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Mission of the
the Practitioners' Course Brief Making.
HE Practitioners' Correspondence Course in Brief Making is in no way a
competitor of any law school, whether resident or correspondent.
There are many thousands of lawyers, office students, and law clerks who have never studied the subjects of brief making and the use of law books. It is largely for the benefit of these men, and more especially of the younger attorneys, that the Practitioners' Correspondence Course was established. A large proportion of the men now taking it have practiced law for from five to twenty-five years. The need of some such course of instruction is widely felt; this fact being clearly demonstrated by the great variation in the amount of experience possessed by the numerous persons already enrolled.
During the last year or two, a large number of the leading law schools have introduced into their curriculum courses in brief making and the use of books. This, however, is and has thus far been a provision for the benefit of the future lawyer only, and necessarily cannot affect those men already in active practice. Nor can it reach that very large number of men who, though preparing for the bar, are, for various reasons, unable to attend a resident law school. It is the object of the Practitioners' Course in Brief Making to provide for these.
The scope of the course is strictly limited to the subjects of briefing cases and the finding and investigation of authorities. It does not include instruction in the law, or in any branch of the law. It does not prepare for the bar, or for any bar examinations. The sole object of the course is simply to supplement the regular preparation for the bar by providing an opportunity for systematic and thorough study of the important and practical subject of Brief Making. It is, indeed, the only such opportunity that is available for the practicing attorney, the office student, or the law clerk,
CHARLES LESLEY AMES, Sec'y.
One who does not know where and how to find the law will not
JOHN H. STINESS,
The Newer Law School Education.
By FREDERICK W. DORING, J. M.,
"HE present administration of the Dean Bigelow has put it, is, “not to fill
Law School of Boston University, the head with a mass of information, which began in the summer of 1902, has
but to centralize the nervous been building its work upon two ideas: forces of the brain.” It seeks to guide
(1) Science has been creating a civili- the student to the maximum realization zation in recent years.
As the new of his powers, and insists that the Law President of the Massachusetts Institute School training shall be so far a foreof Technology put it in his Inaugural a cast of the lawyer's work as to make short time ago, "Science has brought proficiency a matter of habit. men to face a new heaven and a new We heartily agree that the Law School earth." The Law School was to be a is least of all the place in which to exschool of the twentieth century, and, ploit novel pedagogical experiments; while not unmindful of the past, must but the principle underlying the policy therefore put the emphasis of its work which we have outlined is basic, and its upon the newer and more pressing prob- effectiveness is beyond question. It no lems of the life before it.
more needs demonstration to-day than (2) This led to bed rock. The law does, the law of the psychology of habit must be regarded as an order of cor- upon which it is founded. It demands related parts to be taught, therefore, as an educated brain, and insists that the a unity. “Incoherences were to be knit- beaten paths along which its trained acted into coherence,” to borrow the apt tivities operate must deviate in no particquotation from Carlyle's Journal, made ular from the lines along which the futhe text of Professor Bliss Perry's nota- ture lawyer is to progress. ble Commencement Address on "The The principle of unity through corCoherent Life," before Boston Universi- relation is kept in sight throughout the ty, in June. And this not as mere senti- details of administration and instruction. ment, but as the needful training of the The different divisions of the law as laid mind, and as an antidote to serious ten- down in the curriculum are presented to dencies toward disintegration appearing the student at the outset as parts of a reas well in current methods of education lated scheme, and their interrelations as in social life. Unity through correla- and correlations are constantly kept in tion, we say, is the fundamental idea of view, while the various courses are shaplegal education in the Law School of ed toward, and find their culmination Boston University. To bring the mind and practical application in, the Masup to its best work it must be trained ter's Course. and coerced into ways of coherence in The administration is thoroughly comits processes of thinking, the problem ac- mitted to the study of cases as one of the cordingly being looked upon essentially three required lines of work; problems as one of psychology.
