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ance, so I called a meeting for yesterday afternoon, thinking if I made it the time of the meeting of the Association it would not be very troublesome to get an attendance. I fixed the meeting at the office of one of the members of the Committee in the First National Bank Building, another member of the Committee has his office also in the First National Bank Building, and another the
street in another building not a block away. The other member besides myself resides in Springfield; the time for the meeting was two o'clock yesterday afternoon. About ten minutes before that time I repaired to the office of the gentleman in whose office the meeting was to be held and was informed by a gentleman who occupies one of the rooms in the suite that Mr. Dawson was unavoidably called away, but for the Committee to assemble in his room, make themselves free with the stationery and everything else that was needed. I took my position in the room, remained there during half an hour and called the Committee to order and we began—the Chairman and myself—began the consideration of certain questions that are involved in the report. I want to express the gratification, however, that there was great unanimity in the views that were expressed there. In about half an hour Mr. Banning, another member of the committee, came in, and realizing the disadvantages that a man is laboring under when he comes into a committee after the pegs are all set, he became unanimous, too, and so this short report will be entirely unanimous in the expression of the views of the Committee.
Report presented as follows:
The Association of the American Law Schools, which holds its annual meeting in connection with the American Bar Association, has so frequently and thoroughly discussej the general problems involved in legal education and the printed reports of the proceedings have been so elaborate that it seems only necessary to call the attention of this Association to one matter of legal education. We are constrained to call attention to that one because we feel that, at this time, there is special need for its consideration by our State Board of Bar Examiners and
those gentlemen who are engaged in law teaching. The difference of opinion which exists in the minds of professional teachers of law upon the question has further influenced us to present it.
The members of the profession in our state are well nigh unanimous upon the proposition that the law school is the proper place for the study of law. From over one thousand replies to a circular letter sent out by the University of Illinois, about one year ago, for the purpose of ascertaining the views of Illinois practitioners on matters of legal education, only seven expressed the opinion that the study of law can be more profitably pursued in an office. Over a thousand were emphatically of a contrary view.
Every careful observer must admit that the transfer of legal education from the office to the law school has resulted in greater thoroughness in all branches of substantive law. But while this is true, it must be admitted that the average graduate goes forth from the law school poorly educated in the law of procedure. That is a fact so well recognized that there are to-day law teachers of high repute who contend that matters of pleading and practice cannot be taught adequately in a law school. Some of these gentlemen contend that it should be the sole function of the law school to teach the philosophy of the law and leave knowledge of the rules of procedure to be acquired in the main after the student has entered the practice. The dangers incident to such a course are apparent to every experienced practitioner, and your committee is glad to believe that such views are entertained only by gentlemen, however learned, who know but little of the application of legal principles to actual litigation. To send the law student to the bar, however thorough he may be in the branches of substantive law, when he knows but little of matters of procedure and practice is bad for him and bad for his clients. Those of us who have had occasion to observe the waste of time in the settlement of pleadings know that it is bad for the courts also.
Some of those who contend that teaching matters of practice in the school is not feasible, insist that three years' time will not allow proper instruction in the various branches of substantive law and instruction in matters of procedure, and that the student after completing the required course at school should spend one year in an office before applying for admission. The modern law office is a poor place to study any branch of the law. The practitioner who is crowded with business has no time to devote to the instruction of a student in his office. call upon him to do some particular thing and the doing of it will give him practical experience; but the chances are, he will call upon the
He may PROCEEDINGS.
student to do the same thing a hundred times when the doing of it once would be sufficient to gain him all the practical knowledge needed. He may be able to get into the office of a practitioner who will have time to devote to his instruction, but the probabilities are that he is not such a practitioner as the student should be with. Observation teaches us, also, that the student, as soon as he gets his diploma, is anxious to take his examination before the State Bar Examiners. He is not content to serve a preliminary clerkship of a year in an office. He is eager to get his license and try the “real thing."
