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with more enjoyment, for the student at skine and Lord Chatham. I do not every step knows afterwards of his mean that these should be read merely, whereabouts with relation to the but that they should be studied and whole, and is in no danger of being be- analyzed according to the model which wildered or confounded by the appre- Mr. Blair has furnished for Cicero's hension of interminable labor or an Action for Cluentius. inexhaustible labyrinth. So it is with These exercises, with a debating sothe law. Blackstone, therefore, thor- ciety, under the direction of an experioughly understood, I direct the atten- enced man of vigorous intellect and tion of the students in the next place correct taste, accompanying your law to the great sources from which all the course, will diversify your employlaws of civilized countries are derived, ments most agreeably and usefully, and take them through the following and recreate and cheer you on your ascourse, which is enlarged or contract- cent up the arduous steep which leads ed in proportion to the time they have to the temple of the goddess you so to bestow on their preparatory studies: properly worship. 1st. The law of nature and nations, Ruth- I beg you to excuse this scrawl, the erford; and, if there be time, Grotius effect of haste, and believe me, with and Vattel. 2d. The Roman Civil Law, warmest wishes for your success, Brown's Lectures; and, if time, the Your obedient servant, references in the Corpus Juris Civilis,
WILLIAM WIRT. as they are made by Brown and Huber's prelections. 3d. The Common Law, Bacon's Abridgment, as the text
Washington, February 18, 1823. books, read with references. 4th. The Statute Law and State Decisions of To Thomas J. Johnston, Esq. the residence and contemplated place
Sir: Before I left home I received of practice of the student. This course, yours of the 21st of November, in particularly the latter part of it, should which you very flatteringly ask my be combined with a regular attendance opinions on some subjects connected on the rules of court in some well-kept with professional studies. It is unforclerk's office, with the advantage of tunate for you, my friend, that you are drawing declarations and pleadings in your own solicitor in this cause, since the office of some regular and exten- your manner of asking for that which sive practitioner, with the study of you say you
need shows that you Chitty's Pleadings and Espinasse's Ni- do not need it. It is quite obvious si Prius, which should be familiar to that you have both employed your own the student.
thoughts and had the benefit of those I have said nothing of historical stud- of others upon the subjects about ies, belles lettres, composition, recit- which you write. I shall only venture ing paragraphs from poets, and debat- to enclose you a copy of a paper exing, though I deem them all essential hibiting a course of study which has in the preparation of an accomplished been generally pursued by students advocate. Regular days should be set under my care.
It is substantially a for composition, and the compositions good course, and if it shall suggest anyshould be submitted to the best critic thing useful to you I should be glad. of whom you can make a friend. You [The list here referred to by Mr. Webshould inflame your emulation by the ster has unfortunately been lost.] Our frequent study of Cicero's Orator, and profession, my friend, is a noble proof his Brutus above all, and imagine fession, and our country more than all yourself to belong to that splendid gal- others favorable to its respectability axy of Roman orators which he there and advancement. Free institutions displays. Quintilian's Institutes, too, afford the atmosphere and aliment for should be thoroughly studied, and the good lawyers, and good lawyers have dialogue de causis corruptæ eloquen- proved themselves, in all times and tiæ, the work, I believe, of the same countries, the most strenuous as well as author, but which has been incorrect- the most intelligent supporters of free ly published with the works of Taci- institutions. Let us all endeavor to retus. The letters of Pliny, the younger, quite our country for the blessings she especially those to Tacitus, with the bestows on us. orations of Demosthenes, Cicero, Er- Yours, etc., DANIEL WEBSTER.
Washington, March 20, 1826. Dear Sir: It at all times affords me much pleasure to render any aid to youths seeking information and improvement, and I only regret my incompetency to advise your young friend on a general course of reading on law and jurisprudence.
