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F rances P e rk in s, Secretary
Isador L u b in , Commissioner


G row th o f Legal-Aid W o r k
in the U nited States
A Study o f O ur Adm inistration o f Justice
Primarily as it Affects the Wage Earner
and o f the Agencies Designed to Improve
His Position Before the Law
Revised edition

JOHN S. B R A D W A Y , of the Philadelphia Bar
w ith introduction by
Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Bulletin 7<lo. 607

W A S H I N G T O N : 1936

F o r sale b y t h e S u p e rin te n d e n t o f D o c u m e n ts , W ash in g ton , D . C .



P rice 20 ce n ts



The average American wage earner, in his personal affairs, is cer­
tainly not a litigant. As a rule, indeed, he is rather fearful of the
law and its machinery. This is not because he distrusts the essential
justice of the law or the fairness of the courts; it is due simply to the
fact that the processes of law tend to be more costly than he can
afford. As a result he often fails to secure the protection which,
in theory, the law grants to all persons. A t times this may be an
actual calamity to the individual. Always, it is socially bad by fos­
tering the idea that there is one law for the rich and another for
the poor.
Take a concrete illustration from ordinary experience. A floating
laborer is employed on a contracting job in a city or in a berry patch
in the country. The job is completed in a week or two. The em­
ployer fails to meet his pay roll. What can the laborer do ? He may
have a perfectly good case, but he has no money to employ a lawyer.
Also the procedure of suing and recovery takes time and he may be
forced to leave the community immediately in the search for work.
In these and similar cases, more is needed than good statutes and
a capable judiciary. There is also needed a system, whether under
public or private auspices, whereby the worker can secure adequate
legal assistance, which if not entirely free, will at least assure that
legal fees and expenses will not amount to more than the recovered
This report deals with the problem of legal assistance in its broad
social aspects. It points out clearly just why our present machinery
is often so ineffective in the securing of justice to those with small
incomes. Still more important, it describes the various remedial
measures which have been tried, and points out the most logical and
practicable lines along which these measures may be made still more
effective. The authors of the report are well equipped for their
task, not only from the technical legal standpoint, but also because,
over a period of years, they have given generously of their time and
talents to the actual work of organizing a national legal-aid move­
ment which is doing splendid work and has great possibilities for
the future. The importance of this work and the part it plays in
remedying some of the present deficiencies of the machinery of jus­
tice are set forth most forcibly in the introductory comments by
Mr. Justice Roberts, of the United States Supreme Court.
June 1, 1936.
I sador L u r in ,

Com m issioner o f L abor S tatistics






R oberts ,



the United States Supreme Court

A ll thoughtful citizens will welcome this revision of the authors'
original work, including more recent factual data and restating and
enlarging the authors5 conclusions therefrom. In his preface to the
first edition, published in 1926 by the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics, Chief Justice Taft wrote:
The real practical blessing of our Bill of Rights is in its provisions for fixed
procedure securing a fair hearing by independent courts to each individual.
But if the individual in seeking to protect himself is without money to avail
himself of such procedure, the Constitution and the procedure made inviolable
by it do not practicaUy work for the equal benefit of all. Something must be
devised by which everyone, however lowly and however poor, however unable
by his means to employ a lawyer and to pay court costs, shall be furnished
the opportunity to set this fixed machinery of justice going.

Thus the Chief Justice stated a problem which no democracy may
ignore. Our institutions and the spirit of our laws are inconsistent
with the thought that poverty may bar the enforcement of any legal
right or the redress of any legal wrong.
This comprehensive study tells an amazing story o f progress
toward the goal of equal justice for rich and poor. It sounds a call
for sustained effort to spread the work of making justice available
to the poor. This end naturally has attracted the interest of publicspirited citizens and governmental agencies, municipal, State, and
Federal, and should have a special appeal to social workers, judges,
and, above all, to lawyers. The latter, because of the dedication of
their lives to the administration o f justice, should, it seems, have a
unique interest in legal-aid work and in the related problems of
legislative and administrative reform. The legal profession, because
o f its place in the social order, owes an outstanding duty to the poor.
The means of honoring the profession’s obligation has not always
been clear. This volume, however, shows the way. That way is the
sponsorship, leadership, and support of legal-aid work, which is an
essential auxiliary to the administration of justice. For the most
part, the work has been carried forward by voluntary associations
supported by private gifts and subscriptions rather than by public
funds. An outstanding question with which this report deals is
whether, in the future, the effort may be left to private initiative,
subject, as it must be, to the limitations of personal philanthropy.
It is pointed out that for many reasons the judiciary cannot ade­
quately carry the burden of superintendence and administration.



The growth of the organized bar throughout the country may provide
an agency representative of the entire practicing body, to which
larger powers may be granted and on which greater responsibilities
may be laid in respect of the administration of justice. In addition
to the problems o f legal education, admission to the bar, discipline
and disbarment, rules of practice and procedure, the duty of more
perfectly adapting the administration of justice to the ideal of
equality before the law may well be laid upon such a body. However
speedily this corporate consciousness shall develop, the bar should
now meet the obligation by financial and moral support, by active
participation in the administrative problems) o f the work of legal
aid and the public defender, and by the advocacy o f the establish­
ment o f small-claims courts, the adoption of statutes adequately
providing for actions in forma pauperis and the like.
Not the least interesting portion o f the document is the summary
of the cooperation of the law schools in legal-aid work. Outstand­
ing examples are the legal-aid clinics established at the Law School
o f Southern California, Los Angeles, and at the Law School of
Duke University, Durham, N. C. O f quite a different type, and
much older, is the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, which has been said
to be one o f the most valuable adjuncts of the law school.
The report makes it evident that legal-aid societies, publicly or pri­
vately sponsored, have justified their existence and are the best means
o f approach to the problem and the best hope for its solution. The
mere statistics alone comprised in the report, covering, as they do, two
decades which have embraced a great war and a great depression, bear
testimony to the strength and stability o f these organizations.
Although in 1883 there was but 1 such organization, and between
1883 and 1903 the number had grown only to 10, the record shows that
in the 50 years, 1883 to 1933, inclusive, these instrumentalities handled
approximately 3,900,000 cases and collected for clients in excess of
$13,500,000 and that, in 1933, 84 were functioning, serving a territory
in which 39 million people live and dealing with over 300,000 clients
per annum. It is no small thing to have obtained for these clients
this vast sum in cases which involved an average of about $15; but
it is a much greater thing to have demonstrated to these nearly 4 mil­
lion poor persons that there is an avenue through which they may
obtain justice and to have removed from their minds the thought that
the portals o f the courts were closed to them by their poverty.
Whether he be a public-spirited citizen, a social worker, a student
of the administration o f justice, or a lawyer or judge, the reader
cannot but be profoundly impressed by the splendid accomplish­
ments of legal-aid organizations, their established place in the social
order, and the prospect of further useful service attested by that
which they have rendered in the past.


Chapter I.— The wage earner and the law___________________________________
Chapter II.— Existing difficulty______________________________________________
Chapter I I I .— Delays in legal procedure-------------------------------------------------------Chapter IV .— Court costs and fees in litigation_____________________________
Chapter V. Necessity for employing attorneys______________________________
Chapter V I. Development of remedial agencies____________________________
Chapter V II. Small claims courts____________________________________________
Chapter V II I.— Conciliation tribunals_______________________________________
Chapter I X .— Industrial accident commissions_____________________________
Chapter X . — Administrative officials________________________________________
Chapter X I .— Defender in criminal cases____________________________________
Chapter X I I .— Origin and development of legal-aid organizations________
Chapter X I I I .— National Association of Legal Aid Organizations_________
Chapter X I V .— Work of legal-aid organizations____________________________
Chapter X V .— Types of legal-aid organizations_____________________________
Chapter X V I .— Present extent of legal-aid work____________________________
Chapter X V I I .— Legal-aid and social-service agencies______________________
Chapter X V I I I .— Legal-aid work in the law schools_______________________
Chapter X I X . — Legal aid and the bar_______________________________________
Appendix A .— Second draft of a poor litigants statute_____________________
Appendix B.— Massachusetts Small Claims Court Act and rules of court.
Appendix C.— First draft of a model statute for facilitating enforcement of
wage claims__________________________________________________________________
Appendix D .— Legal-aid directory____________________________________________
Appendix E .— Work of legal-aid organizations_______________________ ______
Appendix F.— Bibliography of legal-aid work_______________________________









Bulletin o f the

Bureau o f Labor Statistics
Number 607


November 1935

G row th o f Legal A id W o r k In the United States

Chapter I.—The Wage Earner and the Law
To understand the obstacles which confront a wage earner when
he seeks redress for a legal wrong or protection for a legal right
through an appeal to the administration of justice, and to appreciate
the difficulties which handicap our courts in their efforts to grant
certain and speedy relief to the wage earner in common with all
other citizens, it is first of all necessary to recall to mind the profound
social and economic changes that have occurred in the conditions of
American life. No other method of approach can define and ex­
plain our existing problems and set us on the road that may lead
to their solution because no other method strikes deep enough to
lay bare the fundamental causes.
The census figures indicate that whereas in 1800 there were 6.1
persons per square mile, by 1980 the density of population had
increased to 41.3. In 1920 slightly over one-half—51.4 percent—of
the population was urban; in 1930, 56.2 percent. The number of per­
sons 10 years of age and over usually engaged in gainful occupations
in 1920 was 41,600,000 and in 1930, 48,800,00c).1 At the same time
the economic upheaval of 1929 had repercussions throughout the
social order. The highly organized and industrialized society of
1929 struggled to provide employment for mounting millions of
potential wage earners. The resources o f industry and private
philanthropy being insufficient for the purpose, the Government by
a far-reaching legislative and administrative program endeavored
to deal with the problem. The wage earner is the focus of much of
this effort. This report gives the results of a study of how the
1United States Department o f Commerce, Bureau o f the Census, Fifteenth Census o f the
United States, 1930. Population, vol. 1 : Number and distribution o f the population.
W ashington, 1931, pp. 6, 8 ; and vol. 5 : Occupations, general report. W ashington, 1933,
p. 10.




administration of justice may be brought into closer harmony with
the peculiar needs of wage earners—the great constituent part of
our citizenship.
In recent years much has been written concerning the law and its
effect on the collective interests of wage earners. There is volumi­
nous literature on the law o f labor unions, collective bargaining,
strikes, picketing, the closed shop, and injunctions, but little space
and attention have been devoted to the law as it affects the individual
claims and the individual rights of the wage earner and of his
family in their everyday life. It is the purpose o f the compilers of
this report to exclude all consideration of the collective disputes of
labor and to confine it to the legal problems of the individual labor­
ing man or woman. However vital and important the larger topics
may be, there have been moments in the lives of thousands o f men
when the collection o f their overdue wages was the most important
thing in the world, because it meant the difference between food and
hunger. There have been similar moments in the lives of countless
women when the collection of compensation for a husband’s injury
or death meant the difference between independence and destitution.
A t times our legal system has failed these plain, honest, humble folk
in the hour o f their need. This system will continue to function
imperfectly until more people are awakened to an accurate under­
standing o f the situation and are prepared to give their support to
definite remedial measures that have been devised in the last 20
years, and that are already in successful operation in various parts
o f the country.
The outstanding characteristic of our American law is the spirit
o f fairness that pervades and permeates it. Our law is solicitous of
the righteous claims of every man, be he rich or poor, and whether
he be of high or low estate. Its ideal is to render exact justice to
every person, whether citizen or alien, who lives within the jurisdic­
tion o f the United States. Insofar as the goal can be attained by
stating clearly the ends to be sought through our legal system, that
has already been done in our Federal and State constitutions in
language that we cannot hope to improve upon. In its conception it
is sublime: Justice is a matter of right, not of grace. No man shall
be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of
law. Every man is entitled to the equal protection o f the laws.
The history o f these two great phrases has been summed up by
Hannis Taylor in his book on “ Due process of law and the equal
protection o f the laws” , as follow s:
Just as due process of law is a purely English creation, so the closely
related principle now embodied in the formula, “the equal protection of the
laws”, is purely an American creation. It is the natural and inevitable ex-



pression of that sense of equality which is the undertone of our national life.
In the words of Mr. Justice Brewer: “Equality in right, in protection, and in
burden is the thought which has run through the life of this Nation and its
constitutional enactments from the Declaration of Independence to the present
hour.” That equality never adequately secured before, either by constitutional
guaranties or by the common law', was put for the first time upon a firm
foundation by the addition at the end of section 1 of the fourteenth amendment
of the clause declaring that no State shall “deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Such is the final outcome of the
struggle instituted in the reign of Henry II, who undertook not only to estab­
lish the reign of law but to reduce all orders of men to a state of legal equality
before the same system of law. That kind of legal equality which neither the
constitutional nor common law of the mother country was ever able to establish
has appeared for the first time upon the soil of the New World.

When a Massachusetts statute attempted to grant relief in the
court of equity to certain persons and to deny it to others, the
supreme court of the Commonwealth declared that the act was
unconstitutional, saying: “ It is one thing to affect the scope of
equity by extending or restricting it; it is a quite different matter
to enact that some citizens may resort to it while others may not.
Absolute equality before the law is a fundamental principle of our
The distinction between the legal rights o f different classes had
by the third century A. D. been deliberately set up by the Roman
Government. William Stearns Davis tells us in his book, The
Influence of Wealth in Imperial Rome:
When men stood before the judge, the first question would be: To what
class do you belong? Are you one of the honestiores, a municipal official or
ex-official, a great landowner—are you rich? Are you of the humiliores—a
laborer, a small tradesman, an artisan, a petty farmer? In the latter case
you can be beaten with rods, crucified, flung to the beasts, or suffer other
cruel punishment; if you are rich, no matter how guilty you are, no such
fate can befall you ; the law will deal with you gently.

It is clear that the theory of American law is altogether sound
and admirable and inquiry may now be made as to how far this
theory has been translated into action. How far has actual equality
before the law been secured? There is excellent reason to believe
that in the earlier stages of our national development the adminis­
tration of justice did secure actual equality to a very satisfactory
extent. It is unnecessary to idealize the past, but it is true that
the courts faced a far simpler task. The people of the United
States were vigorous, self-reliant, and homogeneous; shrewd com­
mon sense had been inculcated into them by the very conditions of
life, for they lived in small towns and in agricultural communities.
Comparatively speaking, there was little litigation and little need
of it. In the lower courts the litigant could, and often did, plead
his own case. When a lawyer was needed one could be secured at



small expense or even for no fee, because nearly every man per­
sonally knew and was known by some lawyer in his community.
This much of past history is stressed only because it helps us to
realize that whatever the shortcomings of our present administra­
tion o f justice may be they are not inevitable nor are they inex­
tricably interwoven into the texture of our legal institutions, but
are rather the result of the tremendous forces that, beginning with
the last quarter of the nineteenth century, have irrevocably altered
the complexion and the conditions of American life. Those forces
were immigration, the rapid rise of the wage-earning class, and the
ever-increasing growth of urban population, all differing aspects
o f the central fact that our civilization was rapidly evolving from
an agricultural to an industrial type.
“ Our State systems of justice” , writes Clarence N. Goodwin in
the Journal of the American Judicature Society for 1932, “ have
been for more than half a century generally unsuited to modern
conditions, and while we have in recent years made some progress
toward improvement, justifying the hope that we shall ultimately
succeed, we are yet far from completion of a rational program, and
progress is unnecessarily and shamefully slow.”
No one realized quickly enough that our rigid court organization
with its too mechanical rules of procedure would be unable to cope
with these new conditions and would, in fact, be swamped by the
enormous mass of litigation inevitably engendered by those condi­
tions. For the breakdown that followed, it is idle to blame any
individual, group, or class. It has taken a large number of legal
scholars many years of study and research to acquire a clear per­
ception of the causes and the possible cures. In fact, it has been
necessary to evolve a new conception of the duty of the administra­
tion of justice in a modern democratic urban community. The
leader among these pioneering legal scholars has been Roscoe Pound,
dean of the Harvard Law School, and his account of what has
transpired may be accepted as an authoritative summary of the
causes and events that produced the problem that today confronts
us. In his book, The Spirit of the Common Law, he states:
To deal adequately with the civil litigation of a city, to enforce the mass
of police regulations required by conditions of urban life, and to make the
criminal law effective to secure social interests, we must obviate waste of
judicial power, save time, and conserve effort. There was no need of this
when our judicial system was framed. There is often little need of it in
the country today. * In the city the waste of time and money in doing things
that are wholly unnecessary results in denial of justice.
A third problem of the administration of justice in the modern city is to
make adequate provision for petty litigation, to provide for disposing quickly,
inexpensively, and justly of the litigation of the poor, for the collection of debts



in a shifting population, and for the great volume of small controversies which
a busy, crowded population, diversified in race and language necessarily en­
genders. It is here that the administration of justice touches immediately the
greatest number of people. * * * The most real grievance of the mass of
the people against American law has not been with respect to the rules of sub­
stantive law but rather with respect to the enforcing machinery which too often
makes the best of rules nugatory in action. Municipal courts in some of our
larger cities are beginning to relieve this situation. But taking the country as
a whole, it is so obvious that we have almost ceased to remark il^ that in petty
causes—that is, with respect to the everyday rights and wrongs of the great
majority of an urban community—the machinery whereby rights- are secured
practically defeats rights by making it impracticable to assert them when they
are infringed.
Moreover, there is danger that in discouraging litigation we encourage
wrongdoing, and it requires very little experience in the legal-aid societies -in
any of our cities to teach us that we have been doing that very thing. Of all
peoples in the world we ought to have been the most solicitous for the rights
of the poor, no matter how petty the causes in which they are to be vindicated.
Unhappily, except as the organization of municipal courts in recent years has
been bringing about a change, we have been callous to the just claims of this
class of controversies.

To insure clarity and to provide an adequate background for what
follows, it has been necessary in the foregoing pages to consider our
basic legal ideas and something of our legal history; but the problem
of making justice readily accessible to all, including the great army
of our wage earners, is far more than an abstract legalistic contro­
versy. It is a matter of life and death for a democracy because, in
the words of Harlan F. Stone, formerly Attorney General of the
United States and now a Justice of the Supreme Court, a democracy
“ cannot survive if it cannot find a way to make its administration of
justice competent.” In similar vein Mr. Chief Justice Hughes says:
“It is idle to speak o f the blessings of liberty unless the poor enjoy
the equal protection of the laws.” Lord Shaw, in his address to the
American Bar Association in 1922, stated the point without quibble
or evasion when he said: “ That society is rotten where one citizen as
against another can overpower him or undermine him by law wielded
with an uneven hand. Only the blind, cruel, or the unjust in heart
can wink the eye at this unnameable curse.”
In 1926 a committee consisting of the Lord Bishop of Manchester,
the Bishop of Pella, the past president and honorary secretary of
the National Council of Evangelical Free Churches, and a repre­
sentative of the Society of Friends, writing in the foreword to
F. C. G. Gurney-Champion’s book, Justice and the Poor in Eng­
land (1926), and speaking of the unequal position of the poor man
in Great Britain before the law, say:
As Christians, we consider this position to be inexpressibly injurious, and
inhuman; being, in fact, a festering sore in the body politic, having far-reaching



consequences; and being, moreover, contrary to the teaching of the Lord Jesus

A final quotation taken from an address by Judge Kimbrough
Stone, o f the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, will serve to
indicate the logical starting point for a critical analysis o f the exact
nature o f our present difficulty: “Civilization cannot exist without
law. Law is useless unless actively effective.” Granted that the
fundamental principles of our law are sound, the question becomes,
how far have we succeeded in making the provisions of law actively
effective amid the stress and strain of modern life?

Chapter II.—Existing Difficulty
Our administration of justice often fails to secure actual justice
in the case of the plain everyday citizen. This is not because we
have too few courts or too few judges, or because the judges fail
to work diligently and faithfully in the endeavor to decide fairly
and honestly every case that comes before them. On the contrary,
when a case actually gets before the judge we may be reasonably
sure that justice will be done. The difficulty is that innumerable
cases never come before the judge because the persons who need
judicial aid find themselves unable to get their cases into court.
This again is not due to the fact that we have too few laws. The
consensus of opinion is that our fundamental trouble, the root dif­
ficulty of the situation, is that we have failed to make our laws
actively effective.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1920, 1926, 1929,
and 1933, made inquiry of the various State labor officials as to
their experience and activities in the handling of wage claims of
workers who considered themselves defrauded and appealed to
these officials for help. Among the findings were the following:
There is in the United States very great loss to labor through the nonpay­
ment of wages. Moreover, there are unquestionably many legitimate wage
claims which are never pressed.1
Although the amount of the average wage claims, about $50, may seem small,
the records of hardship and destitution following the workers’ failure to collect
their earnings include such tragedies as dispossession of lodgings, recourse to
charity organizations, and even death.1
There are comparatively few States having laws giving specific and adequate
wage-collection power to some State agency. Some form of legislation regulat­
ing the payment of wages is fairly general throughout the United States, and
some of these acts are so phrased as to allow the collection of wages by State
officials. In several cases the officials report that they have assumed an au­
thority not specifically covered by law or granted only by implication.

It is reasonable to infer that when an official bureau composed
o f skilled, intelligent men failed to collect a wage claim, the wage
earner, if left to himself, would find the task impossible.
1United States Department o f Labor. Bureau o f Labor Statistics.
Review. W ashington, June 1927, p. 19.
2United States Department o f Labor. Bureau o f Labor Statistics.
Review. W ashington, October 1933, p. 776.

M onthly Labor
M onthly Labor




The American Bar Association’s committee on legal-aid work
reported in 1927 to the association:
Among the cases with which poor persons are concerned, wage claims are
preeminent. The ordinary civil processes for collecting wages are often
The Monthly Labor Review for June 1927, published by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, United States Department of Labor, sta tes: “The defrauding of wage
earners through the failure of employers to pay the promised wages continues
to be a widespread and serious evil.”

In the field of personal injuries—a matter of vital interest to wage
earners—it must be admitted that the old master and servant law,
even i f it had been properly enforced, was utterly inadequate. In
a decision written by Justice Winslow, of the Supreme Court of W is­
consin, the situation has been given its classic exposition:
In the days of manual labor, the small shop with few employees, and the stage
coach, there was no such problem, or, if there was, it was almost negligible.
There was no army of injured and dying, with constantly swelling ranks
marching with halting step and dimming eyes to the great hereafter. This
is what we have with us now, thanks to the wonderful material progress of
our age, and this is what we shall have with us for many a day to come.
Legislate as we may in the line of stringent requirements for safety devices
or the abolition of employers’ common-law defenses, the army of the injured
will still increase, and the price of our manufacturing greatness will still have
to be paid in human blood and tears. To speak of the common-law personal
injury action as a remedy for this problem is to jest with serious subjects,
to give a stone to one who asks for bread.

The Pittsburgh survey (1907-8) revealed that out of 355 cases of
married men killed in accidents 89 dependent families received
nothing, 113 received $100 or less, and 61 received between $100
and $500. Since that time workmen’s compensation legislation has
been enacted in 46 States, and the antiquated theory o f liability for
fault gave way to the modern and more humane principle of in­
surance for all work accidents. The lasting success of the com­
pensation acts, however, lies in the fact that they provided new
methods of making the law actively effective by tearing down, as
we shall see later in chapter IX , those procedural obstacles that
prevent an efficient administration of justice.
Despite an era of prolific legislation, no such drastic overhauling
has been found necessary in any other department of the substantive
law, and, in the judgment of the authors of this report, the state­
ment seems warranted that, certainly within the domain o f the law
regulating civil rights and obligations, no radical changes are needed.
The huge majority of our citizens do not become involved with
the criminal law. Throughout their lives it is the civil law on
which they must rely for the protection of their rights and the
enforcement o f their claims. The title to a man’s home, the rights



and obligations under a lease, the power to withdraw money de­
posited in a savings bank, the collection o f wages, claims for indus­
trial accidents, the enforcement of insurance contracts, divorce and
judicial separation, the custody of children, the right to have prop­
erty pass on a man’s death to his heirs or according to his will— all
these are matters governed by the civil as distinguished from the
criminal law.
To make these laws actively effective, the State quite naturally
and properly relies on the self-interest and initiative of the indi­
vidual. The theory is that when he is wronged or aggrieved he will
promptly bring the matter to the attention of the proper court;
thus, the State has notice, and it will compel the defendant to ap­
pear before the same court and stand trial. This is sound theory,
but it is precisely at this point that the whole plan may break down
What if a citizen for any reason cannot bring his wrong to the
attention of the courts? Then the State knows nothing about it,
the law is utterly inactive, and the defendant is immune from a legal
judgment against him. Unless the law can be enforced through the
court it fails to work and is of no help whatsoever. That is why
the machinery of justice is of such vital concern. The machinery of
justice, designed to be only the servant of the law to insure swift
compliance with its orders, is in a sense the master of the law
because, whenever it fails to operate, it can and does prevent the law
from ever reaching the suitor who needs its aid and protection.
The machinery of justice is necessarily extensive and it cannot be
described in detail here. Its essentials, however, are these: It pre­
scribes the form of action which can be brought in any given case,
the court in which the case must be heard, and the time when cases
may be entered. It regulates the court fees and costs for the entry
of the case and for subsequent proceedings. It fixes the form and
manner of service of legal process on the defendant, and specifies
when and how he must answer. It controls every successive stage
of the case until it comes before the court for trial. A t the trial it
regulates the order of procedure, it lays down rules of evidence, and
regulates the way in which points may be reserved for an appeal.
After judgment has been rendered it prescribes minutely how the
sheriff may collect the judgment out of the defendant’s property and
it provides various kinds of supplementary proceedings designed to
enforce the judgment or order of the court.
It is the machinery o f justice that gives life to the law. It is the
administration of justice that makes the laws actively effective.
Consequently if the laws are to afford their equal protection to all
persons in a modern community the machinery of justice must be



readily accessible to all, must be easily workable by all, and must be
swift in its operation.
Our present difficulty arises because we have not yet refitted our
whole system to meet the new demands o f our urban populations.
Entirely too many citizens find in actual experience that access to the
courts is difficult, that the procedural machinery is complicated be­
yond any hope of their understanding and utilizing it, and that the
legal system moves so slowly in their behalf that no prompt and
summary relief can be obtained. Our immigrant population, bur­
dened by the added handicap of unfamiliarity with our language,
fares even worse. This particular aspect o f our problem need not be
elaborated here, because it has already been fully presented by Kate
Holladay Claghorn in her book, The Immigrant’s Day in Court.
O f the three factors which impede the even course of justice when
its protection is sought by a wage earner or by any person of small
means, the first is delay. In H. D. Mims’ article, Law Courts for
the Forgotten Man, which appeared in the June 1934 issue of The
Forum, he makes the following statement:
To the man without means justice is a luxury, the entrance fees of the courts
prohibitive. * * * The delay complicates his problem. W ith * * *
smaU claims time is of the essence. * * * I f the owner of such a claim
must wait a year or even a month for the court to reach his case and then
longer still to collect his judgment, the law is of little value to him.

Similarly, the late President Woodrow Wilson stated:
The speediness of justice, the inexpensiveness of justice, the ready access of
justice is the greater part of justice itself.

The second factor is the expense involved in the payment of court
costs and fees. The third factor is the necessity of employing law­
yers in most cases if the suitor is to have any chance whatsoever to
succeed. These are the three contributing causes of our present
problem. The next step is to analyze them in detail so as to under­
stand their exact nature and thus find out how far and in what ways
their disturbing effect on the administration o f justice may be elimi­
nated or overcome.

Chapter III.— Delays in Legal Procedure
In all discussions of legal reform the evil o f delay is emphasized.
It has become an axiom that justice delayed is justice denied. Presi­
dent Franklin D. Roosevelt, speaking in 1932, has given it clear
So long as years of delay are assured by the condition of the calendars of
thd courts, this delay itself will be used to threaten those who have rightful
claims. Such delays constitute actual denials of justice. On the other hand,
those defendants who have legitimate defenses are threatened with long and
irritating legal processes.

Public attention has been focused on this factor in our problem,
and excellent studies into its nature, extent, and results have been
made. Robert H. Jackson, addressing the New York State Bar
Association in 1933, said, among other things:
It is a general observation of press and laymen that our courts are from
1 to 4 years behind in their work and that justice is denied by unreasonable
delays. The door of the court is always legally open, but the doorway is im*
passable because jammed with long-suffering suitors.

Mr. Jackson illustrated his remarks by referring to cases in New
York State, in substance, as follows: O f the cases disposed o f by
trial in the New York Supreme Court in 1930-31, 1 percent were 5
to 6 years o ld ; 4 percent, 4 to 5 years o ld ; 13 percent, 3 to 4 years
old; 17 percent, 2 to 3 years old. Eighty-four percent o f the trials
took place more than a year after the case was placed on the calendar.
An editorial in the Saturday Evening Post for February 1934
makes the following comment:
* * * the city court in Brooklyn has more than 22,000 cases awaiting
trial * * * the city court of Manhattan is some 9,000 cases behind; and
the supreme court, in New York County, has 14,000 cases on its docket. In
the city of New York it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 years for a citizen to get
his case before a jury.

The same condition exists in many other States.
Delay begets delay. Like compounding interest it is cumulative,
and the evil, once in existence, tends to aggravate itself. That the
effect of delay in the cases of wage earners is to rob them of any
real relief is obvious. E. H. Downey, of the Pennsylvania Insur­
ance Department, in his report on the Ohio State Workmen’s Insur­
ance Fund (printed in Monthly Labor Review, October 1919, pp. 248-




264), is dealing especially with compensation cases, but his words
apply equally well to delays in all types o f litigation:
Few workmen have such surplus of income that they can afford to wait weeks
or months for the commencement of compensation. When the weekly pay
check stops, destitution is never fa r away.

The tragic result is that persons of small means, knowing that
they cannot afford the delay, simply do not bring their cases to the
courts at all. They have to accept the injustice done them and suf­
fer in silence. This is peculiarly true of the part of the wage-earn­
ing class recruited by immigration. The bulletin o f the Foreign
Language Information Service for August 1922 makes the matter
Even the most casual observer of immigrant experiences must frequently
have noted the victimizing of the newcomers by unscrupulous promoters, land
agents, loan sharks, money changers, and notaries. It is difficult and often
impossible to obtain legal redress in these cases: First, because of the immi­
grant’s helplessness in knowing what to do or to whom to go; second, because
the process of the law is so slow and involves so much time and effort that the
victim usually drops the matter in despair.

Much can be done, much has already been done, to eliminate the
factor of delay. Judge Morton, of the United States District Court
for Massachusetts, has estimated “ that 50 percent of the law’s delay
is caused by appellate proceedings.” Certainly that is true in all
States where every small case can be appealed, and thus be tried twice
as a matter o f right. The system of having a case tried before an
inferior or justice’s court and then permitting either side to appeal
to a higher court, in which the case is tried all over again, has long
been a curse in American court organization and is a prolific source
of delay. Double trials on the facts were abolished throughout
Massachusetts for the reason stated by the Massachusetts Judicature
Commission in its 1921 report:
Trying small cases twice, maintaining courts for the conduct of ineffective
trials, is merely consuming all time and money of parties and witnesses, many
of whom can ill afford the loss and delay involved in two trials.

A special committee of the National Economic League on Efficiency
in the Administration of Justice, writing in 1928, reports:
Our procedure at law involves too many trials and too much retrial.
So far
as possible, all questions of fact should be disposed of finally upon one trial.

I f the decision of the lower court is to be final, then the character
of that court must command public respect. The modern type of
municipal court—for example, those now established in Boston,
Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia—
marks a tremendous advance over anything that preceded it. It
is the consensus of opinion that delays in the higher courts can best



be lessened by a centralized or unified form of court organization
and by vesting in the courts the power to control their own machin­
ery through their own rules. Later chapters will point out special
methods that can be used to reduce to a minimum the delay in cer­
tain classes of cases of especial importance to wage earners. Here
we are concerned chiefly with explaining delay as a factor in our
problem and with pointing out its baneful effects.
Because the factor of delay is in the foreground of public discus­
sion there is good reason to hope that reforms aimed to rid the
machinery of justice of undue delay will make steady progress. This
emphasis on delay has tended to distract general attention from any
thorough consideration of court costs and of the necessity for em­
ploying counsel. Certainly these two factors cause as much trouble
as delays, and from the point of view of the wage earner they con­
stitute even greater obstacles in his search for legal justice. It is
fitting, therefore, that this report should deal with them explicitly
and at some length so that public opinion may be brought to a clearer
realization of their serious importance.

