Essay Harv. L. Rev. 0

The Harvard Law Review — Glimpses of Its History as Seen by an Aficionado

On the occasion of its centennial, an alumnus reflects on the life of The Harvard Law Review

Erwin N. Griswold, The Harvard Law Review — Glimpses of Its History as Seen by an Aficionado, in Harvard Law Review: Centennial Album i (1987).

In the beginning there was the Harvard Law School, not quite sixty years old. It was, in the 1880s, experiencing a rebirth and showing new signs of considerable vitality. By this time the school had developed a considerable alumni body, which spurred much innovative activity contributing to this new vitality. The alumni had particularly demonstrated their spirit in November 1886, in connection with the 250th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College, which was celebrated with considerable fanfare.

One of the Law School’s alumni was a young man of great ability and unbounded energy named Louis D. Brandeis, who had received his degree from the Law School in 1877. He was active in working with other alumni to bring about the establishment of the Harvard Law School Association at a meeting held in Cambridge on November 5, 1886, and he was then elected the first secretary of the new Association. Among the speakers at this meeting was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who had recently been appointed to the bench of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. His well-known address at this meeting made a great impression on the students, as on the others who were in attendance. John H. Wigmore, then a student, later wrote that the celebration of the 250th anniversary “put pride into our hearts, and the conviction that the Harvard Law School had a message for the professional world.”

From the beginning. the School had encouraged law clubs in which groups of students gathered together for informal discussion of legal problems and formal argument of questions of law. In the anniversary setting of 1886, a group of eight third-year students formed a new law club, known as the Langdell Society, and out of this club the Harvard Law Review quickly developed. The idea of publishing a legal journal was not an original one. It was in the air, and no doubt would have taken shape sooner or later. But this was a remarkable group of students, and they felt moved to act because they would soon be leaving the Law School. They had seen a copy of the Columbia Jurist, which had been published for a few years at the Columbia Law School. The recently established Law Quarterly Review must also have been known in Cambridge at the time. In addition, students at the Albany Law School had published the Albany Law School Journal, which was established in 1875 but survived for only one year.

Other exciting changes were underway at the Law School at that time. The School had moved into its great new building, Austin Hall, in 1884, and it was developing rapidly under Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell’s leadership. One of the important innovations was the appointment to the faculty of several recent graduates of the Law School who lacked substantial experience in practice. The first of these young scholars was James Barr Ames of the Class of 1872. Ames was appointed Assistant Professor in 1873, and became a Professor of Law in 1877 at the age of thirty one. He later served as Dean of the Law School from 1895 to 1910. He was widely regarded as the scholar who perfected the case method of instruction, and he was greatly beloved by his students and admired by law teachers throughout the United States. Ames gave encouragement to the students in late 1886, and in early 1887 he contributed the first article in the first issue of the Review.

When the Review was founded in 1887, the Harvard Law School had about 200 students and five or six faculty members. The third-year class numbered no more than sixty-five or seventy students. Of them, fifteen were members of the original editorial board of the Law Review. What a group they were! J. McKelvey was most active among the founders, and he was the first Editor-in-Chief. Others on the original Board were Joseph H. Beale, Jr., who wrote an article on “Tickets” in the first issue, and Julian W. Mack—the business manager of the Review—who later served as a distinguished judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Board also included John H. Wigmore, later Dean of the Northwestern Law School and the author of one of the great treatises on American law, and Bancroft G. Davis, Blewett H. Lee, and George R. Nutter, all later distinguished practitioners. Nutter eventually became a partner of Brandeis in the firm of Brandeis, Dunbar & Nutter, and his name is still carried by the present firm of Nutter, McClennan & Fish.

McKelvey, Mack, and Beale were clearly the moving spirits of the Review. As Beale later recalled, they “went to the faculty with their plan [and] they found differing degrees of warmth in the support offered; but Ames approved without reserve, wrote the first leading article, and became the chief adviser and helper of the editors throughout his life.”

The masthead of the first issue looked much the same as it does now, except that the number of editors has increased enormously. In the first issue, the masthead page included a line which read “Published Monthly, during the Academic Year, by Harvard Law Students.” This has continued through the one hundred volumes with no substantial change. It now reads: “Published eight times during the academic year by Harvard law students.”One item on the first masthead page attracts attention today. It reads: “SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $2.50 PER ANNUM …35¢ PER NUMBER.”