I remained only two years at the bar, and have not read law books in twenty-five years, so that I am far in the rear of the profession as it now stands. But I would say to your young friend, study attentively all the best elementary treatises, be assiduous in his attendance in court, and attentive to the routine of office. He will of course make himself master of the practice laws of the state where he intends to practise. But no previous attention can supersede the necessity of the minutest and closest attention to the
cases he may undertake, after he is admitted to practise, both as to the facts and law. On this point the success of a lawyer mainly depends. The study of particular cases is better calculated than anything else to give full and accurate legal knowledge.
As to history, he will, of course, study all the ancient classics, to be followed by Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to which the history of England -and that of our own country-ought to succeed. Both ought not only to be read but studied. Add to these some good general history, and a foundation will be laid which may be built on from time to time by reading at leisure the histories of the more celebrated states of modern times. With respect, I am,
J. C. CALHOUN. Thos. J. Johnston, Esq.
The United States Supreme Court
Reprinted from the West Publishing Co.'s Docket
ASHINGTON took his first oath Court was rather indicative of the lack
of office as President of the Unit- of enthusiasm with which that institued States before the first Chancellor of tion was regarded in its early days. AlNew York; the Supreme Court not be- though vested with powers which make ing in existence at that time. Immedi- it, as pronounced by Sir Henry Maine, ately after he had signed, as President, “a virtually unique creation," "an instithe Judiciary Act creating the Supreme tution without a prototype in history," Court, he sent to Congress his first nomi- according to Hannis Taylor, and a body nations for the bench (which according from which, according to the colored to the act was to consist of a Chief Jus- doorkeeper, no appeal would lie except tice and five Associates): John Jay, to “Gord Almighty,” the Supreme Court Chief Justice; John Rutledge, James was more or less without honor in the Wilson, William Cushing, Robert H. country and generation which establishHarrison, and John Blair, Associates. ed it. When Jay, without his knowlColonel Harrison declined the appoint- edge, was a second time nominated and ment, preferring to accept the post of confirmed as Chief Justice (to succeed Chancellor of Maryland, which was of- Ellsworth), he declined the appointment fered him a few days later. His place in the following words: was filled by the appointment of James "I left the bench perfectly convinced Iredell.
that under a system so defective it would Harrison's light regard for the posi- not obtain the energy, weight, and digtion of Associate Justice of the Supreme nity which was essential to its affording
due support to the national government,
cases on the docket, and the nor acquire the confidence and respect court adjourned to August 1st. Indeed, which, as the last resort of the justice of for some time the docket of the Supreme the nation, it should possess.'
Court was not heavy. From 1790 to Jay did not see it inconsistent with his 1800 there were only six cases decided duties as Chief Justice to accept the ap
which involved questions of constitupointment of Commissioner to England, tional law. When Marshall took his and he only resigned his position on the place on the Supreme Bench, February bench after he had been elected Govern- 4, 1801, he found but ten cases waiting or of New York. Ellsworth, also, was adjudication. That date, marking the appointed by President Adams as Com- accession of Marshall, marks also the missioner to France while still holding first session of the Supreme Court to his position as Chief Justice, and he
be held in Washington. did not resign his seat until after his re
But, if the Supreme Court was not turn and his retirement to private life.
taken very seriously at first, the powers It is interesting to note the one in
that were inherent in the institution soon stance in which, contrary to the popu
became sufficiently obvious to cause
This larly accepted tradition, a Chief Justice alarm to the states' rights men. was selected from the body of the court.
