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Henry E. Davis, of Washington, D. C.:
It is with some diffidence that I feel constrained to express the hope that these resolutions will not receive our approval at this meeting. I have in my hand bulletin No. 15, issued by the Carnegie Foundation on Training for the Public Profession of the Law, comprising, exclusive of the preface and appendix, 420 printed octavo pages. This bulletin was prepared by the Carnegie Foundation at the request of a special committee of the Section of Legal Education, pursuant to a resolution passed on February 7, 1913, and the Carnegie Foundation has spent eight years of patient labor in response to that request, and only as lately as Saturday last made public the result of its investigation.
Now, as a substitute for the resolutions which have been offered, I desire to present the following:
WHEREAS, The resolutions presented by the report of the Special Committee of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recommend for approval by the Association sundry conditions severely restricting admissions not only to the Bar itself but also to the law schools, graduation from which is made an essential;
AND WHEREAS, There are now among the members of the Association many of high professional equipment and attainments, and of deserved prominence in the profession, as well as in public life and in their respective communities, whose admission to the Bar would have been precluded by the conditions aforesaid;
AND WHEREAS, In response to the definite request of a former Standing Committee of the Association on the subject, under date of February 7, 1913, the Carnegie Foundation has made a comprehensive investigation of Training for the Public Profession of the Law, and only as lately as August 27, 1921, has published the results of such investigation in its Bulletin No. 15, opportunity for consideration of which by the Association is highly desirable, if not indispensable, as precedent to intelligent action by the Association upon the weighty and important questions presented by the resolutions aforesaid:
Be it resolved, That consideration of the said resolutions and of the report accompanying the same, be, and hereby is postponed until the next annual meeting of the Association.
The substitute resolution offered by Mr. Davis was seconded.
I merely rise to say that the resolutions upon which the Section of Legal Education has acted, were prepared in conference with the authors of the report to which Mr. Davis has referred, and they were prepared after long study and consideration of that report, and they were based so far as seems practicable now upon the reasoning and the statements of that report. To use the report from which the committee based their recommendations in order to prevent action, and to say that because this carefully studied report, based upon the request of the Bar Association has shown that conditions of the Bar were unfortunate and ought to be remedied, that therefore we shall do nothing, is fallacious. It is a question whether we are to have any standards at all. Of course, if there is to be a standard, the line must be drawn somewhere. Wherever it is drawn, there will be somebody who will be inconvenienced. I should be sorry to have the gentlemen representing law schools that do not care to conform to this standard inconvenienced, but I care a great deal more about the honor and the dignity of the American Bar than I do about their convenience. I care more about having the Bar an agency competent to secure effective administration of justice in this disturbed country, than I do about gentlemen's convenience; I care more about having somebody in America, some organized body, with the courage and the decision of character that make it competent to meet the new conditions that confront us, and which are tending to bring the Bar and the administration of the law and the law itself into disrepute and ineffectiveness. I care more for that, than I do, sir, about the inconvenience of however close a friend.
William A. Ketcham, of Indiana:
It is with the greatest embarrassment that I take the floor to second and support the motion of the gentleman from Washington, when I remember that in doing so, I am not following the lead of the great lawyer from New York and the lead of the Chief Justice of the United States. But we all have views and we are here to support our views without putting our hands and our mouths and ourselves in the dust in deference to any individual. It is a matter of embarrassment for one who comes from a state where by an unwise constitutional provision, adopted 70 years ago, which all the lawyers of the state have never been able to change, that any man or woman of good moral character, if he or she be a voter, is entitled to admission to practice law. It is an embarrassment to me to come from that state and not to resist this report. I ask that it go over for a year in order that the members may intelligently understand the report of the Carnegie Foundation.
Now, a full consideration by this Association of this matter cannot do any harm. No man can have a higher regard than I for the members of this committee. A careful consideration by this Association may very well lead us to believe that what is now recommended is wise and just, but we want to find that out for ourselves and not simply bow to the edict of a committee that has digested and approved of that report. If we have an opportunity to study intelligently the report and approve it and digest it, it will undoubtedly receive the approval of the Bar generally, but if this matter is passed now, it will be said that it is the result of the law schools of the country and will meet with the disapproval of the members of the American Bar Association. I want an opportunity for myself and for others to ascertain carefully what is in this report, and also what is in the other report, before I attempt to tie the great body of the American Bar to this thing that maybe, for all I know now, utterly unwise.
