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HE tenth annual meeting of the As- Drake University College of Law: E.
sociation of American Law Schools B. Evans and C. A. Dudley. convened at Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Leland Stanford Jr. University Law Monday and Tuesday, August 22 and School: C. H. Hubrich. 23, 1910. After the meeting was called Michigan University School of Law: to order by the President, John C. E. C. Goddard. Townes, Dean of the University of Tex- Minnesota University Law School: as Law School, the roll of the schools Henry Deutsch. belonging to the Association was called. Missouri University School of Law: The roll call disclosed the following rep
S. P. Spencer and T. A. Street. resentatives in attendance:
Nebraska University Law School: W.
G. Hastings. Columbia University School of Law:
Northwestern University Law School: Charles Thaddeus Terry and F. M. Bur
Geo. P. Costigan, Jr., and Samuel Scodick.
field. Cornell University School of Law:
Syracuse University College of Law: Frank Irvine.
James B. Brooks. Denver University School of Law:
Pennsylvania University Law School: John R. Neal.
William Draper Lewis. George Washington University School
Texas University Law School: John of Law: E. G. Lorenzen.
C. Townes. Harvard University Law School: Ez- Trinity University Law School: R. ra R. Thayer and Samuel Williston. G. Anderson.
Illinois University School of Law: Western Reserve University Law Oliver A. Harker.
School: Walter T. Duninore. Indiana University School of Law: Wisconsin University Law School: Charles M. Hepburn.
John B. Sanborn. 32
Yale University Law School: Simeon it a science, capable of systemization and E. Baldwin, Wm. R. Vance, Geo. D. co-ordination, or is it a confused mass of Watrous, and George E. Beers.
arbitrary and adventitious, if not incon
sistent, rules ? Are there fundamental The following papers were read:
principles which are the matrix of the
particular rules of action which we are PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS
accustomed to call law, basic ideas from “Organization and Operation of a
which these rules of action proceed, forcLaw School"
ing themselves upon our attention as
standards of propriety in all the varying By JOHN C. TOWNES
conditions of life, and of which the anDean, University of Texas Law School
nounced and seemingly arbitrary rules of
conduct are imperfect, though unmistakConception of a Law School. able, representatives? Or, on the other
hand, is the law simply an historically From discussions which occur from
developed series of affirmations and netime to time among the teachers of the
gations, which come into being as the relaw, it might well be concluded that three
sult of human experience, representing distinct ideas exist as to what constitutes
no fundamental notions of propriety, but a law school: First, that it is an institu
standing for what seems most politic at tion in which law is taught; second, an
the time the respective rules are adopted? institution in which law is studied; and,
Under the first view the law of any third, an institution in which law is both
people among whom popular government taught and studied.
prevails is formulated and announced It is more than probable that the ex
public conscience, limited by considerapressions from which the first and sec
tions of practicability. ond conceptions are gathered are rather
Under the second view, the law is a evidences of the heat of debate than of
mass of rules developed by conforming deliberate opinion, and that the real dif
to, and embodying in themselves the exferences among us are matters of em
perience of the particular people among phasis, as to which of the two functions,
whom it obtains, representing the growth teaching or studying, is the more impor- of the people, rather than its present tant, and the more to be provided for in
conscience. the organization of the school and its
Under these two conceptions are maractual conduct.
shaled the hosts which carry on from These matters of emphasis, however, generation to generation the irrepressiare too important to be overlooked, as
ble conflict between principle and precethey unavoidably express themselves in
dent. the practical organization and conduct of
As an individual holds or inclines to each particular school.
the one or the other of these views, so
will his conception of a law school and Conception of Law.
its proper functions be. There are few Another matter upon which there are who deny all ethical basis for law, and differences which also may be perhaps perhaps fewer still who maintained that more apparent than real is, What is the the law represents purely ethical ideas, law? What is it that the teacher is to unlimited and unaffected by historical deteach and the students are to study? Is velopment and practical considerations.
