Document Type


Publication Date



If the conventional measure of a generation in family life could be applied in tracing the history of an academic institution, it would be easy to delimit the scope of this lecture as devoted to the first two generations of the law school of The Catholic University of America. To be precise, however, it must be clear that it is the period from 1895 to 1954 that is under review. These were not fifty-nine years of glorious achievement. On the contrary, during these years, as will become evident, the school was several times near dissolution. The bright spots in its record reflect largely the continuing hope of its faculty for the realization of ideals that in the name of the university could never be relinquished but that, alas, were never to receive the material support that might have permitted their attainment. It is only since 1954, in its third generation, that the school has found materially firmer prospects. Its early vicissitudes would be of little interest in themselves except that they illustrate certain aspects of the development of legal education in the country as well as on the campus. But of more than historic interest are the concepts that the deans and the faculty employed in defining the university's role in legal education. These will continue to have relevance for the discussions of what is by now a fourth generation.