“While America was being colonized, that is from 1607 to 1776, those who were
interested in pursuing a career in law had to go to England and attend Inns of Court
for their legal training. These inns where far from schools, but were merely part of the
English law society and help students familiarize themselves with English law. It was
common for people who wanted to be lawyers to undertake a clerkship or an
apprenticeship with somebody already established in the legal world. Once America
became United States of America independent from the British the rules and
regulations for becoming a lawyer were very lax and the number of people who
became lawyers sky rocketed. The most common way for someone to enter the legal
world was by apprenticeship. But as time went on law schools were established at
various law offices which focused on training. The 1st school was Litchfield School in
Connecticut in 1784 and focused on commercial law. Colleges slowly added law as
part of their course offerings, but it was not until 1817 that Harvard University
established the 1st independent law school. From 1850 to 1900 the number of law
schools grew from 15 to 102. These schools did not require that students hold an
undergraduate degree when entering and it was norm for the program to be
completed in 1year. However in the late 1800s there were more and more 2year
programs. The teaching of law went through a radical change in Harvard University.
Students who did not already have an undergraduate degree had to take an entrance
exam. By 1871 the course was 2years long and by 1876 it was 3years long. At the end
of the 1st year there was a comprehensive exam that had to be passed if the student
wanted to continue on to the next year of study. The most dramatic change which is
still in practice today is the way teaching is done. Instead of listening to lectures
students studied cases. From the cases that were studied students were expected to
understand the principles of law. What they meant and how they developed. Teaching
followed the ancient Greek style Socratic questioning so students would discover the
foundations of the laws represented by each case. As the need for more lawyers grew
by the late 1800s the number of law schools that opened also grew. Not a lot of money
was needed to open a law school and as a result several were opened. There were
even night schools for studying law many of which had lawyers and judges as
teachers. A problem with many of the schools that opened was that the standards were
low and the material studied had an emphasis on what was customary in a specific
region. The most important contribution of this is that studying law became available
to everybody and not just the rich of the upper class. By the turn of the century there
was a dramatic increase in the number of people studying law. By 1960s schools had
to be selective in who they permitted entrance. To better represent the nation law
schools began to look for female and minority students. The curriculum was changing
too. Civil rights along with poverty issues along with international law was being
1. What is the main topic of the lecture?
A The history of the law system in America.
B The difference between British law schools and American law schools.
C The development of education laws in America.
D The history of law schools in America.
2. According to the lecture, which of the following is NOT mentioned as main
changes in the late 19th century at Harvard University?
A Some applicants were required to test an entrance examination to get admitted to
B Case studies became the main method of teaching.
C Studying law became a 3 year endeavor.
D Students should pass the comprehensive examination to graduate from the school.