment was due.

time in harmony with changing social It was at this time that Prof. Langdell and economic conditions, or by statutes of Harvard, swept along by this current expressing the more or less stable will of modern scientific method and thought of the majority. In the case of both then being introduced in the other schools law and ethics the phenomena to be stud. of that important university, conceived ied at first hand are the very legal rela. the idea of extending to legal science tions or ethical relations themselves, and to schools of law the same loosely formed and resulting from the activities styled “inductive method” used so suc- of the social units, and not somebody's cessfully in the other scientific schools. opinions concerning these relations. And "Let the law student,” said he, in effect, this is equally true, whether the opinions "stop taking what other people say about of that somebody have been arrived at in. the law. Let him disregard, or at least ductively or a priori. In neither case is cease to attend exclusively to, the opin- it scientific to adopt the opinions of othions and conclusions of others concerning ers, unless they coincide with conclusio the phenomena of the law; but let him in- drawn from a first-hand examination of vestigate these phenomena at first hand the data upon which they are based; and and for himself and draw his own con- this is as true of that branch of the "synclusions.” Admirable advice and quite thetic philosophy” of Spencer which deals in the spirit of modern scientific thought, with the subject of ethics or of general assuming that law is a science; and it is sociology as it is, for example, of the not my present purpose to engage in a opinion of Blackstone concerning what dispute as to whether it is or is not sci- were the phenomena of the English cusence, but rather a branch of philosophy tomary law at the date he wrote. The akin to ethics, and dowried with peculiar things to be examined, with or without importance through its marriage to the the aid of the microscope, are the cusart of practice. Let us concede that it is toms of England of two centuries ago a quasi-science in the same sense that we themselves as they existed independently have a so-called social science and politi- in nature, and not Blackstone's opinions cal science. The real gist of the contro- and conclusions about them. Perhaps versy turns, not upon that question, but some gifted Galileo, enrolled in a case upon the answer to the question, "What law school, may yet find, as a result of

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