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August 24, 2011

Karl Llewellyn, Old Siwash and New Eyes.

Karl Nickerson Llewellyn

You expect me to tell you that you should be earnest about your work, and get your back into it for dear old Siwash, and that he who lets work slide will stumble by the way.

Our guess is that he was not a fan of "going through the motions". And that he would have been deeply saddened by the current professional trend of doing all things in a way to "please the professional"--rather than to advance the interests of the entity served: Client, Patient, Buyer, Customer.

The above of course is from the opening chapter of the The Bramble Bush: On Our Law and Its Study (1931), which sprung from a series of introductory lectures Karl Llewellyn (1893–1962) gave to first-year law students during the 1929-30 academic year, when he was appointed the first Betts Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia. The book's title is from a poem "The Bramble Bush" by Robert Penn Warren, excerpted here:

There was a man in our town
and he was wondrous wise:
he jumped into a bramble bush
and scratched out both his eyes--

and when he found that he was blind,
with all his might and maine,
He jumped into another one,
and scratched them in again.


(from past WAC? JDH/HBO posts)

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at August 24, 2011 11:59 PM


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