Document Type



Judicial Organization and Procedure, 26 American Political Science Review 470 (1932)


The Self-Governing Bar. "In the large city of today, there are thousands
of lawyers, but there is no bar."' With this remark, Roscoe Pound
five years ago called attention to the situation which had resulted in the
United States from the absence of a corporate profession equipped to administer discipline and govern itself. The presence in all communities of
lawyers whose character or equipment rendered them unfit to practice
had brought the entire profession into disrepute and had contributed
largely to the encroachment of banks, trust companies, and other lay
agencies upon the legal field. Absence of adequate organization representative
of the entire bar prevented the lawyers of the country from
exerting effective influence and leadership in politics and government -a
weakness which manifested itself particularly in attempts to obtain
legislation designed to improve the administration of justice through procedural
reform, court reorganization, or changes in substantive law. Leaders
of the profession have time and again asserted that the United States
is the only progressive nation in the world without an integrated, selfgoverning
bar. "In no state," remarked James Bryce, "does there exist
any body resembling the English Inns of .Court, with the right of admitting
to the practice of public advocacy and of exercising a disciplinary
jurisdiction; and in few have any professional associations resembling
the English Incorporated Law Society obtained statutory recognition....
Being virtually an open profession, like stockbroking or engineering, the
profession has less of a distinctive character and corporate feeling than
the barristers of England and France have, and perhaps less than the
solicitors of England have."

Date of Authorship for this Version



self-governing bar, organization