and court work being equally insisted on. The purpose of the administration, as The study of cases is not the "case system” as commonly understood. To requires the observer to see things with quote Dean Bigelow in this connection: his own eyes, and to view them with "The rules were treated practically, if not scrupulous care from their various points in terms, as causes, and now confusion of approach, until they appear in their growing out of that fact in relation to true relation. The sane perspective of the facts of a new era stared us in the science is everywhere the resultant of face. What did these new and over- methods in conformity with its princiwhelming movements in social life mean, ples. A case analyzed and weighed from if not, in their relation to the law, that a really scientific standpoint, or any they were cause, and the law was' but standpoint that is worth while, requires an effect? Law was now plainly enough that its vital features be so far assiminothing but the effect of matter of fact, lated as to become a part of the stuand not a thing in itself laid down to dent's mental equipment. govern men in all time.” It may be re- The so-called "five-point" method is marked that, following out this idea of followed in the study and discussion of reversing the traditional order, the study cases. The points considered are the folof evidence and procedure is placed in lowing: the first year.
(1) Nature of the action. It is almost superfluous to add that the (2) Essential facts. study of cases is designed to be inten-. (3) Point or points in dispute. sive rather than extensive. The desira
(4) Decision. bility of avoiding the confusion inevita- (5) Ground of the decision. ble in dealing with a mass of half-di- Following this order, the student is gested facts is self-evident. Modern not supposed to leave a case until he can scientific instruction requires the labora- stand on his feet and clearly and untory work to follow the same persistent, hesitatingly report on it in full. This thorough, and painstaking steps by done without reference to notes, he is which the original investigations were obliged to show his grasp of every mamade. Scientists agree that in no other terial detail by the most searching quesway can the scientific spirit be imparted, tioning. New statements of fact are and we maintain that, if the law student presented to him, that he may show the is to become imbued with the legal at- application of the principle of law which mosphere, he must be guided by the is brought out, or the distinctions which same spirit. In the direct study of cas- a different set of conditions involves. es, his work corresponds to those labora- He is led to see that the consideration tory exercises which furnish a verifica- of points 4 and 5, without reference to tion of established principles, or perhaps 2 and 3, may not only be valueless, but more specifically to those devoted to the absolutely misleading. He may as well consideration of phenomena through be warned, even thus early, that he may which the principles may be formulated. be imperiling his cause by citing a case We feel no hesitation in comparing this to support a proposition, only to learn method with that of the laboratory. The through opposing counsel that it was delaboratory method typifies the reaction cided on a different set of facts from against a moribund educational scho- the case at bar, or that an entirely diflasticism. Rejecting the acquisition of ferent question was involved. half-digested matter as mere waste, it The problem marks a distinct step beyond the study of adjudicated cases. As think on their feet and to express themthe student of science is called upon
selves in a creditable manner. The conapply the principles which he has work- sistent preparation that is necessitated ed out to new and unfamiliar conditions, involves real progress, as well as some so the law student must apply the propo- adequate conception of its existence. If sitions of law which he has derived from the system accomplished nothing more the study cases. The problems are ei- than removing the temptation to defer ther assigned to be worked out as pre- serious effort until the approach of the pared, or are given in class as sight final examination, it would fully justify work. In either case a working hypoth- itself. esis must be evolved from a set of un- The court work which is begun in the digested facts. The class problems call second undergraduate year marks the for the effective exercise of the mind in third step in the scheme of instruction. action, and are designed to promote that Each student during his second year flexibility which is needed to cope with must conduct four cases in the municithe unexpected. The set problems con- pal court, as counsel for the plaintiff in sist of facts complex enough to require two and as counsel for the defendant in for their analysis the best of the stu- two. He must go ahead with his cases dent's powers, and the synthesis of in every detail as in actual practice, and which into a controlling principle of law see that they are appealed to the superior will oblige him to fully and accurately
court at the end of the year. weigh the authorities that seem to be
The members of the third year conto the point. Problems will hereafter tinue in the superior court pending apcharacterize third-year work.
