« ПредишнаНапред »
LEGAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES.
1.-REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL EDUCATION.
[Submitted at Saratoga, N. Y., August 24, 1892.)
To the American Bar Association:
At the last meeting of the association (1891) the following resolution was passed :
That the further consideration of a proper course of study for American law schools be recommitted to the standing committee on legal education for the ensuing year, when they shall be appointed, with the request that (after a careful examination of the valuable material with reference to such systems in other countries, now or hereafter to be gathered by the Bureau of Education, in response to the question formulated by the committee of the year now closing) they report upon the same at or before the meeting of 1892.
The committee bave been in constant communication with the Bureau of Education since their last report, but they regret to say that it has been found impracticable to put the foreign material referred to in the resolution in a form to be presented to the association at this meeting.
1 Chapters XII, XIV, XV, and x 11 constitute a Report on Legal Education in the United States and Foreign Countries, of which an edition of 5,500 has been printed as atranec sheets; also a special edition of 5,500 ordered by the Senate for its own use. The following letter explaining the circumstances of its preparation accompanied the report in its separate form:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF EDUCATION,
Washington, Norember 2, 1893. Sir: I have the honor to forward for publication a report upon legal education in the United States, in Europe, and in other parts of the world. It cousists mainly of statements showing what is taught and what methods of instruction are pursued in the leading law schools of the various countries, and offers the latest statistics available. This information has been collected by the Bureau of Education within the last two years, at the request of the committe on legal education of the American Bar Association, which has undertaken an investigation of the courses and methods of instruction in the law prevailing in this and other countries. The report presented by this comunittee to the association in 1892 is embodied in the present document as a suitable introduction to the facts collected and set forth. The membership of this committee during the three years of its existence has been as follows:
In 1890.– William G. Hammond, St. Louis; George M. Sharp, Baltimore, and Henry Wade Rogers, Evanston, Ill. In 1891.-William G. Hammond, Henry Wade Rogers, George M. Sharp, George Shattnck, Boston, and J. Hubley Ashton, Washington.
Large accessions have been made since the meeting of 1891 at Boston, but there are a considerable number of places yet to be heard from and other important gaps are to be filled before an intelligent view of the whole subject can be presented. Arrangements have been made with Dr. Harris, the Commissioner of Education, whereby a report in some detail on the subject will be prepared by the Bureau and the committee acting in cooperation, with such explanations as may be necessary to those not familar with the terminology of legal education in foreign countries. This will appear in the Commissioner's next report, to be published in December. The committee regret that they are obliged to refer to this report for a detailed account of foreign systems. They are confident that such an account of the experience of many countries in legal education will give much instructive information to those interested in the subject in the United States. The general conclusions of the committee from the matter referred to will be hereinafter stated.
Before entering upon the consideration of a proper course of study for American law schools, the committee thought it desirable to learn the present condition of legal education in the United States and the views of leading educators on the subject. To this end they addressed
In 1892.--Same as in 1891. For 1893 Mr. Shattuck has been succeeded by Samuel Williston, Cambridge, Mass.
The compilation of the present document has been made with great care and industry by Dr. L. R. Klemm, specialist of this Bureau in foreign educational systems, who has thoroughly edited and arranged the material received and made several important original contributions thereto. The matter relating to law schools, colleges, and the common schools in the United States has been extracted from catalogues and reports in a painstaking and judicious manner by Mr. Wellford Addis, Mr. Lewis A. Kalbach, and Mr. James C. Boykin; that relating to Spanish America by Miss Frances G. French, and that relating to Canada and Australia by Mr. Eugene B. Lacy, all of this Bureau. Mr. Sharp, of the committee, has furnished constant assistance and wise suggestions. The chief clerk of the Bureau, Mr. John W. Halcombe, conducted most of the correspondence connected with this work, has supervised its preparation, and taken charge of the revision of the proofs.
Additional information, criticism, and the correction of errors are solicited from any readers, and will be gratefully received.
The desire of the American Bar Association, in inaugurating the investigations which have been carried on as above described, was to further the improvement in quality and methods of instruction furnished to students of the law in this country. It has given me great satisfaction to coöperate with the committee in their work, and I am now gratified to offer, through you, to the public and particularly to the legal profession, the result of the joint labors of the committee and the Bureau of Education. I am, sir, very respectfu bedient servant,
W. T. HARRIS,
Commissioner. Hon. John W. NOBLU,
Se the Interior.
a letter to a number of gentlemen of reputation as educators, requesting their views. The committee desire to acknowledge their indebtedness to many of the gentlemen referred to for the attention given to their letter and the careful and valuable replies received from them.
The committee also procured catalogues of nearly all the law schoolsincluding the most important ones in the United States. In the report of last year on pages 17, 18, 19, and 20 will be found late statistics regarding the number of students and professors, and other information. The committee have not thought it important to prepare tables giving the same information to a later date, inasmuch as this will appear in the next report of the Bureau of Education. But they would say that there were in the academic year 1891-92 about 6,000 students. It will be noticed that there has been a phenomenal iucrease in the number of students attending the schools in the last three years. The total attendance of all the schools in the country in the academic year 1888-89 was 3,906, showing an increase of nearly 50 per cent in that
An examination of Table No. 1 of Appendix B, annexed to the report of last year, will show that there has been a greater increase in the past three years than there had been in the previous ten.
