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LESSER LEGAL LIGHTS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Harvard seems to leave a more or less definite mark upon her sons, some elusive quality often summed up in a general sort of way as "indifference", which serves to make them conspicuous among their fellows and usually in an unpleasant sense. At least this is the inference which might be taken from recent attacks on members and ex-members of the Harvard Law School. That some of them are incompetent and all of them are arrogant seems to be the cross-section of opinion in inferior court circles.

Such an impression is highly unfortunate, and strenuous measures of some kind should certainly be taken to correct it. Yet it seems hardly fair to put the blame wholly upon individuals, when the sweeping generality of the complaint is in itself proof that the fault lies rather with the institution. Obviously, men are being sent from the Law School out into the legal world with no knowledge of the truly important functions of the lower courts and a consequent lack of respect for the Bench.

The first assignments which come to junior members of large law firms have little to do with the business of influential clients but as a rule are confined to the indiscretions of their secretaries, and consequently the young lawyer must make a series of trying debuts under the judicial and slightly watery eye of the municipal court. With a view to preparation for these encounters the Law School might start a course of instruction in the proper deference to be accorded such magistrates, justices of the peace and others.

Such a course would have the added advantage of teaching the legal young man from the outset what it now takes him years of experience to learn--that in the case of petty officers of the law, the futility of arguing before them is only exceeded by that of arguing with them.

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