Chapter IV.— Court Costs and Fees in Litigation
From the earliest times the payment of money in the form of court
fees has been a condition precedent to the right to bring a case into
court. And, throughout the history of English-American law, court
costs and fees when applied to the cases of poor persons have con­
stituted a formidable legalized obstacle in the path of justice. Too
often they have proved insurmountable and the unfortunate suitor
has found his access to the courts as completely and irrevocably
barred as though the doors of the courthouse itself had been locked
against him. Yet not until 1923 was any thorough and scholarly
study of the subject made. In February of that year the Harvard
Law Review published Prof. John M. Maguire’s notable article
entitled Poverty and Civil Litigation, which has since been re­
printed in various American and English periodicals and is now
accepted as the standard exposition of this second factor in our
problem. The history of court costs and fees and of the many un­
successful attempts to eliminate or circumscribe them insofar as they
were directly causing denials o f justice is there related, and the
reader who desires the story in greater detail than the space of this
report permits is referred to that treatise.
The term “ fees” in a technical sense is used to describe the fixed
charge which each litigant must pay upon beginning his suit.
“ Costs” on the other hand depend upon the duration and complexity
o f each individual suit. For purposes of this report it seems suf­
ficient to use the words interchangeably in the sense of expenses
which the litigant must bear and pay to the court or its officers.
In all cases, unless exempted by statute, the litigant must pay court
fees. Ordinarily the losing party pays the court costs. In some
States the statute by requiring that the plaintiff post a bond to cover
the possible costs of the suit in advance o f starting the proceeding,
adds much to the obstacle where the litigant has only limited means.
There are two classic cases illustrating the fate o f the man who
cannot pay the imposts fixed by the State as the price of justice.
Early in the nineteenth century England was shocked out of its in­
difference to the problem of costs by the case of a laboring man
named Hall whose wife, Mary Ann, robbed him and then left him
to live with another man. Hall could not pay the fees required to
obtain a divorce. He lived with another woman as his wife and was
thereupon convicted of bigamy. He came before Justice Maule for
sentence and the following remarkable colloquy took place.



Hall remarked that he had been hardly used. “ No doubt” , replied
the judge, “but such is the law. The law in fact is the same to you
as it is to the rich man; it is the same to the low and poor as it is to
the mighty and rich, and through it alone can you obtain effectual
relief, and what the rich man would have done you should have
“ But I had no money, my Lord” , exclaimed Hall.
“ Hold your tongue” , rejoined the judge. “ Yes, H all; you should
have brought an action and obtained damages, which the other side
probably would not have been able to pay, in which case you would
have had to pay your own costs, perhaps £150. But even then you
must not have married again. You should have gone to the ecclesias­
tical court and then to the House of Lords. It is very true, Hall,
you might say, ‘Where is all the money to come from to pay for all
this?’ And certainly that was a serious question as the expenses
might amount to five or six hundred pounds while you had not
as many pence.”
“As I hope to be saved, I have not a penny, I am only a poor man” ,
said Hall, and then he received his sentence o f 3 months.
On page 174 o f the eleventh volume of the Encyclopedia of Law
and Procedure it is stated that under the statutes of certain States
if a plaintiff is apparently too poor to be able to pay any costs that
may be assessed against him he may be required to furnish security
for costs. If, being poor, he cannot furnish security, what then?
Such was the position of one Campbell, and his case was accordingly
dismissed. He appealed and learned from the decision, which is
reported in volume 23 of the Wisconsin Reports at page 490, that—
W e have no statute which permits a person to sue in forma pauperis. It seems
almost like a hardship that a poor person should not be allowed to litigate.
But this is a matter for the legislature to regulate, and not the justice.

W hy American legislatures have paid so little attention to court
costs it is difficult to understand unless the answer be that the mat­
ter has never been adequately presented to them. Certainly our rec­
ord is as bad as that of any civilized nation in the world. The coun­
tries o f Europe and Scotland have for many years had a definite
procedure whereby poor persons could bring their claims into court.
England, Japan, and now Poland, have made similar provision.
Professor Maguire found in 1923 that over one-third of our States
gave no relief at all of this kind to poor litigants and that in the
remaining States the provisions were only partially adequate. He
It is hard to discern in any of our existing laws even the foundations of a
comprehensive and effective plan for bringing justice within the reach of all.
W e should lose little and gain much if we stripped away most of our fragmen­
tary in forma pauperis law.



Our failure to grasp and to deal adequately with this problem has
undoubtedly caused innumerable cases of hardship and too many
cases of downright injustice. Judge Clayton, of the United States
District Court for Alabama, states in the Journal of the American
Bar Association for January 1922:
One of the complaints against the administration of justice is the expense
that the State levies in the form of court costs and fees, which often serve to
prevent access to the court. Especially is this true in the justice court, courts
of common pleas, and the like, in some of the States. In many of these courts,
courts with which the poorer class of our citizens come in contact, the costs
in some cases are so excessive as to practically amount to a denial of justice.

Since 1923 the legal aid organizations in the United States have
kept a record of those cases in which the applicant was unable to
proceed with his case because of lack of funds to defray the expenses
of litigation. The following table represents a minimum statement
for the years indicated.
Y ea r:

N um ber of
C ases



Y ear:

N um ber of
C ases

_____ 166
_____ 247
_____ 715

So serious has this situation appeared that the National Associa­
tion o f Legal Aid Organizations, in setting up a series of standards
by which to determine the effectiveness of a legal-aid organization,
has adopted the following:
Every legal-aid organization should maintain a fund or provide a means
whereby legal expenses may be available when necessary.

There is a further standard adopted which provides:
Every legal-aid organization should take appeals to right palpable miscar­
riages of justice or to establish useful principles when the costs can be

These standards adopted in 1933 indicate that the problem is far
from a theoretical one.
Kenneth Dayton, writing in The Annals of the American Academy
o f Political and Social Science in May 1933, speaking of the New
York situation, says:
The poor man, suing to recover $50 in wages, pays three-quarters of the ex­
pense o f the court maintained for his benefit; the wealthier litigant in the
higher courts pays roughly a tenth. But of course the discrepancy is much
greater than this, because the poor man pays precisely the same fees in the
municipal court for a $50 claim as- a corporation for a $1,000 claim, and with
no distinction whether the claim is disposed of in 15 minutes or 2 days.
Hence, proportionately, the poorest litigant probably pays substantially over
100 percent of the cost of handling his case, though he is least able to bear
the expense.



It is impossible to present any statement of our present system
o f court costs, because there is no system. They vary from State
to State; within a State they are utterly different in different courts,
and in the same court the fees in an equity case are not the same
as in a law case. No legal student, so far as we know, has ever
attempted to explain the present American hodge-podge of costs
and fees. Probably it would be a profitless task because such an
exposition would only prove that utter chaos prevails and that we
already know. Judge Andrew A. Bruce’s book, entitled The
American Judge contains an illuminating section on The Cost
o f Litigation. The views expressed in this chapter find support,
in his conclusion that—
These excessive costs and these unnecessary delays close our courts to
the average citizen. The best antidote for anarchism is to implant in the
minds of all the belief that at the great bar of the law all are equally
favored and that poverty in America does not stand in the way of complete

Poverty today does stand in the way of complete justice, and it
will continue to do so until public opinion forces a radical overhaul­
ing o f our archaic system o f court costs and. fees. However great
the muddle we are in, the way out is reasonably clear.
First of all it would be well to abolish those costs which are purely
fictitious, which are imposed by the State but bear no real relation
to any service rendered by the State, and which when collected do
not even go to the State but belong to the party that prevailed in
the litigation.
Arthur L. Goodhart, in an article in the Yale Law Journal for
May 1929, says:
Apart from purely historical reasons, the American rules as to costs may
also be due in part to a vague feeling that they favor the poor man, and are
therefore democratic, while the English system helps the wealthy litigant.
The argument is that by imposing a liability for costs upon the losing party
a poor man “ might often become a prey of a dishonest adversary from sheer
want of funds to protect his rights.” This view is due to a confusion between
costs and fees. It is obvious that if the court fees are large, then a plaintiff,
who cannot afford to pay them, will necessarily be prevented from seeking
the assistance of the law, for the fees must be paid before the action is
commenced * * *. It is only where the law requires that a plaintiff, before
commencing an action, shall give security for costs that the poor man is at
a disadvantage. Strange to say, it is not in England but in some of the
.States, that this unfortunate provision exists.

Expenses can be substantially reduced. The modern municipal
courts have succeeded in reducing fees very substantially. Instead
of serving process by constables or by sheriffs at a cost of $1 to $5,
the defendant can be summoned by United States mail, a method that



has been successfully employed by the Cleveland municipal court
for nearly two decades.
The State is perfectly justified in asking litigants to contribute
something toward the expense o f the administration o f justice. No
one, however, has contended that the full burden o f maintaining the
courts should be thrust on the litigants. The State exists primarily
to establish justice among its citizens. How low a tariff it should
impose is essentially a matter o f public policy and not a matter
o f revenue. Even if costs were substantially lowered, there would
still be many cases of persons too poor to pay them, and there
would be clear instances where no fees at all ought to be paid. A
deserted wife turns to the State for legal relief against her hus­
band generally with great reluctance and only when her funds are
entirely exhausted, and it is morally wrong and socially unwise to
present her, first o f all, with a bill o f costs. After the W orld War
every effort was made to return the personal effects o f soldiers who
had been killed to relatives or to other persons in accordance with
the soldier’s expressed wish. In a report dealing with the carrying
out o f this humane plan this sentence occurs:
It frequently happens that it is advisable to recommend application for
letters of administration; but this can be made only in jurisdictions free
from vexatious delays, where the fees are little or nothing; in some States
the laws are inflexible and the fees prohibitive.

As a last resort there is only one method that can guarantee to
every man, irrespective o f his poverty, his day in court, and that
is by the enactment in every State of a comprehensive in forma
pauperis procedure. By this is meant a law, applicable to every
case in every court, under which the court may, in suitable instances
and for cause shown, permit a man to file his case and have his
trial without any requirement for the prepayment o f any costs.
While the general scope and purpose of such a proceeding is per­
fectly clear, the experience in England ever since 1495 proves that
any attempt to extend this relief will come to grief unless the statute
is drawn with infinite pains. Recognizing that there was no model
act in America, and being satisfied that a careful effort should be
made to prepare one, the legal aid committee o f the American Bar
Association in 1924 prepared a draft o f such an act. There was
widespread discussion o f the subject and in 1925 a second draft
appeared. This is the most effective statement o f the subject to date,
and while we have no information leading us to believe that it has
made headway with the State legislatures, except in Oregon, we
believe that it is sufficiently important to be reprinted in full in this
report. (See appendix A .) The explanatory notes following many
o f the sections make it unnecessary for us to comment further upon
the subject.



The factor o f court costs can undoubtedly be overcome through a
proper in forma pauperis proceeding. The following statement is
taken from the October 1931 issue of The Consensus entitled A Pro­
gram for Legal Reform in the United States:
For years there has been no question that the delay and expense of litigation
in New York was a serious burden on the litigant and on the public. Studies
conducted by the institute of law of Johns Hopkins University show that in
the Supreme Court it takes 2 years to reach a jury case for tria l; in the city
court 3 years for cases on the general calendar; and in the municipal court,
which deals with claims for less than $1,000, 13 months for cases in the central
jury part. Many defendants file answers which have no merit at all simply to
secure the benefit of this delay. The institute reports that the average collec­
tion by plaintiffs in cases in the municipal court which go to trial is $201,
and the average out-of-pocket expense for the plaintiff is $67 and that for the
defendant $73, or a total exceeding two-thirds of the amount recovered. This
takes no account, of course, of the indirect expense due to the loss of time
of parties and witnesses, disruption of business, and so on. Another study by
the institute of law indicates that in the Supreme Court in New York County
less than 7 percent of the amount of judgments entered are ever collected by the
successful parties. No comment is needed on such figures.

To enable any in forma pauperis proceeding to accomplish fully
its avowed purpose three difficulties must be overcome. In the first
place, this special grant of assistance by the State is designed only
for the benefit of honest persons with honest claims. It must not
become the tool of unscrupulous persons with claims that are dubious
or worse. Some preliminary sifting must be done, the fact o f pov­
erty must be proved, and the applicant must demonstrate that his
suit is reasonable enough to take up the time of a court. To throw
the burden o f this preliminary investigation onto the already over­
burdened courts would be disastrous. Some auxiliary administra­
tive method must be utilized, and for that the above-mentioned draft
statute provides.
In the second place, there are certain expenses attendant on litiga­
tion which cannot be eliminated. So long as legal process is served
by sheriffs who depend for their livelihood on their fees, those fees
must be paid by the litigants or else the State must assume the
burden, as has been done in some jurisdictions by placing the sheriff
on a definite salary basis. The witness who is summoned to court
to testify loses his day’s work and it is only right that he should be
recompensed. No progress is made by helping a poor litigant at the
expense of a witness who may be equally poor or poorer. The ste­
nographer who takes the record of his testimony (which is essential
if an appeal is in contemplation) works hard, earns what he is paid,
and cannot be expected to labor for nothing. In Louisiana the
State may provide free stenography; elsewhere, we believe, the liti­
gants must themselves pay the cost. The position of the printer
who prints the record for the appeal is the same as that of the ste-



nographer. It is clear that the man of limited means must either
try his case as best he can without incurring any of these expenses
or else the State must, directly or indirectly, pay the bills for him.
In the past this idea has met a cold reception because it seemed
an open invitation to raid the public treasury. A proper in forma
pauperis procedure would make that impossible, because State aid,
as provided in section 14 of the draft statute, could be had only
in approved cases and under suitable restrictions. In only a few
cases, chiefly test cases, would stenographic and printing bills be
incurred. Once it can be made clear that the actual expense to the
State would be small, progress may become possible. The average
annual cost of our State administration of justice is less than 18 cents
for each inhabitant. State aid as above outlined would not increase
this cost by the hundredth part of a cent.
When we remember that the fundamental purpose for which the
administration o f justice exists is to guarantee the equal protection
o f the laws to all persons, not merely those men who can pay the
price, but all persons, it would seem worth while for the State to
incur a moderate expense in order to achieve its own ideal.
Heretofore in this chapter we have been discussing in forma
pauperis procedure largely on the theory that justice will be done if
the litigant can get his case into the trial court. We should not
deceive ourselves on this subject. The principle o f equal justice to
all requires that the same opportunities for appeal be open to rich
and poor alike. A law review comment appearing in the Southern
California Law Review for April 1931, in addition to containing
a very full statement of the authorities, has these comments to make:
However general the right may be to sue in the first instance in forma
pauperis, the right to appeal in such form is limited to those jurisdictions
where it is authorized expressly by statutory provision, and statutes granting
such right have been construed very strictly. The Federal statute of 1892
allowed proceedings in forma pauperis in general terms, but the Supreme
Court would not apply it to appeals. Doubtless as a result of this construc­
tion, the statute was amended in 1910 so that it now covers appeals. Several
other jurisdictions have similar definite statutes, while some have indefinite
statutory provisions, and many have none. In jurisdictions where there are
no statutory provisions, the denial of the right to appeal in forma pauperis
is predicated upon the reasoning that all appeals are statutory and, since the
right to appeal was not adopted with the common law, the right to appeal
in forma pauperis could not have been derived from that source.

The study made in 1927 by the League of Nations entitled Legal
Aid for the Poor, demonstrates clearly that the United States is
perhaps the only Nation which has not given adequate consideration
to this important problem.
It is to be regretted that less progress has been made in develop­
ing an adequate remedy for the problem of court costs and fees than



in the case either of delay or expense of counsel. Outside of two
or three articles, the legislative experiments o f the American Bar
Association through its legal aid committee and the steps taken by
the National Association o f Legal Aid Organizations, the years
from 1926 to date show small evidence of interest by the public or
legal profession. The problem of finding a remedy for the expense
o f court procedure is difficult because the problem is ordinarily not
a dramatic one. There is a widespread apathy on the part of the
public concerning the troubles ordinary men may have in asserting
legal rights. The plight of the man who has a legal right but does
not have the money to enforce it is frequently lost sight of. In con­
sequence, the sense of frustration in the mind of the individual is
deepened, the crafty person is free to continue unmolested his career
of trickery, and the substantive law as developed by the courts tends
to become limited to those cases where large amounts of property
are involved.
The third and last requirement for the successful operation of any
adequate in forma pauperis proceeding is that somehow provision
must be made so that whenever necessary the impecunious litigant
may secure the services of an attorney to advise him and to conduct his
case. Indeed, without such provision, everything else is in vain.
To enable a man to get into court and then to expect him to conduct
his own case without help and without representation would be no
more sensible than to put a boy in the cab of a locomotive and to
expect him to drive the train safely to its destination. And the
reason is the same. The law is necessarily a complex piece of mecha­
nism and it can be operated only by those specially trained persons
who devote their lives to an understanding of it. How to include
the services o f lawyers as a part of in forma pauperis procedure is
only one aspect of the larger problem of how to secure the services
of lawyers for poor persons generally. This is the subject of the
next chapter and the attempt to answer our immediate question must
J>e deferred until we have examined the problem as a whole and
have obtained a clearer realization of the part that lawyers take in the
actual administration of justice.

Chapter V.— Necessity for Employing Attorneys
The preceding chapters show that the wage earner has difficulty in
obtaining the equal protection o f the laws, not because of any partial­
ity in the laws themselves or in the courts that enforce the laws, but
because o f serious flaws in the machinery o f justice. As already
pointed out, the failure to readapt our administration of justice rap­
idly enough to the changed and novel conditions of our modern urban
industrial life has resulted in a break-down that is specifically attrib­
utable to three factors, of which the first two— delays and court costs
and fees incidental to litigation—have been considered.
The third factor—the necessity for the employment of an attorney
whenever a litigant wishes to understand what his rights are and
how to enforce them through appropriate legal proceedings—is quite
commonly overlooked altogether or when not overlooked it is gen­
erally misunderstood. No progress can be made until the strategic
position of the lawyer in the administration o f justice is clearly per­
ceived, and no worthwhile reform can be planned that does not take
this factor into full account. Indeed, those legal scholars who have
devoted their attention to the general problem of improving the posi­
tion of persons of limited means before the law are of the opinion that
the necessity for securing to such persons the services of competent
attorneys is the most important and the most difficult part of our task.
W. F. Willoughby, in his book, Principles of Judicial Administra­
tion (1929), in discussing the need for improvements in the admin­
istration o f justice, says:
A third category of expense involved in the conduct of litigation is that of
the payment for services of counsel. Four methods have been developed for
meeting this expense: (1) Elimination, as far as possible, of the need for
counsel; (2) assignment by a court of counsel to act without compensation or
for such compensation as the litigant may voluntarily offer; (3) provision by
the government of counsel to care for the interests of those unable to meet
the expense of employing private counsel; and (4) provision of counsel by
private organizations specially created to render this service.

So much attention would not be given to the subject were it not of
paramount importance.
Procedural reform may speed up the judicial machinery and thus
eliminate delays; court costs can easily be abolished in part, reduced
in part, and prevented from working injustice by the provision of
an adequate in forma pauperis procedure. Though all this is ac22



complished, the wage earner, in common with every other citizen,
will need the assistance o f an attorney in most o f the legal matters
that arise in the course of his life.
When it is said that the expense o f engaging lawyers places a
serious handicap on the less well-to-do members o f the community
the unthinking reply is apt to be, “ then let’s abolish the lawyers.”
This has been attempted at various times in the world’s history
and it has always failed. It was attempted in our own colonial
era and the experiment was disastrous. After the revolution in
Russia a determined effort was made to destroy the bar as a privi­
leged class, but it instantly appeared that the legal business o f the
country could not be operated without attorneys. The abolition of
lawyers would paralyze our administration of justice as completely
as the abolition of all judges, for as Justice Miller, of the Supreme
Court o f the United States, wrote in the case o f E x p a r te G a r l a n d :
It is believed that no civilized nation of modern times has been without a
class of men intimately connected with the court and with the administration
of justice, called attorneys, counsellors, and other terms of similar import.
They are as essential to the successful workings of the court as the clerks,
sheriffs, and marshals, and perhaps as the judges themselves, since no instance
is known of a court of law without a bar.

The reason for this is simple enough. It is like attempting to
abolish doctors, engineers, and architects. The erection of a modern
building is a complicated matter; its planning calls for a high degree
o f special skill and the few men who have mastered that skill we call
architects. To construct railroads or to build subways presents com­
plicated technical engineering problems that the average man would
be utterly unable to solve, and civilization requires the services of
mechanical and civil engineers. Human life daily becomes more
intricate; day by day every man finds himself involved in closer
relationships with, and more dependent upon, the fellow members
o f his community. The law which seeks to regulate this life and its
manifold relationships steadily becomes greater in its scope and
more complicated in its provisions.
No one knows how many laws and decisions of courts there are
in the United States today. F. A. Eldean, in his book How to Find
the Law, says:
Today the courts of last resort in the country are handing down about
25,000 decisions annually.

According to a study, The Cost of Legislation, by the Depart­
ment o f Legislative Research and Drafting o f Duke University in
1934, the total number of bills passed by State legislatures during
one regular session of each such legislative body between the years
1932-33 was 20,202.



The situation is summed up in the following statement by Edwin
Bolte in his book Ethics for Success at the B a r:
The law is divided into seven divisions. These 7 divisions are divided into
some 400 titles. These 400 titles are divided into some 470,000 propositions;
these 470,000 propositions are supported by some 1,800,000 decisions of courts
with an average of 30,000 decisions being added to this supply every year.
To this confusing abundance of sources of the law, we add some 250,000 everchanging statutes. God forbid that anyone should even undertake to read
all the law, not to mention learning all of it.

The difficulty of understanding the law even for the legal pro­
fession became so great that some 13 years ago a group of eminent
lawyers and judges formed the American Law Institute for the sole
purpose o f restating and simplifying the substantive rules. This
organization meets annually in Washington to discuss the labors of
a large staff of experts who are engaged in coping with the technical
details. Even in the hands of experts the restatements o f the law
in any particular field must be gone over again and again before
the wording of a single rule is agreed upon.
The intricacy of modern law and the necessity of having an attor­
ney who is an expert in a particular field of law is made dramatic
by the case o f Bountiful Brick Co. against Giles which was
finally decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 48
Supreme Court Reporter 221 (1928).
On June 17, 1925, Nephi Giles, an employee of the brick company,
while crossing the tracks of an electric railroad company on his way
to work, was struck by a train and killed. The yard of the brick
company is on the west side of the railway tracks immediately ad­
jacent thereto. Giles resided on the easterly side of the tracks. In
going to work it was impossible for him to avoid crossing the rail­
road tracks. There was a public crossing about 200 yards south of
the brick yard. Some of the employees were in the habit of crossing
the tracks directly opposite the brick yard. Giles, on his way to
work, started to cross directly opposite the brick yard, and was run
After his death his widow presented the claim before the Utah In­
dustrial Commission where the issue was joined on the point as to
whether or not the deceased was “in the course of employment” at the
time he was crossing the tracks. The point is a difficult one and the
facts o f this case made it a border-line problem and not a matter
in which the law was obviously either one way or the other.
The Industrial Commission of Utah awarded her compensation.
The defendant appealed. The widow being in destitute circum­
stances was unable to retain counsel to represent her before the Su*
preme Court of Utah. It happened that there is a Legal Aid Society
in Salt Lake City and the aid of this organization was enlisted.



The result was that the Supreme Court of Utah in 1926 in 251 P a­
cific, page 555, affirmed the award in favor of the widow. The de­
fendant again appealed, this time to the Supreme Court of the
United States, 2,000 miles away in Washington. The constitutional
question was whether the Utah Compensation Act contravened the
due process of law clause of the fourteenth amendment to the Fed­
eral Constitution. The widow again was absolutely without funds
to retain counsel at a distance, nor did she know any lawyer who
might have been willing to help her without compensation. It hap­
pened, however, that one of the members of the Industrial Commis­
sion of Utah had attended, a year or so previously, a meeting of the
International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Com­
missions. A t that meeting a member of the staff of the Boston Legal
Aid Society who specialized in workmen’s compensation cases had ad­
dressed the convention on the relationship between the work of the
Legal Aid Society and the workmen’s compensation boards of the
country. The Utah commissioner believed that he could interest
this representative of the Boston Legal Aid Society, and conse­
quently a telegram was sent him. The Boston attorney responded
by taking the first train to Washington. There the papers which
were forwarded from Utah met him. He obtained special leave
to file his brief although the regular time for filing it had expired.
He labored for 3 days and nights unceasingly in the preparation of
his argument and then presented the matter before the Supreme
Court. On February 20, 1928, nearly 3 years after the accident the
Supreme Court of the United States sustained the widow’s claim.
It is obvious that for the widow’s rights to be protected in this
case a number of factors were necessary. There had to be a local
lawyer to handle the case. There had to be an expert to present
the matter to the Supreme Court of the United States. There had
to be a correlation between the two based on a sympathetic under­
standing of the problem and a high degree of professional zeal. The
mere statement of the difficulties in the way of accomplishing these
results indicate by what a slender thread the plaintiff’s rights hung.
I f the lawyer had not been present no one can tell whether the
woman would have secured judgment in her favor.
Lawyers devote their lives to the study and practice of law. For
their living they must depend on the fees paid by clients. No ques­
tion of whether charges for legal services are high or low need detain
us, because even when they are reduced to the lowest point which
will enable the lawyer to support himself and his f amily there will
remain a multitude o f our fellow citizens who cannot pay those fees.
Nothing would be gained by any attempt to fix with mathematical
certainty the number of persons who may be debarred from justice
43381— 36------- 3



because o f their inability to retain counsel, but a rough approxima­
tion does help us to realize the magnitude o f the problem with which
we are now dealing. The population of the United States, ex­
clusive o f its outlying possessions, was nearly 123,000,000 according
to the 1930 census.1 This population consists o f men, women, and
children, many o f whom obviously are not engaged in work and
have no income whatsoever. According to the United States Bureau
o f the Census, in 1930 the number gainfully employed was above
48,000,000.2 In 1935 the Committee on Economic Security in its
report to the President fills out the picture for us by such state­
ments (pp. 1 and 2) as:
The need of the people o f this country for “ some safeguard against mis­
fortunes which cannot be wholly eliminated in this man-made world of ours”
is tragically apparent at this time, when 18,000,000 people, including children
and aged, are dependent upon emergency relief for their subsistence and
approximately 10,000,000 workers have no employment other than relief work.
Many millions more have lost their entire savings, and there has occurred a
very great decrease in earnings. * * * In 1929, at the peak of the stockmarket boom, the average per-capita income o f all salaried employees at work
was only $1,475. Eighteen million gainfully employed persons, constituting
44 percent of all those gainfully occupied, exclusive of farmers, had annual
earnings of less than $1,000; 28,000,000, or nearly 70 percent, earning less
than $1,500. Many people lived in straitened circumstances at the height of
prosperity; a considerable number live in chronic want. Throughout the twen­
ties the number of people dependent upon private and public charity steadily
With the depression, the scant margin of safety of many others has dis­
appeared. The average earnings of all wage earners at work dropped from
$1,475 in 1929 to $1,199 in 1932. * * *

The number of wage earners attached to all industries in 1927 was
about 27,300,000, according to an estimate by the National Bu­
reau of Economic Research. The average wage o f this group, tak­
ing account o f unemployment, was $1,205 in 1927.3 A publication
by the Brookings Institution, Washington, D. C., entitled Amer­
ica’s Capacity to Consume (1934), states that even in 1929 there
were 2,102,000 families with an annual income of less than $500, and
3,797,000 families with an annual income of $500 or over, but less than
$1,000 (p. 54).
Yet these millions o f persons, and especially the larger propor­
tion o f them who live in cities, may at any moment and through no
fault o f their own find that they need legal advice or legal assist­
ance in the enforcement or defense of their personal and property
1 U nited S tates D epartm ent o f Commerce. B ureau o f th e C ensus. F ifteen th census of
th e U nited S tates : 1930. A bstract. W ashington, 1933, p. 9.
2 U nited S tates D epartm ent o f Commerce. Bureau o f th e C ensus. F ifteen th census of
the U nited S t a t e s : 1930. V ol. 5, O ccupations, general report. W ashington, 1933, p. 10.
N ational B ureau of E conom ic R esearch. T he n ation al incom e and its purchasing
power, by W illford I. K ing, N ew York, 1930, pp. 56 and 146.



rights guaranteed them by the law of the land. This is the great
dilemma; this is the core of our problem. The remainder o f this
report is devoted to the solution o f the difficulty, showing that in
certain kinds of cases it may be partially solved through new types
of courts or administrative tribunals, but that in most instances a
permanent solution can be had only by facing the issue squarely
and by supporting those new agencies which have come into being
for the avowed purpose of supplying the services of lawyers to all
persons who need legal aid and are unable to pay for it. But before
taking up a consideration of these new plans which seem so full of
promise if they can be wisely developed, it would be well to review
briefly what has been done or attempted in this direction by the
administration of justice itself.
Poverty is perennial, and impecunious suitors have on occasion
besought aid from the courts throughout our legal history. In one
o f the earliest English law books we find a petition filed before the
justice in Eyre by William, son o f Hugh of Smethumilne, which
And I pray you for your soul’s sake that you will give me remedy of this,
for I am so poor that I can pay for no lawyer.

On September 29, 1934, L. L. Dunn filed an affidavit in the office
of the clerk of the Superior Court in Durham County, N. C., which
read in part as follow s:
I am unable to give sureties or make a deposit required by law, to enable
me to prosecute the above action against the defendant,, and therefore pray
that X may be allowed to sue in this action as a pauper.

Courts have recognized the seriousness o f the point involved.
an Iowa decision we find:


So limited and restricted is the sphere of action prescribed for the judge as
to proceedings on trial touching matters of fact that without the aid of able
and experienced counsel the poor and ignorant man would often find accusa­
tion and prosecution tantamount to conviction.

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has summed up the very issue
that confronts us in this chapter by asking:
Would it not be a little like mockery to secure to a pauper these solemn
constitutional guaranties for a fair and full trial, and yet say to him when
on trial that he must employ his own counsel, who could alone render these
guaranties of any real permanent value to him?

and the court answers the question by stating:
It would be a reproach upon the administration of justice if a person thus
upon trial could not have the assistance of legal counsel because he was too
poor to secure it.

The most usual method evolved by our administration of justice
for meeting this difficulty has been the system o f assigning counsel.



The theory is that a lawyer is an officer o f the court and is bound by
his professional oath to render gratuitous service to poor persons.
This same conception may be found in the legal systems of nearly
all civilized countries.' In practice it has never worked satisfactorily.
W. F. Willoughby, in his book Principles of Judicial Administra­
tion (1929), further states:
It will be noted, furthermore, that the effort to provide counsel for those
unable to employ counsel for themselves has been made only in the case of
criminal cases. No attempt is made in this way to aid the poor litigant in civil

The practice of assigning counsel differs sharply as between crimi­
nal and civil cases. Assignments in criminal cases relate so closely
to the discussion o f the public defender that in chapter X I , describ­
ing the defender in criminal cases, will be found further details; here
only the general and broad outlines of the assignment system are
discussed. Nineteen States either by definite prohibition or because
they do not provide a fund for the purpose, prevent counsel from
making a charge to the State for services rendered to a poor person
where the assignment is made by the court. This is a return to
the common-law rule that a lawyer as, an officer of the court is
required to assist the court in the performance of its duties as a
part of the professional obligation which he assumes upon his
admission to practice. In many States the compensation is generally
so small as to be nominal. Some of these States allow a reasonable
fee in. murder or capital cases, but make no provision in cases where
a lesser crime is charged.
In civil cases statutes authorizing the assignment of counsel exist
in only 12 States. None o f these statutes provides any compensation
to the lawyer. Judge Levy, of the New York Municipal Court, in
speaking o f the statute authorizing the court to assign counsel with­
out compensation, stated to the New York State Bar Association
in 1920:
The power of the court has frequently been invoked in that direction.