The information of the committee regarding legal education is confined to the law schools; they have no means of ascertaining the number of students who are pursuing their studies in offices, or the course of study pursued by them. The law schools certainly present the best side of legal education in the country.
The information of the committee relating to the schools is derived from catalogues of the schools, the replies to the committee's letter, and the personal observation of the members of the committee.
The information contained in the catalogues is in general somewhat indefinite, but certain results are clear. No standard course of study or method of instruction exists. In fact, it can not be said that exactly the same course of study or method of instruction prevails in any two schools.
It is evident that the course of study in the schools is, with a very few exceptions, contined to the branches of practical private law which a student finds of use in the first years of his practice. It is the techni. cal rather than the scientific or philosophic view of law which is taught.
Thus we find that the subjects of contracts, with its branches of agency, suretyslip, insurance, bills and notes, partnership, etc., torts, real and personal property, conveyancing, corporations, bailments, wills and the administration of estates, mercantile law, domestic relations, common-law pleading and practice, evidence, equity jurisprudence and procedure, are taught in all the schools. It is superiluous to remark that a course of study omitting any of them would be imper. feet. Some attention appears to be given certain special subjects, as
1 Sce statistics on p. 432.
patents and admiralty; railroads and telegraphs are mentioned, instruction being chiefly by special lectures.
Instruction in the jurisdiction and practice in the United States courts is given in less than half the schools, and medical jurisprudence in about one-fourth.
Instruction in public law is generally confined to constitutional law and criminal law. Instruction in constitutional law appears for the most part to be limited to the Constitution of the United States and the cases and legislation connected with it. Instruction is rare in comparative constitutional law and the history and development of the principles of constitutional government, and unusual in English constitutional law.
Adininistrative law, including the organization of departments of our Government, State and national, is generally neglected.
Public international law is a part of the course in less than half the schools, and private international law in even a less number.
The various subjects of history and theory of law and government appear to be neglected, except in three or four schools. .
The history of American and English law is taught by lectures in perhaps six schools.
Post-graduate courses have been established in several schools. The course of study is for the most part a continuance of the subjects of private law already referred to, though in one or two cases provision is made for instruction in historical and comparative jurisprudence and history and theory of law and the science of government. Students in some cases are encouraged to pursue such courses by free tuition, reduced fees for tuition, free rooms.
Instruction in classification of law and elementary law appears to be confined to use of the treatises of Blackstone, Robinson's Elementary Law, Walker's American Law, or books of corresponding character.
In the schools connected with the large universities provision is made, generally without charge, for attendance by students on exercises in the literary departments, particularly in history, political science, and political economy. But this is optional, and not a part of the law course, and in the opinion of the committee is rarely availed of by students, for want of time if for no other reason.
The course of study in the schools of the country be shown in tables annexed to the next report of the Bureau of on. This table, together with the table relating to the courses of foreign countries, can be printed and distribed by this asso
it is desired. The methods of instruction do not ad
classific the committee, for convenient the
tused. tations from text-books, lectu
le tea 1. Recitations from text
Luten pages of a text-book are assu
ined the following day. This appears to be the foundation of instruction in a large majority of the schools, though it is used in very few, not more than four or five, as the sole method of instruction, being generally combined with lectures and the reading of cases. In some schools the recitation is supplemented by a lecture on the subject of the lesson, by the instructor, who comments on, explains, and amplifies the text. In many of the schools a colloquy or discussion by the students, directed by the professor, is practiced as a part of the exercise, in which the students analyze the subject, compare the authorities, and criticiso the author, etc., and in some this is the principal method of instruction. In a large number of schools, cases illustrating the text selected from the notes or fiom recent decisions are referred to the students, and a recitation in some form upon them is required. In general, cases are said to be used to illustrate a principle or show its historical development.
2. Lectures.-Instruction by means of lectures only is adopted in very few schools, though this appears to be the only method of instruction in a few schools (four or five), but is used to a considerable extent in connection with recitations from text-books in nearly all. Students are usually examined on the lecture the following day. In some schools the lectures are accompanied by a collateral course of reading from textbooks and reports, and in some a colloquy follows the lecture. A largo majority of schools use the system of recitations from text-books combined with the lectures, students being examined on the text of the book and the lectures. In a few schools special lectures are given, intended to amplify the course of instruction on particular topics, and apply in a more detailed way than is practicable in the recitations of the class room those general principles the students have learned from the text-books. Such lectures are generally on practice in the United States courts, admiralty, patents, insurance, corporations, and railroads.
In a number of the schools students are required to take notes of the lectures, which must be exhibited to the faculty; in some cases they are required to read their notes to the class. In a few schools full notes of the lectures given is a condition of graduation.
The committee would say that, so far as any mode of instruction can be said to prevail, it is founded primarily on the lesson in the textbooks, with a lecture or explanatory remarks by the professor, the reading of a certain number of cases by the student, and a recitation or colloquy
In some schools the lecture system is used entirely for some subjects and recitations from text books for others.
3. The case system. This is defined by Prof. Keener in his article til the Yale Law Journal, Vol. I, p. 141, as follows:
The case system consists of putting into the hands of the student a number of cases on any given subject, taken not at haphazard, but selected by the professor with a view to developing the law on that subject.