« AnteriorContinuar »
PRINCIPALLY SELECTED FROM DECISIONS OF
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN COURTS
JAMES BROWN SCOTT
"The law of nations is naturally founded on this principle, that differ.
AMERICAN CASEBOOK SERIES
WILLIAM R. VANCE
WEST PUBLISHING COMPANY
Inscribed to the Memory of
Instructor of International Law in Harvard University who taught me to love the law of nations,
and, in doing so, to love him
The first of the American Casebook Series, Mikell's Cases on Criminal Law, issued in December, 1908, contained in its preface an able argument by Mr. James Brown Scott, the General Editor of the Series, in favor of the case method of law teaching. Until 1915 this preface appeared in each of the volumes published in the series. But the teachers of law have moved onward, and the argument that was necessary in 1908 has now become needless. That such is the case becomes strikingly manifest to one examining three important documents that fittingly mark the progress of legal education in America. In 1893 the United States Bureau of Education published a report on Legal Education prepared by the American Bar Association's Committee on Legal Education, and manifestly, the work of that Committee's accomplished chairman, William G. Hammond, in which the three methods of teaching law then in vogue that is, by lectures, by text-book, and by selected cases-were described and commented upon, but without indication of preference. The next report of the Bureau of Education dealing with legal education, published in 1914, contains these unequivocal statements:
“To-day the case method forms the principal, if not the exclusive, method of teaching in nearly all of the stronger law schools of the country. Lectures on special subjects are of course still delivered in all law schools, and this doubtless always will be the case. But for staple instruction in the important branches of common law the case has proved itself as the best available material for use practically everywhere.
The case method is to-day the principal method of instruction in the great majority of the schools of this country."
But the most striking evidence of the present stage of development of legal instruction in American Law Schools is to be found in the special report, made by Professor Redlich to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, on "The Case Method in American Law Schools.” Professor Redlich, of the Faculty of Law in the University of Vienna, was brought to this country to make a special study of methods of legal instruction in the United States from the standpoint of one free from those prejudices necessarily engendered in American teachers through their relation to the struggle for supremacy so long, and at one time so vehemently, waged among the rival systems. From this masterly report, so replete with brilliant analysis and discriminating comment, the following brief extracts are taken. Speaking of the text-book method Professor Redlich says:
“The principles are laid down in the text-book and in the professor's lectures, ready made and neatly rounded, the predigested essence