It devolves upon the law schools, therefore, to provide that instruction in pleading and practice which the student formerly obtained in the office and which is essential to his success as a practitioner. That can be accomplished through practice courts, courses in advanced pleading and in the preparation of legal papers. While we do not think much can be accomplished through the medium of mock jury trials, we firmly convinced that the preparation of cases for trial, such as the selection of the proper action on a given state of facts, the drafting of declarations, pleas, bills, answers, etc., etc., the argument of motions and the argument of causes on an agreed state of facts will prove just as profitable to the student as the same time spent in studying branches of substantive law.
OLIVER A. HARKER,
Chairman Committee on Legal Education.
JUDGE HARKER: In addition, Mr. President, to the written report, I desire to submit that this question has been before the Section of Legal Education and before the Association of American Law Schools, which are held annually in connection with the American Bar Association, some two or three different times, and there is a division of opinion among those who are engaged in legal instruction. The discussion which has been had, and which was last year perhaps more exhaustive than on any previous occasion, been confined to law teachers.
There are two classes of law teachers : one is the teacher who has never had any experience in practice whatever; perhaps in taking his course at some College of Law it was with the view of making himself a teacher. The other class of teachers are those who have occupied positions on the bench
or when they have retired from practice go into that work from choice. And I have observed that the gentlemen who have had no experience in practice whatever take the affirmative of the argument, the law school is no place to teach matters of procedure, whereas the teachers who have had experience in practice and who have occupied positions on the bench, take the contrary view. We have in the University of Illinois experimented, I might say, because it was an experiment at first, it is no longer one, in courses on advanced pleadings, and we think we have done so quite profitably there to the student. At all events, we have established a course or two that is just as interesting and takes just as much labor on the part of the student as any of the branches in substantive law. For instance, after the student has had two years in pursuing the courses in substantive law and in the preliminary courses in common law and equity pleadings, we have established what is known there as the course in advanced pleadings, and our mode of operation is something like this: Suppose there is a class of the third year of forty. They will be divided into four groups. The instructor, and he is supposed to be some one who has had experience in the trial of law suits and has had opportunities for observation superior to that of a man who has devoted his entire attention to law teaching, when the class is assembled, for instance, will say: “Now, young gentlemen, I desire that you shall freshen up on the action of assumpsit. I desire also that you shall read and re-read the chapters in the statutes entitled “Attachments,' in order that you may get on to the scheme of attachments in Illinois.' This is done and two or three days following the students are quizzed by the Professor. Then, without the use of any text-book whatever, the Professor will state four cases in attachment; one, for instance, like this: where the plaintiff sells to the defendant a team of horses at a stipulated price, the defendant agreeing to pay for them within thirty days; he does not pay for them, but he leaves the state; now resides in Des Moines, Iowa, for in
stance. He owns lots 3 and 4, in block 6, in the city of Champaign, or Urbana. These gentlemen in that group are told to prepare all the papers necessary to subject that property to the payment of the debt. The second group, some such case as this: The defendant is a resident merchant in the city of Champaign, the plaintiff is a wholesale merchant residing in Chicago. The defendant purchases of the merchant in Chicago a stock of merchandise for four thousand dollars, agreeing to pay for it in ninety days. Before the ninety days have elapsed he makes a fraudulent transfer of the property to some one. In other words, a clear statement of a case is given to that group and they are required to prepare all the papers in attachment, as they would in actual practice. And so with the third and fourth groups, like cases are given them. When the class returns, then number one in the first group exchanges with number one in the second group, and number two in the first group with number two in the second. They exchange their papers and they have three or four days in which to examine them carefully, to see if the affidavit is defective, if the writ is defective, or any of the pleadings are defective. They come in just like practicing lawyers and make the proper motions. If the parties have the pleadings settled, or rather the attachment matter settled, then the question of pleading to the declaration, some fact requiring a special plea will be interposed. In that way the students are given an opportunity of dealing with matters of preparation of cases and of pleadings the same as they would in the Circuit Court, or the County Court, as the case may be. I may say that we found that quite profitable. And I am seriously of the belief, we are thoroughly convinced that while of course you can not, may be, make a successful practitioner out of a student in the law school, and not much good can arise from mock jury trials, because the student there has to deal with an entirely different class of witnesses from those that he deals with in real practice, deals with an entirely different kind of jurors; but so far as the preparation of cases