Harvard Law Review.
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An interesting article by Professor Gray on "Cases and Treatises," in the September-October number of the " American Law Review,"* written partly in answer to Mr. Bishop's address on "The Common Law as a System of Reasoning," recently published in that magazine, discusses, among other things, the comparative value of adjudged cases and text-books as instruments of legal education, and corrects several misunderstandings as to the method of instruction in the Harvard Law School.
After premising that the " case system " requires a certain amount of intelligence in teacher and student, and a certain amount of time for its satisfactory employment, — probably two years, at least, — Mr. Gray continues : —
" Most of the criticism that has been raised by the study of cases in the Harvard Law School has been really aimed at the subjects which have been selected for study," with " this imfortunate result, that the method has shared in a disapproval, whose only real object was the choice of subjects for the application of the method.
" One other misunderstanding has arisen from a mere verbal sim- ilarity. ' I do not believe in case lawyers,' it has been said to me more than once, as if that were a knock-down argument against the meinod of study by cases. By a * case lawyer,' I suppose, is generally meant a lawyer who has a great memory for the particular circum- stances of cases, but who is unable to extract the underlying principles. But the ' case system ' has no tendency to produce lawyers of that type. It makes no effort and offers no inducement for the student to charge his memory with the names or the facts of particular cases. It uses the case merely as material from which the student may learn to extract the underlying principles.
" I have used the expression * case system,' but I do not like it, for it suggests a hide- bound and stereotyped mode of instruction. Nothing can be further from the truth. No scheme of teaching affords a greater scope for individuality. To Professor Langdell belongs the credit of introducing the method at Cambridge ; but the styles of teach- ing of the different professors are as unlike as possible. We agree only in making cases, not text-books, the basis of instruction. . . .
" And I am far from thinking that the method of case study as prac- tised at Cambridge is the final word on legal education. The im- provement in the art of education in the last quarter of a century has been great. I do not believe that improvement has come to an end.
��' aa Amer. L. R. 756.