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In 1878 so important had this question of the collegiate education of the intending medical student become that an association of medical practitioners was formed for the purpose of carrying on the propaganda. Those who thus advocated the necessity of a college course do not appear to have desired the student to study the sciences such as is taught in the schools the Germans call "real," when using that term
THE LEARNED PROFESSIONS IN GERMANY AND FRANCE.
Population of German Empire (1888)
DIAGRAM 1.-Showing movement of the enroll
ment in the faculties of law, medicine, and theology, in twenty-two German universities dur ing thirteen years.
[Compiled by writer for Report of 1888-89, vol. 2, pp. 837-913.]
49, 421, 064 37,930, 759
DIAGRAM 2.-Showing movement of the enrollment in the state faculties of law, medicine, and theology in France during eight years.
[Compiled by same hand from the Report of French Department of Higher Education 1888, issued once in ten years.]
Including candidates 6400
in the compound word "real-schulen," for the classical or literary training seems to be preferred to the merely scientific. But the point to be remarked is that these practitioners draw a sharp distinction between the general development of the understanding and the training for a special pursuit. Nevertheless, the alternative of a longer term of study, indicated by Drs. Ware, Bigelow, and Holmes, as a substitute for a course in the humanities seems to be the direction along which the American professional schools are moving.
The intellectual equipment possessed by the majority of the attendance at professional schools of the United States about the year 1880 was succintly characterized as "fresh from the high school, academy, the farm, or the backwoods." Dr. Pepper, in making this statement, had in mind the attendance at the medical schools, but an evidence of the supreme reliance in America on mother wit in the
learned profession of law is given in the constitution of Indiana. By that instrument "every voter is entitled to practice law in the courts of the State." On the other hand, we find Harvard University refusing to admit into its celebrated law department those who are not graduates of a college, and State after State is now
1 Higher Medical Education the True Interest of the Public and of the Profession, by William Pepper, A. M., M. D., professor of clinical medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, p. 12. 2 Constitution.
requiring an apprenticeship in an office or graduation from a law school, very little consideration being given to the potentialitics of mother wit unrefined.'
The repeated and explicit denunciation by the great national medical and law associations of the short cuts into the practice of medicine and law leave no room for referring to the matter in veiled language. Foreign Governments are taking cognizance of the facts and are inclined to regard American licenses and diplomas as of uncertain value. The profession of medicine has pushed up the standard of the schools of that profession from "two years" to four years; but the profession of law has not succeeded nearly so well. This appears to be natural when it is considered that the advance made by the medical profession is due to the creation and use of a new police power or body by the several States, generally called a State board of health or examiners. Nothing of this kind has been done to any great extent in the case of law. Frequently, indeed, it is the supreme court of a State that makes the arrangements for admitting members, its own officers, "to the bar;" but in other instances the case of Pennsylvania, for example-it is the local court that has complete jurisdiction. But wise precautions are being made against this unevenness of tests even within the same State. West Virginia, during 1897, determined to send all applicants for admission to the bar to the faculty of the law department of her State University, though leaving full power in the hands of the supreme court, while New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin have a "State board of examiners" or a permanent "standing committee." It is believed that the Supreme Court of the United States has taken no steps to fix the qualifications of those who are to be admitted to practice in the Federal courts, which are, it is believed, subject to the Federal Government in matters of organization.2 To show the scope of the inquiry, and to testify to the uniform courtesy which the interrogations of the Bureau received at the hands of the attorneys-general and the presidents of the State boards of health or of examiners, the reply from Massachusetts is given as a fit introduction to the tabulation which follows. Others equally
1 In Chapter VI of second volume of Commissioner's Report for 1889-90 there is a compilation of the opinions given both at Harvard and other universities, and also a statement of the action taken at Columbia in regard to shortening the collego curriculum for intending medical students.
