LH 16 | Lawyering in the Gilded Age

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LH 16 | Lawyering in the Gilded Age

  1. 1. Professor Bernard Hibbitts<br />University of Pittsburgh School of Law | Fall 2010<br />Lawyering: A History<br />
  2. 2. Lawyering in the Gilded Age<br />
  3. 3. Part I: Transforming the Bar<br />
  4. 4. Unprecedented growth<br />
  5. 5. Per capita GNP<br />
  6. 6. Railroads<br />
  7. 7. Iron and steel <br />
  8. 8. Technology<br />
  9. 9. Capitalists and “robber barons”<br />
  10. 10. Workers<br />
  11. 11. Immigrants<br />
  12. 12. Urbanization<br />
  13. 13. More lawyers<br />1851 21, 979<br />1870 40,736<br />1880 64,137<br />1890 89,630<br />1900 114,460<br />
  14. 14. New practice areas<br />
  15. 15. Corporations<br />
  16. 16. Government regulation<br />
  17. 17. Challenges of corporate practice<br />
  18. 18. Law firms<br />
  19. 19. “Large” law firms in New York City<br />1872 10<br />1882 23<br />1892 39<br />1903 64<br />
  20. 20. Law firm libraries<br />
  21. 21. Law firm staff<br />
  22. 22. The Cravath system<br />
  23. 23. From courtroom to boardroom<br />
  24. 24. Corporate lawyers<br />
  25. 25. Samuel C.T. Dodd<br />
  26. 26. James Dill<br />
  27. 27. Law is a business and if a young man wants to practice it, the sooner he makes up his mind to do so with an eye single to some particular branch of it, the better lawyer he will become…. Some years ago I wanted to practice [corporation] law. My two partners would not consent. We separated. They are doing a business of about $6000 per year each, while I am doing ten times as much or more.<br />
  28. 28. John G. Johnson<br />
  29. 29. Reservations and concerns<br />
  30. 30. At Hill’s I should grow as fast as my nature was capable of developing from the trying of small cases to the conduct of larger ones, while at Field’s from the immensity of the issues involved I should always be in the background. At Mr. Field’s I must in reality be for years an office lawyer, and where was there ever to be an opportunity of becoming anything else?<br /> - John Sterling, 1868<br />
  31. 31. …some judicious American observers hold that since the Civil War there has been a certain decadence in the Bar of the great cities. They say that the growth of enormously rich and powerful corporations, willing to pay vast sums for questionable services, has seduced the virtue of some counsel whose eminence makes their example important.<br /> - James Bryce, 1888 <br />
  32. 32. In great corporations the lawyer is but an auxiliary, something of a seamstress in the house of industry, to patch up the broken places. His employers no longer regard him with reverence and respect, as was once their wont; to the contrary, it is assumed that he should be grateful that he receives employment and he is expected to cringe with much obeisance in the presence of those who can make him or unmake him. This is rapidly leading to where…men of affairs settle disputes among themselves.<br /> - James Hamilton Lewis, “The End of Lawyers”, 1905 <br />
  33. 33. Accidents and tort law<br />
  34. 34. Injured workers<br />
  35. 35. Personal injury lawyers<br />
  36. 36. Contingency fees<br />
  37. 37. The stratified bar<br />
  38. 38. New groups at the bar<br />
  39. 39. 1869 Iowa<br />1872 DC<br />1873 Illinois<br />1875 Wisconsin<br />1878 California<br />1882 Massachusetts<br />1883 Pennsylvania<br />1886 New York<br />1898 Florida<br />Women admitted<br />
  40. 40. Carrie Kilgore<br />
  41. 41. Problems for women lawyers<br />
  42. 42. African-American lawyers<br />
  43. 43. 1844 Maine <br />1848 New York <br />1854 Ohio <br />1865 Pennsylvania <br />1868 Tennessee <br />1870 Michigan <br />1871 Alabama<br />1871 Georgia <br />1871 Virginia <br />1874 Iowa <br />1887 California <br />African-Americans admitted<br />
  44. 44. Problems for black lawyers<br />
  45. 45. Immigrant lawyers<br />
  46. 46. Canadians?!<br />
  47. 47. John Lawson<br />
  48. 48. Mississippi bound<br />
  49. 49. Lawyer-children of immigrants<br />
  50. 50. Legal aid societies<br />
  51. 51. How did the economic and social circumstances of the “Gilded Age” shape American lawyering?<br />Why practical advantages did “large” law firms have in the late nineteenth century legal marketplace?<br />How were the corporate lawyers “different” than many of their predecessors, and why did this concern some conservative and traditional members of the bar?<br />To what extent was personal injury law the child of technology?<br />Why were immigrants – and immigrant lawyers –considered dangerous to American values?<br />Review questions<br />
  52. 52. Tomorrow…Disciplining the Bar!<br />
  53. 53. Lawyering in the Gilded Age<br />
  54. 54. Professor Bernard Hibbitts<br />University of Pittsburgh School of Law | Fall 2010<br />Lawyering: A History<br />

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