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volved in cases where the client and adversary set forth their respective claims, and the issue is thus clearly presented for the application of authorities which can be studied at leisure, the problems of ethics are essentially “autosuggestive.” Therefore I think that, not only should there be such examination, but also that that branch of learning should be made one of the most important in the Law School, and that the examination upon it should be so thorough that the questions arising thereunder will present themselves automatically to the mind of the lawyer, who should be well equipped to decide them without hesitation.
ERNEST T. FLORANCE. New Orleans, La.
AM heartily in favor of requiring all applicants for admission to the bar
to pass an examination on Legal Ethics. The way has been made easy by the adoption of the new code by the American Bar Association, copies of which the Secretary of the Association will, as I understand, furnish to any one at a very moderate price. I have lectured on the subject at the Yale Law School for many years, but until the adoption of a national code we did not feel that the time was ripe for making the subject other than an optional one. It has this year been made a required study, and the class will be regularly examined on it. The first step towards fulfilling the duties of a lawyer, in point of honor, is to know what they are. This knowledge, in outline, any law student can now acquire.
SIMEON E. BALDWIN. Chief Justice Supreme Court of Connecticut.
Y answer to the question is: Yes; candidates for admission to the bar
should be examined on the subject of Legal Ethics, and their answers thereto should have great weight in determining their fitness. The special attention which is at present being paid to this important subject by the bench and bar throughout the United States is indicative of a condition in the profession which demands an uplifting along the lines of professional morality for the general good. Nothing will conduce as much towards that end as the universal adoption of the requirement that all candidates for admission to the bar shall be examined on this topic. The fact that they will be required to answer questions on Legal Ethics will compel them to read and study the Canons of Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association or by their particular state for the guidance of its members of the bar, and in no other way can the much to be desired result be accomplished. The New York State Bar Association, at its recent meeting held at the city of Buffalo in January, 1909, adopted Canons of Ethics for the guidance of the profession in the state and recommended that the Court of Appeals amend its rules regulating admission to the bar by requiring all candidates “to state in the affidavit filed by him on his application for admission that he has read the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the New York State Bar Association, and has faithfully endeavored to make himself acquainted with the same, and that he will endeavor to conform his professional conduct thereto.” It further resolved "that the State Board of Law Examiners be requested to examine on said Canons of Professional Ethics all applicants applying to it for admission to the bar, and that the faculties of all law schools within this state be requested to teach the subject of professional ethics." The New York State Board of Law Examiners has already complied with the request, and now asks questions on and requires of all applicants a knowledge of the canons, and I understand that the state law schools will hereafter teach the subject.
FRANKLIN M. DANAHER. Secretary New York State Board of Law Examiners.
HE American Bar Association has rendered the profession very valuable
service by calling attention to the general principles of legal ethics and framing a code embodying the same. The attorney's oath of office, which was adopted in Massachusetts in 1686, and is now in use here in very nearly its original form, is the basis of the oath recommended by the American Bar Association. It is as follows: "You (repeat the name) solemnly swear that you will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; you will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless, or unlawful suit, nor give aid or consent to the same; you will delay no nian for lucre or malice; but you will conduct yourself in the office of an attorney within the courts according to the best of your knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as your clients. So help you God." This form of oath was in use in England at a very early period, but is said to have become obsolete there as early as 1630. It is administered in Massachusetts with much solemnity; the court and all present in the courtroom rising and standing while it is repeated by the clerk and assented to by the applicant. I think it is very desirable that applicants for admission to the bar should be required to prepare themselves to answer questions on legal ethics.
HOLLIS R. BAILEY. Chairman Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners.
DESIRE to answer this question emphatically in the affirmative. The prac
tice of the law would be almost impossible, were it not for the constant recognition by the members of the bar among themselves and in their relation to the court of the ethics of the profession, and it is equally true that the standing of the bar in the community would be destroyed if it were not for the application of the same principles of moral science in their relation to the public and to their clients. The young lawyer, when he violates the Code of Ethics, at first does so in the great majority of cases from either ignorance or from a lack of appreciation of the importance of the code which he is disregarding, and in almost every instance, had it been called to his attention in a proper way by those wlio were his instructors, and for whom he had great regard, that such a course of action was far more objectionable than seemed apparent at first impression, he would avoid the very error into which he had inadvertently fallen. It follows, from these two statements, that as a part of the legal education of every man who intends to practice law there ought to be a substantial course in tlie ethics of the profession, and this necessity is not met by a single lecture or two, which
may be thrown in at some odd hour in the curriculum of the law school, even though it be given by some distinguished lecturer. The ethics of the proiession are an essential and necessary part of the profession, and ought to be taught by a course of lectures, or by a text-book, or in some way be taken up by the student with a fair degree of care. To make sure of the fact that the student has not only had the advantage of such a course, but has apparently appropriated to himself its principles, and became familiar with the supporting reasons, it is necessary that he should be examined upon the subject, and should evidence, not only a reasonable familiarity with the subject, but a personal acceptance of the main principles, before he is admitted to practice.
SELDEN P. SPENCER. St. Louis, Mo.
Y impression is distinctly in favor of making some such requirement. I
think the professional spirit of the English bar, at least of the body of King's Counsel and Barristers, and, if I may so term it, the etiquette governing the relations of its members to the courts and to each other, are rather better than that which obtains in most communities in this country with which I am familiar. Of course, there are so many centers of commercial and professional activity with us that there is comparatively little uniformity. I think the adoption by the American Bar Association of certain canons of ethics was an important step in the right direction, although the code thus adopted by no means covers all questions. It furnishes, however, a basis, which, if generally adopted by the Law Schools and Examining Boards throughout the country, would afford a foundation for instruction in Professional Ethics which is very highly desirable and would tend to promote the interests of the profession and the public, and to emphasize to the popular and professional mind that the practice of the law is a profession and not a mere trade.
