Chapter_3 - CJ 275 Chapter 3 Legal Profession Richard Abels...

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February 14, 2008 CJ 275 Chapter 3: Legal Profession Richard Abel’s American Lawyers book 1) Legal Education a) In the beginning [Pre-Civil War] you would become a lawyer’s apprentice and he would train you and then when you feel ready you would just go out on your own b) After the Civil war there was a growth in the economy [a growth of businesses] which created a demand for lawyers i) First law schools were basically an apprenticeship on a large scale (1) Still no requirements to get in or bar exam to get out (2) First was in Connecticut and was run by one lawyer (3) They were not on University campuses yet because they did not want them (a) Because law practice was looked at as a trade [like blacksmith] and was not University material c) Christopher Langdell i) The most important figure in legal education in the 19 th century ii) Dean of Harvard Law School (1) Was ~ 3 rd dean of the law school iii) He reformatted the law school at Harvard (1) And all the other Universities in the United States followed iv) He was kind of a nut (1) Often slept in library to be “closer to the books” v) He is responsible for getting the practice of law recognized as an academic profession rather than a trade (1) “The science of law is the study of learning the common law” (a) Very carefully read the judicial opinions (b) He thought of law as a science (i) Not an experimental science though vi) The very first case book on Contracts was put together by Langdell (1) Heavily focused on opinions made by English judges (a) Why not American judges? (i) He believed that English judges did a better job of “getting it [common law] right” (ii) He completely dismissed the American legal tradition as wrong (2) He also put together the first case book on Equity vii)He believed the ‘laboratory’ for law students studying the science of law was the law library viii) Langdell got ride of any of the professors at Harvard law who had actually practiced the American tradition of law (1) He would only hire people who were trained through his own system ix) These are the reasons why [Dow believes] that there are so many flaws in the Legal profession
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(1) He believes that Medical school is much more practical x) Langdell did not want anything to do with anyone who dealt with a social science background (1) He strictly wanted people who studied his way of the law d) Legal Realists i) 1920-30s
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course CJ 275 taught by Professor Dow during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Chapter_3 - CJ 275 Chapter 3 Legal Profession Richard Abels...

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