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cussion, that seems to me to be very impor- a little, and I stopped and looked through tant, and it has not been touched upon. In the opening, and I went right back on the the matter of our statutes, for instance, in honor system at once." I agreed with him Oklahoma, the Supreme Court, or the Board that it was a mistake in his case. But if of Law Examiners appointed by the Supreme you will let it alone it will flourish. I don't Court, accepts the certificate of the law think that it ought to be put upon the class school that the student has done three years' by taking a vote-by asking for a unani. work and has passed his examinations, with- mous vote. I have my doubts as to whether out question, as the basis for admitting the it ought to be brought up in the faculty, student to the bar. That statute as it now either. I believe that it ought to be impressexists admits students to the bar upon the ed upon the class that they are preparing presentation of a diploma from the State for an honorable profession, where the judge University. Now, how can we make that on the bench will take their professional certificate, as a part of the honor system, statements, and that we are going to accept when we do not know whether it is properly their statements as honorable men. Now, done or not? It seems to me that, if we when this is done, in most instances you were to do that, we would be certifying with- will find that it will be a success. I have out the knowledge that the examination had tried it long enough to know. I have been honorably passed, except in so far as (tried it for many years, and it has never the knowledge that might be gained from failed to work. Very often there are times this pledge of the student or the certificate when I thought I could detect in a paper that the examination had been properly pass- the fact that there had been cheating in it; ed by the student himself.
perhaps no assistance given intentionally by
any one, but where some student had writCharles M. Hepburn, University of In- ten something on a paper, and some other diana Law School.
student had taken it up, and you could tell
by the answers that they were evidently I have been deeply interested in the honor
written by the same party. But suppose system for a great many years, ever since
that does occur in one or two cases out of I was at the University of Virginia under
hundreds of papers. It seems to me that it Dean Minor. Every now and then I have
is very much better to let it go, as after heard of its adoption elsewhere. Frequently
years of experience I have found that there I have been met with the plea that the honor
is very much less cheating than there is unsystem does exist in the University of Vir.
der any other system of which I have any ginia, but it cannot be said to flourish any.
knowledge. where else. I think that is a mistake, but it is the plea that I have often heard. The honor system will flourish in any locality, if it is let alone. I want to approve the remarks of one of the speakers, when he said that the duty of the faculty in reference
New Officers to the honor system is to let it alone. The students will take care of that without the faculty taking any action. Let me illustrate that by something that occurred at the Bar
On the recommendation of the NomAssociation meeting two or three years ago. inating Committee, William R. Vance, The Dean of a law school told me that he did not believe in the honor system, and he
of the Yale University Law School, was said: “I have a good reason for it. I have elected President, and George P. Costitried it, and I have found in my own experience that it will not work." He said:
gan, Jr., of the Northwestern University “I tried it on my boys. I said to the boys Law School, was elected Secretary and that I was going to adopt the honor system,
Treasurer, of the Association for the enand that I was going to leave the room. I went out of the room. The door was ajar suing year.
Meeting of the Section of Legal Education of the
American Bar Association
HE Section of Legal Education of
the American Bar Association met in the United States District Court Room in the Federal Building at Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Wednesday and Thursday, August 31 and September 1, 1910. The chairman, William O. Hart of Louisiana, presided.
Mr. Hollis R. Bailey, of Massachusetts, in presenting the report of the Committee on Standard Rules for Admission to the Bar, said:
ican Bar Association, State Boards of Bar Examiners, and Deans of the American Law Schools, and such others as the committee deem advisable, and that we invite further suggestions and criticisms, so that next year we may really have a substantial debate upon the subject of Standard Rules for Admission to the Bar. Those are two of the recommendations that he makes, and that the committee may be continued, and authorized to prepare a report, print it, and distribute it again next year, when it is hoped that we may have time for a discussion of the report.
A committee of three, consisting of Oliver A. Harker of Illinois, Francis M. Burdick of New York, and Alfred F. Mason of Minnesota, was appointed by the Chair to confer with a committee from the Association of American Law Schools for the purpose of arranging for a joint meeting of the Section of Legal Education, the Association of American Law Schools, and members of State Boards of Law Examiners.