With the opening of the new school year in the fall of 1887, there was some change in the membership of the Board of Volume 1. New members included Homer H. Johnson, who later became a prominent lawyer in Cleveland, and Samuel Williston, who was on his way to becoming one of the School’s most distinguished professors.

Of course, financial support for the Review was a major problem confronting the founders of the journal. At Professor Ames’ suggestion, “they went to Brandeis for advice and for funds to finance it. His immediate response was a gift of money, but he also put them in touch with other members of the Boston Bar who could be interested in the idea.” McKelvey went to New York and sought support from alumni there. In this way, the students obtained about three hundred subscriptions for the first issue. Only three years after the founding, in 1890, Brandeis found a way to assure financial support for the Review. He “brought about the distribution of the Review, at the expense of the [newly-founded Harvard Law School] Association, to each of its members.”

Very early, the Review, probably under the advice of Brandeis, found it desirable to introduce an element of continuity into its operations. On April 15, 1889, the Harvard Law Review Fund was established, with James B. Ames, Louis D. Brandeis, and George R. Nutter as trustees. The Review, referred to as “a co-partnership for the publication of the Harvard Law Review, a magazine of law published in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” transferred $250 to these trustees and their successors “as a trust fund for the benefit of the said Harvard Law Review.” The trust agreement, and an accounting, were printed in 1912 at the time of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Dinner of the Review.

The next, and more or less final, stage in the organization of the Review was the incorporation of the Harvard Law Review Association in 1902. Under the charter of this corporation, there are two officers, the President and the Treasurer; the President is elected by the members of the Editorial Board, and the President appoints the Treasurer. The charter makes the trustees of the Harvard Law Review Fund part of the corporate structure and allocates custody of the accumulated funds to the Graduate Treasurer. This organization has now continued for eighty-five years; it seems to have stood the test of time.

The Fund’s accumulated surplus has been important on several occasions. It has provided capital for major reprinting projects, and it has been useful when defaults might have threatened the survival of the Review. Defaults were a particular danger during the two war time periods, when costs sharply increased and revenues were reduced.

It is not known when the Harvard Law School Association ended its direct support for the Review. It was probably early in the twentieth century. Since that time, the Review has always been self-supporting, in the sense that it pays its bills out of its revenues. Its bills, however, do not include any fees, salaries, or stipends, either for authors or for student editors, and the Review‘s space (now in Gannett House), including repairs, painting, heat and light, care of grounds, and snow removal, are provided by the Law School.

During the 1920s and 1930s, paid circulation of the Review stood at about 10,000 copies of each issue. It is now somewhat less, about 8000 copies. This reduction is no doubt largely due to the great increase in subscription price, which is now $32 per year. There are now fewer individual subscribers, and most copies go to libraries, including university libraries throughout the world, and law office libraries throughout the United States.

The early editors of the Review were apparently self-selected; that is, when vacancies occurred at the close of the school year, they were filled by the remaining members of the Board. A considerable reorganization took place in 1902, when the size of the Board was increased from fifteen to thirty, and “[f]irst-year men were no longer elected.” In these earlier days, academic marks played a major role In the choice, but there was no fixed rule, and evidently there was occasionally some measure of favoritism and discrimination.

By the early 1920s, the Review had established a clear convention for selection. The President of the Review received from the Secretary’s office the rank list of students at the end of their first year, and the Review was required to follow the rank list in order, although the Review had discretion to decide where to stop on the list. This method enabled the editors to take account of ties in class rank, or to include one more person where the gap after him was considerable. It was clear, however, that there could be no omissions from the list above the cutoff point. Assuming that academic averages have some significance (and experience shows that they are reasonably accurate in measuring certain types of legal ability), this provided a remarkably nondiscriminatory method of selection of new Board members.

Until after World War II, the Board numbered about thirty-five members. This size was manageable and provided real work for nearly every member of the Board. In addition to the President and the Treasurer, there were for many years three other officers, the Note Editor, the Case Editor, and the Book Review Editor. Second-year editors generally wrote Recent Cases, and occasionally a few wrote Notes. Most Notes, however, were written by third-year members of the Board. The President took primary responsibility for the selection and editing of articles, but he often called on third-year members of the Board for assistance in this task.