James D. Andrews, of New York: I have given this subject of legal education very careful consideration, and, as Chairman of the Committee on Legal Education of the Illinois Bar Association in 1902 and 1903, wrote the report of that committee which was published and sent broadcast throughout the country. Therefore, I do not have any great concern about what is embraced in the report of the Carnegie Foundation, the other report, in their Bulletin No. 8, having approved of everything said by the Illinois Bar Association's
The thing that attracted me, in listening to the discussion yesterday is that the “Whereas” was untrue, that the adoption of this report would exclude able and intelligent young men from becoming members of the Bar. I have not failed to remember the brilliant list of men such as John G. Johnson, of Philadelphia. Nevertheless, the answer is this: This is the year 1921. This is not the year 1856 or 1860. We look at things today differently. The world has progressed. Conditions have changed. The focal plane of social life is constantly shifting. Had the requirements been that you must have one year of college education or two years of college education, do you suppose that would have deterred men like John F. Dillon or Benjamin Harrison or
Abraham Lincoln from studying law and becoming great lawyers? They would have secured that advantage.
The real fundamental question beneath this proposition is: Shall the legal profession be ranked as among the learned professions ?
Edward T. Lee, of Illinois:
I ask your indulgence for three minutes, in order to present some views in support of postponing action on this report until next year. I may not be successful in doing that as satisfactorily as did the sheriff who, when he was about to execute a condemned criminal, was interrupted by the prisoner who said: “Give me three minutes, and you will have no cause to complain.”
I regret that I have to appear here in opposition to the men who nominally, at least, stand for this report, but it is an old maximaudi alteram partem-hear the other side. Upon that, our whole scheme of jurisprudence rests. The gentleman who has just preceded me has mentioned the name of John F. Dillon, who began his life in another profession, and then, guided perhaps by a higher light, entered our profession, but at later age than he would have entered the profession had he gone to college. That is the same condition with respect to thousands of young men and young women in this country too old to enter college.
What did the great lawyer and seer of his day, a member of this Association, Robert G. Ingersoll, call the colleges ? “ Places where they blunt diamonds and polish the brickbats.” Without claiming any implication under either head, I may say that I am myself a college graduate, and I have two boys, one who is just through college and another who is still going to college-and I say that the college today is largely a place for social diversion and intellectual dissipation. I have no objection to a man getting his education in a college, but I would stultify my honest convictions if I should say that one cannot become an educated man outside of a college. I do not need to refer to men like Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill abroad who did, nor to men in this country who have been great lawyers like Cooley of Michigan, Johnson of Pennsylvania, or a great law teacher and writer like Mechem, and many others whom I might mention.
This report proceeds from the Association of American Law Schools by way of the eminent Committee of the American Bar Association for adoption. I will say, with all deference, that is a mere camouflage, a way of getting it before you with the great prestige of eminent names back of it.
Yesterday, in the meeting of the Section of Legal Education, after the presentation of the report by the distinguished leader of the Bar, it was seconded by no less a distinguished lawyer than the Chief Justice of the United States. When gentlemen like them stand for a proposition who can withstand them? No one unless he is clothed with truth and with the facts upon his side. I say, with all deference to these gentlemen that the facts are against them, and that this Association has never gone on record as advocating a two years' college course except for law schools of the first class. That classification, by the way, was made by “first class " law schools themselves.
At the meetings of the committee, to which the Chairman has referred, there was no representative of any law school west of the Allegheny Mountains, no representative of any evening law schools west of the Allegheny Mountains was invited to be present. It was a close communion, a close fellowship of the higher colleges and those who are their sponsors. The other schools, outside of the Association, were entirely ignored.
I would not for a moment suggest that a body of this intelligence is going to be swayed by the presence here and by the advocacy of this report by eminent lawyers. That would be an insult to your intelligence.
Finally, I want to say, that your action will proceed out of the experience of life. There are men whose paths have led along ways strewn with roses, men born to the purple. There are other men whose paths have led along a different way, strewn with stones and with briars. While in the case of the former, and some of these illustrious men are with us today, they may have attained worthily the highest honors in the gift of the people socially and professionally and politically, yet there is one thing in the providence of God that they cannot have, the compensation that those have who have worked and struggled along the other way sympathize with those who are coming and are yet to come by that same road.