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Moreover, it can be the cooperating agency of all of the railroads entering the district. It can, by agreement with them, build and operate a joint terminal system. It can give aid and assistance to the municipalities within the district in their own harbor developments. For example, by agreement any one city within the district contemplating a self-sustaining improvement can agree with the Port Authority for the construction of the improvement and the raising of the necessary capital, the municipality contributing, say, twenty per cent thereof itself, upon the understanding that ultimately, when the debt has been completely amortized, the property shall revert to the municipality.
It may be said that this method is too cumbersome; that it will mean the delay of conferences with railroads, conferences with municipal authorities, the education of public opinion, and the like. But the writer believes that in the long run this method will succeed more promptly than would the method of absolute control and domination characteristic of other port authorities throughout the world. There is, of course, available the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to exert pressure upon the railroads on the petition of the Port Authority, but the writer believes that this should be the last resort. It is not too much to say, speaking unofficially, that the conferences with the railway executives of the twelve great trunk lines entering the port of New York, already indicate that they appreciate the great opportunity afforded through such an agency as the port of New York Authority for a scientific handling of the problem, for bringing them together in cooperation, and for raising the huge sums of capital necessary for modernizing the terminal facilities of the port of New York.
Undoubtedly, many new legal questions will arise as the work progresses. This kind of a public utility, under management and control by two states, opens up a new field of legal thought and action. Already seven states in the West-Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming-propose to use the same method in developing the great hydro-electric power now lying dormant in the Colorado River.
ADMISSIONS TO THE BAR The Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar met at the Hotel Gibson, Cincinnati, Ohio, commencing at 2.30 P. M., August 30, 1921, with Elihu Root presiding.
The Chairman :
We are the successors of several organizations under different names constituted by the American Bar Association, to deal with the subject of legal education and efficiency of the Bar. Much work has been done, many proposals have been made and long discussion has been had upon them.
From time to time the American Bar Association has taken action upon earlier propositions and I think that we have now reached the point where we really ought to have an end of desultory discussion and come in the near future to some definite action through which the American Bar Association may tend to exercise the influence to which it is entitled upon this subject. We could go on discussing the subject without end; but we really have reached the point where self-respect and the good name of the Association requires that a conclusion shall be reached.
It is now eight years and a half since our predecessors, the American Bar Association Committee on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar addressed a letter to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching which has a division devoted to the study and survey—an intensive and thorough study of different branches—of education in this country. This letter requested that body to address itself to the subject of legal education. I will take the opportunity of reading that letter which was written on the 7th of February, 1913, and addressed to the President of the Carnegie Foundation, Mr. Henry S. Pritchett:
This communication is addressed to you by the American Bar Association Committee on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and has attached to it the signature of each member of the committee.
The committee was greatly impressed by the investigation, made a few years ago under your direction, by the Carnegie Foundation, into the conditions under which medical education is carried on in the United States. That the medical profession and the entire country was placed under lasting obligation to your organization because of the service that was then rendered is acknowledged by all who know the facts.
The committee of the bar association is most anxious to have a similar investigation made by the Carnegie Foundation into the conditions under which the work of legal education is carried on in this country. There is an imperative need for such an investigation, equally searching and far reaching with the other, and one equally frank and fearless in its statement of the facts which the investigation may reveal.
It is to be hoped that if your organization decides to adopt the suggestion the committee makes, your investigation will not be confined to the law schools, but may be extended to the matter of admission to the Bar in the various states of the United States with a view of making known to the entire country the facts relating to this important subject.
This committee has not at its disposal either the funds or the time needed for the comprehensive investigation that is so much to be desired, and it appeals to you therefore to undertake the task and assures you of its readiness to cooperate with you so far as possible, should you conclude to comply with this request.
W. DRAPER LEWIS. That work was undertaken and after eight years of extensive and exhaustive investigation under the leadership of Mr. Alfred Z. Reed, with a very competent and large staff of assistants, the report has been made, and the special committee of this section which was appointed under your resolution of last year has had the benefit of that report.
