Title: the path of the law
I agree-title: learning, understanding and mastery of the right
• Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Publication date: 2009
• ISBN: 978-1933230-08-5
The thoughtful reader of the path of the law will enjoy the feeling of having her side a guide, philosopher and teacher who guides him carefully to learn, understand and master the law. To read and reread this book is to experiment taking a great master some of the things I learned and become excited about the subject too.
The path of the law presents the conclusions drawn from Holmes after more than 30 years of observation, thought and the practice of law. He probably wrote this essay to further discuss began in his most famous publication, the Common Law. The way the law was written not as a manual on the practice of law, but a manual to show students how to think like a lawyer; What does it mean to be a good lawyer; and what does it mean to have a successful law career.
What is this book?
Of course, many changes and improvements have taken place in the legal profession and legal education since Holmes wrote this essay in 1897. But in this book, Holmes isn’t concerned with the practical learning minute details on the law: “the theory is my subject, unfamiliar details. Have been improved the teaching mode from my time, but the ability and industry exceeds the material in any way. Theory is the most important part of the doctrine of the law, as the architect is the most important man who participates in the construction of a house “.
Who is Holmes?
Holmes was able to talk about American law with great authority. After graduating from Harvard with his law degree, he taught law. He served for 20 years on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Then he was appointed to the United States Supreme Court as an associate justice, where he worked for 30 years. Despite his fancy titles and very extensive experience, Holmes never speaks to the reader of this book. Holmes ‘ obvious love of the law and his desire to help others understand this attraction comes through loud and clear reader. Holmes uses many examples to understand everything the essay to make the point.
The “bad man Theory” and “Morality vs law”
The quality and simplicity of writing Holmes is reason enough to attract readers-especially law students. His illustrations are obviously chosen from the extensive experience and are as vivid images flashed on the screen in thumbnail. Everyone’s favorite illustration is usually Holmes ‘ explanation of his “bad man’s theory”. Holmes explains that a bad man has as much reason as good for wanting to avoid a meeting with the public force, and then you can see the practical importance of the distinction between law and morality “. In other words, a bad man will want to know just what material will the consequences of his behaviour; He will not be motivated by morals or conscience. This example sets the stage for most of the book. Holmes puts a lot of effort to give examples of differences between law and morality.
History and tradition
A large portion of the book discusses the importance of history, or tradition, as an important part of the study of law. Holmes tells us that “the rational study of the law is still to a large extent the study of history. History should be a part of the study, because without it we cannot know the exact scope of the rules that it’s our business to know. Is a part of the study rationale, because it is the first step towards an enlightened skepticism, namely towards a deliberate reconsideration of the value of those rules. ”
This book is not exceeded?
The hurried reader might assume that this book was written a long time ago of any practical use for modern law student or a lawyer. But a careful reader will quickly realize that Holmes has a lot to offer us today. Holmes resumes his whole book in two short paragraphs:
“Take it for granted that doesn’t listen to my you misunderstand what I say as the language of cynicism. The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. His story is the story of the moral development of the breed. The practice of it, despite the popular pranks, tends to make good citizens and good men. When I emphasize the difference between law and morality to do so with reference to a single purpose, to learn and understand the law. To do this they must master his specific marks definitely, and for that I ask you to imagine yourself indifferent to major and other things. ”