Following World War II, the size of the Board gradually and steadily increased. The opening masthead of Volume 100 includes eighty-two names. The larger number of editors provides added laborers for the Review’s endeavors, but it probably also leaves the average member with less work to do than in years past. The growth in the size of the Board is, in large measure, a response to the greatly increased selectivity of admissions to the Law School. In the 1920s and early 1930s, about thirty percent of the members of the first-year class failed in their examinations and were not allowed to return to the School. The average academic standing of the seventy percent who did return was considerably less than the average academic standing today. Until 1936, the School accepted every applicant who came with a diploma from an “approved” college. In recent years, the School has had over 6000 applicants each year for the 550 places in the first-year class. Though admissions selection necessarily has some elements of chance, it is inevitable that the average potential of the student body is very much higher than it was fifty to sixty years ago or earlier. This development has produced great pressure for additional memberships on the Board. As the size of the Review has grown, various forms of affirmative action, and selection by a writing contest, have also been adopted. The writing competition was initiated by Volumes 82 and 83 in 1969, and affirmative action began under Volume 96 in 1982. Under all of the circumstances, these changes may have been inevitable. But there can be little doubt that some observers see a loss in the process, while others see a gain.

The first black member of the Review was Charles Hamilton Houston, LL.B. cum laude 1922, S.J.D. 1923, who served on Volume 35. The second black member was William Henry Hastie LL.B. cum laude 1930, a member of the Board of Volume 43, who later became Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Other black members of the Board have included William T. Coleman, Jr., J.D. magna cum laude 1943 (’46), later Secretary of Transportation, and current Harvard Law School Professors Christopher F. Edley, Jr. (Volume 90) and David B. Wilkins (Volume 93). As the Review enters its second century, it has just elected its first minority President, Raj Marphatia of Volume 101.

The first woman member of the Board was Priscilla Holmes, LL.B. 1955, who was on the Boards of Volumes 67 and 68. She was followed by Nancy Goldring, on the Board of Volume 69, by Nancy Boxley, on the Boards of Volumes 70 and 71, and by Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Board of Volume 71. The first woman President was Susan R. Estrich, President of Volume 90, and now a Professor at the Harvard Law School. The second woman President was Carol S. Steiker, President of Volume 99.

In the first issue of the Review, the editors said that their objective was primarily “to set forth the work done in the school with which we are connected.” But, they added, “we are not without hopes that the Review may be serviceable to the profession at large.” The first issue included “Notes,” which were often literally “notes,” and cases from the moot courts, including the law clubs. It also included notes taken by students of classroom lectures at the Law School, and several pages of “Correspondence” from Washington, D.C. This Correspondence was signed “D,” but the identity of the author has not been discovered. The first issue also contained three pages of comments on Recent Cases and five pages of Book Reviews, including a reference to the American Digest, just published as part of the fledgling National Reporter system. This same format was followed in subsequent issues of the volume, though sometimes without book reviews.

The first “Lecture Notes” were written by Joseph H. Beale. His effort to get permission to publish notes of Dean Langdell’s lectures resulted in the series of articles by Langdell on A Brief Survey of Equity Jurisdiction. Thus, the Review quickly became a medium for publication of the scholarly work of the Harvard Law School faculty, and this has undoubtedly had very substantial influence in American law and American legal education. Recent commentators have recorded that:

A review of the [fifty year] Index to the Harvard Law Review discloses that Professor Ames contributed twenty-eight signed articles, Dean Langdell authored twenty-seven, Professor Thayer produced nineteen, and Professor Gray wrote twelve. Student editor, and later Harvard Professor, Joseph Beale, Jr. contributed an astonishing fifty-one articles. Another early student editor who became a Harvard law faculty member, Samuel Williston, was almost as productive; he contributed thirty-four articles.

Professor Austin W. Scott published a total of thirty-one articles in the Review. The Review has continued to be a major vehicle for the publication of scholarly articles by faculty members from Harvard and other law schools.

Though the publication of scholarly articles became a major function of the Review, the publication of classroom lecture notes was soon abandoned. These notes continued through Volume 5, but on April 10, 1893, an alumnus wrote to Dean Langdell:

Complaints have been made to me . . . which I deem it proper to call to your attention.

I am told . . . that (some) able and zealous students . . . find it to their advantage not to attend the exercises, but instead merely to use the notes of students taken in former years.

It will doubtless be easy for the faculty to verify the correctness of these statements. If they are true it seems to me that radical changes are necessary.