STEPHEN S. GREGORY. Chicago, Ill.
F course, the practitioner will be regulated in his dealings with courts and
with his clients very largely by his own personal code of ethics; but I believe that, in addition to his personal code, the public has a right to expect from the lawyers something in the way of systematic and uniform development of professional morals, and, of course, this expectation cannot well be met unless the young lawyer receives some training upon that subject in the course of his instruction. Under the course of instruction in law schools, the student receives very little in the way of either training or suggestion concerning proper court decorum, or the standard of conduct that should be maintained in intercourse with other attorneys, and the young lawyer is often at a serious disadvantage by a lack of knowledge on this subject. So I think that for this reason the course of instruction in a law school which would convey to the young lawyer a knowledge of the standards that have become recognized and adopted by the profession with reference to these matters would not only be of great advantage to him, but would prove of benefit to the administration of justice generally. For these and other reasons that might be urged, I am strongly in favor of such a course of instruction, and of its being made the subject of examination of candidates for admission to the bar.
FREDERICK V. BROWN. Attorney Great Northern Railway Company.
should be taught in every law school and should be a special topic of examination. The student of the law school should be thoroughly grounded in those principles of professional conduct which mark the true lawyer. In admission to the bar more attention should be paid to the quality, mental and moral, of the applicant. The law is a profession, not a trade. The candidate should be thoroughly imbued with the principles of the profession; otherwise he is an Ishmaelite, a mere scavenger. What would be thought of a church whichi admitted to membership one who had never learned its creed? Sometime United States Circuit Court Judge.
JOHN G. JENKINS.
HE subject attracted very wide-spread, earnest attention from the members
of the Association, and it became evident that lawyers regarded it as a matter of prime importance. In view of the fact that Canons of Ethics, adopted by the American Bar Association were worked out with so much care and finally met the unanimous approval of the Association, it would seem to make it of sufficient importance to be brought to the attention of law students. The suggestion that students should be examined on this subject strikes me favorably. I have had a course of instruction in the Washington University Law School for several years, coming in contact with the first-year men. I have regarded it as important to instruct the students to some extent incidentally on the subject of professional ethics. I have found them impressionable and quick to receive and adopt a high view of a lawyer's duties. Youth is the time for forming ideals. I should favor a short course of instruction on this subject, taking the code recently adopted as the text to be followed by an examination.
FRANKLIN FERRISS. St. Louis, Mo.
HE problem is not primarily how to give the student a sense of direction,
though that is important. The real problem is how best to give him the motive power which will impel him to follow the direction when given. In my judgment, nothing but a religious training will supply what is needed. What is needed in the law schools, as well as in the colleges, is the forcible presentation of definite, virile, and practical Christianity as the true philosophy of life.
GEORGE WHARTON PEPPER. Philadelphia, Pa.
AM confident that there would be no better way of bringing home to the
law student the important subject of legal ethics than by requiring him to prepare himself to pass an examination based upon the Code of Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association and upon the treatises upon ethics referred to by the committee in its report, especially Sharswood's Legal Ethics and Hoffman's Rules.
FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON.
New York, N. Y.
ANSWER the above question affirmatively, and without hesitation. It is
well that the subject should be brought home to a young lawyer just as he crosses the threshold of professional life.
ILANNIS TAYLOR. Washington, D, C.
The "Failure" of Professor Langdel1.1
By CLARENCE D. ASHLEY, J. D., LL, D.,
VERY good teacher should have conception, and fits into the argument
imagination, and if one may judge most satisfactorily. Professor Carusi by an article written by The only difficulty is that the statement him, published in the last issue of this is historically false. magazine,” he must have this quality President Eliot has told us of his acwell developed.
quaintance with Langdell when they It has been quite customary, during were students together in college. At the last twenty years, for various writers that early period he was so struck with to set up some imaginary system of Langdell's methods of study and thought, teaching law, and then to show its weak- and his ideas of teaching, that upon beness to the satisfaction of the author, and coming president he sought out his forperhaps of his readers.
mer friend, then a successful lawyer of The writers were amused, and no one some years' standing and practice at the was harmed.
New York bar, and called him to HarBut this gentleman goes further, and, vard. Langdell at once, and before the naming Professor Langdell, proceeds to reorganization and successful progress weave his fiction about this master think
of the other schools of the University, er, and in this way finds it an easy task
took hold of the small, immature school to show him in the wrong.
which he found at Harvard, and began to The task is vastly simpler in view of
develop the ideas which he had conceivthe fact that Langdell is dead.
ed so many years before. How beautifully Professor Carusi
And good ideas they were, too. He works out his theories. His picture of
brought about entrance examinations, Langdell as "swept along by this current
then not required in law schools. He inof modern scientific method and thought
sisted upon severe mental training, bethen being introduced in the other lieving this of vast importance to the stu
dent. He believed in active discussion in schools of that important University"
the lecture room. His main idea was to (Harvard), and as then conceiving his
train the student to understand the unidea of legal education, makes a pretty
derlying principles of law and correctly
apply them to any given state of facts. 1 The writer is not a graduate of the Harvard Law School, and never knew Professor
These ideas worked a revolution in legal Langdell. He took his law degree at Colum- education in America, and have had a bia after a course under Professor Dwight. The following lines represent only his own
powerful influence in England. It is beideas, and no one at Harvard is responsible lieved that there is no school in this for them. He has no authority to speak for Harvard, and does not even know that their
country to-day which is not stronger and law faculty will approve of what he has doing better work because Langdell had written.-C. D. A.
an opportunity to give his genius full 2 "A Criticism of the Case System," by Charles F. Carusi, American Law School Re
play. view, December, 1908.
I cannot do better than to describe his