784 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE
(But an attorney stricken from the roll might be restored again, 2 Inst.
Westm. primer, cap. 29, 214.)
The Hon. Daines Barrington (generally no safe authority, Pulling O. of C.,
p. 12, 29, 114, 276) made a comment on the said 33 Hen. VI, cap. 7, that has
been quoted in our time: “the ignorance of the Parliament exceeding that of
While Coke did not criticise the bar (as far as we recall), but only the
attorneys, there were, at times, some limitation on the number of barristers,
e.g.,: in 1596 the judges and benchers, by arrangement, called in one year
only four utter-barristers (i.e., juniors) in any Inn of Court (Dugdale, Orig. c.
70, quoted O. of C. p. 120). Again in 1624, an order said that “the over-great
multitude in any vocation or profession does but bring the same into contempt;
and that an excessive number of lawyers may have a further inconvenience,
in respect of multiplying of needless suits; it is therefore ordered
"that there shall not be called to the Bar in any one year, above the number
of eight, or according to that proportion.” (Id. p. 121).
But students of English legal history will no doubt generally agree that
there are legal practitioners of various kinds.
Turning to America, the home for long periods of liberal policy on this
subject, the Carnegie Foundation and the American Bar Association have
issued some interesting booklets of surveys and statistics.
When we heartily welcome back the lawyers and law students from the
armed forces, they will find the ratio even more in their favour and business
However, there is always with us those dour members who believe—
some sincerely—that the legal professions are overcrowded at all times. But
it is plain that the impelling motives back of their opinions are not always
like those Lord Coke had.
A statement of such extreme views was given in a recent letter:
Law is no livelihood for anyone, unless one has gone into politics from
the start and then it is only a ‘job’ from it, and then only 1 to 1000 lands
that. Scores of well trained lawyers are in the larger centres with hardly
enough to live on and for every one bit of work 10 are after it—it is only
a fool’s chance in a crumbling business. They would be better off … as
Rather astonishing, coming from a very successful lawyer who owes his
undoubted prestige to long success in the lucrative practice of law. However,
it is far “too heavily charged with a negative condition” (to use an
unlearned friend’s irresponsible English), although there is a scintilla of
truth in it.