How frequently, we do not know, but subject to this exception,
the general rule throughout the United States is not to assign counsel
in civil cases at all. As civil cases constitute the bulk of the cases
in which wage earners, as well as other litigants, are interested, the
statement is warranted that the assignment system has failed.
It has failed because it is based on an economic fallacy. W e may
be reasonably confident that this is the true reason because the same
economic considerations in various countries have produced precisely
the same breakdown in the assignment-of-counsel plan. As good a
statement as can be found to illustrate this assertion is contained in
a paper presented at the International Conference on Legal Aid



Work, held at Geneva in 1924, by Silvio Longhi, first president of
the Court o f Appeal, who in commenting on the assignment system
in Italy, where it has existed since before America was discovered,
The duty of gratuitous assistance is not accepted with enthusiasm by lawyers
of the widest experience and reputation, who are for this reason engaged in
other more remunerative tasks; and when the duty is accepted it is now and
then neglected. Thus poor persons’ suits are necessarily almost always put in
the hands of attorneys with small practices and of those just beginning to prac­
tice, who in their turn are not in a position to< devote themselves to cases
without profit. Finally, there is no doubt that the system of free defense does
not give all the results that a paid defense could give, and so a poor person
is given tardy and second-rate help. This is due to the fact that the system
is based on a false theory, on the economic mistake in supposing that free help
can be given with as much efficiency as paid help. However high the bar’s
standard may be—and it is very high— it has not moral strength to struggle
for any length of time against the law of recompense for human activity; and
if, taken all together, the system of free help does not measure up to those
social exigencies to which one would wish to apply it, this is not to be laid
to the attorneys, but exclusively to the illusion of the legislator who believes
he can solve a serious problem with fine words: As by announcing that this
free help is an “ honorable activity” of the legal profession.

The apathy in the United States on this subject is in sharp con­
trast to the procedure in England. In 1914 the High Court in
that country adopted a series of poor-persons rules. These matters
have annually gone under the scrutiny of the legal profession.
F. C. G. Gurney-Champion in his book Justice and the Poor in
England (1926), has two statements to make regarding the condi­
tion at that time. He says:
On the 5th August, 1925, the Attorney General, in reply to a question in the
House of Commons, admitted that it was impossible to bring some poor persons’
cases before the courts, because of the dearth of conducting solicitors. The
conducting solicitor is the key to the solution of the particular problem covered
by the poor-persons rules.

The summary o f the workings of the poor-persons rules is con­
tained in the following statement:
The poor-persons rules exclude from legal aid in the High Court two out of
the three classes of poor persons that cannot get justice in such courts without
legal aid. Legal aid under the poor-persons rules is only given to that class
of poor person who is rich enough to pay his own out-of-pocket expenses, and
who is poor enough to be able to prove that his capital does not exceed f 100, or
his income £4 a week. By this rigid poverty test limit, the poor-persons rules
have created a specially privileged class of poor person. In no sense do these
rules make the administration o f justice equal, even amongst the poor. They
only assist a privileged middle-class poor person.

In consequence of this, at the present time, with the assistance of
the poor-persons department of the Law Society and through the
aid o f several organizations which do the work corresponding to



that done by legal-aid societies in this country, there has been a
marked improvement in the condition of the poor client. Begin­
ning with a series of cases almost exclusively in the field o f divorce,
the demands for aid have been enlarged to cover many other prob­
lems confronting the impecunious litigant.
The assignment plan in America has been an altogether inade­
quate solution, but it should not be abandoned. Potentially it has
great usefulness, and i f reasonable compensation were allowed to
assigned attorneys the inherent weakness o f the plan as it now
exists would be removed. In Norway, Denmark, and Sweden as­
signed counsel are paid a reasonable fee fixed by the court. Twentysix States have some provisions for the payment o f assigned coun­
sel, but usually this is so little that it does not cover the incidental
out-of-pocket expenses connected with a lawsuit. In North Caro­
lina, Oklahoma, and Virginia the maximum compensation allowed
by statute is $25. On the other hand, the Illinois law now pro­
vides for the payment o f assigned counsel in felony cases at the
rate o f $15 a day during preparation of the case, but not to
exceed 5 days; during the actual proceedings counsel is to receive
$25 a day. However, the maximum amount to be paid is $250.
New York allows incidental expenses plus $1,000 in capital cases.
The most notable step has been taken by the legislature of New
York State at its 1935 session, when at the instance of the New York
Legal Aid Society it amended sections 196, 199, 558, 1493, and 1522
o f the Civil Practice Act and section 174 o f the Municipal Court
Code. In effect the changes included the follow ing: A poor person
may “ bring a special proceeding” as well as a suit. The court will
assign him counsel, and counsel “ so assigned must act without com­
pensation except that i f a recovery is had the court may allow
such attorney a reasonable sum for his services' and taxable dis­
bursements.” The definition o f a “poor person” is rendered more
flexible. Previously the possession of $100 disqualified the appli­
cant. The new law raises this to $300 “ in cash or available prop­
erty.” The right to appeal as a poor person is given in addition
to the existing right o f a day in the trial court, and in aid thereof
the applicant “ shall not be required to pay any fees or to print
either the record or points on appeal but may submit the same in
typewriting with such number of legible copies as shall furnish
each appellate judge or justice with one copy thereof.” The sig­
nificance of exemption from the duty to pay fees is rendered clearer
by the specific statement that fees need not be paid to any officer,
“ including clerks, stenographers, or sheriffs.” Nonresident poor
persons are freed from the obligation to file a bond to cover costs.
Finally, in the municipal court, the filing fee o f $1.25 is not to be



“ demanded or received on small claims o f employees * *
The effect o f these changes will be to accomplish more effectively
than in the past the objective of giving the poor person, in fact,
a chance equal to that of any other person.
Any thorough plan for adapting the machinery of justice to
modem conditions should include some provision for assignment
o f counsel so that the courts would have power to act to prevent
injustice as occasion might arise. The wise exercise o f the power
would probably serve as a complete solution of the difficulty in
smaller communities and in the sparsely settled districts. For the
great urban communities, where the need is far more extensive, it
could serve as a last resource, but in actual practice it would need
to be invoked only rarely, for our American experience indicates
another more efficient, more economical, means whereby the desired
result can be accomplished.

Chapter VI.— Developm ent o f Rem edial Agencies
The social and economic forces that have so radically altered the
conditions of life in America and that, as shown in the preceding
chapters, have caused a breakdown of serious proportions in our
administration of justice first made themselves felt in the last quar­
ter o f the nineteenth century. A generation passed before the
American people were made aware of what had happened in their
most vital domestic institution. During that time the wage earners
and the humbler classes generally had to exist without ample pro­
tection from the law. I f their wages were unpaid, their only redress
lay in civil litigation, which was protracted and expensive beyond
their means. I f they were injured, their only recourse was a suit
for personal injuries, their path was strewn with technical traps
such as the fellow-servant rule and the doctrine o f assumption o f
risk, a lawyer had to be secured on a contingent-fee basis, and the
best that could be expected would be a verdict after the lapse of
2 or 3 years. Because o f their legally defenseless position they were
preyed on and defrauded by a host o f petty swindlers. The ex­
ploitation that immigrants endured has been written into the records
o f Federal and State investigations. When pressed by the expense
of illness, death, or other misfortune, money could be borrowed
only from the loan shark at ruinous rates of interest. Workmen
were induced, often by false representations, to assign their future
wages—many employers made it a rule to discharge any one who
made such an assignment—and thus the workman found himself
at the mercy o f an assignee who had power over both his livelihood
and his job. The law in its actual application to his life was apt
to impress the wage earner as an enemy and oppressor and not as
a friend and protector.
The first definite pronouncement of the difficulties within the field
o f justice came in 1906 when Roscoe Pound addressed the American
Bar Association on The Causes o f Popular Dissatisfaction With
the Administration of Justice. Slowly, gradually, but in increasing
measure, the American people were aroused. Legislative committees,
constitutional conventions, and bar associations became active. Dur­
ing the past 25 years we have been busily devising ways and means
for reforming the law and reorganizing the machinery of justice so
that the needs of the community might be better served. We have
by no means accomplished all that must sooner or later be accom­
plished— perhaps the greater part of the road yet remains to be
traveled—but we have at last come to a realization of our problem
and o f the factors that have produced it. No quick final solution




was possible; the matter was too complicated to be settled by any
easy formula or panacea; experiments had to be tried, but the record
of events since 1910 proves that an earnest and a brave beginning
has been made.
The first State workmen’s compensation act was passed in 1911.
The Massachusetts law requiring the weekly payment of wages was
made the most effective statute of its kind when in 1912 its enforce­
ment was entrusted to the State labor commissioner. The first ex­
periments with small-claims courts and conciliation were inaugurated
in Cleveland and in Kansas City, Kans., in 1918. In the same year
the first public defender in the United States was established under
the new charter of Los Angeles County, Calif. Prior to 1910
there were fewer than 10 legal-aid organizations in the whole
country; in 1910 the first municipal legal-aid bureau was created in
Kansas City, Mo., and since that time the growth of legal-aid offices,
both public and private, has proceeded apace.
The remaining chapters in this article trace the rise and growth
of these new agencies, state the results they have already obtained,
and attempt to appraise them as far as our present* experience enables
us to form conclusions. First will be considered the small-claims
courts which have been signally successful in caring for cases involv­
ing $50 or less without delay, without excessive court costs, and
without the necessity for attorneys. Then comes the allied subject
of conciliation, which is still in an experimental stage in America
but which has a long and enviable record of achievement in Norway
and Denmark. Next will be taken up certain aspects of the work­
men’s compensation acts as administered by industrial accident com­
missions, and following that the legal assistance afforded to poor
persons, especially in the collection (of wages, by the labor commis­
sioners in the several States.
These agencies—small-claims courts, conciliation, industrial acci­
dent commissions, labor bureaus or departments—all represent efforts
to deal with certain limited types or classes of cases by special means
adapted to the particular cases within their jurisdiction. Beyond
them lies the whole area of legal litigation as to which no short cuts
of procedural or administrative reform have been devised, where the
need for the attorney’s service remains as great as it has ever been,
and where the only solution seems to be afforded by the further de­
velopment and expansion o f our legal-aid organizations. Because
such organizations must be relied on so heavily for the final solution
of our existing difficulties, and because to date they have not secured
the public attention and support to which their merits entitle them,
the final chapters of this bulletin will be devoted to the story of how
these organizations came into being, of the nature and manner of
their work, and of the unique service that they now render ^ more
than 300,000 persons every year.

Chapter VII.— Small-Claims Courts
The effort to make our courts more serviceable to the modem com­
munity has met with striking success in the direction o f devising a
simplified form of procedure for the smaller cases. The courts which
utilize this quick and inexpensive procedure are commonly called
small-claims courts; their jurisdiction differs in different States; the
average jurisdiction is over matters involving $50 or less and this
includes most claims for wages, debts (such as grocery bills), dis­
putes about rent, board and lodging, detention o f property under
claim o f lien, damage to personal property—in short, a very large
number of the cases in which wage earners are likely to become in­
volved. The importance of these new courts, from the point of view
o f the authors of this report, can hardly be exaggerated. It is of
prime importance that their true nature and function be under­
stood, and to that end it is essential to distinguish them from
another new agency which is known as conciliation.
Small-claims courts and conciliation are distinct things. There is
much confusion on this point and much reason for the confusion, but
no intelligent grasp of the developments in these two separate fields is
possible unless at the outset it can be made clear that small claims
courts on the one hand and conciliation on the other are funda­
mentally different. The difference is one of kind and not of degree.
From any analytical point of view small-claims courts and con­
ciliation tribunals have little in common; in most essential features
they are opposite. Yet the two terms are often used as if they
were interchangeable. This is a case of mistaken identity due to
the fact that the establishment o f the first small-claims court and
the modern revival o f the idea of conciliation occurred at the same
time. By a freak of coincidence the official history of both begins
on precisely the same day in the same year. These twin ideas were
brought into being by the same underlying cause—the absolute ne­
cessity o f doing something to make justice more accessible to poor
persons. Both aimed, therefore, at the same goal, but they con­
templated attaining that goal in different ways and through dif­
ferent machinery.
The first small-claims court was established in Cleveland on
March 15,1913. By the irony of fate it was called the “ conciliation”
branch of the municipal court, which, as the chief justice of that
court has pointed out, is simply a misnomer. On March 15, 1913,
the Kansas Legislature, acting entirely independently of this Cleve34



land experiment, passed a law creating “ small debtors’ courts” , which
were, in all important respects save one, nothing more nor less than
conciliation tribunals.
These twists o f nomenclature were enough to account for the
original confusion as to these new agencies, but the continuing con­
fusion that pervades the discussion and the literature on these sub­
jects arises from the ambiguous use of the word “ conciliation.”
Conciliation is a method o f settling disputes, just as litigation
is another method and arbitration still another. But the term is
also used to denote conciliation tribunals; that is, to denote the
institution which employs the method of conciliation. When we
speak of conciliation in North Dakota we mean the conciliation tri­
bunals o f that State.
What, then, are these small-claims courts and conciliation tri­
bunals in relation to the administration of justice as a whole and
in relation to each other?
First, a small-claims court is a court, and a conciliation tribunal
is not a court. In upholding. the constitutionality of the North
Dakota Conciliation Act the State supreme court says:
A conciliation board such as is provided for is not a court; it is a tribunal,
a board, a table of peace where those who have certain kinds of controversies
are invited to s it ; this tribunal possesses none of the attributes of a court.

Second, a small-claims court, like any other court, has power to
render a decision and to enter a judgment which is as binding and
as enforceable as the judgment of any other court in the land. A
conciliation tribunal has no power to make a binding decision; the
only judgment it can enter is one to which both parties voluntarily
Third, a small-claims court has compulsory jurisdiction over the
defendant; its writ of summons is a legal process and the penalty for
disobeying it is a default. A conciliation tribunal has no power to
compel the attendance of the defendant; it invites him to come
and tell his story, but he may defy the invitation with absolute
Finally, the small-claims court is a court of law. Cases in a smallclaims court are heard by a judge and his decision is based on the
rules o f substantive law. Conciliation tribunals are commonly pre­
sided over by laymen and the judgment, if any, need bear no
relation whatsoever to the rules of law. This must be made clear.
I f A sues B for a grocery bill and the judge of the small-claims
court after hearing the evidence decides that the amount due is
$25, the only proper judgment he can render is one for $25. In the
conciliation tribunal, if the conciliator believes the amount due is
$25 but A and B agree it is $35 or $15, the only judgment that can
be entered will be for $35 or $15, as the parties have agreed.



These are the fundamental attributes of, and the fundamental
differences between, small-claims courts and conciliation tribunals.
There are other features, less important and less absolute, pertain­
ing to these agencies that need to be mentioned. As a small-claims
court is a court of law its hearings, in accordance with constitu­
tional requirement, are open and public. A conciliation tribunal’s
hearing is commonly held in secret. Testimony offered before a
small-claims court may be used, in accordance with the rules of
evidence, at a retrial or subsequent hearing. A conciliation tribunal
is like a confessional; what is there said goes no further. Lawyers
are generally barred from conciliation hearings; the most recent
and best small-claims courts do not prohibit attorneys, although in
fact they seldom appear.
In both small-claims courts and conciliation tribunals the pro­
cedure is highly informal; rules of pleading, trial procedure, and
evidence are largely dispensed with. The parties tell their stories
in their own words and are questioned directly by the judge or
the conciliator. The outward appearance of a small-claims-court
hearing and of a conciliation-tribunal hearing is thus much the
same. A small-claims court on occasion does approach so closely
to the conciliation tribunal as to be identical with it not merely in
procedure but in function. A conciliation tribunal can never be­
come a small-claims court, but a small-claims court can and does
metamorphose itself into a conciliation tribunal by the simple
expedient of invoking the method of conciliation.
For example, A and B appear before the small-claims-court judge.
B says, “A, you claim $30. I owe you only $27, which I will pay
you now.” A says, “ I won’t take it.” The judge says to A, “Assum­
ing for the moment that you are right, $27 in the hand is sometimes
worth more than a $30 judgment” , and he explains why. A says,
“ Judge, that sounds like common sense to me. I ’ll take the $27.”
B then pays it. The judge enters “Judgment for A in the sum o f $27
and judgment satisfied.” While the method o f conciliation may be
utilized more readily and more commonly in the small-claims court
its use is not peculiar to that court. A ll courts have from time
immemorial invoked conciliation when it seemed appropriate. What
trial lawyer has not seen instances in which a judge (often just be­
fore the case goes to the jury) has called counsel into his chambers
and said, “ Before we go any further I want to suggest that you see
if your clients might not come together along the following lines.”
He does this because it promotes justice and because it often
When the small-claims-court judge attempts conciliation his court
is, for the moment, functionally identical with a conciliation tri-



bunal, but underneath it all the fundamental difference remains un­
changed. I f conciliation fails the conciliation tribunal is done; its
power is exhausted. The small-claims-court judge, however, is
only beginning. The preliminary step of conciliation having failed,
he proceeds to hear the evidence, to decide the issue, and to enter
his judgment.
This is the background of the following and rather surprising
narrative o f what has actually taken place, what small-claims courts
have already been established, what their experience thus far has
been, and what their future is likely to be.
Small-claims courts are being established with great rapidity.
Though the idea is only 20 years old it has taken root in various
cities and throughout a number of States, from Massachusetts in
the East to California in the West. This development is more a
national than a local phenomenon and its momentum has by no means
The historical record may 'be condensed into three paragraphs.
The Cleveland small-claims court was established in 1913 under rules
of the municipal court. In 1915 the Oregon Legislature provided
by statute for the small-claims department of the District Court for
Multnomah County (Portland) and in 1917 extended the plan to all
counties. The Chicago municipal court by rules created a special
division for small causes in 1916. In 1920, the Philadelphia munici­
pal court by rule organized a special department including small
claims, and Spokane inaugurated its small-claims court.
A great forward step was taken when Massachusetts in 1921 estab­
lished a State-wide system of small-claims courts by requiring the
judge of every lower court throughout the State to establish a spe­
cial procedure and special sessions for the hearing of all small claims,
not merely contract actions, but tort actions (other than slander and
libel) as well, where the amount claimed was $35 or less. The text of
the Massachusetts Small Claims Court Act appears in appendix B.
In 1921 California and South Dakota by statute erected State-wide
systems of small-claims courts, and Minnesota, having liked the
Minneapolis experiment, extended the plan to St. Paul, Stillwater,
and Duluth.
Iowa passed an act in 1923 providing for conciliation and also
giving all the lower-court judges power to regulate the procedure
in small claims. Also in 1923 Idaho and Nevada created their
State-wide systems o f small-claims courts.
Since 1923 the small-claims court movement has entered still
another stage. In that year in nine States and in four great cities
in other States this specialized tribunal was an established fact.
Ten years later in 1934 there were 16 States in which the statutes



provided for the establishment o f small-claims courts. The seven
new States were: Vermont, 1925; New Jersey, 1926; Connecticut,
1929; Ehode Island, 1930; Colorado, 1931; Utah, 1933; New York,
1934. In general, the device has been found necessary in those
States where the industrialization process has matured. It will
perhaps be o f interest to make a comparison o f two o f these courts.
As the first example the one established in Massachusetts in 1921
may be taken, and as a second example the one set up in New York
in the year 1934.
Since Massachusetts was the first State to pass a State-wide act of
general application to all small legal actions, thereby making the
small-claims courts an integral part o f its administration of justice,
and since the Massachusetts law and procedure are in many respects
the best thus far devised, the situation in that State affords a prac­
tical illustration of what the idea is, how it works, and what it
Massachusetts has both an industrial and an agricultural popu­
lation; it has great cities and small country towns; its citizen­
ship consists of the descendants of the original Anglo-Saxon stock
and a great number o f immigrants o f diverse races. In short, here
are presented all those problems that make the administration o f
justice in our country peculiarly difficult. The courts o f the State
are above the average; in the lower courts the fees and costs being
comparatively low, and a great deal having been done to eliminate
delays. Yet the poor man with a small case in many instances found
the courts practically closed to him, because the fees for entry
and service o f process were more than he could afford and because
of the expense o f employing counsel to pilot his little case' through
the intricacies of pleadings, evidence, and trial procedure. It is
probable that the problem existed in less acute form in Massa­
chusetts than in most other States, but a specially appointed judica­
ture commission, after traveling throughout the State, conferring
with judges, and conducting hearings, stated in its first report:
The substantial point which the commission believes to be established by
all this evidence is that, as a practical matter in many cases involving small
amounts, the delay incident to formal court procedure, the expense involved
in the service of process and in the present entry fee, and the expense of an
attorney result in a failure of justice simply because the parties have not
the money to pay what is required in the litigation of these matters.
This is not a healthy state of affairs in any community. That the failure
of justice in this way may be relatively less in Massachusetts than that in
some other places is no reason why efforts should not be made to improve
matters .in Massachusetts. Is it fair that a man who has a small claim for
$5 or $10 or thereabouts should be under the necessity of paying out as much
or more than the amount of his claim in order to present the matter to the



Cannot Massachusetts devise some practical method of handling these small
claims promptly, simply, informally, and without unnecessary existing ex­
penses, in the interests of justice?

The commission recommended legislation, the essential features
o f which are:
The justices (o f the lower courts) shall make uniform rules providing for
a simple, informal, and inexpensive procedure for the determination, accord­
ing to the rules of substantive law, of claims in the nature of contract or
tort, other than slander and libel, in which the plaintiff does not claim as
debt or damages more than $35. Such procedure shall not be exclusive but
shall be alternative to the formal procedure for causes begun by writ. Such
procedure shall include the beginning of actions without entry fee or writ or
requirement, except by special order of court, of other pleading than a state­
ment to a clerk or an assistant clerk of the court, who shall reduce the same
to concise written form in a docket kept for the purpose. Such procedure
shall include notice by mail instead of the mode of legal service heretofore
required, and shall further include provisions for early hearing of actions
thus begun. Such procedure may include the modification of any or all exist­
ing rules of pleading and practice, and a stay of the entry of judgment or
of the issue of execution. The rules for such procedure may provide for the
elimination of any or all fees and costs now fixed by law, and that the
imposition of costs in causes under such procedure shall be in the discretion
of the court. In causes begun under such procedure the court may, on appli­
cation for cause shown, issue writs of attachment of property or person as
in causes begun by writ.

The legislature amended the bill so as to require a $1 entry fee
and then enacted it in 1920, postponing its effective date to 1921
so that the judges might have time to formulate their rules. A
copy o f the law and a copy o f the rules will be found in appendix
B to this bulletin.
A small-claims court is doomed to failure unless it can speedily
bring its cases to a final determination. It was at first feared that
the Minneapolis court would be wrecked by multitudinous appeals.
The chief difficulty is the constitutional guaranty of right to trial
by jury, which Massachusetts, in common with most States, extends
to all suitors in actions at law. This right cannot be cut off, and,
therefore, the Small Claims Act provides as follows: A plaintiff
may sue in the regular way, but if he elects to use the small-claims
procedure (and plaintiffs are substantially unanimous in their pref­
erence) he has then waived his jury claim. The defendant may
at once (not after the decision) remove the case to the superior
court for jury trial, but if he does not he, too, has then waived,
and there can be no appeal. It was debated whether the law should
make the removal by the defendant burdensome by requiring extra
fees or a bond. The commission decided against any such attempt
on the ground that if the small-claims court did not command the



respect o f the litigants it could not in any event be successful.
The practical answer is that during 1931, 1,421 cases were entered in
the small-claims branch of the Boston municipal court, and only
two defendants exercised their right of removal.
This problem of appeal— which means delay and expense—and
the allied problem of the right to jury trial are critical and must be
overcome at the outset. We commend the Massachusetts plan, which
is sound law and workable in practice, as the precedent to be followed
wherever it is applicable. In Cleveland the situation is analogous.
The small-claims court’svdecision is final on the facts; an appeal on
points of law goes directly to the court of appeals, the intermediate
appeal to the court of common pleas having been abolished. In
California the decision is conclusive as to the plaintiff, but the de­
fendant may appeal by giving bond to pay the judgment (if affirmed)
and also a special fee of $15 for the plaintiff’s attorney. The system
in Idaho, Minnesota, and Oregon is like that of California.
The procedure in all small-claims courts is very much the same.
Using Massachusetts again as our illustration, if Adams has a
grocery bill against Babbitt in Boston he goes to the clerk of the
small-claims branch. Many matters are there settled or dropped.
Generally, only about 25 percent of the claims filed are contested.
O f the remaining 75 percent some are dismissed, judgment goes by
default in others, and some are stricken from the docket; however,
a large portion of those cases not contested are settled before trial.
For example: In Minneapolis in 1933, of over 10,000 claims filed,
about 1,500 were settled without contest; in about 4,200 judgment
went by default; over 700 were stricken from the docket; and slightly
more than 900 were dismissed. I f an immediate settlement is not
effectuated, the clerk has Adams sign (no oath is required) a simple
statement o f claim which appears in the docket as follow s:
Claim: Defendant owes plaintiff $27.83 for groceries and household goods
sold to him between October 16, 1930, and December 28, 1930.

I f the statement does not make out a prima facie case it may go
at once before a judge, who determines whether the claim shall be
received. The general principle that the statement may be informal
and need not be the equivalent of a common-law declaration is
upheld in S h e r v. R o b i n s o n , 298 111. 181 (1921). As some entry fee
is desirable, a nominal one of $1 is required. In San Francisco,
where the proceedings are absolutely free, collection and installment
houses dun their debtors, ad libitum without expense, by having
their bills mailed out by the small-claims-court clerk with postage
stamps paid for by the county treasurer. The case is set down for
hearing within a week or 10 days, and the clerk gives the plaintiff
a card stating the exact time and place. Notice then goes to the



defendant, not in the usual form o f a writ couched in archaic tech­
nical language but in the following direct style:
To John T. Babbitt.
Amos X . Adams asks judgment of this court against you for $27.83 for
groceries and household goods sold to you between October 16, 1930, and
December 28, 1930.
The court will give a hearing upon this claim at (here the courthouse and
room is inserted) at 9 o’clock in the forenoon on Thursday, February 3, 1931.
If you deny the claim, in whole or part, you must, not later than Tuesday,
February 1, 1931, state to the clerk, personally or by attorney, orally or in
writing, your full and specific defense to such claim, and you must also appear
at the hearing. Unless you d’o both, judgment may be entered against you
by default. I f your defense is supported by witnesses, account books, receipts
or other documents, you should produce them at the hearing. Summonses
for witnesses, if requested, will be issued by clerk, without fee.
I f you admit the claim, but desire time to pay, you must, not later than
Tuesday, February 1, 1931, personally or by attorney, state to the clerk, orally
or in writing, that you desire time to pay, and you must also appear at the
hearing and show your reasons for desiring time to pay.

This notice is sent by registered mail, return receipt requested.
I f the postman (who knows most of the persons in this district) can­
not make delivery, then the court may order other process. In the
Boston district in 1931 only 3 notices were refused and only 72 were
returned because the defendant could not be located. In fact, serv­
ice by mail works so well that the Cleveland court, which has used it
longest, has discarded registered mail and uses the ordinary mail not
merely in small cases but as the regular method of service in all
municipal-court cases. A series of cases holding that it is perfectly
legal to have service of process by mail are collected in a comment in
the May 1934 issue of the Columbia Law Review, on page 935, where
this statement is made:
While actions in personam are traditionally commenced by personal service,
the due process guarantee of notice demand’s only that the means used be
reasonably adapted to inform the defendant. Service by mail seems to satisfy
this requirement * * *.

Attachments are rarely issued, but they may be used if the court
so orders. This seems better than the California rule that “no at­
tachment or garnishment shall issue from the small-claims court.”
It will be noted that the Massachusetts procedure requires the
defendant to file an answer (or tell his defense to the clerk, who
will file it for him) or be defaulted. The arguments pro and con
on this point are evenly balanced. By not requiring any answer,
you save the defendant one trip to court and you eliminate one pro­
cedural step. On the other hand, unless an answer is required the
plaintiff is obliged to attend the court often for the sole purpose of
being entitled to a default judgment. Furthermore, the answer
43381— 36-------4



gives the plaintiff opportunity to prepare for a defense he had not
expected. For these reasons Massachusetts requires an answer; for
the contrary reasons the other small-claims courts do not. The wiser
course cannot be determined by theorizing; it will be decided by
On the assigned date (unless there be a default) both parties ap­
pear in person, and the judge conducts the hearing by direct con­
versation with the parties and their witnesses when there are any.
The judge keeps the evidence within the bounds of relevancy but he
does not object if hearsay creeps into the testimony o f a man trying
to tell his story in his own words. Much litigation grows out of
misunderstanding; when that appears the judge may be able to re­
move it, and then he is using the method of conciliation. More liti­
gation grows out o f the defendant’s inability to pay, and when he
finds that he can pay in installments his denial often becomes a
candid admission. In any event, the court makes a decision which
is entered as a judgment. I f the defendant needs time, issuance of
execution may be stayed.
The procedure is obviously informal and untechnical. As ex­
pressed in rule 7,
Witnesses shall be sworn; but the court shall conduct the hearing in such
manner and form, and with such methods of proof, as it deems best suited
to discover the facts and to determine the justice of the case.

The small-claims courts established in New York City in 1934 are
quite similar to their Massachusetts prototype. The jurisdiction is
limited to $50. The court is given authority to make a simple, in­
formal, and inexpensive procedure for the prompt determination of
claims. This procedure is not exclusive, but is alternative to that
now or hereafter established with respect to actions commenced in
the court by the personal service of summons. The initial fee paid
in New York State is $1.25. One of the immediate problems raised
by the act in its present form is its failure to provide for the issuance
o f summonses in wage cases without this cost. An amendment mod­
ifying this situation is now in process o f preparation. The right to
trial by jury is retained but is restricted by severe limitations includ­
ing the posting of a bond and a fee. Anyone who starts an action
in the small-claims court is deemed to have waived his right to a jury
trial. The defendant, however, may secure it, provided he complies
with the conditions before referred to. Appeals are discouraged;
the sole ground for appeal being that substantial justice has not been
done. Here is a brave effort to get away from appeals based on tech­
nicalities and to deal solely with the merits o f the case.
A t the present time the act excludes corporations, and assignees
o f claims from being plaintiffs. This division is obviously for the



purpose o f keeping the court as a poor man’s court and preventing
it from becoming primarily an instrumentality where collection agen­
cies may expedite their securing o f judgments. Whether this re­
striction is wise is a question of policy still to be finally determined.
The court having made rules for developing the provisions of the
act, including the provision for services by registered mail, is grad­
ually gaining the public confidence—it is not used by poor persons
exclusively. No doubt in time its influence will be as great as that
of other courts with similar powers. It is significant that the pro­
visions of the Boston court seem to have been followed quite closely.
The justice of the case is determined, it must again be emphasized,
not as the arbitrary ruling of an untrammeled despot and not as the
merciful dispensation of a Haroun-el-Raschid, but according to law.
The small-claims courts administer justice according to the prin­
ciples o f substantive law.
We have now gone far enough to venture some appraisal of these
courts. They are relatively new courts 'but still courts of law. And
though new, they do not add to our problem o f multiplicity o f courts
because they are organized as branches or sessions o f existing courts.
They represent not new institutions but new equipment for existing
The small-claims courts disregard the established rules of pleading,
procedure, and evidence, but they are by law authorized to disregard
them. A departure from a religious observance of these rules is no
menace. As Hon. Charles E. Hughes, now Chief Justice o f the
United States Supreme Court, has expressed it in an address to
the b ar:
The judicial quality does not reside in form or ceremony, stiU less in cir­
cumlocution and an avoidance of the pith of the matter. The judicial quality
of procedure is found in the impartial hearing and the reasoned determination
upon ascertained facts, and it may be speedy, summary, and, as our clients
would say, businesslike, without losing its character.

