It is not difficult to account for this feeling of indifference or hostility to the efforts that are being made to elevate the standards for admission. The youthful imagination of the candidate himself has been made to glow, and his spirit of emulation has been roused by the recital of the careers of eminent lawyers and statesmen, whose principal school has been that of experience. When he reads of the poor youth, who had acquired the rudimentary elements of a general education at the cross roads school, and, afterwards, when he had been elevated to the dignity of a country school-master himself, in the intervals of leisure during the winter months or in the summer vacation, got such knowledge of the theory of the common law as the admirable commentaries of Blackstone could give him, becoming through various vicissitudes a leader of the Bar or a venerated justice of the Supreme Court, the average youth feels that after all the prizes of a lawyer's life are not so far beyond his grasp. He forgets, or rather has never been taught that the indomitable will of the great man has risen superior to obstacles that would have crushed the mediocre, and while his habits of industry and application have of course been strengthened by poverty, his eminence where it has been attained in the law has been the result of hard, constant and patient study, kept up during his entire active career.

The popular impression that anyone can be a lawyer has been based to a great degree upon a confusion of thought as to what constitutes a lawyer. During the earlier years of the republic and still to a great degree, public officials have been drawn largely from the legal profession. The brilliant success of many of them in politics has been attributed to them as lawyers, and the facility with which they have risen to commanding power has led to the belief that through the portals of the court room the way lies to political eminence. This is still largely the case and will be so long as democratic institutions prevail; but, obviously, the curriculum of the law student is not laid down directly for his guidance as a successful politician, but that he may become so familiar with general principles upon which the common law is founded that he may be a safe adviser to his clients and a competent protector of their rights.

In dealing with any subject relating to social, economic or political life, almost the first thought that presents itself is the extraordinary and rapid change brought about by scientific discovery within the past half century. Greater indefinitely than any other material influence upon the history of civilization have been these wonder-working applications of the long-hidden forces of nature to the will of man. The increase in wealth and command of physical luxury have come with corresponding swiftness. Grant that the distribution has been unequal, it yet remains that the scale of living of the humblest rank of society, excluding the hopelessly impoverished, is vastly higher than in any other period of the world's history, notwithstanding the indictments levelled against contemporary conditions and however short of the ideal they may fall.

But with these changes has come such an unprecedented strain upon our nervous strength that in many ways we show tendencies that are alarming. As has been well shown by Professor Foerster in his philosophical study of contemporary conditions: we do not control wealth; it controls us. We have lost in great part the vivid religious faith of our ancestors, and while we are rejoicing in our freedom from belief in any fixed standard of faith and morals, we have failed to reckon the consequences that will follow both to the individual and to the state. Following the lead of certain halfeducated theorists, men have been beguiled into a false theory of freedom. As Foerster well says:

"Willing obedience to all that holds humanity together is always an indication that a man is fit for the highest freedom— he does not seek freedom in outward things, but in inward. He wishes to be free by being above the narrow limitations of his own personal desires, needs and experiences: the real problem of freedom is How shall I be free from myself?"

"It follows then that the attention of humanity must be brought back to the problem of character, and since character is only attained by self discipline and self knowledge, we must try to bring our theories of education in consonance therewith, rather than with the study of the outer world."

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'See Review of Foerster's Writings, Dublin Review, 1910; Littell's Living Age, No. 3476, p. 387.

I have been tempted to bring the results of the study of this notable philosopher under your consideration because I have thought it well to speak of the ethical side of legal education. Two general accusations are brought against the legal profession in these modern days. One is a lack of broad, general education, as well as ignorance of their profession both in its theory and its practice, and the other a low moral standard, which is believed to pervade the entire Bar from the sordid practitioner, in the lowest courts, to the great corporation counsel who uses his learning and ability to enable a combination inimical to public welfare to achieve its ends against the spirit of restraining legislation.

To my mind, the correction of the first evil, admitting it to be wide-spread, though the evidence I have drawn upon would seem to confine it to the City of New York, is not difficult of attainment, though it may take a longer time than the more sanguine may hope. The steady lengthening and strengthening of the period of study and the constant increase of the number of gifted and devoted men, who are giving their lives to the work of legal education, the appointment of state boards of examiners, and the gradual stiffening of preliminary requirements are already having their effect and may be reasonably expected to lead to constant improvement.

