27 J. Am. Jud. Soc. 25 (1943-1944)
The Findability of the Law

handle is hein.journals/judica27 and id is 27 raw text is: THE FINDABILITY OF THE LAW

decent assault, assault on peace officer, keeping,
or being an inmate of, a disorderly house, bet-
ting and pool selling, three card monte and
fraud in regard to collections of railway fares
and tolls.
In certain districts, the sheriff is required
to return a panel of petit jurors composed one
half of persons speaking the English language,

and one half of persons speaking the French
language, and in any district, the prisoner may
upon arraignment move that he be tried by a
jury entirely composed of jurors speaking the
English language, or entirely composed of
jurors speaking the French language. In crim-
inal matters a jury's verdict must be unan-

The Findability of the Law*

The year 1940 may be taken as the end of
an era in our American Jurisprudence. There
are at least three reasons why that is so. First,
because it marks the close of a century and a
half of Law under our existing American
juridical system. That fact alone has historical
significance and carries implications for the
practicing lawyer of today. Second, because we
lawyers are presently passing into what may
be called a new phase of the law. In that sense
it may fairly be said that during the first cen-
tury of our American Law, the courts and the
lawyers were chiefly concerned with problems
which required the establishing and formulat-
ing of legal rules and principles; * that the law
of the half century, which has recently ended,
has been largely concerned with the interpre-
tation and construction of those rules and prin-
ciples; while the problems of the lawyer for
the next half century will chiefly be concerned
with the application of those rules and prin-
ciples and with drawing sharp distinctions be-
tween them. That is one reason why adminis-
trative law is bound to be so important in the
coming era; because it is chiefly concerned with
the application of accepted rules and principles
of law to new and expanding fact-situations.
But there is a third reason why the old order
of our law is passing, and it is likely to be
very significant for the future: namely, that
the law, like every other field of human learn-
ing and endeavor, is bound to show a wide
cleavage with the past, as we emerge from the
vortex of several years of global war. Now
each of these three reasons has a close appli-
cation to the things about which we are talk-
ing today. Each of them is bound to influence
*Reprinted from the Chicago Bar Record, 24:272,
April, 1943.
tOf the Chicago bar; former managing editor,
American Bar Association Journal.

the law-practice of the future so far as our
law-book world is concerned. Let us consider
some of these things in more detail.
Every lawyer knows and feels that on its
substantive side there is a sort of glacial drift
of the law taking place before his eyes. He can
do very little to stop the drift or turn it in a
different direction; indeed, there is little that
any conscious human effort can do in that re-
gard. Deep and powerful forces are at work,
most of them (it is believed) for the future
good of the law. In any event, the lawyer can
only wonder what will be the form of the
.Corpus Juris Civilis in America when this legal
glacier comes to a stop.
But it is different with that part of the law
which has already taken its form and expres-
sion in the decisions. That rich and inexhaust-
ible mine is sometimes called the body of the
common law. From the point of view of the
practicing lawyer it is actually the future pot-
ter's clay of human justice; in that sense it
is the peculiar property and instrument- as
well as the particular trust--of the profession.
It is for that reason that the profession, theo-
retically at least, should be able to influence
and even dictate, the arrangement and pack-
aging of the law in the books; and thereby
modernize and increase its usefulness. This
the bar has done in the larger sense; it has
wielded a wide, though indirect influence on
the modern law-book world. Our splendid na-
tion-wide reporter system, for example, has
grown up and developed out of constant and
long-continued efforts to meet the realistic
needs of the profession. Our modern encyclo-
pedias, our comprehensive digests and our
major loose-leaf services, likewise, have all

JUNE, 1943]

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