The Chairman of our Committee, Mr. Lucien Hugh Alexander, of Philadelphia, is unavoidably absent, anu he has asked me to present the report of the committee. The report has been printed, and is upon the table for distribution, and I will simply summarize it, as the committee has wished. This committee has been in existence for some years, and consists of seven members from the different states, and, as you all know, we prepared a draft of some rules, which were discussed last year. Mr. Alexander goes on in the report to show what has been done during the year, and shows what has been done this year, after a discussion of these rules by the committee, and has simply pre pared a report showing progress. He says that these suggestions were made, some of them, last year, and that they were printed
-that is, a draft of these rules was printed - and were distributed to the members of the American Bar Association, to the Chief Justices of the various states, members of all the State Boards of Bar Examiners, and the Deans of all the American Law Schools, and criticisms and suggestions were invited. He says he received a large number of suggestions and criticisms. I may say that our committee is widely scattered, and we have not gotten together, and what we have done has been done by correspondence chiefly, although we have had one meeting. Mr. Alexander says he received a large number of important and valuable suggestions, and he suggests that these be debated at this meeting, and that the committee be authorized to summarize these and embody them in a report for the 1911 meeting; that they be distributed among the members of the Amer
better choice could have been made with- the United States, and another, a very out difficulty either from the law school eminent member of the American Bar professors, who are members of the sec- Association, were surprised when I told tion, or from the ordinary lawyers who them I had not been admitted previously. are affiliated therewith. After all, how- Be this as it may, though I have met ever, the duties of the chairman of the with some success at the bar, I do not section are practically nominal, and I mean to give my case as an example to think, if the work of the section is to other students. After thirty-two years reach that dignity which the subject de- at the bar, I still find myself often seserves, the term of the chairman ought verely handicapped by the fact that I to be for three years, and I recommend had no preliminary legal education, and the appointment of a committee to con- my advice to every one entering upon sider that question and to report on the the study of law is to go to a first-class subject next year.
law school, and I believe that one havI believe that with such a term for ing a three-year course is preferable to the chairman he will be able to lay out a
a shorter term. plan of work, which would benefit the Our Tulane Law School, located in cause of legal education, which he cannot New Orleans, was for many years the do now, because immediately after his only civil law school in the United States. election the members of the section dis- Three years ago our Louisiana State perse and do not come together again University, located at Baton Rouge, our for twelve months, and, of course, there capital, established a law school which are many who do not come back even has met with considerable success, but then; but with the opportunity for con- the course is only two years. My only ference and discussion which three meet- connection with a law school was three ings would give, the chairman of the years ago, when at the first session of section could carry out whatever ideas this school I delivered a series of twelve might occur to him for the advantage of lectures. The subject chosen for me its work.
was, “The Jurisprudence of Louisiana,” I feel that I can approach the subject but, of course, that subject could not be of legal education from an impartial exhausted in a hundred lectures, and standpoint, for the reason, unfortunately, therefore I entitled mine, "Fragments of I was unable to take a law school course, Louisiana Jurisprudence.” When I closor a collegiate course, and but very little ed my twelfth and last lecture, I told the of a high school course. The condition students that I believed that I had obof my health at the age of fourteen re- tained more benefit from the lectures quired me for several years to abstain than they had, and, the University kindfrom study, and, strange as it may ap- ly having printed the lectures, I find pear, I began the active practice of law daily use for my copy. Through some almost simultaneously with its study. authorities which I collected in one of No one, neither judges nor lawyers, rais- them, I was enabled to have our Attored the question of my having been ad- ney General recall an opinion, in which mitted to the bar, and when, after two he declared a very important law of our and a half years of study and practice, I state unconstitutional, and in several imapplied for formal admission, the mem- portant cases I have been successful bers of the committee, one of whom is through the study which I gave in prenow a Justice of the Supreme Court of paring these lectures.
