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Meetings of the American Bar Association and the
HE twenty-ninth annual meeting of the American Bar Association and the sixth annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools were held in St. Paul, Minn., August 29, 30, and 31, 1906.
The meetings were attended by some five hundred lawyers, representing the bench and bar of every state in the Union. A more desirable place to meet could hardly be imagined than Minnesota's magnificent new State Capitol, the use of which was tendered to the Association during the three days they were in session.
On Wednesday morning, August 29th, Rome G. Brown, President of the Minnesota Bar Association, opened the sessions of the American Bar Association with an address of welcome.
The President's address, by George R. Peck, of Chicago, which followed Mr. Brown's speech, was a scholarly and interesting discussion of "The Principles of Legislation." It dealt largely with several philosophical phases of the theory of government. The address was a departure from those of former years, in that it was not an analytical discussion of recent changes in the statute law made in the several states and by Congress. An exhaustive review of the most noteworthy changes in the laws, and some of the aspects of legislation, were incorporated in the paper; but President Peck stated that he would spare the members present and omit
that portion of the address in the reading.
The annual address of the Association was delivered on Thursday morning, August 30th, by Judge Alton B. Parker, of New York. Judge Parker's topic was "The Congestion of Law." The other papers read at the various meetings of the Association were those of Roscoe Pound, of Lincoln, Neb., on "The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice"; John J. Jenkins, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States, on the subject of "Can Congress Transfer to the State its Power to Regulate Commerce?" Thomas J. Kernan, of Baton Rouge, La., on "Jurisprudence of Lawlessness"; and a paper written by Gen. George B. Davis, Judge Advocate General United States Army, on "Some Recent Progress in International Law." As Gen. Davis had been ordered to Geneva by the government, his paper was read by Everett P. Wheeler, of New York.
The report of the Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar was especially interesting to law. school instructors and members of state boards of law examiners. This report, presented by Henry Wade Rogers, Dean of the Yale University Law School, advocated the custom of a standard uniform system of Rules and Requirements for Admission to the Bar
in every state in the Union, these requirements to be formulated and administered by the highest appellate court in the state. By giving the appelBy giving the appellate courts control of admissions to the bar, the committee thought that the procedure would soon become uniform throughout the country. The laws in some states, which admit lawyers of other states to practice upon motion of the court, were not indorsed. The committee thought that this custom tended to evade the standards of admission to the bar. It was recommended that every state in the Union should have a board of examiners, which should inquire into the previous preparation and record of the applicant for admission to the bar. More stringent standards for matriculation on the part of the law schools were recommended. It was shown that some schools do not demand enough preparatory training. The committee also pointed out that in the case of many existing degrees granted by the colleges more work should be required of the candidates. It was vigorously urged that the administration of the law governing admissions to the bar be taken from the inferior courts; also that there should be laws governing the power of law schools to confer degrees.
In the section of legal education of the American Bar Association, William Draper Lewis, Dean of the Law Department of the University of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Section, delivered the annual address. Dean Lewis' subject was "Legal Education and the Failure of the Bar to Perform its Duties." Following this address Mr. Thomas E. Young, Director of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, read a paper on "Knowledge of Business Conditions as a Prerequisite to the Study of Law." Prof. Chas. M. Hepburn, of the Law School of the Indiana
University, read a paper on the "State of Legal Education in the United States," and Prof. Eugene A. Gilmore, of the College of Law of the University of Wisconsin, read a paper on "The Relation between University and Professional Instruction."
At the close of the meeting of the Section of Legal Education, Roscoe Pound, Dean of the University of Nebraska School of Law, was elected Chairman of the Section, and Prof. Charles M. Hepburn, of the Law School of the Indiana State University, was elected Secretary for the coming year.
The Association of American Law Schools held two sessions. At the first meeting no business was transacted; the time being taken up with the reading of two papers, followed by a discussion of the subjects presented. The President of the Association, Henry Wade Rogers, Dean of the Yale University School of Law, read an address which dwelt upon some important phases of the legal profession. He said that the question of preliminary education of the law student continues to be interesting, and he deprecated the fact that some of the law schools are somewhat lax in their requirements for admission. He gave a comprehensive account of the law schools in the South, where there are five three-year course schools, twentytwo schools with a two-year course, and three schools with a one-year course. President Rogers quoted the words of a Southern federal judge as to why the requirements and the terms are not what they are in the Northern schools. The Southern judge said it is owing to the pecuniary conditions there, but Dean Rogers attributed the laxity to the indifference of the profession. For some time after the Civil War the South was in a bad way, but it is now prosperous, and has made great strides in every
University of Texas The American Law School Review. Austin, Texas 13
thing, except in professional education. He suggested that a recommendation might be made to the American Bar Association to-day that uniform laws be enacted in every state for the protection of legal degrees. The granting of degrees seems to have been a farce in some sections of the country.
