3 Docket Call 1 (1968)

handle is hein.journals/dcktcll3 and id is 1 raw text is: Published by Section of General Practice   American Bar Association  Volume III, Number 1

Is it necessary? . . . feasible? .... ..desirable?
Below is the text of the talk by John D. Randall, Sr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, former President of the A merican Bar
A ssociation and former Chairman of the General Practice Section, made at the National Institute Program in
Dallas last October, in which he places these questions in a thought-provoking perspective.

We are presently living in a technological age where
every effort is directed toward making our life one
of physical ease; and, a continuation of this course
will either result in total destruction or will result
in a life with the solo problem of determining how
to spend our leisure time.
The truths have caused certain of our brethren
to examine the legal profession to determine wheth-
er or not we will be able to fit into not only the lei-
sure life as it is expected to be lived in the distant
future, but also whether or not it fits into our pre-
sent society.
Whether the urge to establish the specialist
arises from the emphasis which is placed upon our
financial well being or as a means of establishing a
group who will be better able to fulfill a professional
responsibility in the leisure life is difficult to
It is my view that the basis upon which the
profession should determine the need is how we can
best serve the public. To do this we must first
examine ourselves and determine what we as lawyers
wish to exemplify; by that I mean, do we wish to be
a trade or do we wish to continue as a profession. If
it is our purpose to become a trade, then we should
hire efficiency experts to tell how to best run our
*At the annual meeting in Honolulu, the House of Delegates
authorized the Board of Governors to study the question of
specialization. A  committee thereafter was appointed,
chaired by Chesterfield H. Smith, Lakeland, Florida, and com-
posed of a broad representation from the Bar, including Ben
Dutton, member of the Council of the General Practice Sec-
tion. A report is expected at the Philadelphia meeting in
August of 1968.

business to make the engineers set up production
lines so that we can get the maximum return for the
minimum amount of effort.
It is my view that the present need is for the
lawyer as a professional man and not as a tradesman.
Dean Roscoe Pound defined a profession as a
dedication to public service, he observed:
By a profession, such as . .. law ... we mean much
more than a calling which has a certain traditional dig-
nity and certain other callings which in recent times have
achieved or claimed a like dignity. There is much more
in a profession than a traditionally dignified calling. The
term refers to a group of men pursuing a learned art as a
common calling in the spirit of public service-no less a
public service because it may incidentally be a means of
livelihood. Pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of
public service is the primary purpose.
Gaining a livelihood is incidental, whereas in a busi-
ness or trade it is the entire purpose....
It is interesting to note that our Bar Association
has been built upon the professional ideal. The
American Bar Association is not a trade association,
attempting to organize the profession for commercial
advantage. Since its inception, the American Bar
Association has been concerned with the advance-
ment of the science of jurisprudence, the administra-
tion of justice, and the improvements of our law. I
think this is significant for, if America is to grow in
the light of her ideals, her professional organization
must offer guidance and direction, as well as con-
structive criticism when we, as a Nation, fall short of
our principles. To so function, professional Associa-
tions must always remain free from the partisan
(Continued on page 3)

March, 1968

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