May I recall to your memories the resolution which you passed last year? It was in the following words:
The Chairman for the ensuing year and six other members of the Association appointed by him shall be a special committee. The committee shall report to the next annual meeting of the Section their recommendations in respect to what, if any, action can be taken by this Section or by the Association to create conditions which will tend to strengthen the character and improve the efficiency of those admitted to the practice of the law.
The committee was created, consisting of Mr. Hugh H. Brown, of Tonopah, Nevada; Mr. James Byrne, of New York; Mr. William Draper Lewis, of Philadelphia; Mr. George Wharton Pepper, of Philadelphia; Mr. George E. Price, of Charleston, West Virginia; Mr. Frank H. Scott, of Chicago, Illinois; and the Chairman of the Section. That committee will be ready to report before the next session of the Section and the report will
be before you for discussion and consideration. I shall not enter now upon the substance or the character of that report because that will come properly after the completion of the regular business of the Section when the report is part of the business.
I wish to add to the expressions of the committee of 1913 contained in that letter to the Carnegie Institution, two expressions which are included in the preface and in the introduction to Mr. Reed's report on the result of this investigation. One is by Mr. Henry S. Pritchett, that most able and experienced educator, probably more familiar with educational affairs in this country than any other single man, and he says in his preface to the report:
There is a widespread impression in the public mind that the members of the legal profession have not, through their organizations, contributed either to the betterment of legal education or to the improvement of the administration of justice to that extent which society has the right to expect.
Whether that impression be ill-founded or not, it is clear that the Bar as a special group, and in some respects a privileged group in the social order, will today be called upon for a sincere self-examination of its duties to society, and its relation to the realization of justice. That is from a most impartial judicial mind and experienced observer from outside of the ranks of the Bar.
The other expression is by Mr. Reed who devoted himself the last eight years to the study of this subject and who says in closing the introduction to his report:
Both our second war with England and our Civil War were followed by periods of original creation in legal education. These, in turn, were followed by less significant periods devoted mainly to imitation and perfection of detail. It requires no great effort of the imagination to perceive that we stand now upon the brink of another creative period. A generation of young men, stirred by the recent conflict, will soon assume control. Their disposition will be not blindly to accept inherited formulas but critically to scrutinize every phase of legal education, with a view to adjusting it to their own altered world. Changes are bound to be made. The only question is whether they will be made wisely, with understanding of the many considerations involved, political as well as educational.
It is for these newcomers, and for the older men who see that this spirit must be reckoned with, that this study has been undertaken.
Plainly we are at a point where we must “at it" or concede that we are not competent for the performance of our duty. Plainly we must have done with desultory discussion and bring ourselves to conclusions, if we are to perform the duty of our generation in this critical period of change.
The whole world is in a state of flux. The whole educational system of America is subject to wise and considerate criticism. The ablest and wisest educators are beginning to see that in the system of American education or the want of system in American education in all branches and in all directions, there is a call for return to original principles, and for a new departure which will be more truly and faithfully and effectively educational than the lack of system that exists today, and we at the Bar, in regard to legal education are but one part of the great field of effort demanded by the whole country and have our duty plainly before us to attend to our part of the general business.
The changes in the practice of the law and the administration of justice in the past few years have forced this upon the attention and stirred the imagination not only of the Bar, but of the general public. The vast multiplication of text books, of printed reports of adjudicated cases and of statutes, has been already so great, and is proceeding at such a rapid rate, that it is plain that the study of the law and knowledge of the law and the application of the law today are widely different from anything that existed 50 years ago.
Amid this vast multitude of cases some guiding line must be found.
In an address before the American Bar Association at Washington eight years ago, I said something about this subject, and for that purpose I had a count made in the Library of Congress to inform me as to the number of statutes that have been passed and the number of decisions of courts of last resort that had been published, and I found that in the five years preceding over 60,000 statutes had been enacted by Congress and the legislatures of the states, and in the same five years over 62,000 judicial decisions of courts of last resort had been printed in the regular report of the courts. That is going on now with accelerated speed and enlarged scope, and the result is that not only can you find statutes of which you never heard covering almost every act of man, but decisions which it is possible to cite on every question that can arise in the law.
If the Bar of America is to continue to perform its function, there must be something besides an aggregation of case lawyers depending on some judge's decision. The members of the Bar