The Minneapolis court has been in operation since August 1917.
A few figures relating to its work are o f interest. During the year
ending December 31,1933,12,291 cases were on the calendar. During
the 9 preceding years the gradual growth of business is indicated by
these figures:

1928 _

9 ,6 0 6
_ 9 ,9 4 2
10, 293
_ - 11, 277
- 1 1 ,9 8 3




_ 1 1 ,9 1 5
1 1 ,1 1 0
_ 10, 555
- 1 2 ,4 1 6

A comparison of this volume o f cases with the annual amount
paid by litigants as filing fees during the years 1929 to 1933, inclu­
sive (since 1929, a provision has been in effect which requires any



person filing 15 suits in the court during a year to pay $1 per suit
thereafter), gives some idea of how inexpensive this court has been
for them from the follow ing:






1929----------------------------------------- $213
1931__________________________ 237

During the same 9 years the number of appeals taken from the
court were:

_ 370



During the year 1933, in which the 12,291 cases were on the calen­
dar, the following statement o f disposition is of interest. In about
one-quarter of the cases (actually 3,093) there was a contest. In
about one-third o f the cases (4,259) the defendant defaulted. We
may imagine various reasons for this default.
It seems reasonable to suppose that in some cases at least the case
was disposed o f outside of court. The records indicate that 758
cases were stricken from the calendar and 913 dismissed. Again,
in some o f these cases, it is not unlikely that such action by the
court was taken because of an adjustment between the parties them­
selves—1,415 cases being settled.
During 1933 the small-claims branch of the municipal court of
Chicago had two judges sitting on contract cases and one judge on
tort cases. There were 28,833 cases filed in court during 1933, and
16,837 additional matters were entered during the first 9 months of
The procedure appeals to the average man. In New York City, in
the first 3 months after the establishment o f the court, 4,325 cases
were disposed of. During the first week in 1 office 9 cases were
filed, but by the end o f the first quarter of the year as many as 15
a day were being received.
As an example of the general approval of the decisions rendered
by the court, the small-claims court in San Francisco reports appeals
filed from : July 1930 to December 30, 1930, 34; January 1931 to
December 31, 1931, 52; January 1932 to December 31, 1932, 62;
January 1933 to August 9, 1933, 39.
Thereafter a filing fee of $7 was imposed by law where an appeal
was desired. Immediately the number of appeals diminished, as
shown by the following record: September 1, 1933, to December 27,



1933, 12; January 1934 to December 1934, 37; a total after filing
fees of 49.
The advantages of the small-claims courts are clear. First and
foremost they do justice in a class of cases where justice could not
be done by the machinery formerly in existence. Because they se­
cure justice to the humble citizen with his small case they demon­
strate the integrity of our institutions and they afford a practical
object lesson in real Americanization. It is not infrequent for a
small-claims-court judge to dispose of as many as a hundred cases a
day, thereby relieving congested dockets.
As an example of the jurisdictional limits, the following figures
are of interest. In the States of Oregon and Vermont claims are ac­
cepted up to $20; in Rhode Island, Utah, New Jersey, and California
the figure is $50; in Connecticut and Colorado, $100; and in Chicago
it is still $200.
These courts are a success and should continue to be a success, be­
cause for the pressing need which exists they provide a satisfactory
answer. They are not a surface panacea; they go to the roots of the
difficulty. They are swift in action (10 days is enough for a smallclaims court to do its work), thereby eliminating delay; they have
reduced costs to a minimum by abolishing fictitious costs and by
utilizing mail service (the court costs vary from zero in Connecti­
cut, Kansas, and Minnesota to $1.20 in Boston; $1.40 in Cleveland;
$1.70 in Milwaukee; and $2 in Vermont). They are so simple that,
aided by the clerk and the judge, the parties can conduct their own
cases, thereby making the expense of counsel unnecessary. This
system in toto represents a complete, thorough, and sound plan
whereby our machinery of justice may be adapted to a special need
of the community.

Chapter VIII.— Conciliation Tribunals
For a completely adequate plan to secure justice in the smaller
cases we-would not need to look beyond the small-claims courts if
their extension throughout the United States were possible. Un­
fortunately that is not the case, because in many parts of the country
our court organization is not suited to this purpose. The wide dis­
cretion and summary power implicit in the informal small-claims
procedure require that the court to which it is intrusted be a wellorganized, responsible municipal court as in Boston, Chicago, Cleve­
land, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and New York, and that for adoption
on a State-wide basis all the lower courts be of high standard; in
Massachusetts, for example, every lower court is a court of record, its
decision is final in all civil matters within its jurisdiction, and the
judges of the several lower courts have an association that enables
them to adopt uniform rules o f procedure.
For every city or judicial district in which the small-claims court
plan could be immediately adopted there are, according to an esti­
mate by the secretary of the American Judicature Society, perhaps
10 times as many places where it is inapplicable. As is stated in a
report on this subject presented to the conference o f bar-association
delegates in 1924, “ There are States in which there are no courts
between the justice o f the peace and the circuit courts, except pro­
bate courts and special courts in the larger towns and cities. In
such States there are many counties in which the benefits of smallclaims procedure cannot be conferred, but which must be reached
through court reorganization or by some form of conciliation if any
solution is to be found.” Because conciliation may afford the most
practicable immediate solution in a substantial part of the country
it merits careful examination.
It must be borne in mind that conciliation and mediation are not
dealt with here as a means o f settling collective disputes between
capital and labor; this article is concerned only with conciliation
as a method for settling disputes between individuals, claims for
wages, debts, rent, damage to property, breach o f contract, and es­
pecially with conciliation in the smaller cases within the jurisdic­
tion of the conciliation tribunals.
There are few conciliation tribunals in the United States, even
if the term is used broadly. In 1913 the Kansas Legislature estab­
lished “small-debtor’s” courts in Topeka, Leavenworth, and Kansas



City. In 1917 the Minneapolis “ conciliation” court was created;
in the main, this is a small-claims court, but a part of its jurisdic­
tion is purely that of a conciliation tribunal. The board of justices
o f the municipal court o f New York City in 1917 adopted rules for
the disposition o f controversies through conciliation. North Dakota
passed a statute in 1921 making definite provision for conciliation
tribunals, and in 1923 Iowa followed suit.
In Minneapolis the court’s power to sit as a conciliation tribunal
(as distinguished from its small-claims procedure) has been seldom
invoked. The New York municipal court’s rules for conciliation
lay in abeyance from 1917 to 1925, when Justices Lauer and Davies
revived the idea. North Dakota, therefore, affords the only Amer­
ican experiment from which we can hope to gain any tangible idea
of the nature of conciliation tribunals and their results.
Since 1895 North Dakota has had on its books a law providing
for the election of four conciliators in every incorporated town and
village. Resort to conciliation could be had only i f a case was
pending in court and if both parties consented to have it trans­
ferred to the conciliator. This plan was wholly ineffective, the law
was a dead letter, and it is doubtful if the conciliators were even
elected. However, to remedy these defects the 1921 statute provides
for the appointment of conciliators by district court judges, and
added a compulsory feature to the effect that in claims of $200 or
less no one can sue in a court until he has first (except in certain
exempted classes of cases, as suits on promissory notes) attempted
conciliation. The procedure is as follows: A plaintiff goes to the
conciliator and states his claim. The conciliator notifies the adverse
party o f the time and place of hearing by mail, telephone, or word
o f mouth. I f the defendant appears and the parties are enabled to
reach an agreement, the terms of the agreement are written, signed
by the parties, and may then be entered in the district court as a
judgment. I f the defendant refuses to appear or i f the parties
fail to agree, then the conciliator can do nothing; he issues a certifi­
cate of “ nonconciliation” , which leaves the plaintiff free to pursue
his action in the regular way in the courts.
The attorney general of North Dakota has stated “the results of
conciliation have not justified the hopes o f the authors of the meas­
ure.” Investigation reveals that the plan has encountered numer­
ous obstacles, but whether this is because the law is defectively
drawn or because of other factors it is too early to know.
The idea underlying conciliation makes a great and a universal
appeal; it will not down, and like hope, it “ springs eternal in the
human breast.” As Charles A. Boston has expressed it, “ Con­
ciliation is one o f the oldest forms of judicial procedure, which



reappears sporadically from time, to time,” The conduct o f cases
in the first American courts during the colonial era is suggestive
of conciliation procedure. In the period from 1846 to 1851 we find
provisions for conciliation being inserted in the new constitutions
of New York, Wisconsin, California, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
The high hopes o f these framers were disappointed, but again the
idea reappears, as has been noted, in 1913, 1917, 1921, and 1923.
When the Conciliation Act of 1921 was passed in North Dakota,
one branch of the legislature was conservative and the other in
control of the Nonpartisan League, but both branches agreed on this
measure. The great Lord Chancellor Brougham, who labored so
valiantly to improve the position o f the poor in England during
the early nineteenth century, had great faith in conciliation. Mr.
Justice Parry, o f the English county courts, the author of The
Law and the Poor, is today an earnest advocate of informal con­
ciliation procedure as the best method for the settlement of small
causes. Still more important is the indisputable fact that for more
than a century conciliation tribunals have been markedly successful
in both Norway and Denmark. Nickolay Grevstad in an article
on the Norwegian system states: “ It is regarded as one of the corner­
stones of the national system o f justice and it is not an exaggeration
to say that any attempt to abolish it would provoke a revolution.”
There are two definite explanations to account for the rather spas­
modic development of the conciliation idea. The first is that much
conciliation procedure is indulged in by legal tribunals of which
no record is made. Certainly there are examples as in Philadelphia
in 1925 when the Philadelphia Legal Aid Bureau cooperated with
the judges of the municipal court in the establishment of a series of
special sessions of the court at night. Cases were prepared by the
legal-aid bureau and at the proper time the parties and their wit­
nesses appeared before the judge sitting as a conciliator. This work
was discussed at the 1924 meeting of the National Association of
Legal Aid Organizations, but apparently there is no other printed
reference to it. It is quite certain that unrecorded developments of
the idea of conciliation are more extensive than one would suspect.
In 1930 the Denver Post conceived the idea and established an arbi­
tration bureau. Disputants could apply to the newspaper and get a
list of reputable attorneys. From this list they could select an arbi­
trator who would hear the case, usually in his office, and write a fair
and just conclusion. His judgment was made a judgment in a court
o f record and while there existed a right of appeal, practically none
was taken. The idea has met with approval and the procedure which
is tantamount to conciliation has been utilized with success. A report
o f the work may be found in the record of the proceedings of the
National Association of Legal Aid Organizations for 1930.



The second reason why conciliation has not advanced is because
o f the more extended development of arbitration. There is a tend­
ency to confuse conciliation and arbitration. The distinction is
substantially this. In a conciliation procedure both parties are en­
tirely free to place the controversy before the conciliator and are
perfectly free to abide by or reject at any time the solution he pro­
poses. In arbitration procedures the parties sign a contract agreeing
that the matter in controversy shall be submitted to the arbitrator
and binding themselves to accept his decision as final. Arbitration,
then, is a more formal and technical device than conciliation. An
arbitrator may often invoke the method of conciliation by encourag­
ing the parties to agree among themselves.
The growth o f arbitration is more clearly charted. For example,
an early colonial statute in Pennsylvania provided that the inhabit­
ants, many of whom were Quakers, might submit their differences
to arbitrators instead of bringing them into court. In more recent
years commercial arbitration as a device for avoiding the expense,
delay, and uncertainty of litigation procedure has grown to remark­
able proportions. It has been fostered by chambers of commerce,
by many trade groups, and by the American Arbitration Association.
There is now considerable literature upon the subject, and impres­
sive as its growth has been, its effect upon the problem has been only
While the history of conciliation in America has thus far been
disappointing it would be unsound to dismiss it altogether from our
plans for improving the machinery of justice. The sensible course
is to maintain an open mind, to study more closely the procedure
that has been developed in Norway and Denmark, to determine the
reasons for its great success there, and then in the light of more ac­
curate knowledge to try to secure its benefits for ourselves by includ­
ing some adequate provision for conciliation in our American laws.
To the extent that conciliation procedure may be utilized in greater
measure in our judicial system, to that extent will the poor man be
helped, because o f all procedures ever invented none is so quick and
so cheap as conciliation when intelligently administered and when
buttressed by a strong tradition that men ought, whenever possible,
to compose their differences, not by litigation which is the way of
war, but by conciliation which is the way of peace.

Chapter IX .— Industrial Accident Commissions
So much has been published on workmen’s compensation legisla­
tion that this chapter will be limited to those aspects of the subject
which throw new light upon, or otherwise are peculiarly pertinent
to, the immediate problem o f how the machinery of justice can be
adapted or supplemented in order that it may be adjusted more
closely to the needs of the present day.
The superiority of the law affording compensation for accidents
over the prior law which required a suit for damages based on the
employer’s negligence is so great and is so universally admitted that
extended comment on this point would be superfluous. But if the
legislation which introduced the compensation principle had stopped
there very little gain would have resulted. In fact the legislatures
went much further. They attacked the defects in the machinery of
justice which we have summarized under the three headings of
delays, court costs, and fees, and the necessary expense involved in
the employment of counsel. The legislatures practically abolished
all costs and fees; they designed a procedure that would be summary
in character; they wished to eliminate the necessity for counsel alto­
gether, and accordingly the larger majority of them entrusted the
administration o f the workmen’s compensation acts not to the courts
but to a new type of quasi-judicial agency called industrial accident
boards or commissions. Only in Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, New
Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Wyoming are the compensa­
tion laws administered through the courts.
In chapter IV , dealing with court costs and fees, it is stated that
expenses o f this kind ought never to be permitted to constitute an
obstacle to justice, because it is so easily within the power of the
legislature to reduce them to a minimum or abolish them in toto.
The compensation acts did so, and after a decade of experience it
is clear that great good and no harm has resulted. The Connecticut
Compensation Act carried the principle one step farther and pro­
vided that if a case was appealed from the commission no costs
should be charged in the superior court. Likewise the problem of
stenographic expense has been met; most of the commissions employ
and pay their own reporter to take the record o f the proceedings.
Iowa, by statute in 1924, expressly authorized this, and as a result
this expense o f litigation is lifted from the shoulders of the injured



The compensation acts commonly said “ proceedings shall be sum­
mary” , but the credit for the excellent record that has been made
does not belong to this legislative fiat. In dealing with the factor
of delay we have said that delays could be eliminated only if and
when the courts were given power to regulate their own procedure,
and to control the formal routine of their business through rules
which are flexible and which can be altered to meet changing cir­
cumstances. Precisely this power was given the industrial accident
commissions, and their intelligent use of that power is responsible
for the elimination o f delay in compensation cases.
According to information gathered by Walter F. Dodd, a study
made of 580 uncontested claims in Ohio for the year 1980 revealed
that in 72 percent of the cases payments began within 88 days after
the injury, and in 92 percent of the cases the time elapsed between
injury and first payment was 58 days. An examination o f all cases
arising in Wisconsin in 1929 revealed that injured employees re­
ceived first payments in 60 percent of the cases within 8 weeks after
the beginning o f disability. O f 408: uncontested claims studied in
New York in 1980, in 78 percent of the cases first payments occurred
within 30 days after the beginning of disability.
Where the claim for compensation is contested, there must be
some kind of hearing and adjudication. However, this does not
necessarily mean that the commencement of payments is delayed
until final settlement of the controversy. Some States have a pro­
vision: in their compensation law similar to that of Illinois, where
payment by the employer to the injured employee prior to the
filing o f application for adjustment of the claim is not to be deemed
as admitting liability to pay compensation. Another provision of
the Illinois law is that the arbitrators may find that the disabling
condition is temporary, and thus award compensation up to the
date of the hearing, and yet leave the question of either further
temporary total compensation or of compensation for permanent dis­
ability for further determination. A study of 102 contested cases
in the Chicago area during 1928 revealed that in 60 percent of the
cases an average of 2y 2 months elapsed between the application for
adjustment and the date of the award.
The speed attained in settling contested cases does not seem to
have prejudiced the accuracy of the results. The 1930 report of
the New York Industrial Commission shows that of over 53,000
contested cases before referees, less than 10,000 were appealed to the
industrial board. In the same year there were only 266 appeals to
the courts from either the rulings of the referee or o f the industrial
board. The rulings of the referee or board were reversed in only
about 27 percent o f the cases.



In 95 percent of the accident claims that are automatically ad
justed by agreements supervised and approved by the commissions,
the necessity for employing counsel has been completely obviated.
In this vast number of cases the ideal of our law has been closely
approximated. The injured wage earner received the equal pro­
tection of the laws without delay, without the payment of court
costs and fees, and without the expense of employing lawyers.
In the contested cases, the commissions have done much to assist
the injured man to prepare his case through their staffs of inspec­
tors and through the provision of impartial medical experts. But
that is not enough; in any real contest the injured employee needs
to be represented by counsel as much as does a litigant in any other
case if his rights are to be fully protected. This lesson has been
learned by generations of experience with litigated matters, and it
is hard to see why compensation cases should prove an exception
to the rule.
For the commissions themselves to act as counsel for the injured
man is highly dangerous. It is axiomatic that no man can be j udge
of his own cause. For the same reason it is difficult for a com­
missioner to judge a cause in which he is the advocate. Either he
will be a partial judge or his advocacy will lack that zealous fidelity
to his client’s cause which is the very essence of the attorney’s duty.
The American Bar Association’s Canon of Ethics, No. 15, states:
The lawyer owes entire devotion to the interests of his client, warm zeal
in the maintenance and defense of his rights, and the exertion of his utmost
learning and ability, to the end that nothing be taken or be withheld from
him save by the rules of law legally applied.

A t a meeting of the International Association of Industrial A cci­
dent Boards and Commissions the chairman of the Pennsylvania
commission pointed this out forcibly:
If your boards take up the side of the workman and prepare the work­
man’s cases, and let the workman present the case, through his own lips, that
you prepared for him, and you decide your cases, you are soon going to cripple
your own usefulness through lack of confidence by the community.

The real situation is obscured by describing these commissions as
“ quasi-judicial” bodies. Their task as to the cases which are settled
by agreement is supervisory—it is administrative in its nature. As
to disputed cases, however, their task is not quasi-judicial but is pri­
marily and essentially a pure judicial function. Their decision on
the* facts is final, their decision on the law is generally final for all
practical purposes because relatively few cases are appealed to the
As precedents accumulate, as the pressure of work increases, the
commissions in order to perform their judicial functions properly



will have less time and less opportunity to act, or attempt to act,
as counsel for the injured workmen. In the judgment of the authors
of this report, as time goes on the need for an attorney to represent
the workmen in disputed cases will become more and more apparent.
But the attorney should be, independent of the commission. His
loyalty should run exclusively to his client, the injured workman.
A solution may be afforded by the legal-aid organizations which,
if they are properly developed, can supply the services o f attorneys
to injured workmen without any expense or for such nominal
charges as the commissions themselves may fix.
In the first place, the history of the development of legal institu­
tions indicates that the attorney, in order to fulfill his obligation to
his client, should be independent of and not a paid retainer of the
tribunal in which he pleads his cases. An analogy makes this
plainer. I f a citizen, when haled into court, could be represented
only by an attorney selected by the judge, paid by the judge, and
subject to discharge by the judge, he would be resentful. The com­
munity at large would regard this arrangement as foreign to our
conception o f safeguarding.the right of the individual so that he
can neither be condemned for crime nor deprived of property until
after a full and impartial trial in open court. Secondly, and more
important, the problem of the expense o f counsel is not limited to
compensation cases but is a general problem for which we want a
general rather than a piecemeal solution. Rather than to attach
salaried attorneys to every/ court or tribunal in which indigent per­
sons have cases, it would seem less expensive, more efficient, and
more in harmony with the spirit of our institutions to have one
central law office to which the less well-to-do persons could go and
there obtain whatever assistance from lawyers they may need. Such
central offices are what the legal-aid organizations ought to become
in the natural course of their development and what some of them
have already become with their staffs o f well-trained attorneys,
qualified to practice before, all courts and commissions, and possess­
ing expert knowledge as to those types of cases in which wage earn­
ers are commonly involved.
A number of experiments have been made to find a device which
will supply an attorney to give legal advice and assistance to the
injured employee in workmen’s compensation cases. The Pennsyl­
vania law has provided for lawyers on the staff o f the State com­
pensation board. Applicants for compensation go to these lawyers
and without charge have their claims prepared. The effectiveness
of the device will vary with the extent of public interest. While
the Pennsylvania system may ultimately be followed, it seems neces­
sary that there be a broader basis of experience before a conclusion



is reached. For the past 20 years in Boston and more recently in
Chicago and New York this experience has been slowly accumulat­
ing. The legal-aid societies in these cities supply trained lawyers
to workmen seeking compensation for industrial accidents. O f the
Boston Legal A id Society, where this plan has longest been in
effect, it can truthfully be said that it has given impoverished work­
men, or their widows, as efficient and splendid legal assistance as
money could buy.
The Boston society, beginning about 1916, determined to create a
department o f its work to specialize in workmen’s compensation
cases. One of the attorneys was designated for this purpose and
to him all workmen’s compensation problems were referred. The
department through intensive study and the handling o f many
cases gained an experience which enabled it to stand on an equality
before the commission and the courts with the able attorneys repre­
senting the employers and the insurance companies. Compensation
law has become a specialty; unless schooled by experience any
lawyer would be at a disadvantage, but the Boston society trained
and made available to its clients just such experienced counsellors.
This plan has worked effectively and, rightly, it has won the con­
fidence of the members o f the industrial accident board and of the
clients. Over the years a considerable number of cases were taken
to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and still others to
the Supreme Court o f the United States. The case of Bountiful Brick
Co. against Giles in Utah has already been referred to in chapter Y.
In the development of this plan many practical problems were
encountered and solved. One of the hardest was that o f securing
expert medical service without cost. An arrangement was gradually
built up between the legal-aid society and a group of able young
physicians in Boston for adequate medical investigation on behalf
o f the claimant with the understanding that the physician would
be compensated only by whatever allowance the industrial accident
board itself granted. In this way expert medical testimony was
available substantially equal in quality to that secured by the
insurance companies.
The Chicago Legal Aid Bureau found a similar need in the ad­
ministration o f its compensation law and in 1927 set up a somewhat
similar plan. In effect it made possible specialization by a member
of the staff in this field of law, and it added another feature, i. e.,
students from Northwestern University Law School, as a part of
one of their courses, participated on a clinical basis in the prepara­
tion of the cases for trial. In this way the enterprise served not
only the client but brought to the prospective member of the bar
practical experience in the procedure before a commission in contrast



to the more orthodox routine in a court. It also tended to develop
a class of lawyers better prepared than the average to render service
to clients in this particular field.
In 1931 the New York Legal Aid Society also set aside one mem­
ber of the staff to handle all its compensation cases. More recently
the Philadelphia Legal Aid Society has accepted a large number of
such matters and the records indicate that the legal aid societies
in other cities are experimenting with this same process of
These offices have gained invaluable information, and in their
records lies the story of how these compensation laws operate. From
these the student of social conditions may secure an accurate factual
record. As opportunities for improvement are found, legislative
committees will have a solid basis on which to draft remedial
The development did not cease with these several experiments.
The National Association of Legal Aid Organizations appointed a
committee in 1924 to study the problem, and in 1924 and 1925 this
committee, in cooperation with a similar committee of the Inter­
national Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commis­
sions, presented joint reports. The recommendations adopted
jointly deserve a place here.
The committee recommended that the respective associations approve the
following resolutions:
(1) R esolved , That cooperation in handling workmen’s compensation prob­
lems is hereby approved by the International Association of Industrial Acci­
dent Boards and Commissions and the National Association of Legal Aid
(2) R esolved , That the member organizations of the International Associa­
tion of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions and the National
Association of Legal Aid Organizations, be requested and encouraged to
cooperate with each other in handling workmen’s compensation cases.
(3) Resolved , That these committees be continued by their respective organi­
zations to supply information as to methods of cooperation, to study the results
and report from time to time on the progress of the mutual work.

It should be noted that speakers from the legal-aid group appeared
on a number of programs of the International Association of Indus­
trial Accident Boards and Commissions for the purpose of helping
this development of intelligent cooperation.
For practical purposes the problem resolved itself into one o f local
cooperation between industrial accident commission and legal-aid
office. This cooperation is largely dependent upon the ability o f the
legal-aid organization to secure sufficient funds to enable some counsel
to specialize in this field. To attempt to handle this highly technical
subject without specialization is to do injustice to the applicant and
ultimately to forfeit the confidence of the Workmen’s Compensation



Board. Because the task is worth doing, it is worth doing unusually
The work o f the legal-aid societies in this field has brought about
still another interesting development which deserves mention in pass­
ing. Relations between the legal profession and the medical profes­
sion have taken place largely in the realm of the expert medical wit­
ness testifying for those who could pay his fees. It is interesting that
through the medium of the legal-aid society in compensation cases
both lawyers and physicians are able to perform a maximum of service
to poor people on a cooperative basis which permits of an interchange
o f ideas and viewpoint hardly possible in the case of the ordinary
litigant. In the present period of professional development, when
there is every reason for a closer interprofessional relationship, this
step has a significance far beyond the limits of the individual proceed­
ing in which the legal-aid society and the physician contribute from
the resources of their respective fields toward a joint accomplishment.
Because the compensation acts have on the whole been so success­
ful in securing justice to the wage-earning class, the question arises as
to how far the same plan might be developed into a more general
solution for our existing difficulty. To the authors of this study,
it is clear that the employees on interstate railroads, seamen,
and all others not protected either by State workmen’s compensa­
tion laws or the Federal Employers’ Liability Act should be brought
within the protection of compensation acts. As to longshoremen
there is a confusing overlapping between Federal and State juris­
dictions which leaves room for improvement. This suggestion is
merely bringing other classes of employees within the scope of the
laws; it does not involve any extension o f the compensation principle
and o f the administrative method into new areas of the law.
Mr. William K. Clute, attorney for the Grand Rapids Legal Aid
Society, writing in the American Bar Association Journal for April
1929, points out that—
in the field of interstate commerce there exists between the National and State
jurisdictions a definite zone which may be designed “No Man’s Land” , de­
scribed like this : I f an employee of an interstate railroad common carrier
is engaged in interstate commerce business at the time an injury befalls him
in the course of such employment, and if no negligence be proven against the
carrier nor any positive violation of the Federal Safety Appliance Act shown
as the proximate cause of the injury, neither the workman, nor his dependents,
in case of his death resulting therefrom, may recover damages under the
Federal Employer’s Liability Act, nor any indemnity under the workmen’s
compensation laws of any State.

Mr. Clute concludes that in order to provide for this twilight-zone
type of case it is necessary that Congress pass a statute expanding
the present Federal law or else permitting the State compensation
laws to apply to accidents growing out of interstate commerce.



The years that have passed during which the workmen’s compensa­
tion principle has been a matter of experiment have revealed inter­
esting possibilities as well as weaknesses. Mrs. B. N. Armstrong, in
her book Insuring the Essentials, summarizes the defects in the fol­
lowing language (p. 276) :
The chief shortcomings of most of the American compensation laws are as
follow s: (1) They include restricting clauses in the defining of injuries cov­
ered by compensation which penalize certain conduct on the part of the em­
ployee by denying compensation where it contributes to the injury. These lead
to litigation and to the exclusion every year from benefit of compensation of
thousands of workers who suffer accidents at their work * * *. (2) They
limit the total compensation for all types of accidents to an arbitrary sum
* * *. (3) They scale their weekly benefits down to an amount inadequate
to maintain the worker’s fam ily requirements even at the lowest standard of
living extant. (4) Most of them omit protection for occupational disease. One
third of the few that make provision do so only for listed diseases.

Suggestions have been made for the extension of the workmen’s
compensative acts to automobile accidents and injuries to passengers
on streetcars and railroads. Immediately difficulties of the first
magnitude appear. A compensation plan must first fix a schedule
for specific indemnities; the loss of a finger to the tender of auto­
matic looms is not comparable to the loss of a finger to a violinist,
yet both may be injured in the same train wreck. For nonpermanent
disabilities the compensation plan is to pay two-thirds or threefourths of the average weekly earnings. As to employees, earnings
can be determined without undue difficulty, generally from the pay
rolls, but any determination of the average income of many members
of the public who ride on common carriers would be as complex as
the administration of the Federal income-tax law. There would nec­
essarily be a vast amount of litigation, and in that litigation the
claimants would unquestionably need the services of attorneys.
In short, there are special fields of the law and certain types of
cases where special machinery may be utilized to eliminate or ob­
viate those factors which cripple the effectiveness of the administra­
tion of justice from the point of view of the wage earner. The small
claims court is one example, the industrial accident commission is
another, and in the next chapter the assistance given by labor officials
in the collection of wages will be found to be a third. But beyond
the little cases—compensation claims and wage collections—there is
an infinite variety of litigation involving rights, duties, and relation­
ships in which wage earners are deeply concerned, and some other
solution, something comparable to the work of the legal-aid organi­
zations, will have to be devised and rapidly developed if the law is
to be actively effective and if justice is to be done.
43381— 36------- 5

Chapter X.—Administrative Officials
Just as the law and the courts have found it difficult to adapt their
machinery to modern conditions, so government in the modern State
has found itself confronted with new problems, with complicated
questions of social control, and it has accordingly been forced to ex­
tend its sphere o f action in many directions and into new fields,
which until recently have been considered of no direct concern to
governmental officials. The so-called “blue sky” laws, regulating
the sales of securities, which have been enacted in so many States
afford as good an illustration as is needed to indicate this enlarging
sphere of governmental control over private transactions. During
the past 2 years the Federal Government has led the way in develop­
ing functions where administrative officials are called upon to act.
The Federal Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange
Commission are clear illustrations. The immense number of codes
called into existence an administrative force for their interpretation
and administration. It is clear that for a long time to come we shall
be accustoming ourselves to the spectacle of laws administered by
agencies outside the formal judicial structure. The extent to which
laws of this type and their administrators bring aid to the working­
man in his immediate problems merits examination.
We have long had administrative officials such as county commis­
sioners and licensing boards; the Pension Office and the Bureau of
Immigration have for years been familiar departments o f the Gov­
ernment, and even the public-utility commissions, though newer, have
been in existence for nearly a generation. None of these bodies, how­
ever important their public work undoubtedly is, has had any sub­
stantial direct influence on the legal position of the individual wage
earner or person of small means so far as his individual legal problems
are concerned.
But the most recent developments of executive governmental action
through administrative officials do come into contact with the legal
problems of individual citizens, and for that reason they concern us
here. The various types of administrative officials can hardly be
embraced within any simple definition. For our purposes we may
say that they fall into two groups.
The first group consists of officials and boards which, like the
industrial accident commissions, have both administrative and judi­
cial functions to perform. They are commonly organized under the



executive department of the Government, but as they have power to
hear and determine cases within their jurisdictions, they do, in
reality, stand midway between the executive department and the
judicial department, partaking of the nature of both.
In the same group should be included those administrative officials
in 26 States who are attached to the banking departments and have
jurisdiction over the business of making loans of $300 or less. There
is no problem which has affected the wage earner through the course
o f history more seriously than that of the usurer. In his most vicious
form the loan shark uses every device of enticement to entrap bor­
rowers into making loans. Once a loan has been made the records
indicate that the victim will continue, year in and year out, paying
interest and still owing the principal. I f the interest charged was
merely the legal rate there would be no cause for complaint. The
dramatic character of the problem arises, however, when it is revealed
that the interest rate charged and collected by the loan shark is far
above that allowed by law; that various devices are employed to
deceive the borrower and to make him continue to pay tribute to the
outlaw lender who conducts his business beyond the pale of the lawT
and in defiance of law. The records of the legal-aid societies in
States where there is no adequate protective legislation reveal multi­
tudes of cases every year in which persons borrowing small sums
;and unable to pledge normal banking security are charged exorbitant
;rates of interest, reaching frequently as high as 400 percent and
(occasionally as high as 1,700 percent.
For most borrowers who are caught in this situation there is no
adequate remedy despite the fact that the whole loan-shark business
is illegal from beginning to end. They do not have the money to
employ an attorney to advise them as to their legal rights, and
beyond that, they are terrorized. The loan shark cunningly restrains
them from taking, legal action by threatening to tell their employers
nr members of their families, thus precipitating the loss of a position
cor a domestic disturbance. As a consequence many borrowers have
been and still are in a condition approximating serfdom.
The remedy for this situation is an adequate law which licenses
the business so that it shall be conducted openly, which insists upon
adequate inspection of books and records to see that it is conducted
fairly, and which sets a rate of interest that will allow reputable
capital to come into the field and drive out the disreputable lender.
The Russell Sage Foundation by a process of experimentation over
a number of years has finally developed a statute known as the uni­
form small-loans law which contains these three factors.1 Where
1 Copies o f th e sixth d raft o f the uniform sm all loan s law as of Jan. 1, 1935, m ay be
obtained from th e R ussell Sage F oundation, 130 E ast 22d St., N ew York, N. Y.



this law has been put into effect the powerful machinery of the State
banking department is set in operation. Under this law any bor­
rower who feels that he is in any way being imposed upon or who
simply wants advice may bring the matter to the attention of a
public official who will hear his case and take appropriate action.
By the year 1935 this law had been adopted substantially in its Janu­
ary 1, 1935, form by 26 States. In five other States and the District
of Columbia small-loan laws are on the books, but were rendered
nugatory because of insufficient rate permitted to be charged or
because they did not follow the regulatory theory of the uniform
law. The effectiveness of the statute lies not in the power of a court
to enter a decree, but in the administrative authority of the proper
official to revoke the lender’s license. This summary proceeding does
away with the problems of expense, delay, and need for a lawyer,
and usually the mere threat of its exercise is sufficient to put a stop
to violations of the law.
In States where the uniform small-loans law, or its equivalent, is in
effect there is little need for legal-aid societies to supplement the work
of the officials of the banking department. Elsewhere there is a great
opportunity for service. In no field has the opportunity been taken
advantage o f more effectively than here. Legal-aid societies have
fought the loan shark in the courts, and legal-aid records have been
among the most reliable data presented to legislative committees.
When the battle was on in Ohio in 1930 the Cleveland Legal Aid
Society not only did admirable work in support of the uniform law
but its attorneys were active as counsel in a case ( D t m n v. O h io , 172
N. E. 148, 282 U. S. 801) which went to the Supreme Court of the
United States and in which the constitutionality of the act was
In nearly every State where legal-aid organizations are well estab­
lished the story is substantially the same. The legal-aid society is
the champion of the borrower because it has the facts. Where the
uniform law exists, legal aid champions it against sinister attacks by
those with ulterior purposes. Where it does not exist, legal aid urges
its enactment.
Nationally the record is impressive. In 1923 a committee of the
National Association of Legal Aid Organizations was established to
deal with small loans and investments. A t first sight the name seems
to indicate two very different kinds of problems. The word “ invest­
ments” referred to cases of persons who had been induced to put their
money into investments of doubtful value and had then lost every­
thing. The increasing protection afforded by “blue sky” laws per­
mitted legal aid to limit its interest to small loans. The committee
continued its activities until 1934, and in the course of its work it
submitted many noteworthy reports.



