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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Engaged in gathering material and data, four clubs of the Harvard Law School are preparing their cases for the semi-final arguments of the Ames competition to be held on Thursday, November 22 and Friday November 23. On the first day, the Chafee and Warren Clubs will oppose each other, while on the second day, the Scott and Bryce Clubs will argue their cases. The magnificent new court-room of Langdell Hall, with a seating capacity of 800, will be inaugurated with these arguments.
Founded through a bequest of the late Dean James Barr Ames '68 LL.B. '70, the competition is now entering its eighteenth year. The bequest provides for prizes of $300 and $200 respectively to go to the winners and runners-up of the series of arguments. Since but four clubs are eligible for the semi-finals, the first two years are occupied in selecting the best clubs of a large field by the process of elimination on the basis of point evaluation.
Prominent Jurists to Preside
Leading Boston lawyers together with the highest ranking third year law men are invited to sit as judges on the arguments of the second year men. For the semi-finals and finals, prominent justices throughout the country are invited to preside. In the final arguments, moreover, subjects are taken up which are before, the higher law-courts of the country at that time.
In this year's semi-finals, E. T. Richards of Mt. Vernon, N. Y. and R. F. Carney of Milwaukee, Wisconsin speaking for the Chafee Club will argue against V. V. R. Booth of Bennington, Vermont and R. F. Young of Dayton, Ohio for the Warren Club. The other wing of the semi-final will find Edward Darling of Kingston, Pennsylvania and C. T. Lane of Richmond, Surrey County, England for the Bryce Club opposing C. A. Howard Jr. of Aberdeen, South Dakota and E. B. Hanley '27 of Seattle, Washington of the Scott Club. A unique feature of the arguments is the custom of distributing briefs to aid the audience in following the successive stages of the case. Briefs for the semi-finals of this year will be distributed a week in advance of the argument.
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