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He objects to a man carrying a case involving his character, his liberty and his franchise to the highest court, and at the same time, he demands that a man with a case involving a squabble over ten dollars shall have the right to take that case to the court of last resort. It seems to me that his position is inconsistent.
The question was put to the Association on the amendment offered by Judge Barrow, and the amendment was declared lost. The question was then submitted on the motion to adopt the report of the committee, and the motion was carried.
The Secretary: We all recognize the necessity for the relief of the Supreme Court. The fact that we have adopted this bill shows that we recognize that necessity, but unless we do something to bring about that relief more active than simply suggesting this bill, we might just as well not suggest it. We must do something to bring this matter properly to the attention of the Legislature. Now the best method of doing that I don't know, but I will make this suggestion, that the Chair appoint a committee of one hundred from this Association who shall be directed to appear before the Judiciary Committee in behalf of this bill and to urge its passage through the General Assembly.
Vice-President Meldrim (presiding): Do you think that will be large enough?
The Secretary: Yes, sir; I think so.
Mr. Flint: I move that the house resolve itself into a committee of the whole to urge the passage of this bill. As a substitute for the resolution offered by the Secretary, I move that the President of this Association be authorized to appoint a committee of eleven, one from each congressional district.
Mr. Powell: There should be some members from the State at large. I offer an amendment that there shall also be two members from the State at large together with the incoming President of the Association.
The amendment was accepted. The motion as amended was adopted.
Vice-President Meldrim: “The Secretary's Review of the Work of the State Bar Associations” is next upon the program.
(For the paper of the Secretary see Appendix G.)
Vice-President Meldrim: The report of the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform.
Mr. H. C. Peeples presented the report for the committee. (See Appendix H.)
Vice-President Meldrim: Report of the Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure.
The Secretary: A report has been sent in by the Chairman with the request that it be referred to some member of the committee. I handed it to Mr. Yeomans, who does not seem to be present at this moment.
On motion, it was ordered that the report of this committee be received later.
Vice-President Meldrim: The report of the Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.
Mr. H. W. Hill, the Chairman, presented the report. (See Appendix I.)
Mr. Morris: This matter has been before the Association in various forms. I had not intended to say anything upon the subject for the reason that the Chancellor of the University, with whom we are in full accord, has spoken for the Law Department. I am sorry that he is not here to-day. What I shall say I say for the members of the faculty of the Law Department. The Law Department endorses unqualifiedly the sug
gestions made by the committee, and hopes that the suggestions, of this committee will be adopted. Before the Association put in the two years course, the Trustees of the University had already made a two years course at the University. It was suggested that perhaps the officers of the University would object to have the curriculum and work reviewed by the State Board of Examiners; such an idea as that would be impossible with such men on the Board as Hons. Washington Dessau, J. R. Lamar and Alex C. King. I do not know Mr. Cronk personally and therefore I do not call his name. So far from thinking it any reflection upon us, we have been pleased with the idea. So far as the suggestions in the committee's report in reference to the bills introduced in the Legislature requiring the graduates of the University of Georgia to stand an examination before being admitted to the bar, there never has been a time in the history of that school when the graduates could not stand the examination required or had to fear the State Board examination. So far as the tests are concerned, they are not necessary and never have been. I would like for every member of this Association to know what we are doing every day, and it would only be necessary for you to know this to understand that we have nothing to fear from the examination. We claim that ours is a modern law school, a thing which has developed within the last fifteen years. It is not the old-fashioned law school that most of us went to, which does not fill the exigencies required of modern education. The law students have fourteen hours' lecture work per week for eighteen months. We have seventeen written examinations; marks are kept, and a student is required to make a certain percentage out of a possible 100 before a diploma is given. I say that a man who has passed through that mill does not require to stand an examination before the Board of Examiners. When it was suggested that
the graduates of the Law Department stand this examination, it presented no difficulties to our minds. Any man who goes through our final examinations need have no fear of passing your examination. But the present law is more in consonance with our ideas, that after a man has passed through a two years' curriculum approved by the officers of the State, then without further test he should be admitted to the bar. It is a recognition we feel we merit.
There is only one thing that I would like to suggest, and that is this: The effort that we are making to raise the standard of legal education in this State is handicapped by the fact that men can stand the bar examination without reading a sufficient length of time. I will give an example: We had three young men who entered with us in September, the 20th of September, who withdrew from our school the latter part of November, and stood the bar examination on the 10th of last December. We would have required eighteen months and they got through in two. One of them it is true had been there a short time before. I say it would be but fair to require every man who comes forward and offers himself to be a member of the bar, whether he comes out of a law school or not, to be able to show that he has read at least two years on regular systematic legal work. That is the only thing I would do. How are you going to have this systematic legal work? That is a difficulty that I can suggest probably without answering, which will occur to every mind at once, especially to every man who has taught or tried to teach law. The law can not be digested in twenty-four hours. The principles of the science have to come slowly, and with proper limitations on the schooling, the longer the time the better. He will digest more with easy hours. If a man can do so much work in fourteen hours a week from week to week, if he takes twenty-eight hours for half the time will it do as well ?
Certainly not. The man who makes that proposition shows that he does not know what he is talking about. You can not eat a week's food at a time and keep as well and strong as by eating the proper amount of food from day to day. So I say fix the same length of time during which he will have to read in a systematic way. He will digest more. I saw a squib in the newspaper about a man who bragged that he had read law for thirty days and stood the State Bar Examination. So far from that being evidence that he is a talented or smart man, it is exactly the opposite so far as I am concerned.
I have spoken somewhat emphatically, perhaps, but I feel deeply on this subject. I have given my best efforts for the past seven or eight years to this work. We have been conscientious in our efforts to raise the standard of legal education in this State, and I believe we have been partially successful. We do not ask this requirement of two years for the purpose of getting law students. We have passed the experimental stage. We have enough to support us and will have enough, so I speak more freely on this occasion. So far as the adoption of this report, so far as the endorsement of this report is concerned, I most heartily approve it; as representing the Law Department of the University of Georgia, I heartily approve it and thank the committee for their suggestions.
Vice-President Meldrim: The next is the report of the Grievance Committee.
The Secretary: Mr. Roland Ellis, the Chairman of that committee, is present, but as he does not seem to be in the hall just now, I think it would be well to pass that report.
Vice-President Meldrim: If there is no objection the report will be passed. Next is the Committee on Memorials.
Mr. Harrison: I received yesterday through the hands of the Secretary the roport of the Committee on Memorials