American professional scholarship has already added illustrious names to the English and continental jurists who, from the beginning of the ninteenth century until our own time, have enriched the history of the law both common and Roman with invaluable contributions. We may thank the inspiration of the law schools for this work in our own country and be glad that it shows no sign of having spent its force. Not less in value, though of unequal volume, have been the philosophical works of other law teachers on special subjects and departments of legal science. The whole tone of American legal scholarship has been keyed up, and names of our contemporaries and fellow members, whom it would not be delicate to mention, since they are living men and our familiar friends, will take their place in time to come with legal authors who are held in constant respect.

* See address of F. R. Coudert, 36 Am. Bar Ass'n Rep., 677.

But when we shall have attained the ideal, and no man can come to the Bar unless he has competent learning and the requisite skill, shall we then have met the other and more serious evil? Obviously, not. We may make our standards of legal education high, but the determination of ambitious youth will measure up to them. We have not succeeded in keeping undesirable men from the Bar by the intellectual test-at least not in the larger cities; and it is the universal observation that a class of practitioners have come to the Bar, through the law schools in many instances, who are totally lacking in the high professional feeling that has been our tradition, whose objects are purely commercial, but who never fail in any intellectual test that may be applied to them.

There was something of great value lost with the passing of the old-fashioned law office, where the accomplished lawyer and gentleman of the old school set an example of dignity and courtesy as well as of learning and was in close daily contact with the young men who were fortunate enough to be under his preceptorship. Insensibly the students inherited the tradition of a learned profession and an appreciation of the office to which they aspired, that of ministers of justice, bound by the solemn sanction of the oath of admission that they would conduct themselves with all due fidelity, not alone to the client, but of equal importance to the court. The times have changed completely. The modern law office, with its stenographers and typewriters and all the equipment of a counting house impresses the lesson. A sure, confident and speedy decision of questions involving interests of great magnitude is demanded of the metropolitan lawyer, and little by little the commercial spirit pervades his entire activities. The lawyer who is taken from this atmosphere to a seat on the Bench is not likely to prove an elevating influence to the Bar of his court. The rapid dispatch of business becomes the first consideration; and the tendency to forget the sacred dignity of his high office sometimes has deplorable results.

It is not that the tone of the Bench and Bar is lower than that of other professions. On the contrary, the average of faithful performance of duty among the judges of the state and federal courts is as high as could reasonably be expected in a country so

new in many ways as our own still is; but by reason of the addition of extra-judicial duties, the bad odor of politics connected with the elective system, and the undoubted miscarriages of justice that occasionally result from an ultra-technical system of criminal procedure, popular dissatisfaction with the administration of the law has reached a point where it affords a tempting subject for the demagogue, and which he has eagerly grasped. So competent and calm an observer as ex-President Eliot enumerates. among the causes that have brought the legal profession into discredit, the American practice of electing judges for short terms, expresses the opinion that the very voters who elect the judges easily acquire the habit of distrusting them. Certainly there can be no more distressing sign of the times than the growing distrust of the administration of the law and the extraordinary recklessness in seeking to remove ancient limitations on popular emotion.

It is a commonplace that the influence of the legal profession upon the growth and development of English civilization has vastly preponderated over any other. Professor Dicey says:

"As all lawyers are aware, a large part, and, as many would add, the best part of the law of England is judge made law, that is to say, consists of rules to be collected from the judgments of the courts. This portion of the law has not been created by act of Parliament, and is not recorded in the statute books. It is the work of the courts; it is recorded in the reports; it is, in short, the fruit of judicial legislation. The amount of such judge-made law is in England far more extensive than a student easily realizes. Nine-tenths, at least, of the law of contract, and the whole, or nearly the whole of the law of torts, are not to be discovered in any volume of the statutes. Many acts of Parliament again, such as the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, or the Bills of Exchange Act, 1882, are little else than the reproduction in statutory shape of rules originally established by the courts."


And as he wisely observes, while judges are of course influenced by the beliefs and feelings of their time, they are none the less guided by professional opinion. They are the heads of the profession. He adds that


Address before the Massachusetts Bar Ass'n, Dec. 19, 1912. "Law and Opinion in England, 360.

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