« ForrigeFortsett »
the arrangement and classification of principles dealing with a subject make the law on that subject.
In this way TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE, the means and the end of legal study, go hand and hand.
The obvious advantages of the study of law by means of selected cases make its universal adoption a mere question of time.
The only serious objections made to the case method are that it takes too much time to give a student the requisite knowledge of the subject in this way and that the system loses sight of the difference between the preparation of the student and the lifelong training of the lawyer. Many collections of cases seem open to these objections, for they are so bulky that it is impossible to cover a particular subject with them in the time ordinarily allotted to it in the class. In this way the student discusses only a part of a subject. His knowledge is thorough as far as it goes, but it is incomplete and fragmentary. The knowledge of the subject as a whole is deliberately sacrificed to training in a part of the subject.
It would seem axiomatic that the size of the casebook should correspond in general to the amount of time at the disposal of instructor and student. As the time element is, in most cases, a nonexpansive quantity, it necessarily follows that, if only a half to two-thirds of the cases in the present collections can be discussed in class, the present casebooks are a third to a half too long. From a purely practical and economic standpoint it is a mistake to ask students to pay for 1,200 pages when they can only use 600, and it must be remembered that in many schools, and with many students in all schools, the matter of the cost of casebooks is important. Therefore, for purely practical reasons, it is believed that there is a demand for casebooks physically adapted and intended for use as a whole in the class-room.
But aside from this, as has been said, the existing plan sacrifices knowledge to training. It is not denied that training is important, nor that for a law student, considering the small amount of actual knowledge the school can hope to give him in comparison with the vast and daily growing body of the law, it is more important than mere knowledge. It is, however, confidently asserted that knowledge is, after all, not unimportant, and that, in the inevitable compromise between training and knowledge, the present casebooks not only devote too little attention relatively to the inculcation of knowledge, but that they sacrifice unnecessarily knowledge to training. It is believed that a greater effort should be made to cover the general principles of a given subject in the time allotted, even at the expense of a considerable sacrifice of detail. But in this proposed readjustment of the means to the end, the fundamental fact cannot be overlooked that law is a developing science and that its present can only be understood through the medium of its past. It is recognized as imperative that a sufficient number of cases be given under each topic treated to afford a basis for comparison and discrimination; to show the development of the law of the particular topic under discussion; and to afford the mental training for which the case system necessarily stands. To take a familiar illustration: If it is proposed to include in a casebook on Criminal Law one case on abortion, one on libel, two on perjury, one on larceny from an office, and if in order to do this it is necessary to limit the number of cases on specific intent to such a degree as to leave too few on this topic to develop it fully and to furnish the student with training, then the subjects of abortion, libel, perjury, and larceny from an office should be wholly omitted. The student must needs acquire an adequate knowledge of these subjects, but the training already had in the underlying principles of criminal law will render the acquisition of this knowledge comparatively easy. The exercise of a wise discretion would treat fundamentals thoroughly; principle should not yield to detail.
Impressed by the excellence of the case system as a means of legal education, but convinced that no satisfactory adjustment of the conflict between training and knowledge under existing time restrictions has yet been found, the General Editor takes pleasure in announcing a series of scholarly casebooks, prepared with special reference to the needs and limitations of the class-room, on the fundamental subjects of legal education, which, through a judicious rearrangement of emphasis, shall provide adequate training combined with a thorough knowledge of the general principles of the subject. The collection will develop the law historically and scientifically; English cases will give the origin and development of the law in England; American cases will trace its expansion and modification in America; notes and annotations will suggest phases omitted in the printed case. Cumulative references will be avoided, for the footnote may not hope to rival the digest.
The law will thus be presented as an organic growth, and the necessary connection between the past and the present will be obvious.
The importance and difficulty of the subject as well as the time that can properly be devoted to it will be carefully considered so that each book may be completed within the time allotted to the particular subject.
It is equally obvious that some subjects are treated at too great length, and that a less important subject demands briefer treatment. A small book for a small subject.
In this way it will be alike possible for teacher and class to complete each book instead of skimming it or neglecting whole sections; and more subjects may be elected by the student if presented in shorter form based upon the relative importance of the subject and the time allotted to its mastery.
Training and knowledge go hand in hand, and Training and Knowledge are the keynotes of the series.