The author of this letter was Louis D. Brandeis. The details of what happened are not known, but there were no lecture notes in Volume 6 or thereafter. However, lecture notes prepared by members of the Law Review Board were available for many years in manuscript or mimeographed form. For a long time, the availability of these notes was rather carefully confined to Law Review Board members. This practice led to complaints and to arrangements for making the notes more readily available to students generally, since their use by Law Review Board members only was regarded as unfair discrimination.

The work published in the Review has developed in other ways as well. Until the last few years, the Review continued to have significant discussion of Recent Cases, but these have now virtually disappeared. And it slowly developed much more substantial Notes, in which students made significant contributions to scholarly analysis and commentary. Until the end of World War II, the typical Note was six to ten pages long, dealing with a fairly narrow problem, but during the last half century, these Notes have become progressively longer and more ambitious, until they have become major discussions, often in new or developing areas, comparable to many of the leading articles. The typical Note is now twenty to twenty-five pages long. The Review has also occasionally published a long Note on Legislation.

In addition, the Review has undertaken two major annual projects in student work. The first of these is the Supreme Court Note and the second is the Note on Developments in the Law. Both of these have become substantial scholarly efforts and contributions. The Supreme Court Note grew out of the articles published in the Review by Felix Frankfurter and James M. Landis, which eventually became their classic book on The Business of the Supreme Court—printed, indeed, by use of the Law Review plates. This major work was supplemented for several years by articles written by Professor Frankfurter, first with James M. Landis, and then in collaboration with Henry M. Hart, Jr. After World War II, this task was taken over by the student members of the Review. It is a large task and a substantial accomplishment to prepare this Note, now running to 200 pages or more in each November Issue, preceded by a significant Foreword and Comment. The Developments section began at about the same time as the Supreme Court Note, and has become a major undertaking, dealing comprehensively with current and emerging legal problems. The most recent one, on Toxic Waste Litigation, devotes 200 pages to this important social, legal, and practical problem.

Perhaps the most serious change in recent years has been in the Book Review office. To my great regret, there are now only a relatively few book reviews in each Volume. For example, Volume 99 had only twelve book reviews in eight issues, plus a few Book Notes. The reviews that are published tend to be extremely long, and often quite wordy or tendentious. The service of the Review to its subscribers could be, I am sure, greatly improved by more and shorter book reviews. Meanwhile, the Book Review office has begun to publish lively “Commentaries,” each about fifteen pages long, on issues of current interest.

Another activity for which the Review has major responsibility is the form book, or “Bluebook,” formally known as A Uniform System of Citation. This publication goes back at least to the 1920s, when an “Instructions for Editorial Work” was prepared by student editors and put in the hands of the new members of the Review. In due course, this booklet developed and was revised; other law reviews heard about it, and made suggestions for its improvement. This led to a meeting of the Presidents of the Harvard, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania Law Reviews, and the Yale Law Journal. As a result of this meeting, the four journals now publish the Bluebook jointly and share the revenues; but virtually all the editorial work is still done at Harvard, which earns the largest share of the income. The Bluebook has become a major publication, widely used in law offices throughout the country, as well as by law reviews and other legal publications. It is now in its Fourteenth Edition and on the whole has been a very useful publication. However, there is a tendency, especially among the young, to follow it slavishly. A form book can be very useful, and it should ordinarily be followed. However, it should not be followed when there is a good reason for not following it. The Bluebook might be even more useful if it were more generally understood that it should be used as a guide, but that there is still room for intelligent judgment when circumstances warrant it.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Harvard Law Review is the fact that it has from the beginning depended on student initiative, and has been operated under student responsibility and is, for practical purposes, student controlled. The Centennial History of the Harvard Law School states that “[t]he Faculty were invited to take an active part in the management, but thought that the interests of the paper would be more advanced by their remaining in the background.” The source of the inner quotation is not disclosed. At any rate, the students moved ahead, with the active support of some faculty and alumni. Of course, there are occasional frictions. Feelings have sometimes been aroused because a faculty article was not published, or, more often, because editors made changes in articles —sometimes amounting to rewriting, sometimes needed. But the serious difficulties have been rare, and they have always been worked out without impairing the essential “autonomy” of the Review.

