The tendency of development in academic circles today is to bring colleges and professional schools into closer touch with the community. Hitherto, educational institutions have been judged more by the quality of their instruction and the character of their students than they have by any standard of direct service to the community. Now, however, it has come about that the community is expecting something more than merely training for a selected group and is looking to the scholar for the solution of all sorts of problems. Consequently, in order to be a national institution bound by close ties to the whole community, a university must render direct service.
Harvard is fulfilling her part well in this direction. The Medical School has benefitted the whole world by its wonderful discoveries. The College, too, in matters of government, has shown its ability and eagerness to cope with practical problems. Now the Law School, already possessing a high international reputation because of the quality of its training and the spirit of its students, has taken through the students a significant step to give the community the advantages it possesses. Of course, the benefits of the new Legal Aid Bureau will be mutual, both the law students and the community benefitting by this novel plan.
The spirit that actuates the scheme is of the highest order. To further the ends of justice, not to dispense charity, is the fundamental motive for this new institution, and with such a purpose its success will be great. President Eliot recently delivered a speech in which he pointed out the duty of the Law School to lead in the movement to secure legal reform in this country. In the establishment of the Legal Aid Bureau to secure more equitable justice for all the students of the Law School have taken the first definite step in the direction President Eliot has pointed out. The effort to give to all the chance to secure fair treatment in the courts indicates that the Law School realizes the large chance for reform and is ready to help supply the remedy.