« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
P. P. Carroll, of Washington :
On this occasion, we speak more or less from experience. I believe the introduction to the law ought to have in it the highest standing possible to be acquired by the individual offering himself to the profession. It is one of the grandest professions that is practiced today under any government and it requires a fund of information, the fulfillment of which goes into every science and into every department of life and operation of the human mind. Now, you have shysters and ambulance chasers, for want of education logically and philosophically to start and follow the science of law. I believe, with the progress of our country, with the progress of science and art, that the lawyer ought to be equal to, if not above, that progress. I believe that you cannot, with a limited education, make a lawyer, and I believe that any young man, if fit to become a member of the profession, will accept the conditions that the study of law imposes upon him. I submit that we cannot lay down too severe a rule for the admission of men to the profession. A student of law should at least, have an intelligent understanding of Latin. He should be able to take up and read the works of Cicero and Caesar and other men of ancient times who have given us the philosophy and the foundation of the law. The civil law is largely dominating today the world over, and especially in this country, what we call the common law; the ecclesiastical law is largely administered today in what we call our equity courts, and the original works of the writers and publishers of this jurisprudence are to be found in the Latin. At least thirty per cent of what Story wrote in his “ Equity Jurisprudence” consists of quotations from the original works in Latin. I submit again that we ought to require a standard as high as the human mind can make it in a four years' course.
James 0. Crosby, of Iowa:
Mr. President and gentlemen: We seem to be boxing around some standard by which we can measure the qualifications necessary for admission to the Bar. If we only had some mechanical instrument by which this measure could be ascertained, it would save all this trouble. Unfortunately we have none. Now it is proposed to extend the time in which a student must pass through some law school before he shall be entitled to an examination for admission to the Bar. It seems to me this is losing sight of a qualified examining committee to ascertain whether a student possesses the necessary qualifications or not. If there were only some method by which we could secure an examining committee, qualified to discharge its duties, then they could determine the qualifications of the young man, irrespective of the time he had spent in a law school, or a law office. Alexander Hamilton acquired education very rapidly. He applied to one college (Princeton) and asked the privilege of taking the course within as short a time as he could acquire it, but it would not grant him the permission. Then he applied to another college (Kings) and was accepted, and he took the four years' course
in two years.
It has just been asserted that a classical course should be required. While it is excellent for mental discipline, it will not answer in place of practical legal knowledge.
It calls to mind a case where a classical young lawyer appeared before a justice of the peace for the defendant in a case of assault and battery, and in summing up he referred to leading matters in the history of Greece and Rome. Answering him the Yankee pettifogger said:
“My young friend has socked like Socrates, ripped like Euripides and canted like Cantharides; but what has all that to do with this case?”
There should not be any rule extending the time of preparation required to enable a student to enter an examination, but if any change is made it should be in securing more certain methods for ascertaining by means of examination, the qualifications, educational and moral, of students applying for admission to the Bar.
Ernest T. Florance, of Louisiana :
Is it true in our experience that the young man who spends his days in a law office, studying the practice of law, is less fit, after three years of night study in the theory of the law, to practice his profession, than a young man who remains for four years studying law theoretically, and knowing absolutely nothing
of its practice in real life? I do not believe it. This is not a question of the advantage of the law schools. The question is: Which character of training better fits the young man as he steps out into life? I believe that practical experience in a law office, concurrent with theoretical study in the night school for, say three years, makes him at least as fit to handle cases when he first hangs out his shingle, as four years spent in a university studying law theoretically.
Henry Wade Rogers, of Connecticut:
I simply desire to say that the men who are studying in the night schools of Washington are not ordinarily men who are studying in law offices in the day time. They are men who are holding government positions in the departments, and working in the departments in the day time and studying law at night. In the night schools of other cities they are plumbers or clerks in dry goods stores in the day time and students of law at night.
Max G. Cohen, of Oregon:
Mr. President and gentlemen: Having listened to this discussion by the older members of the profession, it occurs to me that the trouble with the legal fraternity today is, that every man seems to try to lower the standard of the Bar rather than to elevate it. I believe we should endeavor to raise the standard as high as possible. The reason why the medical profession is so strong today is because it has a standard which is recognized by every state in the union. You cannot practice medicine in Oregon, simply because you have been admitted to practice in Washington; you cannot practice in New York, simply because you have been admitted in Pennsylvania. In my state, lawyers come from other states and they are admitted to practice upon their diploma or certificate. Now, we do not know what standard they had in the state where they came from. I believe the committee should be sustained in the recommendation it has made, that every school should have a standard of four years.
H. A. Bronson, of North Dakota :
I want to raise my voice, Mr. President, in favor of sustaining the recommendation made by this committee. I am an instructor
in a law school, a night school that maintains a course of only three years. I think a great difficulty has been experienced in our Western states along the line of trying to get a higher standard established. We have had considerable trouble in North Dakota in getting the Bar educated up to believing that a higher standard should be required for admission to practice. I think this Association ought to take the stand that has been proposed, and require a night school to have at least a four years' course.
W.0. Hart, of Louisiana:
It seems to me this discussion has taken a very wide range. I do not think any one here desires to lower the standard for admission to the Bar. Now, I simply rise to say, that the expression which we have so often heard, that law is a progressive science, may be added to by saying that the examinations are rather progressive. After all, it is the man that must determine whether he is qualified for admission to the Bar, rather than the character of the examinations, or the three years' course, or the four years' course.
Before I put the question I feel that I ought to enter a protest against the aspersion by implication that has been cast upon the knowledge of Latin by justices of the peace. Down near my old home in Tennessee, there was a negro justice of the peace, before whom a lawyer appeared and wanted to enter a nunc-pro-tunc order. The old negro justice looked over his spectacles, scratched his head, and said, “Well, sah, you can't nunc it now, 'cause you didn't pro tunc it then.”
The eleventh and twelfth recommendations of the committee were adopted.
Is there any report from the Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure?
Henry D. Estabrook, of New York, Chairman, presented the report of the committee.
(See the Report in the Appendix.) On motion the report was received and the recommendations adopted.
In the absence of the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Whitelock, I take the liberty of presenting the report and moving that the recommendations made by the committee be adopted and that the incoming Committee on Commercial Law be instructed to attempt to have the recommendations carried into effect.
(See the Report in the Appendix.)
Yes, sir, to the legislation drafted last year. The draft was approved last year, and then recommitted to the committee.
Then the only question is now, whether we shall instruct the committee to continue its efforts in the line indicated in the report?
Albert W. Biggs, of Tennessee:
I ask the consideration of this report in its several sections ; that is, that the provision as to partnership and bills of lading be first taken up. I make this suggestion as an amendment to the gentleman's motion.
The amendment was seconded and adopted.
I now move that the first and second sections of the report be adopted.
The motion was seconded and adopted and the first and second sections of the report were declared adopted.
Albert W. Biggs :
As to the remaining section of the report, I desire to enter my opposition to it in so far as it would undertake to amend the Bankrupt Act so as to change the definition of insolvency and apply the rule in Troop vs. Martin, in 13 Wallace, as the present law.