The autonomy of student control has survived several crises. One problem became public in 1953, when Jonathan W. Lubell of the Class of 1954, who had qualified for membership on the Board of the Review, declined to testify about his possible Communist ties before a Congressional committee by claiming the privilege of the fifth amendment. Prominent alumni, including the President of the Massachusetts Bar Association, demanded that Mr. Lubell be dismissed from the School. The matter was considered by the faculty, and, as would be expected, views were expressed on both sides. However, the faculty declined to separate Mr. Lubell from the School. The matter was also raised before the Harvard Law Review Board, which voted 16-8 to deny membership to Mr. Lubell. There was a great deal of discussion about this in the faculty, and elsewhere. The faculty concluded that this was a matter on which it should not undertake to interfere with the Review. Perhaps this decision to defer to the student editors was a result of the intensity of the previous faculty discussion, and the feeling that nothing would be gained by presenting much the same question in another form.

Nearly twenty-five years later, in 1978, the editors of the Review took it upon themselves to readdress this issue, without, of course, the atmosphere and background that were present in 1953. The editors of Volume 91 voted, by an undisclosed margin, that they “deeply regret[ted] the injustice Mr. Lubell suffered at that time,” and they resolved to reinstate him in “membership in the Harvard Law Review Association.” This action is surely understandable. Whether it is possible, though, to “rewrite history” may not be so clear. The days of 1953 were tense times for those who lived through them, and many facts and factors that seemed relevant to thoughtful people then may not be fully understood by those who come later to a less troubled scene.

Over the past decade, there have also been differences of opinion about the Review‘s decision to change the method of choosing members of its Board through some sort of affirmative action, and by employing a writing competition as well as, or for some candidates in lieu of, academic grades. These changes, too, have been difficult, but any problems encountered have been resolved by the student editors themselves, though not without concern on the part of many who hold the Review in high esteem.

The fact that the Review has been operated with student initiative and responsibility has contributed greatly to the education that it provides its members. It has, of course, been unfortunate that this educational opportunity has been available to only a relatively few students in the School. Because of this, when I was Dean I took steps to encourage the development of other serious and substantial periodicals in order to provide vehicles through which other students could have similar opportunities on a basis of choice, rather than through selection by academic grades or related competition. It was with this thought that the Harvard Journal on Legislation, the Harvard Journal of International Law, and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review were founded. Other journals have since been started. The hope was that the establishment of these journals and of other activities, such as clinical legal education, would lead to a greater feeling of “equal opportunity” among the students. Although headway has been made, this objective still remains elusive.

At the beginning, space was found for the offices of the Review in Austin Hall, which had been opened only a year or two before the Review was established. The Review stayed there until after World War I, when Gannett House became available. Gannett House was “once the dwelling of Caleb Gannett, eighteenth century tutor and steward of the college,” and the house appears in the 1905-06 catalogue of the Law School “as a student dwelling.” It was about 1925 when Gannett House was converted to higher uses. Quarters were provided on the ground floor for the Secretary of the Law School, and the Law Review was assigned the second floor. At that time, the basement was only roughly finished, and the attic was hardly finished at all. In later years, the basement also provided usable space, and the attic was developed into several adequately finished rooms. In due course, about 1929, the Secretary’s office was moved to the enlarged Langdell Hall, and the Legal Aid Bureau (and for a while the Voluntary Defenders) were established downstairs. Until about 1938, Gannett House faced to the south, towards Harvard Square, parallel with Massachusetts Avenue. In that year, the Littauer Center was built for the Graduate School of Public Administration. In order to build Littauer, the old Hemenway Gymnasium, built about 1885, was torn down. Hemenway had been a University building, to which the Law School had no right of access. A new Hemenway was then built between Gannett House and Walter Hastings Hall, a student dormitory. In order to provide the needed space, Gannett House was rotated ninety degrees, so that it now faces more or less to the east, with its back entrance on Massachusetts Avenue. It remains a rather stately building, in the Greek style. Gannett House is perhaps the most intensely used building in the Law School. It was crowded when I knew it with thirty-five members of the Law Review Board. How the present administration operates, with a Board of more than eighty members, has long been beyond my comprehension.

Over the past century, the Review has regularly been published eight times a year. In the original Volume, the first issue was dated April 15, 1887, and No. 8 was issued on March 15, 1888. In the next several volumes, No. 8 moved into April and then into May. The change to the present schedule, with eight issues starting in November and ending in June, began with Volume 16, in 1902, and, except for war years, it has continued on this schedule ever since.