2 The duty of ascertaining the fitness of applicants for admission to practice at the bar of this Territory, says Mr. John W. Shartel, to whom the attorney-general of Oklahoma courteously referred the Commissioner's inquiry, rests with the district courts. There is no specific requirement as to the mode of discharge of this duty. The qualifications of the applicants depend largely upon the individual judgment of each court, and I believe it is the uniform practice of the courts of the Territory at the present time, when a motion is made for admission of a person to the bar, to appoint a committee of members of the bar, who conduct the examination of the applicant in open court and ply him with questions, and the committee then makes its recommendation; and in view of such recommendation, and in view of the court's observations of the answers of the applicant, the court then determines for itself whether the applicant shall be admitted. There being no restriction on the power of the court in respect to the admission of attorneys to practice law, the way is open for a very low standard of professional qualifications, though from my own personal observation for the last four or five years I believe the courts have generally required at least a fair exhibition of merit on the part of the applicant before admitting him. (Extract from letter to Commissioner of Education by reference from Hon. C. A. Calbreath, attorney general for Oklahoma, in response to the following letter:)
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF EDUCATION,
Attorney-General (or President Board of Health). DEAR SIR: Permit me to ask your attention to the inquiries made herewith. I am in receipt of many letters from abroad which ask for the conditions under which graduates of foreign faculties of law are admitted to practice in the United States. As cach State has its own regulations respecting such matters, I find it necessary to ask for certain information from you regarding the rules now governing the admission to the bar [to practice medicine] in your State. Such other information as your convenience may allow you to favor this Bureau with will promote, I am sure, the object the inquiries have in view.
A franked envelope is inclosed, which will carry your reply free of postage.
interesting are at hand, and the difficulty is to make a selection; but it will be noticed that Mr. Fox speaks from intimate experience.
BOSTON, MASS., August 23, 1897. DEAR SIR: The attorney-general has referred to me, probably because of my experience as bar examiner, your letter of August 12, making certain inquiries concerning admission to the bar in this State, and I take pleasure in answering your questions in their order.
1. Application for admission to the bar is made by petition to the supreme judicial court or to the superior court. The applicant embodies in his petition the statutory requirements, i. e., that he is a citizen of this Commonwealth, or an alien who has made primary declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and that he is of the age of 21 years, and prays that he may be admitted to practice as an attorney if found to be qualified. By rule of court the petition for admission must be accompanied by the recommendation of a member of the bar, and the clerk with whom the petition is filed gives public notice of the petition by advertisement in the papers. The petition is then referred to the bar examiners, who hold, as a rule, two examinations in each county in each year.
2. As to the effect of a diploma: All candidates, whether graduates of a lawschool or not, are required to pass an examination. As a matter of practice the examiners are accustomed to ask the preliminary question whether the applicant is a graduate of any law school, and that fact is treated by them as of some weight. That it is not of controlling weight is shown by the fact that quite a number of lawschool graduates are rejected at every examination.
3. I can not say that knowledge of the civil law would be regarded as of any weight with the examiners. I am quite sure that no questions of civil law, except as incorporated in the common law, are ever put.
4. A member of the bar of another State files his petition for admission to this bar like any other applicant, stating, however, the fact that he has been admitted to practice in some other State, and his petition is referred to the bar examiners; but he is not subjected to a new examination unless his admission to the bar has been so recent as to excite suspicion. The statute upon this question is this:
Public Statutes, chapter 159, section 38: A person admitted as an attorney or counsellor of the highest judicial court of any other State of which he was an inhabitant, and who afterwards becomes an inhabitant of this State, may be admitted to practice here upon satisfactory evidence of his good moral character and his professional qualifications."
5. The applicant must be an inhabitant of the State and a citizen, or an alien who has made the primary declaration, and he must be a person of good moral character. The recommendation of a member of the bar is accepted as evidence of this last qualification unless objection is made.
6. I do not think it is the practice of the examiners to inquire as to the general education of the applicant as distinguished from his professional education. Undoubtedly the applicant's command of English, as shown by his examination paper, is of weight.
7. There is no positive requirement as to the term of professional study, and no preference is shown as between law school and office. The result depends for the most part upon the examination, which is intended to be thorough. The bar examiners have generally felt that a legal education could hardly be acquired in less than three years, the length of the course in each of our law schools; and we have intended to make it pretty hard for an applicant to pass a satisfactory examination who showed less than three years' study.
8. Until the present year the bar examiners have been appointed by the supreme judicial and superior courts for each county in the State; but by the act of 1897, chapter 508, the justices of the supreme judicial court are to appoint hereafter five bar examiners, who are to examine all applicants for admission to the bar throughout the State. Upon their favorable report the applicant is admitted "unless the court shall otherwise determine."
9. The supreme judicial court and the superior court are alone authorized to grant petitions for admission to the bar.
Very truly, yours,
The COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION,
Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.