At the annual meeting o f the National Association of Legal Aid
Organizations in 1931 a resolution reading in part as follows was
Resolved , (1) That the consumer credit agencies be urged to give serious
consideration to the social and economic condition of the individuals who
attempt to borrow or to obtain credit, to the difficulties and hardships that
are caused by an overindulgence in credit, and to the disastrous effects which
will be ca(used the agencies themselves, the individuals, and their dependents,
and community as a whole by a full enforcement of legal rights against those
who have become overburdened as a result of the unusual credit extension
during the present period, and, further, that it is the opinion of the affiliated
members of the National Association of Legal Aid Societies that the overextension of credit and the full enforcement of the legal rights by the con­
sumer credit agencies against indigent persons who are overburdened as a
result of credit extension will seriously affect the legitimate work and the
beneficial influence of said agencies, that it will create a serious social and
economic problem affecting not only the debtor and his dependents, but the
community at large, and, finally, that it will tend to continue the present
industrial situation and retard the industrial rehabilitation of this country, and
that copies of this resolution be forwarded to such persons and organizations
as is deemed expedient by the president and secretary of the National Asso­
ciation of Legal Aid Organizations.

Committees of the National Association of Legal Aid Organiza­
tions and the American Association of Personal Finance Compa­
nies held an all-day session in April 1932 and appointed a subcom­
mittee “ to carry on the detailed work of the larger joint commit­
tees, including such activities as correspondence, distribution of
literature, arrangements for meetings, attendance at the conventions
o f the respective associations, and any other matters which may
require their attention.” Representatives of the legal-aid group
addressed several of the national conventions of the American Asso­
ciation of Personal Finance Companies. At the 1933 convention of
the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations representatives
of the lenders group were present. The result of the series o f con­
tacts was a definite realization by each group of the extent o f the
work being done by the other. It was important for the lenders to
learn how far legal-aid organizations are going in championing the
position o f the borrower. It was important for the legal-aid or­
ganizations to learn how much service of an altruistic nature was
being rendered by members of the American Association o f Personal
Finance Companies, with what care loans were investigated, and
the extent to which applicants for loans were given business advice
instead o f money. It was important to learn that there were lenders
who looked upon their business as a public service and not purely a
money-making device.
The National Association of Legal Aid Organizations by its attor­
neys appeared as amicus curiae in the case of B e a s l e y v. G a b o o n



(Mar. 16, 1933, 117 So. 288), which tested the constitutionality of
the Florida uniform small-loans law, and as amicus curiae in the
Supreme Court of the United States where its constitutionality was
again upheld.
Finally, the National Association of Legal Aid Organization^ had
adopted as one of its standards the following:
Every legal-aid organization should cooperate, wherever possible, with the
Russell Sage Foundation and other appropriate organizations with respect to
the securing or maintaining of the uniform small-loans law, laws relating to
wage assignments, and other laws and activities covering the entire field of
consumer credit relations.

The early records of legal-aid societies indicated that they were
closely in touch with the victim of the loan shark. It was not, how­
ever, until 1923, when the records of all offices were standardized,
that it was possible to get a picture of the situation throughout the
country. The following table showing the total number of cases
reported to the national association by the various legal-aid organi­
zations during the 10-year period is of interest:
T a b l e 1 .— d um ber o f cases reported during 10-year period, 1924-33
T otal...........

N um b er of Percentage of
total cases
2, 1 7 7
2 ,747


One is tempted to draw inferences from this table. Certainly
it appears that the contact between legal-aid societies and small
borrowers is increasing with the years. It is possible that this is
the effect of the depression. After the small savings o f many had
been disposed of, more and more families procured small loans as
a means o f tiding over difficult periods. Then when they needed
advice about their obligations they applied at legal-aid offices.
It would be interesting to make a comparison as to the legal-aid
cases in those States where there is no uniform small-loans law as
compared with those States where the uniform loans law exists. The
records of legal-aid societies would yield much valuable information.
As yet the study has not been made. Presumably it would show
that with the adoption of this law implemented by active and alert
administrative officials, the volume of cases would fall off consider­
ably. Here once again the files of the legal-aid organizations would



be an invaluable barometer of legal conditions in this field of
consumer credit.
Most important, however, is the fact that here is afforded one more
illustration o f how, within a special field, a good law vigorously
enforced by an administrative official will overcome delay, costs, and
the expense o f counsel, and so make available free and equal justice.
The second group of administrative officials which is of interest
to us is composed of officers whose function is exclusively, or almost
exclusively, executive and not judicial in its nature, who have power
to investigate, but who must institute court proceedings in order
to secure obedience to their orders. Such officers, in the performance
o f their duties, render services to complainants which are, in effect,
legal aid because they are the same services that a private attorney
renders his client in a similar situation. Insurance commissioners,
for example, give a substantial amount of free legal advice to per­
sons who hold small weekly payment policies of life insurance, gen­
erally called industrial insurance. They are willing to take up with
the companies questions of overcharge of premiums, failure to credit
dividends, reinstatement of lapsed policies, and the rights of bene­
ficiaries when the insured has died. I f the insurance company re­
fuses to comply with the insurance commissioner’s request the in­
sured or the beneficiary must go to court to vindicate his rights;
practically, however, the commissioner’s suggestion is apt to be
acceded to and litigation is unnecessary. In such cases the State
has, in effect, provided to the insured an official who has acted as
his attorney, who has advised him as to his rights, and who has
negotiated a fair settlement with the company, and the expense of
such services is borne by the State.
While stock purchases, small loans, and insurance policies are all
matters in which wage earners are interested, the administrative
arm has been extended into a field of far more vital concern and
that is the collection of wages. A large proportion of all the cases
in which laborers need the help of an efficient administration of
justice consists of claims for unpaid wages. There is no way to
know for a certainty the extent to which wages are not paid promptly
in this country; the fact that most established companies do meet
their pay rolls with absolute regularity blinds public opinion to
the fact that too many wage earners are able to secure their pay
only after litigation or the threat of litigation. Persons who have
examined the available data have expressed the belief that if all
the claims for unpaid wages could be totaled the aggregate would
run into astonishingly high figures.
Whether such claims are numbered by tens or hundreds o f thou­
sands, it should be borne in mind that each single claim is a matter
of the utmost consequence to the individual concerned. The wage



earner lives from week to week; his dependency on his Saturday
pay envelope is so absolute that the law has given him the status
of a preferred creditor (as for instance in bankruptcy and under the
mechanic’s lien statutes). One may go further. The laborer’s right
to be rewarded for his toil is almost a sacred right; the employer’s
obligation to pay is enjoined not only by the law but by religion.
No better statement exists than that in the twenty-fourth chapter
of Deuteronomy:
Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether
he be of thy brethern, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates.
A t his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down
upon i t ; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon i t ; lest he cry against thee
unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee.

In their efforts to secure their pay the wage earners have found our
legal machinery entirely inadequate. Redress through civil litiga­
tion was too slow, too cumbersome, and expensive out of all propor­
tion to the amounts involved. To bring civil proceedings they would
be obliged to secure the services of attorneys, and we can gain some
idea of the magnitude of the whole problem because we know that
each year the legal-aid organizations of the United States collect for
their clients over half a million dollars in amounts averaging about
$15 per case, and most of the cases are wage claims.
The inadequacy of ordinary litigation in the courts became so
apparent that in State after State the legislatures took cognizance of
the situation and endeavored to devise new remedies. I f some plan
can be found that will be as effective in securing justice to unpaid
wage earners as the workmen’s compensation plan is effective in
securing justice to injured workmen, it will be possible to solve a large
part o f the whole problem with which this report deals. For that
reason it is important to analyze the various experiments that are
being tried in the various States to insure the prompt payment of
The first legislative effort at a remedy was made in Massachusetts,
when in 1870 the theory of “ freedom of contract” was abandoned and
the law required weekly payment o f wages. In 1886 corporations
engaged in certain industries were by statute made liable to criminal
proceedings and to fines! for nonpayment of wages. In 1895 the pro­
visions were extended to individual employers. Since that time down
to the present day the law has been extended in its operation until it
embraces every employer in all important lines of business.
In other States other types o f legislation have been tried, but in
each case the effort has been to secure a remedy for the unpaid work­
man which would avoid the delay, the expense, and the problem of
securing the services of an attorney.



The following group of States has endeavored to compel pay­
ment o f wages by imposing a penalty, either in the form of allow­
ing wages to run until paid (usually not to exceed a certain period,
however), or allowing the successful claimant to recover a reason­
able attorney’s fee. However, the unpaid wage earner, under these
statutes, is usually left to pursue his remedy in the ordinary courts.
Arkansas (Digest, 1921, sec. 7125).— Wages run until paid, but not exceed­
ing 60 days.
Indiana (Baldwin’s Ind. Stat., 1934, sec. 10004).— Penalty of 10 percent
of wages due for each day of delay, but not to exceed double the amount of
wages due. Also reasonable attorney’s fee.
Illinois (111. Rev. Stats., 1933, ch. 13, sec. 13 ).— Attorney’s fee.
Idaho (Code, 1932, 44r-605, 44 -6 06 ).— Reasonable attorney’s fe e; wages run
for not exceeding 30 days.
Minnesota (Stats., 1927, sec. 4127).— Wages run not exceeding 15 days.
Michigan (Acts 1925, no. 6 2 ).— Reasonable attorney’s fee.
Missouri (Rev. Stats., 1919, sec. 9804).— Wages run not exceeding 60 days.
Montana (Rev. Code, 1921, secs. 8352, 9800, 3085).— Penalty of 5 percent of
wages due; reasonable attorney’s fee (but this is reciprocal).
Nevada (Comp. Laws, 1929, secs. 2785, 2787).— Wages run not exceeding 30
d a y s; reasonable attorney’s fee.
Oregon (Code 1930, sec. 49 -5 05 ).— Reasonable attorney’s fee.
South Carolina (Code 1932, sec. 7033).— W ages run not exceeding 30 days.
Texas (Stats., 1928, art. 2226).— Reasonable attorney’s fee, not exceeding $20.
Utah (Rev. Stats., 1933, 49^8-1, 4 9 -9 -3 ).— W ages run not exceeding 10
days; reasonable attorney’s fee.
Washington (Rem. Rev. St. 1982, sec. 7596).— Penalty of $25 if no valid
excuse; reasonable attorney’s fee (between $10 and $25).
West Virginia (Code 1932, sec. 2356).— Wages run not exceeding 30 days.
Wisconsin (Stats., 1933, 1 0 3 .3 9 (4 )).— Penalty of 10 percent wages due if
delay not exceeding 3 d a y s; 20 percent if delay is 3 to 10 d a ys; 30 percent if
delay is 10 to 20 d a y s; 40 percent if delay is 20 to 30 d a y s; 50 percent if more
than 30 days; maximum limit of penalty, $50.

These laws are not altogether sufficient. Wage earners as a class
require a cheap, speedy procedure and someone to work the ma­
chinery for them. These laws all impose a preliminary expense on
the wage earner. They do not expedite the trial o f the case in the
courts, although the penalty is supposed to urge the employer to
settle. They do not provide a means whereby the case will be con­
ducted through the intricacies of legal procedure; the worker must
secure a lawyer. Where there is no provision for an attorney’s fee
the worker is in a weak position. Where the attorney’s fee is al­
lowed it savors somewhat o f a contingent fee arrangement, because
the lawyer must win the case to get a fee. To bring the suit may
require court costs, and if the employee does not have the money
for this, the law is of little value to him.
The most interesting and fruitful legislative effort has been to
create an administrative official and place in his hands the duty of



enforcing wage-payment laws. Although many States have laws
regarding the payment of wages, relatively few of them are made
really effective by giving plenary authority to some State agency to
enforce wage-claim collections. A t the present time the procedures
in the various States may be described under two heads. In a num­
ber o f States the labor commissioner exercises a de facto authority
and actually does collect unpaid wages. Among this group are the
following States: Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming.
In the second group of States, which include California, Massa­
chusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah, the
law specifically empowers the labor commissioner to handle wage
The provisions of the California statute are so remarkable that
they deserve consideration. The labor commissioner and his dep­
uties may take assignments of wage claims and prosecute actions for
the collection of wages of persons who are financially unable to em­
ploy counsel. During the fiscal year 1932 the bureau settled over
16,000 wage claims, collecting over $775,000. Most o f the cases are
settled without resort to either criminal or civil actions. During the
fiscal year 1927-28, 831 warrants for the arrest of employers refusing
to pay wages were secured, and for the 2 fiscal years which ended
June 1928, 331 civil actions had been brought on behalf o f wage
claimants.2 In Oregon the situation is similar to that in California,
except that the expenses of proceedings instituted by the commis­
sioner of labor are paid by the costs and fines collected in criminal
prosecutions and by levy of not more than 5 percent of the wage
claims collected. Through this device the State is not compelled to
bear the whole cost, and the wage claimant is not unduly burdened
by being required to pay a nominal portion of the wage claim that is
collected for him.
From the available experience, the best plan clearly seems to con­
sist of these features: (1) A law requiring payment of wages weekly;
(2) a law making the nonpayment of wages a criminal offense; (3)
entrusting the enforcement of this law to an administrative official,
generally called a labor commissioner. By making the proceeding
criminal instead of civil not only is the law itself made more strin­
gent, but also a more summary process is available and the problem
of court costs is eliminated, because costs are not required as a con­
dition precedent to the institution of a criminal complaint. To
conduct criminal proceedings the laborer needs legal assistance, and
this the labor commissioner or an attorney on his staff can furnish.
a A m erican Labor L eg isla tio n R eview , vol. 19, N ew York, 1929, p. 414.



The problem of the collection of wage claims has been of vital
interest to legal-aid societies from the beginning. Prior to 1924
figures were not available showing the extent of this work. Since
1924 statistics have been kept in such shape that it is possible to give
a fairly accurate statement of the situation. The following table
shows what has been happening during the past 10 years:
T a b l e 2 . — N um ber

of cases

involving wage
1 9 2 4 -8 3

D ate
1925..........— .
T o t a l....





N um ber of
cases in v o lv ­ Percentage of
total cases
ing w age
claim s


The foregoing table shows that over 20 percent of the cases coming
to legal-aid organizations are in the field of wage claims. When one
realizes that these applications are made in addition to the ones
presented to the labor commissioners, small-claims courts, and other
agencies, it is apparent that the problem of nonpayment of wages is
a maior one with which the administration of justice must concern
The National Association of Legal Aid Organizations recognizing
the seriousness of the matter in 1924 appointed a committee to coop­
erate with the Association of Governmental Labor Officials of the
United States and Canada. This latter organization is now known
as the Association of Governmental Officials in Industry of the
United States and Canada. Representatives of the legal-aid group
appeared at meetings of the Association, of Governmental Labor
Officials, and studies were made by both groups to determine the
extent of the problem. In particular in the year 1927 at the
Paterson, N. J., convention of the Association of Governmental
Labor Officials an admirable report was presented containing valu­
able statistics on the nonpayment of wages, and a suggestion that the
National Association of Legal Aid Organizations and the legal-aid
committee of the American Bar Association cooperate in the drafting
of a suitable law. This union of effort was effected. Professor John
M. Maguire of the Harvard Law School acted as draftsman and the
Legal Aid Committee of the American Bar Association in an appen­
dix to its 1927 annual report presented the first draft o f a model



statute for facilitating the enforcement of wage claims. A copy of
the first draft of this act will be found in appendix C.
A portion of the preliminary statement to this draft is so signi­
ficant that we quote it here:
W hile the statute books of all or nearly all our States contain provisions for
enforcing prompt payment of wages, these laws are often imperfect. This
statement is not intended as an adverse criticism of their draftsmen. The
earlier laws were courageous experiments. They had to steer a tortuous course
among outjutting constitutional difficulties. They suffered considerable judicial
misunderstanding and disapprobation. From tentative small beginnings they
have grown unevenly and frequently have not attained comprehensive symmetry.
They have included many provisions proved futile when put to the acid practical
test. States which resolutely forced their way through the stages of trial and
error may wisely continue to build upon the workable residue of their old
accustomed forms. But it is doubtful policy to shape fresh legislation in other
jurisdictions by such irregular models, and obviously wasteful to repeat primi­
tive mistakes. Hence this first draft of wThat is intended to become a scien­
tific model statute is now published for the purpose of inviting criticism and
suggestion. It is not proposed as a uniform law for general adoption in fixed
phrasing. Local variations render utterly impracticable any idea of Nation­
wide uniformity. Omissions and additions should be freely made to fit particu­
lar needs. But the draftsmen have striven to produce a statute which in gen­
eral outline and method of approach reflects the best features of existing laws
combined with certain helpful new features of substance and form.

Constitutional provisions raise serious difficulties. Wage-payment
laws have had to run the gamut of attack on various grounds, some
have been approved and others have been condemned. This is not
the place for a dissertation on constitutional law, but it is worth
while to indicate that the matter is complex, rather than simple, and
that its solution calls for caution and forethought.
Statutes regulating the time of payment of wages are generally
constitutional. Especially is this true when the statute applies to
both individual and corporate employers' and includes practically all
kinds o f employment. Exemptions from the operation of such stat­
utes are valid, provided there is a reasonable basis for classification.
Since the great majority of State laws on this subject are relatively
comprehensive, and there is the added policy of recognizing that
regulation of the time of wage payments is within the police power of
the State, it is believed that such statutes are in the main constitu­
tional. They have been upheld in Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and in a number of other States.
However, in some o f the above-mentioned States other similar laws
have been held invalid, but the inconsistency is more apparent than
real, as the decisions can be readily reconciled if the wording and the
application o f the statutes are considered.
Laws which make nonpayment of wages a crime are attacked as
legalizing imprisonment for debt. Most State constitutions contain
a prohibition against imprisonment for debt; but an exception is



made if the debt was contracted in a fraudulent manner. There is a
conflict in the decisions on this point, but it is hoped that by careful
wording a statute may avoid the imprisonment for debt difficulty by
standing on the ground that any general or continuing refusal to pay
wages earned is in itself prima facie evidence of fraud. A recent
California decision ( E x p a r te S e a r s , 30 P. (2d) 571, 1934) held con­
stitutional the California law making it a misdemeanor for an em­
ployer to fail to pay a discharged employee his wages. The court
rejected the argument that this wTas violative of the imprisonmentfor-debt provision in the California constitution, saying that debts
contracted by fraud were excepted, and the statute involved in the
present case made fraud a necessary part of the crime.
Some statutes have failed because of defects in title and other tech­
nical objections which are insignificant and so easily cured by proper
drafting that they need not detain us, but two further serious objec­
tions remain. The first is the impairing of obligation of contracts.
It is true that if the law requires wages to be paid weekly the master
and servant may not agree that they shall be paid monthly, and this
is an abridgment of the “ freedom o f contract,” A Pennsylvania deci­
sion ( C o m m o n w e a lt h v. I s e n b e r g (1895), 4 P. D. R. 579) holds that
such a statute substitutes a contract made by the legislature for a
contract freely entered into by the parties and is therefore void. This
objection can be overcome only by the theory that such a statute is
within the police power; that the social interest in the prompt pay­
ment of wages is so great that the State may intervene through legis­
We have earlier noticed that certain statutes providing civil penal­
ties have been held unconstitutional, as in D a v id o w v. W a d s w o r t h
M f g . C o . (211 Mich. 90, 1920), but it is not necessary to digress to
consider this series of cases, because, in our opinion, the plan of civil
penalties is not as effective as can be devised; it certainly is not so
effective as the California plan, and the best hope for progress is to
profit from the experience already available and to concentrate on the
plan that offers the best solution.
There is excellent reason to believe that by the exercise of caution
and foresight in draftsmanship the essentials of the so-called Cali­
fornia plan can be embodied in a model statute that will pass any
constitutional challenge. Statutes requiring the periodic payment
of wages have come before the United States Supreme Court, and
the decision as expressed in S t . L o u i s B y . C o . v. P a u l (173 U. S.
404) is in substance “ the right to contract is not absolute, but may
be subjected to the restraints demanded by the safety and welfare
o f the State.” Our economic concepts are constantly being broad­
ened under the pressure of modern conditions. The trend of public
opinion generally and of the courts as well is certain to be in the



direction of recognizing more clearly the direct interest of the State
in promoting the general welfare by requiring the prompt payment
of wages.
The authors of this report are certain that the administrative plan
offers an excellent solution for this particular aspect of our problem.
In their judgment, a proper wage-payment law, enforced by a labor
commissioner, will afford a summary and an inexpensive method
whereby wage earners may enforce their claims. In fact, the exist­
ence of such a law and of such an official is apt to make the law
self-executing; in States where it exists wages will be paid, and
it will not need to be invoked except in comparatively few instances.
The solution is a sound one because it eliminates those factors that
heretofore have prevented the law from being actively effective.
Delay is avoided because the proceeding is summary in nature, no
prepayment of court costs is required, and in most cases no employ­
ment o f counsel is needed because the labor commissioner himself
or his deputy can furnish to the complainant legal advice as to his
rights and assist in drawing and presenting the complaint.
Only one final point needs consideration. Because this adminis­
trative plan is so excellent there is danger in expecting it to per­
form more than it ought to perform. It will unquestionably suffice
for the great majority of matters within its jurisdiction, just as do
the industrial-accident commissions, but there nevertheless will be
contested cases where, if justice is to be done, the wage earner must
be represented by counsel. There will be cases which, for one reason
or another, do not fall within the scope of the statute and there will
be cases within the statute where real issues of fact will arise, as
that the wage earner was absent from his place of work or per­
formed his duties in an improper manner so that nothing is owed
him. The labor commissioner cannot be expected to run a general
law office, but at this juncture it seems that the legal-aid organiza­
tions might well step in.
It is regrettable that further progress in this direction cannot be
recorded. The problem has been thoroughly studied, and the first
step in the solution has been taken. A model act exists which may
be the subject of discussion and adaptation to the local conditions
in the various States. Where the jurisdiction of the administrative
officials set up by this law ceases, the legal-aid society is still avail­
able to take charge of other cases as in the workmen’s compensation
field. Again the problem has passed from theory to practice and
from the national field to a local one in which legal-aid organiza­
tions and labor commissioners, by cooperation, may reduce to a mini­
mum the instances where a wage claimant fails to secure what is
his due promptly, inexpensively, and without resort to complicated
court procedure.

Chapter XI.—Defender in Criminal Cases
The defender in criminal cases is a lawyer who represents indigent
persons accused of crime. He is commonly called the “ public de­
fender” , but as his compensation may come either from the State or
from some private organization which employs him, we shall use
the phrase “ defender in criminal cases” to denote all public or private
agencies engaged in this work. The defender’s work is, in reality,
legal-aid work in the criminal field. The dramatic features of the
defender have given his efforts a greater amount of publicity than
has fallen to the lot of the similar organizations in the civil field,
because the fact that the life and liberty of the client are at stake
makes the problem more engrossing.
While the defender in criminal cases has only recently become a
part of the administration of justice in this country, the idea itself
is an old one. The ecclesiastical courts in the Middle Ages were
far-seeing in recognizing the needs of accused persons in the matter
of legal representation. The office of advocate of the poor and that
of the procurator of charity were regarded as highly honorable.
Spain had an officer corresponding to the defender in the fifteenth
century. Today, in the laws of Argentina, France, Belgium, Hun­
gary, Mexico, Norway, England, Denmark, and Germany, provision
is made for such an official, and in many of these countries the plan
has existed for some time. The idea was discussed early in our own
history, and in the constitutions of practically all the States we find
established the first step toward the defender, namely, the plan for
assigned counsel appointed by the court to defend the indigent
accused, which we have already noted in chapter V.
Before discussing the arguments pro and con about the defender in
criminal cases, it is helpful to get a concrete picture of the nature
o f the defender’s work, such as is afforded by the case o f S t a t e v.
I s r a e l , in which the public defender for Bridgeport played an inval­
uable part, and which came before the criminal superior court for
Fairfield County, Conn., on May 27, 1924.
Israel was indicted for the murder o f a priest. The murder was
an atrocious one in which the assailant had shot his victim through
the head with a revolver. The shooting occurred on the streets of
Bridgeport about 7:45 p. m., and the murderer was seen by several
people to flee rapidly and disappear from the scene of the crime.
The police became very active, but for 2 weeks made no arrest.




Harold.Israel, an ex-service man, about this time was out of work
and set out to walk to Norwalk. He had in his pocket a loaded
revolver which he had owned for a long time. He was picked up
by a policeman as a suspicious person. The police spent hours ques­
tioning him as a suspect. A t first he denied the crime, but finally he
signed a confession and was thereupon indicted by the grand jury.
Mr. De Forest, the public defender in Bridgeport, immediately be­
came interested in the case because o f the youth of the prisoner, his
lack of friends, and the seriousness of the charge against him. Mr.
De Forest appeared at the coroner’s hearing and was impressed with
the mental condition and evident distress of the accused. The evi­
dence adduced by the prosecution seemed without a flaw. Witnesses
identified the accused as the person whom they had seen commit the
crime. The deceased had been shot by a 32-caliber revolver. The
accused had such a revolver with four chambers loaded and one
chamber empty. Upon being questioned the accused indicated where
the missing cartridge could be found. A cartridge was there found.
An engineer, formerly in the ballistic department of the Remington
Arms Co., after experiments, reached the conclusion that the fatal
bullet had been fired through Israel’s revolver.
Yet the public defender was struck with the strangeness of the
case and, after study, became convinced that the man was innocent.
This opinion he stated in the public press and to the State’s attorney.
His insistence induced the State’s attorney to commence an inde­
pendent investigation. The situation was remarkable because the
net of evidence secured by the police and others appeared sufficient
to convict the accused of first-degree murder.
The result of the investigation of the State’s attorney was first
to disprove the confession. It was clearly demonstrated that the
mentality of the accused was defective and that he had completely
succumbed to the stronger wills of the police. One by one the identi­
fication by various witnesses was proved to be mistaken. It was
shown that Israel could not possibly have been the man whom they
saw commit the murder. Finally, a group of ballistic engineers
made an examination and came to the conclusion that the bullet
causing the death had not been fired from Israel’s revolver. This
technical evidence was so conclusive that the State’s attorney ap­
peared in court and nol prossed the case against Israel.
When one considers the prominence of the deceased, the public
clamor over his death, the demand for vengeance, and the appar­
ently flawless case against the accused, there is reason to believe
that an innocent man would have paid the extreme penalty for a
crime he did not commit if he had been obliged to provide and pay
for his own defense. He was saved by the legal aid of the de-



fender and also by the honorable and thorough cooperation of the
prosecuting attorney.
In the last few years discussion as to the defender has advanced
from a theoretical basis to a practical one. The operation of the
plan is known, and with that knowledge it is possible to brush away
many theoretical objections with which the proposal was originally
met. It should be kept in mind that there is now little or no argu­
ment against the proposition that a person accused of crime is en­
titled to be represented by counsel in his behalf. The debate begins
when it is urged that special effort be made to supply legal assistance
to poor persons who cannot pay for the services of counsel.
A survey of the literature dealing with the defender reveals 23
different objections to such an official. Many o f these are simply
variations of the same theme, and by grouping all similar objections
together we can shorten the consideration of them.
One group of objections is based on the belief that the defender
is a person whose duty is to keep dishonest persons from going to
jail. It is contended that such a person will frustrate the efforts
of the district attorney; that the State should not champion crimi­
nals; that it is illogical to have one official to put men in jail and
another to keep them out. In practice none of these fears has been
realized. What has happened is a revision of the ideas of many
persons regarding the real purpose of a criminal proceeding. It is
now clearly seen that it is as much the function of the State to
protect innocent persons from going to jail as it is to send guilty
persons to punishment. It is known now that a criminal trial is
not a contest in which the State’s only interest is to secure a con­
viction, but a scientific search for the truth in which the State may
well engage impartially, and to that end may support both sides to
insure impartiality.
Another group of objections alleges that the defender is super­
fluous. It is argued that the laws throw safeguards around the
person of the accused; that the judge and the district attorney are
bound to protect him. Practice has here disclosed the fact that
such safeguards in the law may be ineffective unless there is some
counsel to assert them. It also demonstrates that while in a
perfectly clear case the rights of the accused will be protected, yet
if a careful investigation of the law or facts is necessary to disclose
a proper defense and prepare it for trial, the defendant must have
some one actively and affirmatively working in his behalf. I f he can
afford it, the defense is represented by able counsel. The equal pro­
tection o f the laws is not attained unless legal assistance is provided
for the man who cannot afford it. Such a consideration should in
itself outweigh any objection based on the expense to the public of
4 3381— 36--------6



such an official, and experience demonstrates that the cost is small—
it being much less than that of the district attorney. The presence
o f the defender, furthermore, has the effect of winnowing out at an
early stage all cases except those where a trial is absolutely necessary.
This results in a substantial saving, because the cost of a criminal
trial before a jury is about $200 a day.
Some of the objections are founded on the fact that the objectors
believe the “ public defender” is merely a new elective official who
will be subject to all the political difficulties, graft, and incompetence
which they regard as attaching to too many public officials. Pre­
sumably such persons would not object to a defender’s office con­
ducted and supported as a private philanthropy, as is the Voluntary
Defenders Committee in New York.
Again, objection is raised on the score that we are too sentimental
with criminals. This objection begs the question—because a man is
accused o f a crime is he necessarily a criminal? I f he were, there
would be no need o f the trial. It is for the purpose of determining
accurately this question of fact by means of an impartial trial that
the need for a defender arises.
There are many pronouncements in our State constitutions to the
effect that the accused in a criminal trial shall be entitled to counsel.
To make this constitutional guaranty actively effective in all cases,
some definite provision must be made to secure counsel to those
persons who are too poor to employ counsel at their own expense.
In final analysis, the argument about the defender must be resolved
by ascertaining whether any other adequate and satisfactory plan is
available for the protection of indigent defendants. In general, our
laws provide three distinct remedies, viz: ( a) Unpaid assigned
counsel, (&) paid assigned counsel, ( o) a regular defender’s office.
Table 3 shows the provisions of the statutes in various States re­
garding assignment of counsel for indigent defendants accused of

T a b l e 3 . — Statutory
W hat crim es

A lab am a.—..................
A rizona................. ........
A rkansas................ ..
C olorado.......................
C onnecticut................
D elaw are......................
F lorida...........................
Iow a.............................
K ansas..........................
K en tu ck y __________
L ouisiana___________
M ain e____ _________
M arylan d .............. ..
M assachusetts_____
M ichigan......................
M in n esota-............... ..

