Logic and Experience: The Origin of Modern American Legal Education

By William P. Lapiana | Go to book overview

8

Reconciliation

As the twentieth century began, prospects for cooperation between the bar and law schools seemed dim. In 1900 thirty-five law schools organized the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) to give the academic world an organization separate from the American Bar Association's legal education section. While the two organizations continued to meet together from 1900 until 1913, their relationship was not a happy one. The separation of the annual meetings was occasioned, according to the law teachers, by the older organization's disregard for both legal educators and legal education. The last straw was the decision to move the date of the ABA's meeting from August to October, a time particularly unpropitious for academics. 1 The differences, however, encompassed more than a disagreement over a convenient time to meet. The nature of legal education still divided the bar and some professors. In fact, the professors themselves were divided, but the nature of those divisions shows that the Harvard model was on its way to triumph in academia, in part because it eventually helped bring the schools and the bar together.


The Spread of the Case Method

The early years of the AALS were marked by frequent debates over the content of legal education, even though in one form or another some variety of case method had arrived almost everywhere. 2 Even in those schools like Yale where lectures and recitations were preferred methods of instruction, cases were used at least in the upper-class years. 3 At Georgetown, a lecture and recitation system using textbooks was in place in the mid-1880s, but by 1912 textbooks were supplemented with "leading cases," and in the upper-class years some courses were taught using casebooks and class discussion in which students were required to state the facts and law of the case and then to answer questions "upon the particular case, and upon similar statements of fact, with a view to developing a full knowledge of the principle." 4 In several schools, the arrival of the case method was a piecemeal affair, cases gradually supplementing and then supplanting the use of textbooks and treatises and questioning on the cases

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Logic and Experience: The Origin of Modern American Legal Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Harvard's Transformation 7
  • 3 - Antebellum Legal Education 29
  • 4 - Case Method and Legal Science 55
  • 5 - Harvard and the Legal World 79
  • 6 - A New Legal Science 110
  • 7 - Opposition 132
  • 8 - Reconciliation 148
  • Epilogue 168
  • Notes 171
  • Bibliography 221
  • Index 243
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