By and large, the Review has been published on time, though there have been some defaults. When I was Dean of the Law School, I took the position that if the Review was to be published under student responsibility, the students had an obligation to do it on a truly professional basis, which meant that they should plan and carry out the work so that the Review appeared on schedule, as regularly as other first-class journals, like the Atlantic Monthly, or any other standard periodical. In this objective, I received the full cooperation of every Law Review President and Board. Every month, from November through June of each of the twenty-one years of my tenure as Dean, there appeared on my desk by the 10th of the month the new issue of the Law Review. Sometimes, I could see that the issue was hand-made—that is, it had not gone through the bindery in regular form, but had been put together from the folded sheets and wrapped in the cover. But I never raised any objection to that method. The students always got the Review to me on time, and I am proud of them. The issue was always mailed by the 20th of the month, and received by most of the subscribers before the month ended. That is as it should be, and I always gave much credit to the officers and members of the several Boards for this, as well as for the high caliber of their work.

As I have said, there have been some defaults in recent years. Delays are unfair to succeeding Boards, who have to work doubly hard to catch up, and they are also some reflection on the Review and on the Harvard Law School, which ought always to do work of first quality in all respects.

One of the difficulties in getting out the June issue each year is the production of the Index. This cannot be prepared until the June issue is in page proof form, which often does not occur until the time of the final examinations for Law Review Board members. For this reason, the Review has sometimes sought outside help in making the Index. For several years, when I first returned to the Law School as a member of the faculty, I wrote the Index of the Review. I tried to improve it in various ways, including the introduction of a little rather strained humor. For example, I changed the heading “Fair Trade Acts” to “ Fair Trade Acts, so-called.” My recollection is that I was paid $250 for making the Index. That was very welcome at the time.

In addition to the Annual Index, the Review has periodically published cumulative indexes. The Fifty Year Index was published after the first half century and was extraordinarily useful. It was followed by an index covering Volumes 51 through 75, and one covering Volumes 75 through 85. It is now fifteen years since there has been any sort of cumulation. People are waiting with bated breath for the Centennial Index. There is no doubt that it will be widely used, and much appreciated, as were its predecessors. The Harvard Law Review contains many treasures, and the Index is the key to finding them.

The method of printing the Review has gone through changes with the times. Originally, it was printed from type, probably hand-set. Once the Review had established itself, demand began to grow for copies of back issues. The editors then decided to prepare stereotype plates, which were made for many years. With these plates, it was possible to run off reprints from time to time, as they were needed. The plates were used until about 1960, when lithographic reproduction became feasible. In more recent years, the Review has gone in for electronic transmission and reproduction. The offices of the Review at Gannett House are now filled with word processing equipment, which is bewildering to those who were brought up in an earlier age. This equipment communicates with Nebraska, where the Review is now printed.

The Review has had 109 Editors-in-Chief and Presidents during its first century. This includes the two editors in Volume 1, since that volume appeared in two academic years, and sixteen Presidents for the eight volumes from Volume 55 through 62, covering the War and post-War years, 1942—49, when the School operated throughout the year, with three “semesters” each year.

John J. McKelvey, one of the founders, and the first Editor-in-Chief of Volume 1, attended and spoke at the Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner in 1937, which I and many others attended. I have also known most of the Editors-in-Chief and Presidents who succeeded him, including George R. Nutter, the Editor-in-Chief of Volume 2, and Robert G. Dodge, the Editor-in-Chief of Volume 10. From Joseph P. Cotton, Jr., President of Volume 13, down to the present, I have known virtually every President. Edward S. Thurston, President of Volume 14, and Sayre MacNeil, President of Volume 24, taught at the Harvard Law School. Thomas W. Swan, President of Volume 16, was Dean of the Yale Law School, and a distinguished judge of the Second Circuit. Charles E. Hughes, Jr., President of Volume 25, was the Solicitor General who hired me as a member of his staff in the fall of 1929. Over the past more than sixty years, most of the Presidents have been my personal friends.

Some people are concerned that a major legal periodical in the United States is edited and managed by students. It is an unusual situation, but it started that way, and it developed mightily from its own strength. Its contributions to our law and to legal education have far exceeded the hopes and expectations of the founders. They had a remarkable idea, and they started on a sound basis. The Review has proved itself over a century of explosive growth in the law. It has earned an accolade. Let it be: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now we may see if the editors will let me use such crude and ungrammatical language!