C apital..................
A ll __________
F elon y__________
A ll............................
......... do......................
......... do......................
F e lo n y ..................
C apital...................
A l l . . . . ....................
......... do......................
____ d o .....................
......... do......................
____ do................. ..
F elon y. ............... ..
C ap ital_________
A ll______ _______
C ap ital_________
A ll ........................
C ap ital................ ..
A ll............................
F elon y and gross
m isdem eanor.
C apital ______
F elon y _______
A ll............................
F elon y __________

W hose instance

W hen assigned

C om pensation for attorney

C itation

N o provision___________________________ A la. Code 1928, sec. 5567.
If in superior court and jury, $10-$100 R ev. Code 1928, sec. 5001.
in court’s discretion.
____ do..................... Before a rra ign m en t___
N o paym en t. (See 31 Ark. 266)______ Craw. & M oses S tat., 1921, sec. 3051.
. do................... Arraignm ent___
N o provision; public defender pro­ P enal code 1931, sec. 987. Statutes, 1921. p. 354.
vided for.
D iscretion_____ N o provision . .
___ C apital, $50 m axim um ; F elony, $30 m ax­ C ourtright’s M ills A nn. Stat., 1930, sec. 2128-32.
im um ; M isdem eanor, $20 m axim um .
G en. Stat., 1930, sec. 6476.
P ublic defender .
N o provision __
__ __ . R ev. C ode 1915, secs. 3794 and 3798.
N o provision___ No provision .
M andatory_____ ___ do____________ ___________ $50 m axim u m __________________________ C om p. Gen. L aw s, 1927, sec. 8375.
R equest...... .......... Before indictm ent _______ N o p ay m en t___________________________ Ga. Penal Code, 1926, secs. 933 and 6361.
Before arraignment
C apital, $50; F elony, $25; M isdem eanor, Code 1932, 19-1412, 19-1413.
M andatory____ Arraignment
Preparation, $15 a d ay for 5 days; trial Sm ith -H u rd R ev. S tat. 1933, ch. 38, sec. 730.
$25 a d ay. T otal m axim um , $250.
D iscretion ............ N o provision . . .
R easonable_____________ ______________ B ald w in ’s Ind. Statutes, 1934, sec. 2235.
R equest________ Arraignm ent. .
Life or over, $20 per day; others, $10 C ode 1931, sec. 13773-5.
total m axim um .
M andatory. . . ___ do____ ______
N o provision___________________________ R ev. Stat. 1923, sec. 62-1304.
No provision
D iscretion. _
___ do____________________ ____________ Carroll’s K y. S tat., 1930, const, sec. 11.
Before arraignment
R equest .
__ do___ _______________ ____________ Code of Crim . Proc. 1932, art. 602.
R easonable_____ _______________________ R ev. Stat. 1930, ch. 146, sec. 14.
D iscretion „ . N o provision . .
____ do___ _______ ___ d o . ....................
$100 m axim u m .......................... ............ .......... B ag b y ’s Code, 1925, A rt. 26, secs. 7, 8.
___ do
R easonable____________________________ A nn. L aw s of M ass., 1932, ch. 276, 37A.
. . . . d o .. .
. . . do
C apital, $250 m axim um ; others, $100 C om p. Laws, 1915, V . I ll, ch. 264, secs. 15, 623,
. . . do .
15,911 to 15,914.
m axim um .
R eq u est............. Arraignm ent_____ _______ _ $10 a d ay for each attorney; public de­ G en. Stat. 1927, secs. 9957 to 9963.
fender in counties over 300,000 p opu­
M ississippi................ ..
Arraignment _
N o provision___________________________ Code, 1930, sec. 1262.
R equest .
M issouri..................... .
Before arraignment
N o p ay m en t__________ ____________ _ R ev. Stats., 1919, sec. 3957.
M on tan a. ............. ..
.........d o _____
C apital, $100; F elony, $50; M isdem ean­ R ev. C ode, 1921, secs. 11, 886-887.
__ d o _________________
or, $25.
N ebraska......................
$100 m axim um except in capital cases; C om p. S tat. 1929, ch. 29, sec. 1803.
........... do............... Before indictm ent—
public defender in counties over
100,000 population.
N evad a.......................... A ll............................
C apital, $100 in lum p sum ; In others, N ev . C om p. L aw s, 1929, secs. 10, 883, 11,357-358.
$50 m axim um .
1 T here are several definitions of a felony. O riginally th e word m eant an offense w hich b y the statu te or b y the com m on law is punishable w ith death or a total forfeiture
of lands or goods. In m any statutes today a felony is defined as an offense w hich is punishable by death or by im prisonm ent in th e State prison. In general, the word
“ felon y” is used to distinguish the more serious offenses from m isdem eanors, the less serious crim es.

M andatory_____ N o provision





provisions for assignment of counsel in criminal cases 1


T able

W hat crim es

3.— Statutory provisions for assignment of counsel in criminal cases— Continued

W hose instance

W hen assigned

C om pensation for attorney


C itation
P ub. L aw s, 1926, ch. 368.

M an d atory_____
N o provision___
R eq u est____ . . .
D isc r etio n .. . . .
R eq u est____ ._ .
M a n d a to r y __

N o p r o v isio n .______ _______
____ d o. ____________________
Arraignm ent_____ __________
N o provision...............................
Arraignm ent_____ _______
___ d o_______________ ______

C om p. Stat. V, 11, p. 1838, sec. 56.
N . M . Stat. 1929, 105-2411.
Code of C rim . Proc., 1933, sec. 308.
N . C. Code, 1931, sec. 4516.
C om p. L aw s, 1913, sec. 10, 721.
Page’s Ohio Gen. Code, V . IV , sec. 13, 439-3.

O klahom a.
__ A l l - ........................ R equest.................
O regon.
_____ ____ d o ................. - ____ d o__________
P ennsylvania _ _. _ C apital _____ ____ d o................... ..
R hode Island
____ d o ........ ..........
A ll .
T en n essee. _ _____ ____ d o __________ .........d o __________
C apital _____ M an d atory_____
T exas
d o ................ .. R eq u est.................
South Carolina
South Dakota
A ll ......................... ____ d o__________
. ..d o ..................... ......... d o __________
U tah
. . d o ............ ......... d o______ . . .
Vermont _
V ir g in ia ___ __ ____ d o __________ ____ d o __________

Before arraignm ent_________
____ do____ _______ ______
N o provision_____ _______
..d o __ ................................
____ d o____ __________________
A rraignm ent_____ __ _______
N o p r o v is io n ...........................
Before arraignment ________
Arraignm ent_______________
T r ia l... i ____________________
N o provision—............... ............

W est Virginia

F elon y.
_. _do
W isconsin.................... A ll............... ............
W yom ing__
___ ......... d o . . ................

......... d o __________
. . . . do ................
D iscretion______
R eq u est________

N o provision_____ _____ __
Arraignm ent_________ ____
N o p ro v isio n ............. . . . .
Before arraignment ________

Reasonable but only in hom icide____
N o provision__________________________
Incurred expenses plus $1,000 in
capital cases.
$25 in capital cases.................. .......................
N o provision---------- -----------------------------First and second degree m urder, reason­
able; M anslaughter, $100 m axim um ;
Others, $50 m axim um .
$25 m axim um ____________ __________ . . .
N o p ro v isio n ..________ ________________
N o p aym ent. (See 16 Pa. D ist. C t.
R ep. 449.)
Capital, $15 a day; N o p ay for over 2
days except m urder.
N o provision; P ublic defender in
counties over 190,000 population.
N o provision_____ _____________________
-------d o_____ _______ _________ ______ _____
-------d o ______________________ ______ _____
____ d o ___________________________ ______
R easonable in capital and State prison
$25 in capital and State prison offenses;
P ublic defender appointed b y judge
in cities over 100,000 population.
N op a ym en t. (See47 W . V a., 376.)___
$10 per d ay ............................... ____________
Reasonable, not to exceed $15 a d ay in
preparation, $25 a day during trial.
N o provision............................................. ........

Com p. Stat. 1921, sec. 2590, and sec. 2929.
Oreg. C ode, 1930, sec. 13-803.
P a. Stat. 1920, sec. 8165.
Gen. L aw s, 1923, 6363-4, secs. 69-70.
T enn. C ode, 1932, secs. 9983, 11,734.
Code Crim . Proc., 1928, secs. 491, 494.
S. C. Code, 1932, sec. 980.
C om p. L aw s, 1929, sec. 4755.
R ev. Stat., 1933, 105-22-12.
Gen. L aw s, 1917, secs. 2496, 2539, 2555, 2568.
Va. Code, 1924, ch. 136, sec. 3518.
B arnes’ C ode, 1923, ch. 159.
R em . R ev. S tat., 1934, sec. 2305.
W ise. S tat., 1933, sec. 357.26.
R ev. Stat. 1931, sec. 33-501.


R eq u est________ Before arraignm ent-. _____ Reasonable; $150 m axim um .

N ew H am pshire___ C apital and 5
years im pris­
onm ent.
A ll
N ew Jersey.
N ew M e x ic o ._____ U nspecified_____
N ew Y ork. ________ A ll.I ____________
N orth Carolina____ ......... d o __________
. . _ d o . _____
N orth D akota
O hio________________ F elon y__________



Assignment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases is
provided for in 48 States. In felony cases the law provides for the
assignment of counsel in 37 States. In misdemeanor cases—that is,
when the crime charged is a minor one—provision for assigned coun­
sel is made in 29 States.
In general, it may be said that the plan of assigned counsel works
satisfactorily in capital cases. The dramatic situation and the attend­
ant publicity are sufficient to insure the lawyer’s best efforts, and in
capital cases the lawyer receives compensation for his work. As to
felony cases, the efficacy of the plan is doubtful. In misdemeanor
cases it appears that counsel are seldom assigned in actual practice.
In considering how these laws operate, we come next to the com­
pulsory provisions. It is clear that if the law makes the assignment
of counsel compulsory, it is more likely to be enforced than if the
words used are permissive only.
The statute makes the assignment of counsel mandatory in seven
States by using the word “ must.” But of these the reference is only
to capital cases in three States and of the remainder the reference is
only to felony cases in two States. The provision is enforceable at
the request of the accused in 30 States and is enforceable in the dis­
cretion of the court in 9 States.
It appears only too often that the accused may waive his right to
counsel; that if he does not demand his right at trial he will be pre­
sumed to have waived it. Obviously in the case of an uneducated
person or a foreigner it frequently means that he will not know
enough to assert his right.
We must next consider how far the laws compensate the assigned
lawyers for their work. It is asking little to require a lawyer to care
for one case a year without compensation, but it is an imposition to
expect a man to give his professional services without compensation
20 or 30 timesi a year, and, as has been noted in chapter V, this is the
point at which the assigned-counsel plan is apt to break down.
Payment is allowed in 26 States. In 13 of these compensation is
provided for in cases both of felonies and misdemeanors. In five
other States compensation is allowed only in felony cases, and in
still eight other States compensation is payable only in capital cases.
A lump-sum payment is provided in 6 States, a per diem payment is
provided in 5 States, and payment is in the discretion of the court
in 15 States.
The amount of compensation throws a curious light on the relative
value set by the States on such matters. In capital cases lump-sum
compensation ranges between $25 and $1,000; in felony cases between
$25 and $50; in capital cases per diem compensation averages about
$20 or $25; and in felony cases per diem compensation averages about
$ 10.



The foregoing classification of States does not include the three
States where the public-defender system is in effect. It does include,
however, those States in which the public-defender and the assignedcounsel systems still exist side by side.
The problem of cash disbursements for necessary expenses is im­
portant. They include expert testimony, witness fees, and traveling
expenses, as well as those items o f one sort or another which are
essential to the proper preparation of any case. The Hauptman
murder case recently tried in New Jersey over a period of 42 days
illustrates how great may be the expense for evidence given by wit­
nesses, experts, detectives, and others. Such evidence was prepared
and used both by the prosecution and the defense. Because o f the
national interest in the Hauptman case it was possible for the defend­
ant to make an appeal through various publicity media for finan­
cial assistance. The question naturally arises as to how a poor mam
in a case that was not so dramatic would fare if it were necessary to>
provide an elaborate preparation for his defense. One may well
speculate on what may have been the outcome of S t a t e v. I s r a e l if no>
aid had been provided. Nearly every case, if it is to be properly
prepared and tried, involves some cash outlay, but in the great ma­
jority of cases, even where counsel is assigned, no provision is made
for such expenses.
This is a substantial defect in the assigned-counsel plan. It means
that either the attorney must pay the incidental expenses out of his
own pocket, which, of course, he cannot afford to do, and therefore
does not do, or the defendant must go to trial and do the best he can
in spite of an inadequate preparation of his case. In only eight
States are the expenses defrayed by the State, and in two of these
the expenses will be borne by the State only in capital cases. In
seven States the law expressly prohibits any reimbursement to the
lawyer for such incidental expenses. Not more than four or five
States have adequate provisions on this point, and in three of these
the adequate provision exists as part of the public-defender plan.
Even where assigned counsel are provided, the laws restrict their
work to certain courts; it is rarely the case that a law provides the
accused with an attorney to represent him from the very beginning;
to the very end of the proceedings. Thus provision is made for the
appearance of counsel in the regular criminal trial courts in 34 States,,
but similar provisions for appearance in the magistrates or other
lower courts are found in only 8 States, and for appearance in appel­
late courts we find definite provisions in only 2 States.
The statutes are not definite in many cases as to when counsel are
assigned for the indigent accused person. In 2 States counsel are
assigned before indictment, in 10 States before arraignment, in 14



States at the time of arraignment (when the person pleads guilty or
not guilty to the indictment), in 1 State at the time of trial. In the
remaining States the statutory provisions are not sufficiently clear to
permit definite classification. However, it is believed that in the
majority of these States the practice is to assign counsel at the time
of trial.
The importance of the court in which the defender appears is re­
flected by the statutory services imposed on such an officer. He is
supposed to expedite the trial of criminal cases by helping to elimi­
nate all those where there is no need for a trial and by sorting out
the cases where the person is clearly not guilty, thus saving the
county the expense of complicated proceedings. It is obvious that
the earlier in the case the defense may be thoroughly studied by an
impartial expert the sooner will its validity be tested. I f the case
has no merit, a plea of guilty may be entered. I f the defense is
sound, prosecution may be dropped. This saves time and money.
Another phase of the desirability of early assignment of counsel
grows out of the celebrated “third degree.” The police are often
accused of resorting to “third degree” methods to obtain a confession.
Whether or not such practices are often resorted to, it is certainly
desirable that the accused should have the benefit of counsel’s advice
and protection at every stage in the proceedings.
Finally, consideration must be given to who selects the lawyer for
the accused and who determines whether the accused is entitled to
any aid of this kind.
The selection of the lawyer for the defense may or may not be a
valuable asset in the hands of the defense. The law in three States
allows the defendant to make a selection. In the other States the
selection is in the hands of the court. The public-defender plan has
been objected to on the ground that it gives no freedom of choice to
the defendant as to who shall represent him, but this is an objection
as well to the assigned-counsel plan as it exists in most States. It is
urged that if a man of means is arrested and comes into court he may
secure the ablest lawyers to represent him. Equal protection o f the
laws, it is claimed, requires that the indigent accused should have
the same right and that he should not be forced to a trial involving
his life or liberty with only the services of some assigned lawyer
whom he does not want.
The practical operation of the assigned-counsel system in many
States gives some ground for such an objection. The lawyers selected
are apt to be of two kinds, either young and inexperienced men
who wish to gain experience at the expense of the client, or older
men who are present in the courtroom expressly for the purpose
of receiving these appointments. Neither group represents the best



element at the bar and neither is able to afford the accused a firstclass defense. The more able lawyers, whether in civil or criminal
practice, are too busy to spare the time in such comparatively unremunerative work, and the courts rather hesitate to select the better
lawyers because it seems like an imposition.
The objection, when directed against the defender plan, is not con­
sidered by the authors to be of great practical importance. The
State cannot afford unlimited aid to every defendant; if it makes
some efficient provision *in his behalf, its duty is performed. It
must be remembered that the complainant in a criminal case, for
example, the man who has been robbed and who has sworn out the
warrant against the defendant, has no choice of attorneys; at the
trial he is represented by the district attorney whether he happens
to like the district attorney or not. Furthermore, the public de­
fender is. not forced on the defendant, who is perfectly free to be
represented by any other lawyer if he can get one. I f he has a
friend at the bar and the friend is willing to serve, then the public
defender will not interfere or inject himself into the case in any way.
To determine whether a defendant is so poor as to be entitled to
have counsel assigned to him is customarily within the discretion of
the court. In California the test is whether the defendant is worth
less than $100, and in 41 States the decision is not fixed by any
definite amount, but is left entirely to the court. There is little
reason to believe that the courts are imposed on in this particular
because, as the assignment plan works today, a defendant will pro­
cure his own attorney if he can possibly do so. There is more
danger of imposition in connection with the defender plan, because
as the defender is paid a salary he can afford to work hard on the
cases committed to his care, and in the steady course of his work he
is apt to become as highly proficient as any lawyer o f the criminal
bar. It is easy under such circumstances to conceive of persons who
would sham poverty in order to secure his services without cost.
The best check will undoubtedly be to permit the defender himself,
after investigation, to determine whether the defendant is properly
entitled to assistance and to report his finding to the court. The
problem is only a minor one in any event. It is the same as that
considered in chapter IY in connection with in forma pauperis pro­
cedure, and here, as there, the sound solution seems to be to place
the burden o f this preliminary inquiry into the applicant’s economic
status on an administrative official whose finding is subject to con­
trol by the court but who can in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred
perform the task in a perfectly satisfactory manner, so that the bur­
den is not thrust on the courts.
Viewing the country as a whole to determine how far the admin­
istration of justice is empowered and equipped to provide adequate



protection for poor persons accused of crime, it is found that the
statutes do not afford any thorough and comprehensive plan. The
situation is not unlike that disclosed in chapter IV when we exam­
ined the laws regulating the various procedures designed to enable
poor persons to sue without prepayment of costs. The position
of the man of no financial resources before the law has received
insufficient attention, with the result that our statutes represent a
hodge-podge of good intentions which fall short o f the mark be­
cause they are built on false premises or because of inherent limita­
tions that make them ineffective in actual practice. Summarizing
the facts contained in the preceding pages of this chapter, we may
say that the assignment plan exists in its best form and operates
most successfully in capital cases. Also, in noncapital cases, when
assigned counsel are paid, the plan does serve to provide adequate
representation for the defense, although, as we shall try to indicate
later, this is accomplished in an unnecessarily expensive and cumber­
some manner. But in at least 19 States the indigent defendant
must rely on unpaid counsel or go without any representation at all.
It is this situation that has brought about the various recent
experiments which we have called “ the defender in criminal cases.”
These experiments have been conducted along different lines and
through different types of organizations. The least formal is that
of the Chicago Bar Association Committee. Public defenders are
definitely established in certain cities, as in Omaha, Minneap­
olis, and San Francisco. Variations of this municipal plan exist
in connection with the inferior courts in Los Angeles and in New
In Connecticut the public defenders are county officers
appointed by the superior court judges. In 1925, there were the
two great defender organizations, the public defender of Los Angeles
County and the voluntary defenders committee in New York City.
In Chicago from 1926 until 1933 the Chicago Bar Association, the
Northwestern University Law School, and the criminal courts branch
of the Chicago Legal Aid Bureau cooperated in rendering voluntary
defender service. Cases were referred from the jail or from some
prison welfare association. The application for assistance came in
the form of a request to the secretary or chairman of the com­
mittee. The chairman then assigned some member of the com­
mittee to handle the case, and if he wished it, arranged for the
assignment of two law students of the Northwestern University
Law School as assistants. These law students looked up the wit­
nesses, interviewed the prisoner, did all sorts of investigating work,
and under the direction of the older lawyers prepared the case for
trial. The lawyer tried the case with the younger men sitting in as





Since the institution in Chicago o f the public defender a portion
o f the work of this committee has been abandoned, but it is still func­
tioning and secures attorneys to defend in certain types of cases.
The committee now has an attorney on duty each day in the boys
court and in the morals court. Occasionally the services of volun­
teer attorneys have been provided in other types of cases. The
public defender’s office in Chicago is carried on with much the same
procedure and with the same satisfactory results which have been
obvious in almost every place it has been tried. There are, however,
a few characteristics of special interest which deserve mention.
Under the old system o f appointing counsel for those accused of
crime the dockets were crowded. Jury trials occupied too much time,
continuances required witnesses to keep coming back again and
again, the expense was enormous, and the result of it was that a
system of bargaining with the defendant developed whereby a lesser
penalty was offered in return for a plea of guilty. One of the great­
est objections was that the assigned counsel would arrange with
relatives of the accused for installment payments, and, consequently,
would try to prolong the case as much as possible until he got his fee.
The public defender gets his clients by assignment from the court
when arraignment takes place and the prisoner cannot afford private
counsel. The public defender is appointed by the chief justice of
the criminal court upon the recommendation of the judiciary
advisory council.
Since the institution of the public-defender system in October
1930 the above evils have been practically eliminated. The saving
effected is one of the most imposing results. The following are
instances where savings have been effected:
(1) By holding down the number of jury trials (such now being
possible where not formerly so).
(2) By always being prepared and ready to proceed with trials,
thereby avoiding numerous continuances.
(3) By shortening trials: (a) By speedily selecting juries; and
(b) by stipulating necessary facts to avoid continuances.
(4) By advising defendants when the case is hopelessly against
them to plead guilty and thereby save the time of the court.
(5) By eliminating in capital cases fees of $250 provided by law
for the attorneys of every indigent defendant.
After making a conservative estimate and giving due allowance
to other factors, it seems safe to say that the office has more than
paid for itself.
As an illustration of the Connecticut plan we may take the public
defender in Hartford. Each year the judges of the county appoint
a defender from among the practicing attorneys. The work does
not take all o f the lawyer’s time and he is entitled to continue his



private practice. There are four terms of court each year. The
method o f operation, for example, in the June term is as follows:
About May 1 the defender obtains from the sheriff the names of all
prisoners who require his services. He does not take bail cases
except under unusual circumstances, because, in general, prisoners
able to obtain bail are also able to employ counsel. As a result of
the information received from the sheriff the defender is supplied
with a number of cases. Others come in afterwards, for example,
cases in which the prisoners expected private counsel to be paid by
friends and were disappointed,, or cases in which the arrests have
been made after May 1 but before the term of court.
The first step is to interview each of these prisoners and en­
deavor to get the facts in his case. The public defender may then
subpena witnesses, secure the services of a detective, and employ all
necessary devices to secure the correct information and proof. The
bills for such incidental expenses are submitted at the end of the
month, approved by the court, and paid by the county.
In this way the defender becomes conversant with the facts in
each case. The next step is to confer with the defendant and decide
what is to be done. There are three classes of cases—those where
the accused is obviously innocent, those where he is obviously guilty,
and those where there is doubt. In the first class the matter is
taken up at once with the district attorney and the proof is submit­
ted frankly to him. Upon agreement o f counsel, the court will
release the prisoner. In the second class of cases the prisoner is
urged to plead guilty. I f he refuses, he is at all events entitled to a
fair trial, so that what he regards as the merits of his case may be
fairly heard, and this the defender affords him. In the doubtful
cases the defender frequently goes to the prosecutor, lays his cards
on the table, and the district attorney does the same. I f there is
still doubt, the case must be tried. But as a practical matter the
result of this procedure is that in most cases there is no need for
trial. It is here that the economy of the defender’s office makes
itself manifest.
This preliminary work takes up the second and third weeks in
May. On the 1st of June the trials begin and the cases thereupon
take their regular course.
The Hartford defender is on a salary and handles no criminal cases
at all in his private practice. While there is no statutory prohibition
on his handling such cases, it is a matter of individual preference
which very properly has developed into a tradition.
The defender in Omaha performs his work in a manner quite
similar to that already described. It should be pointed out, how­
ever, that in Omaha the public defender is elected. In Minneapolis
until the last year or two the public-defender system operated simi-



larly. Recently the judges of the local district court have reverted
to the system of assigning counsel to individual defendants. The
system grew up following the resignation o f the last public defender,
no further appointment being made. There seems to he no reason
why the public-defender system should not be reestablished.
The public defender for Los Angeles County, Calif., established
in January 1914, was the first office of its kind in this country and
attracted a great deal of attention. Its office force consists of the
defender and 12 deputies. Its existence is provided for by the county
charter. It handles only criminal cases in the superior court. It
has jurisdiction to handle civil cases in the municipal and justice
courts. In those courts it does not handle criminal cases. Its main
activity, however, is in the handling of criminal cases in the superior
court. The office is subject to civil-service regulations and has been
filled by men of the highest standing. Its work ife not dissimilar
to that described in Hartford, but it is on a much larger scale.
In conducting this work the public defender functions just as
any ethical high-minded attorney would do his work. The rights
of the defendant as guaranteed by law are protected but there is
no incentive for doing anything beyond what is ethically proper.
I f the defendant is palpably guilty of the offense charged, the de­
fender endeavors to show him that it would be wise to enter a plea of
guilty. O f course, if the accused maintains that he is innocent the
defender like any other reputable lawyer must submit his case to
the determination of the court or jury. The valuable reports of
this office served to make the public defender known throughout the
country, and supply many of the figures which are set forth later
in this chapter.
The New York Voluntary Defenders Committee is the best exam­
ple of a private organization operating in the field. In 1914 the
Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the New
York County Lawyers’ Association, each appointed a committee
to report upon “the necessity and advisability of creating the office
of public defender in New York City.” The report was against a
public but in favor of a private defender. The organization of
the voluntary defenders committee followed. Court work was
initiated in April 1917. The organization was merged with the
New York Legal Aid Society in 1919.
The voluntary defender office staff consists of five lawyers, two
investigators, and a social service worker. While the actual han­
dling of the work follows the same general channels as those de­
scribed above, there are certain distinctive features here.
Upon receipt of a case, either through assignment by the court
or upon application of some social service agency or by direct appli­
cation of the defendant, a copy of the indictment or charge is made



at the office of the clerk of the court. An attorney from the office
then interviews the defendant, obtaining from him all the necessary
data pertaining to his case and information concerning his past.
It has been determined as a matter of propriety and expediency
that the preliminary interview should be taken by the attorney
rather than by an investigator. The attorney is in a better position
to advise with the defendant and in most instances secures the
pertinent information required. At the initial interview the de­
fendant confers with his counsel and this enables counsel to gain
a full measure of candor and confidence which is most essential
in work of this nature. By this method the defendant frequently
discloses information which might be withheld from an investigator.
When this interview is completed, the statement is then turned
over to one of the investigators in the office for the necessary check­
up. The social service division of the work is a highly important
function. Through the activity of the social-service worker the
defender is able to contact other agencies throughout the city, State,
and country in an effort to assist in the solution of the social prob­
lems incident to the case. In turn this close cooperation with social
agencies frequently leads to the reference of cases prior to arraign­
ment. Thus the service is of distinct advantage both to the de­
fendant and the community at large. A t the proper time the
investigator subpenas the witnesses for trial. When this preparatory
gathering of facts and information has been completed, the attorney
proceeds to take the case into court and handle it just as any
lawyer would handle a similar case.
The experiment has been so successful that in 1934 plans were made
for an extension o f the work into the magistrate courts of New York
City. Defenders generally have confined their work to cases in the
general trial court. Except for a brief effort in Cleveland in 1924
and the present effort in New York, there is only one other example.
The two bar associations in New York contributed a fund in 1934 and
appointed a joint committee to conduct a test as to the need for a
defender service in the lower courts. An attorney and a social worker
were retained to carry on the experiment as long as the appropriation
should last. This small staff operated in the different magistrate
courts in Manhattan beginning on July 2,1934, and spending 4 weeks
in each court. It is too soon to draw any conclusions from the
The other example of service in the lower courts is the city public
defender in Los Angeles, which is of longer standing. This office was
first created by a city ordinance in November 1915. The duties of the
defender, as prescribed by the ordinance creating the office, are ato
defend any person who is not financially able to employ counsel and
who is charged in the municipal court, or before any judge thereof



sitting as a committing magistrate, with the commission of any mis­
demeanor, felony, or other public offense; he shall also, upon request,
give counsel and advice to any such person respecting any such charge
against him.”
It is to be noted that the ordinance as enacted does not extend the
duties of the office of city public defender to include counsel and
advice or representation in civil matters.1 The necessities of those
availing themselves of the benefits and privileges of the office, how­
ever, demand that service in purely civil matters be rendered; but this
service, as yet, does not extend to a court appearance in civil cases,
being limited purely to a consultation privilege. The fact that up­
ward of 10,000 people yearly avail themselves of this extended privi­
lege in strictly civil matters is in itself a justification of such service.
Actual work was begun in February 1916 with one lawyer and one
stenographer. The personnel of the office now consists o f the city
public defender, four deputies, and a secretary. O f the four depu­
ties, one is a woman, who has charge of all matters filed in the socalled woman’s division o f the municipal court. These matters deal
principally with failure-to-provide cases and complaints largely in­
volving morals charges. Another deputy is assigned to the nightcourt division of the municipal court, where arraignments on mis­
demeanor charges are heard and criminal trials are set. A third
deputy is assigned to the day-court division, wherein prisoners are
arraigned and trials set. The fourth deputy cares for both court and
jury trials when disposition has not already been made in the other
division of court.
The jurisdiction of the Los Angeles municipal court includes such
matters as larceny, vagrancy, disturbing the peace, visiting lotteries,
embezzlement, fictitious checks, indecent exposure, carrying con­
cealed weapons, addiction to drugs, prostitution, violation o f the
State liquor-control law, criminal libel, and assault and battery.
The defendants in all cases of felonies (State prison offenses),
which are not triable in the municipal court, but which have a pre­
liminary hearing therein, are transferred to the superior court.
When they appear in the superior court they may have the county
public defender take up their cases.
This rather extended statement of the nature and scope of the Los
Angeles Defender’s work is necessary because it is the best il­
lustration of such work in the lower courts, and there is a differ­
ence of opinion as to whether defenders are needed in these
lower courts. The Los Angeles police court defender, writing on
1 A n a m e n d m e n t o f A u g . 8, 1 9 3 5 , to th is o r d in a n c e p e r m its th e c ity p u b lic d e fe n d e r o f
L o s A n g e le s t o h a n d le c iv il c a se s.



this subject in March 1933, urges the need for his type of office on
the ground that the courts are trial courts as well as courts of
record, and the verdict of such a court is quite as effective against
the prisoner as a verdict of a superior court. In California there is
no criminal offense triable at all in the court in which the de­
fendant is not entitled to a jury trial. In fact, he must specifically
waive his right of trial by jury, and this waiver must be con­
curred in by the prosecutor. The seriousness of the punishments
and the number of offenses triable both constitute a valid reason for
the existence of some person to aid in weeding out cases which need
not be tried, in saving the city the expense of unnecessary trials,
and in seeing that the defendant has a fair presentation of his rights.
The Los Angeles police court defender has made an excellent record,
from which it appears that in cities where the police court has an
important criminal jurisdiction the establishment of the defender
office may well be worth while.
As no complete statement of the amount of work performed by
the defenders has ever appeared in print, it is important to state
here, as fully and as accurately as circumstances permit, the number
of cases in which the defenders have acted as counsel for impover­
ished defendants. In 1926' there were 12 defender offices in the
United States. As to three— Chicago, Memphis, and Norfolk—no
records were available nor are they now. Three others—Bridgeport,
New Haven, and Omaha—had a certain amount of material from
which the volume of their business might be estimated. Prior to
1920 only five organizations existed and their records are as follow s:
The Los Angeles County public defender received 562 cases in 1915,
402 in 1916, 463 in 1917, 495 in 1918, and 535 in 1919. The New
York Voluntary Defenders’ Committee (working in Manhattan)
received 484 cases in 1917, 533 in 1918, and 697 in 1919. The Hart­
ford public defender received 90 cases in 1917, 122 in 1918, and 104
in 1919. The Minneapolis public defender received 118 cases in 1918
and 189 in 1919. From 1916 to 1919 the work of the Los Angeles
police-court defender aggregated 9,010 cases. The records from 1920
through 1933 are more detailed and are shown in the following
table. Adding these figures to those in the following table, it is
found that the total work already performed by the defender offices
in the United States is greater in extent than most persons realize.
The totals fo r the respective organizations from their commencing
work through the year 1933 are these: Los Angeles county public
defender, 59,843; Los Angeles city public defender, 121,693; New
York voluntary defender committee, 11,908; Hartford public de­
fender, 1,996; Minneapolis public defender had handled 1,300 cases
up to the time it was discontinued in 1924.



T a b l e 4 . — N um ber

of cases handled by defender offices in specified cities , 1920
to 1938

C ity




3, 608


6, 558



B ridgeport_____________________
C hicago________________________
H artford_______
L os A ngeles C. P . D _________
L os A ngeles P . C. D __________
M inn eap olis___________________
N ew H a v e n __________ . .
N ew Y ork________________ .
O m aha___ __________ _________
San Francisco_________________
T o ta l......................................
C ity


B ridgeport_____________________
C hicago____________
C incinn ati......................... .................
C olum bus—. ____ ______
H artford
Los A ngeles C. P . D __________
Los A ngeles P . C .D _____ _
N ew Y ork____ ______________
O akland____ ______________
O m aha___________ ______
P itts b u r g h ... __ ..........................
R ochester_____________________
San D ie g o ____________
T otal___________
i 1 m onth.

2, 498


3, 696
4, 432

9, 240

5, 631






i 80










1, 734
18, 793
1, 235

2, 693

14, 692

38, 509

47, 617

19, 529
3, 500
50, 376

24, 707

3, 670
7, 373

^ D iscon tin ued .

