The Green Bag
agency for moulding public opinion, that of public office, an agency which is more in the position of an instrument than of a rival of the legal profession. Let us now turn to one of the chief rival agencies, that of the universities. Apart from their great function of training the youth of the country, the universities exert an important influence on the intellectual life of the nation. They turn out a large mass of scientific and literary production every yearwhich is not the less influential because it may reach only a limited public. The legal profession of course has nothing to compare with it. The lawyer's leisure for research, when he is qualified to undertake it, is limited, and the circu lation of his productions is not facilitated by a subsidized press. Leaving out of account such university teachers as may indeed be characterized as having the legal mind, whether they happen to be law professors or teachers of political science, economics, sociology, or history, the faculties of the universities cannot be claimed to possess higher intellectual standards and capacities than eminent judges and leaders of the bar, and it must be confessed that there is much writing by lay professors on subjects which could be handled more compe tently by lawyers of capacity. It would aid in the study of history, and of con temporary social questions, if the legal mind could engage more actively in the work of university instruction and inves tigation. It is fortunate that there are many lawyers not only in the facul ties but also among the presidents and governing boards of these institutions, who are naturally sensitive to the opinions of colleagues within their own profession. Perhaps there is the possi bility of the lawyer obtaining an in creased share in the responsibilities of university management.
With regard to the universities, the dependence of the lawyer upon them for intellectual stimulus is far greater than their dependence upon him for guidance, and any survey of the intel lectual influence of the lawyer which left this debt out of account would be incomplete. In fact the relation of the bar to the universities may be made one of more earnest support for their higher undertakings, and an intelligent bar can do much to promote both in its own ranks and among the general pub lic the sort of attitude toward their activities that ought to exist. Of the remaining agencies none is more significant than the daily press, which is too often a force retarding intellectual progress and actually seek ing low levels. The ablest newspapers are closely in touch with the legal pro fession and disposed to place their ser vices at its command on proper occa sions. Their editorials are frequently marked by the clearness of thought, the deliberateness of judgment, of the writer who, if not a lawyer, is likely to be a man of legal training. The legal pro fession has nothing to fear from the influence of the editorial opinions of a competent public press, and any moral pressure it may exert to correct the faults of superficiality and misconcep tion of second-rate newspaper writing is sure to be worth while. Lawyers who send letters to the press correcting false impressions likely to arise from the hurried treatment of news, or throw ing light on perplexing public issues, are performing a public service and are adding to the effectiveness of the papers that print such letters. Toward the news columns of newspapers, however, the attitude of the bar cannot be of the same complacency. They may justly complain of the ill effects of the tawdry sensationalism which obliterates the