grew as they saw the powerful influence After the retirement of Jay, John Rut
of Marshall and Story thrown to the ledge, at one time Governor of South strengthening of the federal government. Carolina, was appointed by Washington
"The judiciary of the United States," to the Chief Justiceship. Before the Jefferson wrote in 1820, “is the subtle Senate had confirmned this choice, Rut- corps of sappers and miners constantly ledge showed signs of mental derange- working underground to undermine the
foundations of our confederate fabric.” ment which made his confirmation impossible. Washington then selected Wil- Jefferson even proposed that future apliam Cushing, the senior Associate Jus- pointments of judges should be for a tice. This appointment was confirmed by
term of four or six years, and that they
should be removable, by the President the Senate, but Cushing held the position for a week only, resigning before
and Senate, in order to keep their judi
cial conduct under review and force the holding a session of court on the plea that he preferred to retain his original
court into harmony with the administra
tion. If this suggestion had been carposition as an Associate Justice. The Supreme Court first convened in
ried out, the court would to-day hold a New York City, then the seat of govern
very different position from the unique ment, on Monday, February 1, 1790.
one which it now occupies. There were present Chief Justice Jay
It is the only court in the world which and Associate Justices Cushing and Wil
has the power to annul the legislation of Four being necessary to consti- its country. As the guardian and intertute a quorum, the court adjourned to preter of the Constitution, it has the the following day, when the quorum was power to review acts of Congress, and completed by the arrival of Justice Blair. to declare that such acts as in its judgThe court was then formally organized, ment are not in harmony with that inbut its official business consisted merely strument, are not law. This authority of adopting rules and a seal. There was recognized as inherent in the Ameri
can courts established prior to the Con- ratified without alteration or amendment. stitutional Convention, it is true; but it The first Congress, convened in 1789, is an authority which is unknown to the passed the Judiciary Act, setting forth courts of Europe.
in detail the organization of the judicial Under the Articles of Confederation machinery of the country. This elabthere had been no separate judiciary, and orate and carefully drawn act was chiefthis was felt to be one of the vital de- ly the work of Oliver Ellsworth, afterfects of the Confederation. In framing wards serving as the second Chief Justhe Constitution, the Convention recog
tice of the United States. The skill with nized the advisability of dividing the which the needs of the future were forepowers of the government among three seen and the wisdom with which the difseparate branches-the executive, the ferent parts of the plan were adapted to legislative, and the judicial. The Con- each other has excited more profound vention met May 14, 1787. On May admiration with each successive test of 29th, Randolph, of Virginia, presented the years. To the organization of the his plan of a federal government; an
national judiciary is now generally acother plan was presented the same day corded much of the credit for the sucby Charles Pinckney; Paterson, of New cess of our experiment in government; Jersey, presented a plan on June 15th, and yet, when it was first presented for embodying certain features desired by the consideration of the House, Liverthe smaller states; and on June 18th a more, of New Hampshire, could say of fourth plan was submitted by Alexander
the act: Hamilton,
"For my part, I contemplate with horAll four plans provided for a separate ror the effects of the plan. I think I see judiciary, and they were not widely di- a foundation laid for discord, civil war, vergent, although there were differences and all its concomitants. To avert these of opinion regarding the method of ap- evils I hope the House will reject the pointment of the judges, the power proposed system.” which should be given to the Supreme Marshall showed what power had been Court over legislative acts of a state, placed in the hands of the judiciary, and and the proper power to be given the what power it could exercise; but the national judiciary over acts of the na- anxieties which the anticipation of such tional Legislature. The various articles exercise of power had caused have hapwere debated for several months, but by pily never been justified. While the deSeptember 8th a final agreement had cisions of the court have undoubtedly been reached, and the articles were re- been colored at times by the political afferred to a Committee on Style for re- filiations of the judges, they have never vision. By September 17th the Consti- ceased to be, in the true sense of the tution was signed, and the Convention word, judicial. The high trust that has adjourned.
been reposed in this body of men has When the Constitution was submitted never been betrayed. And as to the honto the various state conventions for rati- or which crowns the bench, there are fication, the articles pertaining to the probably few lawyers in the country judiciary were challenged, particularly who would not rather be Chief Justice by Patrick Henry; but they were finally than President.
Law School Attendance, 1910-1911
HE deans of the law schools listed below report the attendance in their
schools (including regular and special students) at the beginning of the
# Schools marked with an asterisk show a decrease in attendance this season, owing to