Still, while the great majority of us be- quently overlap, if they do not conflict lieve in both ideas, there are important with, each other. These are the general differences as to the prominence which governing board, the administrative ofshould be given to each in the process of ficers, the faculty, and the student body. teaching the law. He who stresses the It is probably safe to say that the lines ethical idea will seek to impress upon the of separation between these several bodmind of his student the propriety of the ies are not drawn with unmistakable rule of conduct under consideration mak- clearness in any single institution, and ing that the major thesis, and dealing that the indistinct boundaries which do with the empirical as incidental to it, exist between them are in no two instiwhile he who stresses the empirical will tutions absolutely identical, though in treat the subject historically, dealing with most they are substantially the same. In the ethical idea as incidental to that. some schools the control of the govern
These different ideas unavoidably en- ing board is very extensive, running ter into the purpose of a law school, and, down into the details of the work. In as every rational effort is largely con- others this board deals only with the trolled and determined by the purpose to broad policies of the institution, and, be attained, consciously or unconsciously even as to them, consideration is given to they enter into its organization and oper
the views of the administrative officers ation, and influence more or less the con- and faculty. In some schools the faculty duct of each individual taking part in ei- exercises powers which in others pertain ther.
to the president or dean. Sometimes
members of the governing board hold Definition of a Law School.
administrative offices or designated adIt is probably impossible to define a
ministrative officers are ex officio memlaw school to the satisfaction of all per
bers of the governing board. There are sons. May I venture to suggest, as a
few institutions now in which teaching fair compromise statement, that a law
is done by the president; still it is a comschool is an institution in which to teach mon, if not the universal, rule for the and to study the different rules of con
dean to do a reasonable amount of classduct promulgated and enforced by polit
room work. The lack of complete segreical authority and the fundamental prin- gation of these separate bodies is furciples from which these rules proceed.
ther illustrated by the fact that not inHow should such an institution be or- frequently some person or number of ganized and operated ?
persons who are members of either the This is a question far too broad for
teaching or administrative force are also exhaustive discussion on an occasion such
members of the student body. as this. All that can be done is to briefly
Under such conditions, it is impossible advert to many matters of interest and
to draw hard and fast lines, and say with discuss hurriedly others which demand
assurance that these lines separate the or at least seem to demand more atten
different bodies in the law schools as tion.
they now exist. In this uncertainty in
the realm of the practical it would be Constituent Bodies.
presumptuous to contend that the proper In every law school there are four bod- theory on the subject could be successies of individuals whose functions are fully announced. The most that can be more or less distinct, though they fre- done is to call attention to the fact that
the processes of growth through which
Faculty. our various law schools have passed have
By the term "faculty" as used in this resulted in substantial uniformity of
paper is meant the law faculty. It can function in the various bodies mentioned,
have no other meaning in schools which though the lines of separation between
have no connection with other departthem are often dim and difficult to trace,
ments going to make up the complete inTo the governing board pertain the
stitution. In these latter I favor sepafunctions of determining and outlining
rate departmental government so far as the general policy of the school, of legis- practicable. lating on its broader and more general
The most important matter in the law matters, and of providing for its main
school is the quality of the teaching and tenance.
studying done. This depends largely on To the faculty pertain the duties of
the character and qualifications of its teaching in its various phases and of
faculty. It is impossible to have a good legislating on the more detailed matters
law school with a poor faculty. It is alwithin the general policy as declared by
most impossible to have a poor law school the governing board, but as to which no
with a good faculty. Equipment in othspecific rules have been announced by it.
er respects can help or hinder greatly, To the administrative officers pertain but the paramount thing is the teaching the function of executing and enforcing force. the rules made by the governing board and the faculty within their respective
Qualifications of a Professor. jurisdictions.
