Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (essay date 1896)
SOURCE: "The Path of the Law," in Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,—What Manner of Liberal?, edited by David H. Burton, Robert E. Kreiger Publishing Company, 1979, pp. 21-37.
[In the following essay, originally published in 1896 in the Harvard Law Review, Holmes details his belief that legal considerations should rely on empiricism and reason rather than traditional absolutes.]
When we study law we are not studying a mystery but a well known profession. We are studying what we shall want in order to appear before judges, or to advise people in such a way as to keep them out of court. The reason why it is a profession, why people will pay lawyers to argue for them or...
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