It is interesting to compare the living conditions in the three most important schools of the University. In Vanderbilt Hall and at the School of Business Administration the students are offered rooms and eating facilities in a congenial environment, calculated to make their term of preparation for professional life as attractive and stimulating as possible. The lot of the law student is quite different. Aside from the negligible fraction who succeed in getting the few available dormitory rooms, the students are forced to shift for themselves. With the closing of the Union at the end of this year the last opportunity for sharing the University commons will be denied the members of the Law School.
An extension of the University building program to the Law School would alleviate this Spartan regime of bad food and dismal lodgings. The present ordeal seems hardly to inculcate an overpowering enthusiasm for the law. It might even be suggested that a portion of the thirty per cent mortality of every first year class is due more to discouragement and loneliness, caused by the physical obstacles of the present environment rather than to any mental hurdle set by the faculty.
The student in the law school more than in any other branch of the University needs the advantages of that free and easy association and the exchange of ideas with his fellows, which only thrives where men live and eat together intimately and on comparatively equal terms. The situation is now manifestly unfair with the richer men living in luxurious apartments and those not quite so well off scattered in all sorts of lodging houses. Similarly with the eating question; those men with friends and sufficient means eat regularly at law clubs or together in certain restaurants, but the many men without friends or much money are driven to eating around alone at quick lunch places.
The erection of comfortable and convenient living quarters for the law students is a project that would reap substantial benefits. The imaginary fear that such paternalistic pampering would soften the moral fibre of the future lawyers is more than offset by the relief of a crowded and inadequate housing situation.