Prof. Floyd R. Mechem, of the University of Chicago Law School, read an able paper on "The Influence of Law Schools on the American Bar." After discussing methods, the potency of the law schools, and the opportunities for scholarly investigation enjoyed by the professors, he took up the ethical side of the question. Professor Mechem expressed the opinion that lawyers might be a strong moral power in a community. The law school should be the place where the lawyer should obtain his moral training. He did not wish to be understood as meaning that the law school should be turned into a Sunday school, but it could become a place where the character of the young men could be modeled properly. There is a general opinion abroad, he said, that the lawyers of the country have become contaminated with the spirit of commercialism to such an extent that moral issues are not considered. Mr. Mechem did not express himself as to whether the opinion is a slander against the profession, but he said that the legal profession is subjected to that danger.
The business meeting of the Association of American Law Schools was held Wednesday night, August 29th, with Henry Wade Rogers, Dean of the Yale Law School, presiding, and Dean William P. Rogers, of the Cincinnati University Law School, acting as Secretary.
The roll call disclosed the following professors in attendance: Charles M. Hepburn, University of Indiana; Judge Seth Shepherd, Georgetown University;
John H. Wigmore, Frederick C. Woodward, and F. B. Crossley, Northwestern University; Floyd R. Mechem, University of Chicago; James B. Ames, and Samuel Williston, Harvard University; Ernest B. Conant, Washburn College; Chester C. Cole, Drake University; E. W. Huffcut, Cornell University; Roscoe Pound, G. B. Costigan, Jr., and G. B. Ayers, University of Nebraska; C. T. Terry, Columbia University; F. B. James and W. P. Rogers, University of Cincinnati; Guy Guernsey and W. H. Burke, Chicago Kent College of Law; Howard N. Ogden and George W. Warvelle, Illinois College of Law; W. S. Curtis and W. W. Keysor, St. Louis Law School; W. R. Vance and Robert M. Hughes, George Washington University; W. S. Pattee, James Paige, and A. C. Hickman, University of Minnesota; James B. Brooks, Syracuse University; W. H. Peace, University of Colorado; Charles N. Gregory, E. A. Wilcox, and Lawrence Byers, University of Iowa; James W. Green, University of Kansas; J. H. Brewster and Henry M. Bates, University of Michigan; Wm. D. Lewis and W. E. Mikell, University of Pennsylvania; W. E. Walz, University of Maine; Clarence H. Miller, University of Texas; Andrew A. Bruce, University of North Dakota.
The following is the report of the Executive Committee, which was read by the Secretary:
"The Executive Committee presents the following report of its proceedings since September 27, 1905:
"On May 13, 1906, the committee met in Richmond, Va., Messrs. Henry Wade Rogers, Harry S. Richards, William E. Mikell, James B. Brooks, and William P. Rogers being present.
"The application for membership to the Association by the Law Department of the University of Texas was presented to the committee. This application was approved, and the committee recommends that the school be admitted to membership.
"There was also an application for mem
bership by the College of Law of the University of South Dakota. The committee recommends that this application be continued for one year.
"The Baltimore Law School, through its Dean, tendered its resignation from the Association.
"After full consideration of the question of further extending the time to members of the Association having only a two years' course in which to change to a three years' course, the committee reports that it is deemed wise, in the interest both of the Association and the Schools, that no change be made in the existing regulation; and it recommends that no action be taken in this matter."
The recommendations in the report were adopted as a whole. The following supplementary report of the Executive Committee was then read:
"Resolved, That it is the sense of the Executive Committee that the interests of this Association would be promoted by holding its sessions during the Christmas recess, and it therefore files with the Secretary notice of a proposed amendment of the second article of the Articles of Association, so that same shali read as follows: "The Association shall meet annually during the Christmas recess, at such time and place as the Executive Committee may in its discretion determine.'"
As this resolution was simply a notice of a proposed amendment of the Articles of the Association, no action was taken. The Executive Committee also offered the following resolution:
"Resolved, That copies of all addresses in the proceedings of this Association be printed and sent to all the Law Schools in the United States, to Boards of Law Examiners in the various states, and to the Chairmen of the Committees on Legal Education in all the states."
