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This attractive little booklet invites comment as to both its subject matter and the circumstances that gave it birth. It comprises a report by a committee of one of the leading bar associations of New York State, and indeed of the country, based upon careful research into the operation of the extensive and involved system of courts of that state. It comes at a crucial time when New York is once again engaged in a study of its courts looking to the improvement of the administration of justice. Judicial reform unfortunately does not generate its own steam. Unless there is some outside stimulus, the ordinary political forces of a state are not likely to produce changes of serious moment. So the history of English judicial reform has been a long demonstration of the triumph of lay pressure over the conservatism of both bench and bar. And in the more recent New Jersey reorganization, lay support proved invaluable. But surely we are in an unfortunate pass if we must rely solely upon some nonprofessional impetus for improvement in our courts. After all, both the professional skill and the leadership of the lawyer are needed here perhaps more than in any other area of social or governmental activity. It is heartening to see that bar associations are more and more recognizing this responsibility and rising to meet its challenge. This bar association is playing a notable part in the current movement in New York; and it is significant that the first Director of Research for this particular project, Mr. Leland L. Tolman, is now leaving the service of federal court administration to become the Deputy Administrator of the newly organized State Administrative Office for its busy Metropolitan area.

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Book Review: Bad Housekeeping: The Administration of the New York Courts, 65 Yale Law Journal 279 (1955)

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