peals from the municipal court, besides The undoubted value of the oral test, beginning actions originally in that court whether by case or problem, led to a both in law and in equity. When a case realization of the urgent need of its fre
is taken to the Supreme Court, excepquent repetition with each individual. tions must be claimed, and a bill of exThis end, manifestly impracticable with ceptions prepared and filed, in due form. large bodies of students, has been accom- The student is placed upon his own plished by dividing the class into sec- responsibility, with no further suggestions under the direction of preceptors.
tions than will enable him to go to the To insure complete harmony with the proper sources of information. It is general plan, the head of the department
felt that he will learn most effectually meets the preceptors and carefully out- through his own mistakes. It being part lines the work, both as to subject-matter of the regular requirements, and as such and manner of presentation.
constituting a part of his record, he is The student now has before him the under no temptation to regard the work practical certainty that he will be call- as a minor issue. ed up at each meeting of the section. If The system of moot courts in the he has anything in him, he is anxious Boston University Law School has passappear at his best. In fact, the general ed the experimental stage, and involves response of the members of the sections nothing that is novel, far-fetched, or of has been of the most gratifying charac- problematical value. They are but a ter. They show that they appreciate the necessary detail in fitting the student for importance of cultivating the ability to a profession which he is to practice. To argue that they are premature is as il- novel phase of points well established logical as to demand that the student in by precedent may be involved, or the engineering defer his acquaintance with student may be required to argue under the transit and level until he takes up the federal law a case decided according the actual work of his profession. to the doctrine of a particular state, as,
Thus, by requirements gradually in- for example, the strike fine decision in creasing in intensity, the student at the Willcutt v. Driscoll, 200 Mass. 110, 85 end of his undergraduate course has N. E. 897. Under the first illustration been led to a general view of the field cited, apropos of the opinion expressed of the law, combined with enough of during the United States Senate debate its application to add practical value to on the Railway Rate Regulation Bill, the output.
that an interlocutory injunction by a The Master's Course is designed for justice of the Circuit Court would lie in those who wish to continue after grad- the face of a federal statute removing uation the study of law wholly in the that power, a case involving just such line of its application. Under the head premises was assigned on the facts of of Sovereignty, which is the central Thomas v. Cincinnati, etc., R. R., 62 idea, it introduces the student to the Fed. 820. newer questions of law which are being The foregoing give but a hint of the pushed to the fore by the social and character of the cases.
The facts aseconomic transformations of the times. signed, the student must analyze them, Mr. Brooks Adams, from his profession- apply the form of procedure they may al experience with such questions, is demand, and carry the case from the especially qualified to direct the work. superior court to the Supreme Court, In entire sympathy with the Dean's poli- where he argues the points of law that cy, he attacks the problem of securing are brought out. His pleadings are subthe maximum of concentration with the jected to the strictest scrutiny, and he minimum of waste by methods differing must sustain his oral argument against in degree rather than in kind. The stu- the criticism of the court, which is comdent's work consists wholly of the trial posed of members of the Faculty. The cases in the Master's Court and the prep- Dean and Mr. Adams attend the sesaration of papers which are connected sions of the court, and may at any time with the general plan. Those whose at- join in the questions which are designed tainments warrant are admitted to the to test the validity of the proposition final test, which includes a written opin- of law in the light of the various conion and thesis, together with the argu- clusions to which it
lead. ing under criticism of an examination
If the argument weakens or is broken case.
down the precise cause of the failure is The cases are designed to be of such a brought out in the review of the case character as would demand the resourc- at the next meeting in the lecture es of counsel accustomed to deal with room. important litigation. The facts may be It is the theory that the heroic method adapted to hypothetical questions deal- is the only effectual remedy for the ing with the newer developments of the "mental astigmatism" which was noticelaw, or are taken from pending cases able when the system of moot courts was along the lines of the foregoing. A first seriously inaugurated. Students