If it be granted that all, or nearly all, the studies required for admission to the bar should be studied in course by every student—and the soundness of this contention can hardly be seriously doubted—it follows necessarily that the preparation and publication of collections of cases exactly adapted to the purpose would be a genuine and by no means unimportant service to the cause of legal education. And this result can best be obtained by the preparation of a systematic series of casebooks constructed upon a uniform plan under the supervision of an editor in chief.
For the basis of calculation the hour has been taken as the unit. The General Editor's personal experience, supplemented by the experience of others in the class-room, leads to the belief that approximately a book of 400 pages may be covered by the average student in half a year of two hours a week; that a book of 600 pages may be discussed in class in three hours for half a year; that a book of 800 pages may be completed by the student in two hours a week throughout the year; and a class may reasonably hope to master a volume of 1,000 pages in a year of three hours a week. The general rule will be subject to some modifications in connection with particular topics on due consideration of their relative importance and difficulty, and the time ordinarily allotted to them in the law school curriculum.
The following subjects are deemed essential in that a knowledge of them (with the exception of International Law and General Jurisprudence) is universally required for admission to the bar:
the Law of Bailment.
International Law is included in the list of essentials from its intrinsic importance in our system of law. As its principles are simple in comparison with municipal law, as their application is less technical, and as the cases are generally interesting, it is thought that the book may be larger than otherwise would be the case.
As an introduction to the series a book of Selections on General Jurisprudence of about 500 pages is deemed essential to completeness.
The preparation of the casebooks has been intrusted to experienced and well-known teachers of the various subjects included, so that the experience of the class-room and the needs of the students will furnish a sound basis of selection.
While a further list is contemplated of usual but relatively less important subjects as tested by the requirements for admission to the bar, no announcement of them is made at present.
The following gentlemen of standing and repute in the profession are at present actively engaged in the preparation of the various casebooks on the indicated subjects:
George W. Kirchwey, Dean of the Columbia University, School of
Law. Subject, Real Property. Nathan Abbott, Professor of Law, Columbia University. (Formerly Dean of the Stanford University Law School.) Subject, Per
. , sonal Property. Frank Irvine, Dean of the Cornell University School of Law. Sub
ject, Evidence. Harry S. Richards, Dean of the University of Wisconsin School of
Law. Subject, Corporations. James Parker Hall, Dean of the University of Chicago School of Law.
Subject, Constitutional Law. William R. Vance, Dean of the George Washington University Law
School. Subject, Insurance. Charles M. Hepburn, Professor of Law, University of Indiana. Sub
ject, Torts. William E. Mikell, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania.
Subjects, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. George P. Costigan, Jr., Professor of Law, Northwestern University
Law School. Subject, Wills and Administration. Floyd R. Mechem, Professor of Law, Chicago University. Subject,
Damages. (Co-author with Barry Gilbert.) Barry Gilbert, Professor of Law, University of Illinois. Subject,
Damages. (Co-author with Floyd R. Mechem.) Thaddeus D. Kenneson, Professor of Law, University of New York.
Subject, Trusts. Charles Thaddeus Terry, Professor of Law, Columbia University.
Albert M. Kales, Professor of Law, Northwestern University. Sub
ject, Persons. Edwin C. Goddard, Professor of Law, University of Michigan. Sub
ject, Agency Howard L. Smith, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin. Sub
ject, Bills and Notes. (Co-author with Wm. Underhill Moore.) Wm. Underhill Moore, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin.
Subject, Bills and Notes. (Co-author with Howard L. Smith.) Edward S. Thurston, Professor of Law, George Washington Univer
sity. Subject, Quasi Contracts. Crawford D. Hening, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania.
Subject, Suretyship. Clarke B. Whittier, Professor of Law, University of Chicago. Sub
ject, Pleading Eugene A. Gilmore, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin.
Subject, Partnership. Ernst Freund, Professor of Law, University of Chicago. Subject,
Administrative Law. Frederick Green, Professor of Law, University of Illinois. Subject,
Carriers. Ernest G. Lorenzen, Professor of Law, George Washington Univer
sity. Subject, Conflict of Laws. Frederic C. Woodward, Dean of the Stanford University Law School.
Subject, Sales. James Brown Scott, Professor of Law, George Washington Univer
sity; formerly Professor of Law, Columbia University, New York City. Subjects, International Law; General Jurisprudence; Equity.
James Brown Scott, WASHINGTON, D. C., November, 1912.
Following are the books of the Series now published, or in press:
Wills and Administration