This resolution was adopted. The Executive Committee further recommended that section 4 of article 6 of the Association pertaining to Law School Libraries should for the present remain unchanged. It was then announced that the Buffalo Law School and the Illinois College of Law had resigned from the Association. The Executive Committee further recommended that all law schools, members of the Association, which maintained less than a three
years' course of instruction in law, should be dropped from the Association. This recommendation was put in the form of a motion and was carried.
At a previous meeting of the Association, the Executive Committee was authorized to examine schools belonging to the Association for the purpose of ascertaining whether they were complying with all the requirements of the Articles of the Association. The methods of conducting several law schools were investigated during the winter by an agent appointed by the Executive Committee for that purpose, and upon the report of this agent three schools were brought before the Executive Committee. The Committee reported to the Association that they had found that the Chicago Kent College of Law had failed to maintain the requirements provided for in article 6 of the Association; that it received and graduated students who had not had a high school preliminary education, or the equivalent thereof. The Committee recommended that the Chicago Kent College of Law be dropped from membership in the Association. Guy Guernsey, Secretary of the Chicago Kent College of Law, represented that school at the meeting, and, in defending the school on the charges made, said that he was not aware that any investigation of the school had been made; that the Chicago Kent College of Law does not graduate students who have not received a high school education, or its equivalent; that there had been no such case, and there would be none. He asked that the Association suspend action until an investigation of the right kind be made to determine whether or not the school had violated the rule as claimed. Some of the delegates present thought that it would be unwise to vote one way or the other upon a question about which they knew nothing. Some
suggested that, if the standing of a member of the Association should be impeached, there ought to be proof of it made; if the Executive Committee had taken testimony, it should be presented to the Association in such form that it could be considered and judgment passed upon it. Objection was made to voting blindly to expel a member simply upon the report and recommendation of the Executive Committee, unsupported by any evidence, when the plea of "not guilty" had been entered. Among the delegates who spoke along these lines. were Judge Seth Shepherd, of the Georgetown University Law School, Clarence H. Miller, Dean of the University of Texas Law School, and W. S. Curtis, Dean of the St. Louis Law School. As the Articles of the Association provide that the Executive Committee shall investigate all complaints and report its findings to the Association, with such recommendations as it shall deem proper, it was contended that the Executive Committee should act as triers of the fact and report its findings, and if the findings seemed sufficient the Association could rightly act upon them without having the evidence produced. After much discussion a motion to adopt the recommendations of the Executive Committee to drop the Chicago Kent College of Law from membership in the Association was carried.
On motion of Judge Shepherd, of the Georgetown University Law School, the President was authorized to appoint a committee of three to restate that provision of the Articles of the Association with reference to the expulsion of members, in order to make clear what should be done in the future when such a matter might again come up for action.
Dean Harry S. Richards, a member of the committee appointed to investigate the matter of establishing a law
magazine, said that upon investigation. the committee found that the attitude of the various schools belonging to the Association was rather lukewarm. He also reported that the same business propositions that were submitted to the Association last year were still open for acceptance. The report of the committee was received, and on motion the matter was laid on the table.
John H. Wigmore, Dean of the Northwestern University Law School, presented the following report of the Committee on the Study of Legal History:
"Your Committee on the study of Legal History, including a bibliography of essays on legal history and the publication of a select list, beg to report the following resolutions, with the recommendation that this Association do now approve them:
"Resolved, (1) That the Association of American Law Schools approves and recommends the publication, by reprinting, of a select list of essays and chapters on the various topics of Anglo-American Legal History; the selections to be not less than sixty and not more than one hundred in number, and the series to form not less than three and not more than five volumes of six hundred pages each; the volumes to be published at the rate of two in the first year, and thereafter one or more in each ensuing year, as may be determined by a Committee of the Association; the series to be entitled 'Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History.'
“(2) That this publication be made without pecuniary responsibility to the Association and at the entire responsibility and profit of such publisher as may be authorized thereto by a Committee of the Association; but that the Association sanction the work as a publication under its auspices and by its direction, and that the members of the Association recommend to the respective Faculties of Law to purchase and use as many copies of the series as may be suitable for carrying on the work of the Schools in the study of Legal History in the various branches of the law.
"(3) That a committee of three be appointed by the President (a) to make an agreement with a publisher for the above purpose; (b) to make the selections for publication as provided in paragraph 1. supra. from the Preliminary List appended to this report; (c) to secure by correspondence the written consent of the authors or other copyright holders for the reprinting of the various selections; (d) to edit the selections for publication; and (e) before making the final selection to obtain