Among the younger defender organization, the Oakland public
defender, beginning in 1927, has handled 2,889 cases, and the Colum­
bus, Ohio, public defender, organized in 1927, has handled 31,211.
From these records, which understate rather than overstate the
truth, we learn what has already been accomplished, and by estimat­
ing the 1933 volume of work at about 38,000 cases it is fair to state
that the defender offices have already extended their assistance to
approximately 300,000 persons in criminal cases.
Since 1923 there has been substantial activity in the creation of
new organizations. The Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati in 1928
established a voluntary defender department. Columbus, Ohio, pro­
vided a public defender in 1927. In Dallas, Tex., a public defender
functioned from 1929 to 1931, but the work has been discontinued.
A public defender was provided in Oakland, Calif., in 1927. In
Pittsburgh in 1930 and in Philadelphia in 1933 voluntary defenders
were set up; in Pittsburgh in connection with the legal-aid society
and in Philadelphia as an independent organization. Rochester
experimented with this work through a branch of the legal-aid society
from 1928 to 1933. Plans were on foot in St. Louis during the year
1927 but the work has not materialized. A public defender was
established in San Diego in 1932 and in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1926.
In 1930, as already indicated, Chicago provided a public de­
fender who conducts a substantial amount of the work. In 1931


the D u k e L e g a l A i d

C lin ic, D u rh a m , N . C ., opened its doors to

crim inal as w ell as civil cases.
T h e N a tio n al A ssociation o f L e g a l A i d O rganization s has taken a
step fo rw a rd in fu rth erin g the developm ent o f the m ovem ent fo r
the appoin tm ent o f defenders by ado p tin g the fo llo w in g id e a l:

Every legal-aid organization should, as far as local conditions permit,
endeavor to:
Provide for legal aid in criminal cases where there is no statute providing
for the assignment of counsel or for a public defender, or where the circum­
stances are such that the defendant cannot obtain proper representation in
any other way.
A sincere effort has been m ade to secure figures fr o m these v a r i­
ous organizations.

I n some instances in fo rm a tio n was available and

has been recorded in table 4.

I t is obvious th a t in those cities

where no figures are available a substantial am ount o f w ork is being

I t is hoped th at th rough the m edium o f the N a tio n a l A s s o ­

ciation o f L e g a l A i d

O rgan ization s these various defender offices

m a y be persuaded in tim e to send in their annual reports so th at
interested persons m a y get som e picture o f the n ation al progress
in th is w ork.
A com parison o f the num ber o f cases h an dled b y each office, w ith
the p opu lation o f the city served by such office and the extent o f the
w ork, is indicated ro u gh ly b y table 5.
T able

5 . — C ases handled b y

defen d ers1 offices p er 1 0 0 y0 0 0



Cincinnati............... ......... ...................................... ......................... .........
_____________ _________
Hartford_____________ _____ __________
Los Angeles________________ _________ ________ __________________
N ew York (M anhattan)________ _____ __________________________
San Diego_______________________________________________________


Total........................... ....................................... ............. .................


p o p u la tio n

handled per
handled, 1933








T h e best w a y to appraise the w ork o f the various defenders is by
com p arin g it w ith the w ork o f assigned counsel so fa r as such records
are available.

T h ro u g h such records we can w eigh the m erits o f the

defender p la n as contrasted w ith the assigned-counsel p lan and thus
in ductively arrive at an opinion concerning the defender that is fa r
m ore interesting and fa r m ore likely to be rig h t than any m etap h ysi­
cal b alan cin g o f the theoretical argum ents pro and con.
W e have earlier seen th at we m ig h t divide the States in to three
groups according to* the provision th at they m ake fo r p ro v id in g
43381— 36------------7



counsel to in d igen t persons arraigned on a serious crim inal charge.
I n the first group are States, such as M assachusetts, w hich, except in
capital cases, m ake no provision whatsoever fo r assigning counsel.
B etw een such a system and the p u blic-defen der p la n no statistical
com parison is possible and none is needed.

S om eth in g is alw ays

better than n oth in g, and the defender plan is obviou sly a m eth od o f
definite m erit in affordin g counsel to in d igen t defendants whereas
the M assachusetts situation reveals no plan or m ethod whatsoever.
T h e second grou p o f S tates consists o f those w hich assign counsel
in crim inal cases, but w hich provid e no com pensation fo r such as­
signed law yers, and w hich fu rth er m ake no p rovision fo r the expenses
incidental to the preparation o f the case.

I t so happens th a t C a li­

fo rn ia fe ll in this group prior to 1914, so th at we can m ake a com ­
parison between the w ork o f u npaid assigned counsel in L o s A n g e le s
in 1913 and the w ork o f the public defender in L o s A n g e le s in 1914.

th ird colum n o f figures sh ow ing the w ork o f the paid private

attorneys in 1914 is also subm itted.

T ab le 6 m erits careful exam in a­

tion because it is based on official court records com piled by W a lto n
J . W o o d , the first public defender and now a ju d g e o f the superior
court in L o s A n g eles, and because it m akes possible a contrast
between the tw o system s which is essentially fa ir because all the
su rrounding circumstances were the same.
T able

6. —

C o m p a riso n o f work o f pu b lic defen d er a nd other s ys te m s


Total number of cases received_______________ ________ ________
Fleas of guilty___________________________________________________
Percentage of cases in which pleas of guilty were entered_____
Number of cases in which probation was granted_____________
Percentage of cases in which probation was granted__________
Number of trials________________________________________________
Percentage of cases that went to trial___________ _____ _________
Verdicts of not guilty or disagreements_______________________ _
Percentage of trials in which verdict of not guilty was rendered
or jury disagreed______________________________________________

counsel serv­
ing in 1913
without pay




Attorneys in
private prac­
tice retained
by defend­
ants in 1914






T h e difference between the num ber o f cases handled by the as­
signed attorneys in 1913 and the cases handled b y the public defender
in 1914 cannot be accounted fo r by the grow th o f popu lation .

I t is

due to the fa ct th a t the law yers who com m only took the assignm ents
were o f such a low grade th at the defendants avoided them whenever
it w as possible.

T hese m en h u n g about the ja ils and solicited bu si­

ness, but w ith the adven t o f the public defender th ey have alm ost
entirely disappeared.
I t w ill be noted th a t a higher percentage o f the defendants repre­
sented by the public defender pleaded g u ilty than was the case w ith


the assigned attorneys.

T h is has avoided unnecessary trials and has

resulted in a savin g o f expense to the county.

T h is was not obtained

by sacrificing the d efen d an t’s righ ts, because it also appears th at a
la rg er percentage o f the defendants represented b y the public de­
fen der were acquitted or placed on probation th an o f the defendants
represented b y the assigned attorneys.

T h e public defender accom ­

plished nearly the same results on b eh alf o f his clients as the paid
attorneys in private practice, the form er securing probation fo r a
slig h tly h igh er percentage, and the paid attorneys in private practice
securing a slig h tly h ig h er percentage o f acquittals.
T h e objection o f expense is alw ays raised w hen th e public defender
is advocated, and because o f th is the econom y w hich attends the de­
fen der offices due to the savin g o f the w astefu l expense o f unneces­
sary trials is consistently pointed out.
and applies to the cases th at are tried.

T h is sa vin g goes even fu rth er
T h e defender endeavors to

conduct his cases according to the substantial m erit o f his defense
and w ithout constantly in vok in g the technicalities and subtleties w ith
which, u nfortu n ately, our crim inal procedure abounds.

T o the fo r e ­

g o in g table g iv in g com parative results o f w ork in L o s A n g e le s m a y
be added the fo llo w in g supplem entary fig u res: T h e private attorneys
in 1914 filed dem urrers or m otions to set aside the indictm ent in 61
instances, in on ly 4 o f w hich were the m otions su stain ed ; the public
defender filed only 2 such m otions and was vindicated in both.


private attorneys filed 27 m otions fo r new trials, and 1 such m otion
was g r a n te d ; the public defender filed 6 m otions fo r new trials, none
o f which was allow ed.

T h e private attorneys took 27 appeals, and

the public defender 3.
E v en in the trials them selves tim e w as saved, because the public
defender is interested on ly in m atters o f substance, and because it
is feasible fo r the prosecutor and defender to agree on certain aspects
o f the case and to enter into stipulations w hich shorten the course o f
the trial.

T h e fo llo w in g table was prepared b y M r . W o o d , and its

significance lies in the fa c t th at i f an office o f a public defender can
save app roxim ately h a lf a day on each tria l th at is a savin g to the
county o f $100, so th at in the course o f a year’s tim e the office o f the
defender goes a lo n g w ay tow ard p a y in g fo r its ow n expenses.
T able

7 . — C o m p a ris o n o f tim e con su m ed in trials b y a ttorn eys in private
practice and b y p u b lic d efen d ers , J u l y 1, 1 9 1 6 , to J u l y 1, 1 9 1 7


Number of
court days
and trials
D ays

Cases defended by paid attorneys in private practice............. .............
Cases defended by public defender . __


day for



saved on






I n the presentation o f figures there is alw ays danger th a t im ­
p ortan t aspects o f the w ork which cannot be stated statistically m a y
be overlooked.

I t is w ell, th erefore, to note at th is p oin t th at in

L o s A n g e le s the public defender endeavors to help those persons who
come in to his charge by tr y in g to convince th em th a t honesty is the
best p olicy and b y cooperating w ith them in their effort to get a job
and g o straight.

T h e m ost im p ortan t consideration o f all h as a l­

ready been pointed out, bu t it m erits repetition.

T h e m a n w h o has

been represented by the public defender know s th at he has received
honest advice and th at he has had a fa ir trial.

T h e influence o f this

object lesson on h im and his fa m ily and h is circle o f frien d s is to
convince them th at our leg a l institutions are fa ir and th at under the
la w every m an, even the poorest, n ot o n ly is entitled to receive but
actually does receive a square deal.
T h ere rem ains fo r our consideration the sm all group o f S tates th a t
assign counsel and p a y th em , n ot only in capital offenses but in all
cases in v o lv in g serious crimes and which are triable in the court o f
general crim inal ju risdiction .

I t is not possible to com pare the w ork

o f p aid assigned counsel w ith the w ork o f the defender, because the
tw o system s do n ot exist side by side in the same ju risdiction nor
has one been supplanted by the other, as was the case in L o s A n geles.
W e can, how ever, test the w ork o f the paid assigned counsel by com ­
p arin g it w ith the w ork o f the p rivately retained and p riv ately paid

T h e C levelan d survey o f crim inal justice, m ade in 1922 1

affords valuable statistics on th is point.
T h e first task o f the d efen d a n t’s attorney is to g et the case d is­
m issed in some w a y , i f he can, as by nolle pros, quash ing the in d ict­
m en t, lack o f prosecution, and so on.

F a ilin g in th is disposition,

counsel m u st then either h ave h is client plead g u ilty or try the case.
T h e rem ain ing clients go to trial.

A f t e r defendants have been sen­

tenced there is still one m ore th in g fo r counsel to d o, and th a t is to
tr y to secure a suspension o f sentence.

T h e figures fo r C uyahoga

C ou nty, O h io , in w hich C leveland is situated are as fo llow s :
T able

8 . — R e su lts secu red b y

p a id a ssig n ed cou n sel
cou n sel



and by

p riv a tely

reta ined

Result of trial


N ot


P ercen t P ercen t P ercen t P ercen t P ercen t

Represented b y paid assigned counsel-*___.....................
Represented b y counsel privately retained___________

1C levelan d
7 2 9 pp.

F o u n d a tio n .

C rim in a l

Ju stice


C leveland.



C levelan d,


P ercen t





x x v ii,





These figures indicate th at the p aid assigned counsel did their w ork
reasonably w ell.

T h e results obtained b y them were a little less f a ­

vorable to the defendants th an those obtained b y p riv ately paid
counsel, as one w ould n atu ra lly expect, but the discrepancy is too
sm all to w arran t any assum ption th at the assigned counsel were re­
miss or delinquent in their duties.

T h e authors o f this bulletin con­

cur w ith the conclusion expressed in the report o f the C levelan d
survey th at the system o f paid assigned counsel is a reasonably satis­
fa cto ry m ethod o f guaranteeing a fa ir tria l to those poor persons who
cannot afford to retain counsel in their own b eh a lf.
T h e cardinal point w hich we have sought to stress in this chapter
is th at the adm inistration o f justice m u st make some provision fo r
poor persons accused o f serious crimes.

I f all the States provided

paid assigned counsel, this chapter need never have been w ritten.
B u t m ost o f the States either assign counsel w ithout p a y , w hich we
consider an inadequate p la n , or m ake no provision at all fo r the
general run o f cases.

M o st o f the States should undertake reform s

in this field, and the best solution seems to be the public defender.
I t cannot be proved th at the defender plan affords better protec­
tion to innocent defendants than the assigned-counsel plan.

I t is the

belief o f the w riters o f th is report, how ever, th at the defender plan
serves the defendant ju st as w ell as the paid-assigned-counsel plan
and th at it is inherently a m ore efficient and m ore econom ical m ethod
o f g ettin g the necessary w ork done.
I n these days o f h ig h costs, efficiency o f organization w hich p r o ­
duces econom y is w orth w hile.

I t is logical to suppose th at where all

the cases o f poor persons are centralized in one office, instead o f being
spread around in a large number o f offices, there is a resulting effi­
ciency which reduces cost.

A n estim ate as to the am ount o f m oney

saved b y the operation o f the public defender’s office is given by the
L o s A n g eles C ou n ty public defender fo r the fiscal year endin g J u ly
1, 1 9 3 4 :

During the last fiscal year the public defender handled 2,669 criminal cases
in the superior court. Of these, 1,200 were set for trial, but only 416 cases were
actually tried. Seven hundred and eighty-four cases were disposed of without
trial. Six hundred and forty-seven of said trials were disposed of by changing
the pleas of defendants from not guilty to guilty. Dismissals were made in 110
cases, because it would not have been advantageous to try them, and 27 cases
were stricken from the calendar. In each of said cases the rights of the de­
fendants were, under the law, fully protected and accorded to them.
But for the work of the public defender we are of the opinion that at least
600 more of said cases would have gone to trial. I f said 600 cases had gone to
trial, it would have required five more superior courts, assigned to the trial of
criminal cases, than are now handling such cases, functioning full time, to have
tried said cases.
In round figures, it costs the county of Los Angeles $50,000 a year to operate
a superior court for the handling of criminal cases. With five more courts



operating it would have cost the county an additional $250,000 to dispose of its
criminal cases.
T h e efficiency o f the defender plan also results fr o m the concen­
tration o f responsibility in one office.


routine is developed, the

staff becomes expert, and there is ra p id ly


out a special

technique fo r the p rom pt dispatch o f business.
Q n e fu rth er gain results fr o m this concentration, and th at is that
a fu n d o f in fo rm a tio n is m ade available fro m which the defen d er’s
office m ay stu dy defects in the law and in the m achinery o f justice
and thus be in a position to recom m end rem edial legislation .

I n the

field o f law there is entirely too little o f this sort o f constructive
w ork, o f a p p ly in g the scientific m ethod o f study to the ju d icia l m a ­
chinery, and o f using the available experience fo r the advancem ent
o f necessary reform s.

I t w as th is final reason w hich led the editors

o f the survey o f the crim inal courts in C levelan d to conclude th at,
while the system o f p aid-assign ed counsel w as a proper m eth od, the
defender p la n carried w ith it m an y substantial collateral advantages
and was entitled to be regarded as the best p lan thus fa r devised in
the U n ite d States fo r guaranteeing the equal protection o f the law s
to poor persons in crim inal cases.
A final question fo r b rie f consideration is, w hether th e pu blic de­
fen der or the private defender is the better typ e o f organ ization in
the m ore densely popu lated com m unities where some definite fo rm
o f organ ization is required. I t is d ou b tfu l i f any clear answer can
be given as different p lans w ork w ell in different com m unities, e. g .,
in C a lifo rn ia , where the civ il service is w ell established, the public
defender m a y w ell be selected b y th at m ethod and prove entirely sat­
isfa c to r y ; in Connecticut, where the ju d icia ry appoints the defender,
excellent results are ach ieved ; in N ew Y o r k C ity , where the b ar-asso­
ciation com m ittees expressed a fea r o f political interference, a p r i­
vately-m ain tain ed organ ization is in successful operation.
E a ch o f these system s works because o f the personnel.

T h ere are

tw o factors in the w ork, n am ely, office system and personnel.


office system m a y w ell become a m atter o f routine and m a y be tran s­
m itted by w ritten fo rm s and records.
lem .

P ersonnel is a different p ro b ­

Success does not depend on routine.

T h e in dividu als chosen

to do the w ork, fr o m the ch ief counsel to the m ost lo w ly m em ber o f
the staff, m ust have som ething m ore than a p erfu n ctory interest in
the work.

T h e office force m ust be im bued w ith an intense desire

to accom plish substantial justice in every case and m u st be w illin g
to devote its best in d ividu al endeavors to th a t end.
the pu blic-d efen d er plan m ay have difficulty.
m ore or less uncertain.
rupted by elections.

T h e continuity o f the w ork m ay be inter­

E s p r it de corps is destroyed i f positions are

filled not by m erit but b y political considerations.

I t is here th at

T h e public tenure is



T h e pub lic-d efen d er p la n , on the other han d, possesses the u n ­
doubted advantages th a t flow fr o m the fa c t th a t the position is official
and fr o m its financial su pport which is definite and assured in con­
trast to the support o f the private organ ization which is volu n tary,
m ore or less fluctuating, and therefore uncertain.

T h e general ten d ­

ency undoubtedly w ill be to establish defender’s offices on a public
T h e best available gu aranty o f proper

appointm ents

fo r


offices seems to be the alert w atchfulness o f local bar-association
com m ittees.

Because the defender in crim inal cases is a necessary

part o f the adm inistration o f justice under m odern conditions, the
task o f m a in tain in g a supervision over the w ork is p ro p erly one
o f the professional responsibilities o f the organized bar.

I t is the

same responsibility w hich th e bar owes and is begin n in g to assume
tow ard the leg a l-a id organizations.
I n the fu tu re there is reason to hope th at the defender plan m ay
be extended into all our larger cities.

W e have had enough ex p eri­

ence to dispel the bugaboos th at were raised im m ediately after the
establishm ent o f the L o s A n g e le s public defender in 1914.


notion th at i f we had a defender as w ell as a prosecutor the result
w ould be a sort o f stalem ate, in w hich each could fru strate the other,
has been exploded.

I n sharp contrast we find the district attorney

and the defender w ork in g harm oniously together in sincere coopera­
tion fo r the advancem ent o f justice.

I t is no accident th at m ost o f

the defender organizations have been established at the instances o f
ju d ges and law yers fa m ilia r w ith the crim inal law , and the best
p ro o f o f the essential m erit o f the defenders’ w ork is th at whenever
it exists it is supported and com m ended by the district attorney’s
office and b y the ju dges o f the crim inal courts.
F o r the sm aller com m unities, where the volum e o f cases needing
attention is too sm all to w arran t the establishm ent o f a definite office,
the system o f assigned counsel can be m ade entirely adequate.


assigned counsel should be paid fa ir com pensation and should be
reim bursed fo r the necessary incidental expenses o f the case.


the assignm ents were m ade to a com m ittee o f the local bar association
(fo llo w in g in a general w a y the idea developed in C h ic a g o ), w hich
w ould guarantee to m ake available fo r such assignm ents the services
o f p roperly qualified and w ell-train ed law yers o f good professional
repute, the evils w hich tend to creep in to the assignm ent system
could be avoided.
I n the field o f the crim inal law there is enough available experience
to dem onstrate the w ays and means to assure to the m an o f lim ited
m eans th a t equal protection o f the law s to w hich he is entitled as
a m atter o f rig h t and b y constitutional gu aranty.

A l l th at is needed

is some agency, available to h im w ithout cost, th at can m ake the



am ple provision s o f the law actively effective in h is b eh a lf.

F or

th is particular aspect o f the problem the system o f p aid assigned
counsel under bar-association control in the sm aller com m unities,
plu s a public or p rivate defender organ ization supervised b y the
bar association in the la rg er cities, w ould fu rn ish a com plete, th o r­
ough, and efficient solution.

Chapter XII.—Origin and Development of Legal-Aid
I n the preceding chapters consideration h as been given to the several
different types o f rem edial agencies th at could be u tilized in a dap tin g
our adm inistration o f justice to the needs o f the m odern com m unity.
T h e survey show s th at in various States experim ents designed to
im prove the position o f the poor before the law have been m ade, and
th at m ost o f these experim ents have m et w ith substantial success.
W h ile each rem edial agency was constructed to m eet som e particular
aspect o f the general problem w ith w hich this study deals, a ll these
agencies, i f com bined and universally m ade a p art o f the adm inistra­
tion o f justice in th is country, w ould provide definite and tried
m ethods whereby the law s could be m ade actively effective in a large
m a jo rity o f the cases in w hich w age earners and all persons o f lim ited
m eans are interested.

F o r the general run o f claim s under $50, the

sm all-claim s courts afford a speedy and inexpensive procedure; the
conciliation tribunals are still in the experim ental stage, but they m ay
become the ideal counterparts o f the sm all-claim s courts in the m ore
sparsely populated districts.

I n the field o f w ork accidents the in dus­

trial accident com m issions, w ith their auxiliary m edical and inspec­
tion staffs, unquestionably serve to b rin g justice to the in ju red w ork ­
m an and his dependents in at least 9 cases out o f 10 th rough the
m ethod o f adm inistrative justice w hich is p ro m p t and free fr o m

V a rio u s adm inistrative officials, operatin g as a part o f the

executive arm o f the G overnm en t, give legal advice and assistance in
m atters o f insurance, purchases o f securities, sm all loans, and, m o st
im portant, in the collection o f w ages.

I n crim inal m atters where the

problem is to su pply the services o f attorneys to poor persons accused
o f crim e, the p u blic-d efen d er p la n , together w ith the paid-assign ed eounsel p lan , constitute a practical answer.
F o r the legal protection o f the w age earner we have been try in g
to devise a series or chain o f

agencies and m ethods th at w ould

rem ove the handicaps o f delay, court costs, and the expense o f coun­
sel, w hich have heretofore blocked his ready access to the courts o f
justice, and th a t chain is now com plete except fo r one v ita l link.
E v e n while stressing the efficacy o f these rem edial agencies it has
been necessary on several occasions to


a note o f caution.

T h ere are disputed in dustrial accident cases where the em ployee
needs representation b y counsel, and there are w age claim s w hich




a labor com m issioner fo r one reason or another cannot collect, so
th at the w age earner m ust seek the assistance o f a law yer.

A s to

the vast num ber o f m iscellaneous types o f c la im s. and cases w ithin
the field o f the civ il iaw — all cases o f debts, contracts, m a n y claim s
beyond the ju risdiction o f the sm all-claim s courts, all accidents not
w ithin the scope o f the com pensation acts, all dom estic relations
difficulties such as divorce, ju d icia l separation, custody and g u a rd ia n ­
ship o f m in ors, partnership disputes, ban k ru p tcy, claim s g ro w in g
out o f insurance, real-estate titles and m ortgages, the adm in istra­
tion o f the estates o f

deceased persons, disputes concerning


ow nership, conversion, or loss o f personal property— the o n ly rem ­
edy th at is available is th rou gh litig ation in the courts and fo r th at
litig ation the services o f an attorney are indispensable.



this the need o f the services o f an attorney in draw in g contracts
and other docum ents and in advising clients as to their leg a l righ ts
and w hat course o f action th ey should pursue, and it is apparent
th at to com plete our plan fo r equalizing the practical adm inistration
o f the law s under m odern conditions there m u st be provided some

arrangem ent w hereby the




m ay


available to w age earners and others w ho, b y reason o f inadequate
financial resources, are unable to secure the services o f counsel at
their own expense.
O u r experience in A m e ric a indicates quite conclusively th a t the
final agency needed to round out and supplem ent the services o f
all the others is to be fo u n d in w hat is called the leg a l-a id org an iza ­

I n the structure or p rogram being pieced together b y draw in g

on the sum total o f the authors’ experience in order to present a com ­
plete plan whereby the adm inistration o f justice m a y be brought
abreast o f present needs and dem ands, it is clear th at the heaviest
load, the m ost extended respon sibility, and in

a sense the final

responsibility m u st be borne b y these le g a l-a id organizations.
p art assigned to them


is so im p o rta n t th at the rem ain ing eig h t

chapters w ill be devoted to a critical analysis o f th eir w ork and
possibilities fo r developm ent and to a narration o f their origin and
grow th up to the present tim e.
T h e conditions th a t operated to b rin g about the establishm ent o f
the first le g a l-a id society were precisely the sam e as those w hich
caused the m aladju stm ents in th e adm inistration o f justice itse lf,
and w hich were described in the open in g pages o f chapter I .


short, they were n ot legal causes per se but the rapid social and eco­
nom ic changes th a t transfigured the whole tenor and com plexion o f
A m erica n life .

L a rg e num bers o f im m igran ts, fin din g th a t the free

lands suitable fo r agriculture were la rg ely appropriated, rem ained
in the cities and sw elled the fa st-g r o w in g ranks o f the w age earners



so th at the p opu lation s o f our in dustrial and com m ercial centers grew
by leaps and bounds.

I n 1875 N ew Y o r k becam e a city o f a m illion

inhabitants, and it is n ot a m ere coincidence th a t th e first leg a l-a id
organization came into being in th at city in 1876.
I n th a t year a group o f law yers and laym en who were especially
interested in G erm an im m igra n ts, realizin g the frau ds and im p o si­
tions o f w hich im m igra n ts were the victim s and w hich could be re­
dressed only through legal action, appointed a special com m ittee to
study the situation, and fr o m the com m ittee arose the suggestion fo r
the establishm ent o f a regular association to handle the problem s.
Offices were secured and a salaried attorney in stalled, who devoted
a portion o f his tim e to the w ork.

T h e in itial year showed 212 cases

handled, app roxim ately $1,000 collected fo r clients, and an expense
o f $1,000.

T h e organ ization w as incorporated on M arch 8, 1876, a

group o f 12 directors chosen, and the first office was located at 39
Nassau Street.

T h e first year closed w ith a deficit o f $250, which

was m ade good b y contribution fr o m the G erm an Society.

T h is con­

d ition o f a deficit continued fro m year to year fo r the first 10 years
and w as annually defrayed b y the G erm an Society.

A t the end o f

these first 10 years the organ ization had cared fo r 23,051 a pp lica ­
tions and had recovered $105,729 fo r its clients.

M o re than h a lf o f

these collections were fo r u npaid wages.
T h is N ew Y o r k organ ization was efficient and businesslike, keep­
in g accurate records o f its w ork and its finances, which is especially
fortu nate because this office was destined to be the prototyp e o f
m ost o f the leg a l-a id organizations subsequently established.


d uring these first 10 years it was not, and did not pretend to be,
a leg a l-a id

organ ization in the m odern

m eaning

o f that phrase

because it was n ot designed to offer legal assistance to all persons but
only to G erm an im m igran ts w ho needed help.

I t was supported

not b y the public generally b u t b y the m em bership o f the G erm an

I t was lim ited in its scope and v isio n ; nevertheless it

contained an idea in em bryo th at was sh ortly to bear fru it.
I n 1886 in C h icago the P rotective A g e n c y fo r W o m e n and G irls
came into existence, fu n ction in g in the specific field indicated by
the nam e.

I n 1888 the B u reau o f Justice, fostered b y the E th ica l

Culture Society in C h icago, also m ade its appearance.

T h e first

o f these organ izations was intended fo r the protection o f y ou n g g irls
fro m the seductions and debaucheries under the guise o f proffered
em ploym en t, w hich h ad aroused the w om en o f the city.

T h e Bureau

o f Justice, how ever, had a m uch broader fou ndation.

I t undertook

to su p p ly legal services to all needy persons, regardless o f race,
n ation ality, or sex.

I n this respect it w as the first true le g a l-a id


le g a l-a id ch ron ology, 1890 is a notew orthy year because it

m arked the election o f A r th u r V . B riesen to the presidency o f the
N ew Y o r k society.

F o r 25 years M r . Briesen p layed the lead in g

role in sh ap in g the developm ent o f le g a l-a id w ork not on ly in N ew
Y o r k but th roughou t the country generally.

A s was said o f h im

at the convention o f le g a l-a id organizations held at C levelan d in
1923, “ ‘ E v e r y institu tion is but the lengthened shadow o f some great
m a n .’

T h e institution o f legal aid in the U n ite d States is but the

lengthened shadow o f A r th u r V . B riesen .”

W i t h his advent the

w ork in N ew Y o r k was broadened to care n ot m erely fo r the im m i­
g ra n t bu t fo r any m an , whoever he m ig h t be, w ho, because o f his
p overty, was in danger o f a denial o f justice.

D esp ite a certain

am ount o f criticism and a good deal o f m isunderstanding as to the
true nature o f its w ork the society fo rg ed steadily ahead, weathered
a succession o f financial crises, and every year increased its rep u ta­
tion am ong the poor o f the city fo r its honesty and in teg rity in
carin g fo r the cases entrusted to it.
I n 1894 Jersey C ity began the w ork in a m odest w ay.
no definite organization.
idea spread at first.

T h ere was

I t is interesting to note how slo w ly the

B y the end o f the nineteenth century there

were o n ly three cities in w hich leg a l-a id w ork was done.
on ly 10,424 cases were handled.

I n 1899

B u t where it h ad taken root the

w ork was n ot to be d islodged, and in 1899 it was fo u n d necessary
fo r the N ew Y o r k society to open three branches— a seam en’s b r a n c h ;
a branch in the u niversity settlem ent, w hich later became the E a st
S id e b r a n c h ; and a w om en ’s branch, w hich later becam e the uptow n

T h e significant feature du rin g this first period was the

grow th o f the idea fro m a narrow p ro prieta ry typ e o f w ork to a









deserving persons.
T h e second period o f g row th runs fro m 1900 to 1909, inclusive.
I t was an era o f steady expansion.

M o re people came to realize the

need fo r some such r e m e d y ; other cities took up the w ork— B o sto n in
1900, N ew ark in 1901, the N ew

Y o r k L a b o r Secretariat in 1901,

P h ilad elp h ia in 1902, N ew R ochelle in 1902, the E d u cation al A l l i ­
ance o f N e w Y o r k in 1902, and in 1904 A tla n ta , C levelan d, and
D en v er fe ll into line.

I n 1905 N ew Y o r k opened its H a rle m branch,

and in 1906 its B ro o k ly n branch.

I n 1907 came C incin n ati, in 1908

P ittsb u rg h , and in 1909 D etro it.

I t w ill be noted fr o m th is list o f

cities th at d u rin g th is second period the g row th w as alm ost entirely
in the E a st.

I n A tla n ta the w ork w as discontinued and rem ained in

abeyance fo r nearly 2 0 years.
O f these new organizations, B oston , P h ilad elp h ia , C levelan d, C in ­
cinnati, and P ittsb u rg h were based on the N ew Y o r k typ e and were
incorporated as private p h ilanth ropic societies.

I n B o sto n the bar

took a lead in g p art in organ izin g the society.


T h e N ew a rk society

was called the N ew Jersey L eg a l A i d Society, but its w ork was lim ­
ited to N ew ark.

T h e D en v er organ ization, started b y the local law

school, was so successful and received so m a n y cases th at there were
not sufficient fu n d s to operate it, and it was forced to close its doors.
T h e E d u cation al A llia n c e is a specialized organ ization w ork in g in
the vast Jew ish p opu lation o f N ew Y o r k , p articu larly am ong the
im m igran ts.

1905 the tw o organ izations in C h icago united to fo r m


stron g Chicago L e g a l A i d Society w hich later joined w ith the U n ite d
Charities to become the C hicago L e g a l A i d B u reau.

N ew Y o r k in

1906 tried to start a crim inal branch, but the w ork was discontinued
because o f lack o f fu n d s.

T h is gave le g a l-a id w ork a decided turn

aw ay fro m the crim inal field, because other organizations in co py ­
in g N ew Y o r k also lim ited their attention to civil w ork.

T h e D e tro it

bureau is im p ortan t because there fo r the first tim e the organized
bar assumed respon sibility fo r m a in tain in g the w ork as a p a r t o f its
professional responsibilities.
T h e th ird period w as fro m

1910 to 1913.

I t w as m arked b y

g ro w th in the M id d le W e s t and a strengthening o f the group in the
E a st.

T h e ou tstan d in g developm ent was the establishm ent o f the

first m u nicipal bureau in K a n sa s C ity , M o ., in 1910.