From my experience I must differ with of reckoning. By this means the three many able men who have spoken before years become two and a half years; and the association and this section, and writ- I believe that, where a law school's three ten on the subject of legal education, as terms are less than three years from the to the proposition that a law student beginning of the student's course, he should not go into a law office until he should be required to study in some office finishes his school course. In my humble until the full three years have expired judgment the two should be concurrent, before being admitted to practice. In for I believe that a student who is en- my state a diploma, either from Tulane abled to see the practical working of the
or the Louisiana State University, enlaw, and be interested through his office titles the applicant to admission to the connection in the trial of actual cases,
bar without examination or question, but brings to his law school studies a human the diploma of a law school of another interest, which enables him to grasp state has no effect whatever with the abstract propositions, and reason from committee in its examinations, though I them to the concrete, far better than am told that the holder of same is adthose who go to the law school alone. A mitted to the last year of either law student who finishes a full three-year school, thus requiring only one term, say course, during which time he has had six months of study in the state itself. actual court experience, is better fitted A certificate of admission from anothfor the bar than one who goes in an of- er state entitles the holder to immediate fice after he has completed his law school admission after examination, which is course, even though he spend in an of- usually purely perfunctory by one Jusfice a full year subsequent to his gradu- tice of the Supreme Court or by two Disation. Therefore I am opposed to the trict Judges, and this brings at once to rule recommended by our committee re- mind an evil which should be promptly quiring four years' preparation for the corrected. bar, provided the student has attended I presume it is best that each state a law school for three years. Whether should decide for itself what method of four years' office study is wise instead of recognition it gives to lawyers from oththree, I am not at this time prepared to er states, but there ought to be a uniform say. My state requires but two, and we law that no lawyer from another state have some eminent lawyers who have should be admitted to practice until he been admitted to the bar after that time presents, not only his diploma or cerand without law school training, among tificate of admission, but also a certificate them two presidents of our State Bar that at the time of his applying he is a Association, one of whom served four member of the bar in good standing in terms and one two, and all of their elec- the state where he was originally admittions were unanimous. Notwithstanding ted, as well as in other states in which he this, however, I believe that three years might have been subsequently admitted, is a short enough time, and hope that our and in every case the original certificate laws may be amended in that regard. of admission should have endorsed on it
When I speak of three years in a law the action of other states, if any. Otherschool and three years study in an office, wise an attorney disbarred in one or I mean three calendar years, and not more states might go to still another three terms, as is sometimes the method state and be admitted to the bar because the disbarment could not deprive him of to that, I want to say that I am satisfied the physical possession of his certificate, there is no board in the United States and that is the only proof now required, which has done more to elevate the and the courts might thus be often im- standard of admission to the bar than posed upon. Just such a case happened that board, and my only regret is that it in Louisiana. A lawyer from Indiana is handicapped by the law, which requires applied for recognition, presented his only two years' study, and which admits certificate, which was found in proper without examination graduates of our form, and, after examination, was ad- two universities. The Tulane law school mitted to practice, and not until he did adopted the three-year course several a criminal act in Louisiana and ran away years ago, and I hope the time is not far was it found that he had been disbarred distant when the Louisiana State Uniin his own state. The wrong to the peo- versity will do the same, and that we may ple of Louisiana had then been done, and soon have a law requiring graduates of the striking of his name by the court both universities to go before the state from the roll of members of the bar board of examiners for examination becould not repair the damage which had fore admission to the bar. been done.
I have said before that our two law Referring again to the time of study, schools are the only civil law schools in whether in the law school or in the office, the country, but I want also to say that or both, I believe the highest court of in each university the common law is each state should keep a register of law thoroughly taught by competent professtudents, as recommended by our com- sors, and to those desiring it a special mittee, and no student should be entitled common-law course is provided in Tuto admission, or be allowed to stand ex- lane. The Bar of Louisiana has always amination, until full three years have stood deservedly high, and to my mind elapsed from the date of his registra- the greatest lawyer this country ever tion, and I believe the court should have produced was Mr. Thos. J. Semmes of the power, upon a proper showing, to Louisiana. When I came to the bar in order the name of any registered student 1878, I asked the question: "Who is the stricken from the roll without waiting greatest lawyer in Louisiana ?” And the until he comes up for examination. In answer was: “Mr. Semmes." And so my state, under our Constitution, the Su- he continued up to the time of his death preme Court, which is the highest court, in 1899. From the time of my acquainhas exclusive jurisdiction of all suits for tance with him, I found that every judge disbarment, and the provision works well and every lawyer in Louisiana looked to in practice. We have, I am sorry to say, him for inspiration and instruction, and, four boards of examiners, which, of though he has been dead for 11 years, course, destroys uniformity, and I hope his place has never been filled, and I do the time is soon coming when we shall not believe that it ever will be, and that only have one, as we had for several we shall never look upon his like again. years after the adoption of our last Con- Of course, I feel that I must protest stitution in 1898. I have no doubt that against any recognition of correspondall of the boards do their full duty, but I ence schools of law, though I know serhave no personal knowledge of those eral lawyers of eminent ability who have outside the city of New Orleans, but, as acquired their education in this way.