The first thing essential to a good law The functions of the student body need teacher, that on which all else rests, and not here be considered.
without which all else is useless, is good There is no time for further discussion character. I do not mean every teacher of the duties of the governing board and of law should be puritanical and straight the administrative officers. Still I dislike laced, for unfortunately these characterto pass by the administrative officers istics are sometimes but poor evidence of without one note of warning against the genuine nobility of soul, but I do mean tendency, seeming or real, on their part that every law teacher should possess to exercise legislative functions. Law the sterling virtues essential to genuine making should be done by the governing manhood in its highest development. He board and the faculty, and neither pres- should not have a maudlin sympathy that ident nor dean nor the two in conjunc- wipes out the distinction between guilt tion should undertake to prescribe rules and innocence, but an enlightened benevof conduct except in cases of real emer- olence which recognizes justice tempered gency. Legislation in the great majority with mercy, as true kindliness. He of cases will be wiser and more just if should have wisdom to truly apprehend the whole faculty have a part in it; but,
the conditions which exist within and even if the rules made by the faculty are about him and to discern between the no better than those which would be irritating peccadilloes, which are but the promulgated by the administrative officer, exuberance of youth and those deeperthey rest on a broader basis and are bet- seated wrongs which show fundamental ter understood and more readily accepted weakness or viciousness of character. and enforced.
He should have the courage to carry out
that which benevolence suggests and regard on
srooms to hear the
live is demons wisdom approves, unswerved from the
's questions with suffipath of rectitude, either by the fear of al to abandon the.
keep firm hold upon loss or the hope of gain, uninfluenced though tempted by
9 be developed by alike by the thought of popularity or un- come at the bar or in
good deal of the popularity, either with the governing Another valuable qualit,
to the matter board or the student.
teaching. This is an exceei
ver of conWe hear much about the teaching of
cult faculty to discover excep much. ethics in law schools. This is well. But test of actual teaching. The best it is exceedingly difficult to harangue anty of its possession is found in morality into unwilling ears.
The best combination of the three qualities just and inost effective course of ethics ever discussed-good character, a reasonable given in any law school is the daily life amount of duly assimilated legal inforof a faculty whose members are without mation, and enthusiasm. He who has fear and without reproach. Teaching these will find some vent for the fires ethics is good; living ethics before one's kindled by his love and some means of classes is incomparably better.
communicating his spirit to his students. After moral character should come a reasonable amount of legal information;
Training the more the better, provided it be prop- A most serious question exists as to erly assimilated and has not been ac- the best training for a teacher. Should quired at the cost of practical common he come direct from the graduating class sense. There is no ailment quite so fatal of some of the better law schools, or to the would-be teacher as mental dys- should he have had a fair amount of pepsia, that condition of mental weakness experience at the bar or on the bench? which results from crowding the mind No answer of universal application can with the unassimilated ideas of other be given. Some poor practitioners make people. No man should undertake to good teachers, and we all know some teach secondhand; that is, to be a dis- fine practitioners who would be execrapenser of other men's thought, which he ble professors. Perhaps the matter may has not himself so incorporated into him- be fairly stated thus: In most instances self as to make it part of his own being. an individual will make a better teacher The purveyor of thought of other men for having had both collegiate training undigested by himself is out of place in and subsequent practice. Yet it often the professorial chair.
happens that, when we compare two Every law teacher should be an en- teachers, we find that the one lacking one thusiast, filled with an absorbing and or the other of these opportunities is suabiding love for the law in general and perior to the other who has had both. the topics which he teaches in particular. Teaching is largely an individual matter, This love of the law and a correspond- and it may be said of teachers as of the ing love of his students should be his in- ancient poets, they “are born, not made.” spiration. Most of us must live by teach- It is doubtless a good policy in this reing while we teach, because we must gard to have a composite faculty, emearn our daily keep, but it is exceedingly bracing within it some members who unfortunate for one's motive in teaching have had experience at the bar or on the to be mercenary. The high plane in this bench and others who have come direct