The death of Dean Thayer, singularly enough, came at the close of hundred years of law instruction in the University. On September fourth, 1815, the Corporation voted to establish the Royal all Chair of Law and appointed Isaac Parker to fill it; and two years later a law school was organized as a separate department. From this small beginning the School grew through penury and even opposition to some strength and influence, as the name of Judge Story on its Faculty amply shows. It gave system and dignity to the otherwise disorganized study of law in ante-bellum days.
The great growth and influence of the Law School, however, came under the regime of President Eliot and Dean Langdell, when the case system was evolved,-the system now in use by most law schools in this country. A recent noted investigator from Vienna expressed the opinion that students were probably better prepared in the University for the actual practice of their profession than anywhere wlse in the world. Since Langdell took control in 1871, the Law School has to its credit not only the evolution of the case system, but also the creation of an academic, non-practising group of teachers of law, and the elevation of standards for the law degree. These achievements have profoundly influenced the legal education of the country. Langdell, Ames, and Thayer are the leading names in this evolution. It will not be easy to find a successor to them, for the position has grown in their hands to one of the foremost magnitude. The Law School enters upon its second century facing a great loss in leadership. May that loss be retrieved, and may be next hundred years in the Law School's history be as full of achievement as the last.