A l l the other

societies h ad been established and supported either b y bar associa­
tions, charities, o r the general public in the fo r m o f ph ilan th ropic

A ll



organ izations,



leg a l-a id

bureau o f the departm ent o f public w elfare in K a n sa s C ity was
supported by the m u nicipal treasury.

I n 1912, S t. L ou is, A k r o n , and

S t. P a u l com m enced organ izations in their respective com m unities,
and they were fo llow ed in 1913 b y D u lu th , M in n ea p olis, and L o u is­

I n the eastern field B a ltim o re and Rochester were added in


I n the same year the N ew Y o r k N a tio n al D esertion B u reau

w as set up.

I n 1912 a society was started in B u ffalo and another in

C olorado S p rin g s.

I n 1913 there were efforts to start leg a l-a id w ork

in the S ou th , resu ltin g in progress in N ew O rlean s and in B ir m in g ­
ham .

A ls o in 1913 the H a r v a r d L e g a l A i d B ureau (conducted by

students at the H a r v a r d L a w S ch o o l) w as established, and in M in n e­
apolis a cooperative arrangem ent was effected w ith the law school o f
the U n iv e rsity o f M in nesota, p ro vid in g a sort o f legal clinic fo r the
instruction o f la w students.

T h is period also saw the b egin n in g o f a

nation al leg a l-a id bod y, when plans fo r the N a tio n al A llia n ce o f L eg a l
A i d Societies were inaugurated at P ittsb u rg h in 1911.

T h is central

organization and its subsequent developm ent are discussed in chapter
T h e N a tio n a l D esertion B u reau is an exam ple o f specialized le g a laid w ork in the one field o f dom estic relations.

I t deals p rim a rily



w ith cases o f desertion and abandonm ent.

D u r in g this th ird period

the p reva ilin g ty p e o f organization changed.

D u r in g the first tw o

eras the p riv ately incorporated society ty p e p red o m in a ted ; b u t in
this th ird stage 8 o f the 14 new organizations were established as b u ­
reaus or departm ents o f general charity organ izations, such as the
united, federated, and associated charities.

E v e n more significant was

the developm ent o f the m u nicipal ty p e o f organization.

H e r e , fo r the

first tim e, one finds the governm ent o f a m odern city establishing a
law office to w hich needy citizens m a y a p p ly fo r free legal advice
and assistance.

T h is m u n icipal experim ent in K a n sa s C ity w as suc­

cessful and it exerted a m arked influence on the w ork in other cities.
D u r in g the fo u rth period, fr o m 1913 to 1917, the w ork entered a
stage o f rapid developm ent that was checked on ly b y the outbreak
o f the W o r ld W a r .

T h e territorial expansion continued u ntil the

P acific coast was reached.
their appearance.

T h e public defenders began to make

T h e num ber o f organizations increased fr o m 28

in 1913 to 41 in 1917.

T h e m u nicipal ty p e o f bureau w as copied in

a num ber o f cities and the w ork as a whole advanced b y leaps and

K e e p in g pace w ith the en la rg in g w ork was a steady ev olu ­

tion o f the fu n d am en tal concepts u n d erly in g and sh apin g the p h ilo s­
oph y o f the work.

W h erea s legal aid had started as a lim ited , p ro ­

prietary sort o f organ ization, it h ad been developed into a definite
legal ch arity, at the service o f all m eritorious applicants, and the
grow th o f m u n icipal bureaus offered the first suggestion th a t leg a laid w ork m ig h t be som ething m ore than a ch arity, th at under m odern
conditions it m ig h t indeed come to be regarded as an essential part
in the public adm inistration o f justice.
I n 1914, as is seen in the preceding chapter, the first public d efen d ­
er’s office was established in L o s A n g eles.

T h e m ere fa c t th a t th is

was a public and n ot a private office tended to em phasize again th e
object lesson afforded by K a n sa s C ity , and in the fo llo w in g year the
leg a l-a id society in S t. L ou is was taken over b y the m u n icipal g o v ­
ernm ent, D a y to n


a m u nicipal bureau, and the n ew ly

created bureau o f public w elfare in D a lla s started a leg a l-a id bureau
as one o f its w elfare activities.

L ikew ise, in 1915, public defender

offices were established in O m ah a and P o rtlan d ( O r e g .) , and in L o s
A n g e le s the police court pu blic defender.

I n 1916 the private leg a l-

aid society in H a r tfo r d was taken over by the city, and a m u nicipal
bureau was created in O m ah a.

T h u s in 2 years eight public legal-aid

offices came into being, and in a real sense th is phenom enon m arks
a tu rn in g p oin t in le g a l-a id history.

T h e fu ll significance o f this

trend tow ard public control o f leg a l-a id w ork cannot be discussed
here, but in chapter X Y , wherein th e various types o f leg a l-a id
organizations are discussed and com pared, it is recurred to.



F o llo w in g the novel experim en t at H a r v a r d o f a le g a l-a id bureau
conducted b y law students, the G eorge W a sh in g to n and the Y a le
law schools undertook a certain am ount o f le g a l-a id w ork in an
in fo rm a l w ay.

A ls o in 1916 leg a l-a id offices were opened in San

F ran cisco, S a n D ie g o , M ilw au k ee, E ich m o n d , N a sh ville, and C o lu m ­
bus, and in P lain field a le g a l-a id com m ittee was organized.

D u r in g

th at year plans fo r a defender in crim inal cases were under w ay in
N ew Y o r k , w hich were consum m ated b y the establishm ent o f the
V o lu n ta ry D efen d ers C om m ittee early in 1917.

T h en cam e the w ar

and the developm ent o f le g a l-a id w ork was b rou g h t to an abrupt
D u r in g 1917, 1918, and 1919 no new societies or bureaus were
fo rm ed and some o f the weaker and m ore recently organized offices
h ad to be given u p.

S u m m a rizin g this in terval, the attorney fo r the

N ew Y o r k L e g a l A i d Society sta te d :

Legal-aid work has been a young man’s work, and the war inevitably dis­
rupted its personnel, and, by the same token, disrupted the organization of the
National Alliance. Most of the men either went into military service or were
commandeered for various forms of Government service, and those who re­
mained technically in the; legal-aid offices were so swamped with the additional
war work which was assumed that they had no time or strength for anything
A renewed im petus was given to the w ork in the fa ll o f 1919, when
the Carnegie F ou n da tio n fo r the A d van cem en t o f T each in g p u b ­
lished as its thirteenth bulletin a volum e entitled “ Justice and the
P o o r ” , w hich w as p rim a rily a treatise on legal aid.

T h e m ain thesis

o f th is publication was th at le g a l-a id w ork m u st be considered an
in tegral p art o f the adm inistration o f justice in the m odern com ­
m u n ity because unless legal assistance were provided to poor persons
unable to p ay fo r such help the inevitable result w ou ld be substantial
and w idespread denial o f justice.
I n 1920 the onw ard m arch o f leg a l-a id w ork was resumed.


E h o d e Isla n d B a r A ssociation established a stron g society in P r o v i­

T h e society in N ew a rk was reorganized under the auspices

o f the bar.

I n P h ilad elp h ia the w ork, w hich since 1902 h ad been

conducted b y a p riv ately incorporated society, was taken over and
g reatly enlarged b y the m u nicipal governm ent.
I n 1921 the G ra n d K a p id s S ocial W e lfa r e A ssociation opened its
le g a l-a id bureau, patterned to a large extent after the organ ization
in C h icago w hich, p rim a rily fo r financial reasons, had become a p a rt
o f the U n ite d

C h arities o f

C h icago.


a result o f legislation

fostered b y the Connecticut B a r A ssociation com m ittee on le g a l-a id
w ork, p u blic-d efen d er offices were provided fo r B r id g e p o rt, H a r t ­
fo r d , and N ew H a v en .

A s a reflection o f the fa ct th at leg a l aid

had now become a n ational as distinguished fr o m a local or sec-



tio n al m ovem ent, it is fo u n d th at w hile th is legislation w as ta k in g
effect in Connecticut, a sim ila r act w as passed in C a lifo rn ia estab­
lish in g a public defender in S an F rancisco.
T h e m ost interesting event in th is year o f great activity was the
creation o f

an entirely



fo r

le g a l-a id

w ork, especially

adapted to w ork in the sm aller cities, as the result o f action b y the
Illin o is B a r A ssociation , w hich undertook to w ork out w ith local
bar associations in the S tate an in fo rm a l series o f le g a l-a id com m it­
tees to w hich the social-service agencies in th eir respective com m u n i­
ties could refer persons needing legal advice and assistance.

U p to

th is tim e the services o f le g a l-a id organizations h ad been confined
alm ost exclu sively to the larger cities in the U n ite d States.


so-called Illin o is plan indicated fo r the first tim e a sim ple and p ra c­
ticable m achinery w hereby the benefits o f legal aid m ig h t also be
extended to the sm aller cities and tow ns where the volum e o f the
w ork

w ou ld




w arrant


establishm ent



fo r m a lly organ ized society or bureau.
I n 1922 m u nicipal leg a l-a id bureaus were created in B rid g ep o rt
and C am den, and the L o u isv ille L e g a l A i d Society w as reorganized
at the instance o f the local bar association.

L ikew ise in 1922 the

several leg a l-a id organizations o f the country resumed th eir custom
o f m eetin g together.

T h e ir la st jo in t convention w as in 1916, the

m eetin g scheduled fo r 1918 w as necessarily canceled, bu t in 1922
th ey cam e together again at the in vitation


the P h ilad elp h ia

M u n icip a l L e g a l A i d B ureau, and fo r the first tim e since the W o r ld
W a r reviewed their situation an d , in effect, took account o f stock.
F r o m the records m ade available b y this P h ilad elp h ia leg a l-a id
convention it appeared th at 36 organizations had survived the w ar
and th at in 12 other cities new offices h ad been established o r were
in process o f establishm ent.

T h e scattered threads were gathered

together at th is m eetin g and definite plans fo r the fu tu re were
resolved on.
T h e developm ent o f leg a l-a id w ork th at was foreshadow ed at the
m eetin g in 1922 has been m ore than fu lfilled.

I n the 12 intervening

years num erous leg a l-a id societies, groups, and com m ittees have come
into being.

T h u s since 1923 organizations were created as fo llo w s :
192 8

Albany, N. Y.— Legal-aid society.
Alton, 111.—Bar association committee.
Bloomington, 111.—Bar association committee.
Bridgeport, Conn.—Public defender.
Champaign, 111.— Bar association committee.
Decatur, 111.—Bar association committee.
Elgin, 111.—Bar association committee.
Evanston, 111.— Bar association committee.

Freeport, 111.— Bar association committee.
Jacksonville, 111.— Bar association committee.
Harvey, 111.— Bar association committee.
Indianapolis, Ind.— Legal-aid bureau.
Lexington, Ky.— Lawyer retained by social agency.
Memphis, Tenn.— Legal-aid society.
Minneapolis, Minn.— Public defender.
Moline, 111.— Bar association committee.
Montreal, Canada.— Burea,u of social agency.
New Bedford, Mass.— Legal-aid society.
New Haven, Conn.— Public defender.
Oak Park, 111.— Bar association committee.
Peoria, 111.— Bar association committee and social agency.
Rock Island, 111.— Bar association committee.
Salt Lake City, Utah.— Bar association committee.
Seattle, W ash.— Social agency and volunteer lawyer.
Springfield, 111.— Bar association committee.
Urbana, 111.— Bar association committee.
Washington, D. C.— Committee of lawyers.
Winnipeg, Canada.— Through city solicitor;
Worcester, Mass.— Bar association committee.
Atlanta, Ga.— Legal-aid society.
Dallas, Tex.— Bar association committee.
Denver, Colo.— Legal-aid society.*
Harrisburg, Pa.— Bar association committee appointed.
Indianapolis, Ind.— Lasted only a year.
Reading, Pa.— Bar association committee.
St. Paul, Minn.— Reestablished.
Scranton, Pa.— Committee appointed.

Wilkes-Barre, Pa.— Committee of lawyers.
Cfedar Rapids, Iowa.— Social agency and volunteer lawyer.
Dallas, Tex.— Reestablished.
Des Moines, Iowa.— Social agency and bar association.
Erie, Pa.— Bar association committee.
Jacksonville, Fla.— Bar association committee.
Kalamazoo, Mich.— Social agency and volunteer lawyers.
Long Beach, Calif.— B ar association committee.
Portland, Maine.— Department of social agency.
Schenectady, N. Y.— Committee of lawyers.
Springfield, Mass.— Legal-aid society.
Bronx, N. Y .— American Legion committee.
Chicago, 111.— Voluntary defender.
Houston, Tex.— Social agency.
Miami, Fla.— Legal-aid bureau of the county bar association.
New Haven, Conn.— Legal-aid bureau.
New York, N. Y.— Council of Jewish Women.
4 3381— 36------- 8




Salt Lake City, Utah— Legal-aid society.
San Antonio, Tex.— Department of social agency.

Tampa, Fla.— Social agency.
Canton, Ohio— Committee of lawyers.
Columbus, Ohio— Public defender and bar association committee— Reorganized.
Dallas, Tex.— Reorganized.
Erie, Pa.— Bar committee.
Hartford, Conn.— Legal-aid bureau.
San Diego, Calif.— Public attorney resumed operation,
Portland, Oreg.— Volunteer attorney.
St. Louis, Mo.— Voluntary defender association.
Toledo, Ohio— Bar association committee.
Union City, N. J.— Volunteer lawyer.
Youngstown, Ohio— Bar association committee and social agency.
Baltimore, Md.— Reorganized legal-aid society.
Cincinnati, Ohio.— Volunteer defender.
Covington, K y.— Volunteer legal-aid assistance.
Madison, W is.— Bar association committee.
Reading, Pa.— Unincorporated association of Berks County bar.
Rochester, N. Y.— Public defender.
St. Louis, Mo.— Committee of social agency.

Berkeley, Calif.— University of California clinic.
Dallas, Tex.— Public defender.
Harrisburg, Pa.— Legal-aid society.

Houston, Tex.— Department of social agency.
Los Angeles, Calif.— Legal-aid clinic.
Macon, Ga.— Mercer University clinic.
New Orleans, La.— Bar association committee.
Oakland, Calif.— Legal-aid bureau.
San Antonio, Tex.— Social agency bureau.
Santa Barbara, Calif.— Bar association committee.

Houston, Tex.— Department of social agencies— Reorganized.
Greenwich, Conn.— Local committee.
Pittsburgh, Pa.— Voluntary defender.
San Jose, Calif.— Committee of lawyers.
Seattle, W ash.— Local committee.
W hite Plains, N. Y.— Bar committee.
Durham, N. C.— Legal-aid clinic.
Easton, Pa.— Bar association committee.

Dayton, Ohio— Bar association.
Greensboro, N. C.— Legal-aid committee.
Indianapolis, Ind.— Better business bureau.



Jacksonville, Fla.— Bar association and social agency.
Muskegon, Mich.— Bar association committee.
New Orleans, La.— Legal-aid bureau.
Sacramento, Calif.— Bar association committee.
Seattle, W ash.— Legal-aid bureau.
Washington, D. C.— Social agency and volunteer lawyers.
Wheeling, W . Va.— Bar association committee.
Philadelphia, Pa.— Reorganized legal aid society.
Seattle, W ash.— State-wide volunteer lawyer committee.
Tulsa, Okla.— Bar association committee.
Chester, Pa.— Bar association committee.
Columbus, Ohio— Bar association committee.
Philadelphia, Pa.— Voluntary defender committee.
N ote.— In checking the records of the different organizations many incon­
sistencies as to the date of the inception of the work are encountered. This
is probably accounted for by the fact that many of the societies disbanded for
a time and resumed operation at a later date. Yet there seems to be a lack
of absolutely accurate records in many cases. The foregoing list is the result
of checking the various sources and harmonizing them with the records and
statistics annually turned in to the secretary of the National Association of
Legal Aid Organizations by the existing organizations.

This brings us to the most recent period in legal-aid development.
Whereas in 1922 there were approximately 48 legal-aid organizations,
by 1934 this number had increased to 84. Many of these added
societies, bureaus, and committees are so recent that it is difficult to
distinguish between organizations that are already entitled to be
regarded as definitely established, informal groups that represent
embryonic organizations, and committees that have the matter in
hand and are undertaking to create legal-aid offices of one type or
another. The full list of existing legal-aid offices, of whatever form
or type, in each city, is given in appendix D. Some of these legal-aid
entities naturally did not develop to the fullest extent and others
after a promising start ceased to function. The following table,
however, does give a very definite picture of a steady growth in
interest and in actual accomplishment. Perhaps the most significant
fact indicated by the table is that during the depression years there
was a marked increase in legal-aid interest. This suggests that in a
time of national emergency when there is a general testing of the
importance of legal and social machinery, the legal-aid organization
is coming more and more to be recognized as essential in the proper
development of community resources to care for the legal needs of
the wage earner and his family. The figures are taken from the
report of the secretary of the National Association of Legal-Aid
Organizations for 1934-35.



9 .— Legal-aid organizations and public defender offices form ed Tand
discontinued , and information requested as to establishment of new societies

T able


1923.................................................. ...................................................
1 9 2 4 ...................................................................... ...........................
1925...................................... ...............................................................
1926_______ _______ ________________________ ________________
1927___________________________ ___________ ________________
1928_____________________________________ ________ _________
1929____________________________________________ ___________
1930.______________________________________ _____ __________
1931________ _____ _____ ______________________________ ______
1932____________ ______ _____________________________________
1933____ _____ _____________________ ______ _________________
T otal_________________ ____________________ _________

Legal-aid or­
and public
offices formed

Legal-aid or­

Information re­
quested as to
of new societies







The history of the development of legal-aid work represents an
idea that originated in 1876 and germinated very slowly during the
first 25 years. The community was not aware of the difficulties of
the poor man who needed legal protection. The situation was most
manifest in the largest cities and the legal-aid idea naturally first
took root in our two largest cities— New York and Chicago. From
1900 to 1917 we find the idea extending at an accelerating pace, first
into the next largest cities, such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Cleve­
land, and finally reaching across the continent to Los Angeles and
San Francisco. During the war the movement was checked and suf­
fered a momentary setback, but by 1920 it was well under way again.
It has now regained its momentum and the current of events flows
steadily ahead under the guidance and leadership of the National
Association of Legal A id Organizations.
Since each legal-aid society or bureau was formed by a local group
to meet a local need, it was perhaps inevitable that they should have
come very slowly to any realization of the fact that they were all
engaged in a common enterprise. The first tentative step toward
the formation of a national body was taken in 1911, but not until 1923
was there a strong enough conscious sense of solidarity to make pos­
sible the creation of a true national association. Legal-aid work has
outgrown the period of its infancy and is entering the stage of its
maturity. In any further extension of the work and in maintaining
the efficiency of the existing organizations a leading responsibility
devolves on this national association. To a large degree the future
of legal-aid work in this country has been entrusted to its care. It
seems worth while, therefore, to devote the next chapter to a reason­
ably thorough statement of its history, the scope of its functions, and
the work in which it is engaged.

Chapter XIII.—National Association of Legal Aid
The origin of the present national association is to be found in
the National Alliance of Legal A id Societies. In 1911, Mark W .
Acheson, Jr., president of the Pittsburgh Legal A id Society, invited
the societies then in existence to meet in Pittsburgh for an informal
discussion. Delegates from 14 organizations attended and agreed
upon the advisability of some kind of central body. A committee
was appointed to draw up a form of constitution. A t a second con­
vention, held in New York in 1912 and attended by representatives
from 12 societies and bureaus, the committee’s report was accepted
and there was formed the National Alliance of Legal A id Societies.
The purpose of this alliance, as stated in section 2 of its constitution,
To give publicity to the work of the legal-aid societies of the United States,
to bring about cooperation and increase efficiency in their work, and encourage
the formation of new societies.

Mr. Arthur Y . Briesen, president of the New York Legal A id
Society, was unanimously elected president of the alliance, and its
valuable, though limited, accomplishments were almost entirely due
to his personal enthusiasm and zeal. The organization had no real
power vested in it, and it was fatally handicapped by lack of funds.
The constituent societies paid no dues; the central committee, which
had power to fix dues not in excess of $25 per annum, never author­
ized the collection of any dues; indeed, the constitution itself made
no provision for the office of treasurer. The expenses which neces­
sarily were incurred were paid by the president out of his own
The national alliance did little more than serve as the vehicle
through which two subsequent conventions were called, the first at
Chicago in 1914 and the second at Cincinnati in 1916. These gather­
ings of legal-aid workers served to build up an esprit de corps, they
facilitated the exchange of cases between offices in different parts of
the country, and through papers read and discussed they afforded
a much-needed forum and clearing house for the presentation and
exchange of ideas about the work, its technique, and its true func­
tion. The influence of a man like Mr. Briesen must have been very
great in encouraging and inspiring the legal-aid attorneys, many of
whom were poorly paid and inadequately supported in their own




communities. The whole weight of his forceful personality was
thrown in the direction of making legal aid a more useful servant
of the community, for his genius enabled him to see more clearly
than anyone else the ultimate goal toward which all legal-aid work
was developing. His vision is revealed by a paragraph in an in­
formal letter that he sent to the Cincinnati convention to regret and
explain his absence on account of his advancing years:
That legal-aid societies, since the national alliance was born at Pittsburgh,
have increased in number and efficiency is apparent. That credit is due to
those who brought about these gratifying results need not be stated. Hundreds
of thousands of poor and helpless men and women, to say nothing of poor and
helpless children, have reason to bless these institutions. I believe that very
few, however, will now think of their work as a blessing, for they take it to
be one of the institutions of the country, one of the things that makes this
country great and glorious. By this time they accept this gift as a natural
right, which indeed it is, marking an important step forward in civilization.

After 1916 the national alliance became quiescent. It had never
been a controlling factor in guiding the development of the work;
it had neither funds nor power, and, so far as providing the leader­
ship which the legal-aid movement needed, this loose type of associa­
tion was impotent. In 1919 the following statement was made in the
bulletin entitled “Justice and the Poor” , already referred to:
Legal-aid work has not yet passed out of the stage of localized organization.
W e have already seen that the societies were started in the various cities by
local groups acting independently. I f there was no such group, no society
was started, and if the group failed or dispersed, the society went with it.
There never has been, as there is not now, any strong central agency in a posi­
tion of leadership. There is no centralized responsibility or authority. The
legal-aid movement has not yet become a coordinated national undertaking.

A t the Philadelphia convention of legal-aid organizations, held
in 1922, the formation of a new national body was the main topic
of discussion. In the course of the debates the following statements
were made:
“ The national alliance is like a federal government without power
of taxation.” “There is an imperative demand for such elementary
things as standardized records of work, conventionalized classifica­
tions of the nature, source, and disposition of cases and for uni­
formity of financial accounting.” “There is great need for a central
clearing house to provide for the proper reference of cases.” “ There
is no definite head, no leadership in the legal-aid movement.” The
upshot of this discussion was a unanimous resolution appoint­
ing a special committee to bring about a new national organization.
The report of the Philadelphia convention summarized the feelings
of the delegates of the local societies as follows:
They are determined to integrate themselves into a national federation.
They are no longer contented with the loose and impotent association which



the national alliance, by reason of its ineffective structure, has necessarily been.
They propose to recast the form of their national organization so that, as a
representative legislative and executive body, it may provide a genuine leader­
ship in extending and improving the work.

The special committee, after a series of meetings, decided that it
was impracticable to make over the national alliance into a satis­
factory central body, because what was needed was a real delega­
tion of power by the individual local societies and bureaus to a
central organization. This could be accomplished only with the
consent of the local societies. After the draft plan for the new
national association had been formulated, printed, and distributed,
a constitutional convention was held at Cleveland on June 7 and 8,
1923. Duly accredited delegates were present representing 23 legalaid societies and bureaus and including all the larger and stronger
organizations in the United States. The special committee sub­
mitted its plan and stated:
W e have considered that, in effect, we had been given a mandate by those
competent to speak, to draft a form of framework for a national structure.
In this report, we do not debate or argue the need for a strong national
organization. The lack of it in the past has retarded legal-aid development.
That is a fact known to everyone. The need of it, if legal-aid work is to
develop in the future, is also a fact known to everyone.
W e haA'e bent our energies to devising a plan of federation which, while
still leaving the local societies and bureaus free and independent, would
also vest in the central or national body enough power to be able to carry
on its particular work.

After general debate and some perfecting amendments, the con­
stitution was unanimously adopted and the constituent organizations
became members by signing the constitution. The Hon. William
Howard Taft, Chief Justice of the United States, was elected hon­
orary president of the new organization, the other officers chosen
being a president, vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer, and an execu­
tive committee of seven persons intentionally selected to represent
different types of legal-aid offices operating in various sections of
the country. The following letter, written by Hon. Elihu Root to
the special committee, was read at the convention:
I have received your letter of May 1, telling me of the proposed June meet­
ing of delegates from legal-aid organizations and the plan to form a national
W ill you please count me as being heartily in favor of that plan? It be­
comes every year more evident that something is wanted to establish a contact
between the system of administering justice, of which we are so proud, and
the very people who need ,it most. The people who know how can easily get
a very good brand of justice, but the people who don’t know how have little
reason to suppose that there is any justice here. I am afraid they are get­
ting a very bad idea of our institutions. It is becoming evident also that this
subject must be dealt with, in the first instance at least, by private enter­
prise. Methods may be evolved which can ultimately be applied by govern-



ment, but those methods cannot be evolved out of anybody’s inner conscience,
or out of any legislative committee. They must be worked out experimentally
and that must be done by organized private enterprise. The present organiza­
tion in the form of a national alliance of legal-aid societies is plainly inade­
quate. W e need a national body which can act itself in accordance with the
authority derived from the local societies. I think that is plainly the next
step toward promoting genuine legal aid, and especially toward preventing
the plunder of the poor under the false pretense of legal aid.

The purposes of the new national association are formally set forth
in section 2 of article I of the constitution as follows:
The objects and purposes of this association shall be to promote and develop
legal-aid work, to encourage the formation of new legal-aid organizations
wherever they may be needed, to provide a central body with defined duties
and powers for the guidance of legal-aid work, and to cooperate with the
judiciary, the bar, and all organizations interested in the administration of

The last clause of this section represents a thought that was en­
tirely lacking in the purpose clause of the old national alliance, and
which, as time goes on, is likely to be the most important function
of the present national body. The legal-aid organizations have a
direct contribution to make to the better administration of justice
in the United States. They realized that if they were to be heard
they must speak with a single voice and therefore they ceded to their
national body “supervision over legal-aid work in its national as­
pects, over the relationship between legal-aid organizations and all
other national organizations.”
The national association carries on its activities through a salaried
secretary who devotes a portion of his time to the work and through
a series of committees to each of which is entrusted one major divi­
sion of the legal-aid field. W hile the general outlines of the com­
mittee structure have necessarily changed during the 10 years of
existence of the national body in order to meet the newer problems
that arise, the democratic device of individual initiative in present­
ing the problems for consideration to the national association has
been adhered to. These committees maintain continuing studies of
the subjects committed to their charge, prepare annual reports which
are printed and distributed to all member organizations and which
form the basis for the discussions at the annual conventions. Follow­
ing the Cleveland convention in 1923, annual meetings have been
held each year in the following cities:
Y ea r

Memphis_____________________ 1925
New York___________________ 1926
St. Louis____________________ 1927
Detroit_______________________ 1928
Cincinnati___________________ 1929

Y ea r

Denver--------------------------------- 1930
Chicago______________________ 1933
New York___________________ 1934
Louisville____________________ 1935



The executive committee holds a midwinter meeting each year in
the rooms of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
In 1923 and for the 10 years following there were certain specific
problems confronting the legal-aid field. Paramount among these
was the standardization of classifications of records. A t the Cleve­
land convention one of the most significant steps of the new body
was the adoption of a standard classification. This gave an adminis­
trative example of the efficiency, thoroughness, and zeal with which
the new national association embarked upon its career. Further
reference to it will be found in a later chapter. But this was not
the only matter requiring consideration. Others will be interpreted
by the names of the committees which were set up to deal with them.
The committee on records and the committee on financial account­
ing labored to bring the technique of all legal-aid organizations up
to the approved standard. The committees on small loans, on
domestic-relations courts, on the defender in criminal cases, and on
small-claims courts, conciliation, and arbitration studied the
remedial agencies, most of which have been discussed in earlier
chapters, in order to make certain that the legal-aid attorneys are
prepared to step in and assist needy persons at the point where these
remedial agencies, by virtue of the limitations of their jurisdiction,
are obliged to stop.
The separate legal-a id organizations having been integrated into
a national body are now able to cooperate with other national bodies
that are interested in the improvement of the administration of
justice and especially as it relates to people of little or no means. In
chapter I X we have already noted the object of the committee on
relations with the International Association of Industrial Accident
Boards and Cbmmissions, and in chapter X that of the committee
on relations with the Association of Governmental Labor Officials
of the United States and Canada. In chapter X V I I we shall have
occasion to speak of the committee on relations with social agencies,
in chapter X V I I I of the Committee Relations W ith Law Schools,
and in Chapter X I X of the Committee on Relations W ith the Bar.
Two o f the further activities of the national association may be
considered here. To gather and disseminate information concerning
its own activities and concerning the progress of legal-aid work in
general there was established a special committee on publicity. Be­
yond its routine work of publishing the reports of the standing com­
mittees and of the convention proceedings it secured articles of special
interest to legal-aid workers and distributed them to its mailing list.
The official organ of the committee was the Legal A id Review, pub­
lished by the New York Legal A id Society. One undertaking was
the preparation of a series of articles on legal subjects for release
through the Foreign Language Information Service. These articles



have been widely used by the foreign-language press of the country
and through them the meaning and availability of legal-aid offices
has been brought directly home to our immigrant population.
Finally, the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations ini­
tiated a movement for international cooperation in legal-aid work
which is so important that it may justly be regarded as the second
significant achievement in the association’s life. The first legal-aid
society, as was pointed out in chapter X I I , was formed for the exclu­
sive purpose of aiding immigrants. W hile legal-aid work soon broad­
ened its scope, nevertheless it has always been a bulwark for the pro­
tection of the legal rights of immigrants. In 1938, of the 34,906
persons assisted by the New York Legal A id Society, 16,013 had
been born in foreign countries and 4,983 were still aliens. In nation­
ality these immigrants represented nearly every country in the world.
The legal-aid organizations have naturally found themselves con­
fronted with large numbers of cases in which justice could be secured
only through some legal action in foreign countries. They had estab­
lished contacts with a few legal-aid organizations in Europe and this
suggested to the national association that if all the legal aid and
similar organizations in the world could be ascertained some ar­
rangements for international cooperation would become possible.
Through one of its vice presidents, who enlisted the aid of the Nor­
wegian delegate to the Assembly of the League of Nations, the associ­
ation was able to file a memorandum pointing out this need, and in
1923 the assembly of the league by resolution decided:
( a ) To place on the agenda of the fifth assembly the question referred to in
the memorandum A. 119, 1923 V., regarding international arrangements for legal
assistance to the poor.
(b ) To invite the secretary general to prepare a report in the meantime and
to make such inquiries, under the authority of the council, as may be found
desirable, without expenditure of league funds.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York provided the moderate
sum needed for the purpose and the Council of the League, on March
13, 1924, authorized the Secretary General to convene a small com­
mittee of experts from various countries who could advise the Secre­
tary General and submit a plan for further action.
The committee was constituted as follows:
France: M. Lucien Baudelot, advocate at the court of appeal at Paris.
England: Sir T. W illes Chitty, senior master of the supreme court.
N orw ay: Prof. Mikael Lie, professor of international law at the University
of Christiania.
Ita ly : Prof. Silvio Longhi, first president of court of appeal.
Poland: Prof. S. Nagorski, professor of civil law at the University of
Warsaw, member of the Polish commission on codification.
Spain: Prof. Adolfo Posada, professor of public law at the University of
Madrid, ex-director of the Institute of Social Reform.



United States: Mr. Reginald Heber Smith, chairman of the American Bar
Association committee on legal-aid work, secretary of the United States national
committee on legal-aid work.
Japan: Prof. Kenzo Takayanagi, professor of law at the University of Tokio.
International Labor Office: Dr. L. Varley, technical adviser on migration to
the International Labor Office.

The committee met from July 30 to August 2, 1924, inclusive.
Much valuable information was supplied by the members, both in
the form of written memoranda and in oral statements at the meet­
ing. Communications were also received from the Austrian Gov­
ernment and, through the German consulate at Geneva, from the
committee of the German Bar Association.
After the committee had adjourned, the Secretary General filed
an admirable report with the Assembly. This report has been re­
printed in full and is available in the January 1925 issue of the
Legal A id Review. The recommendations offered by the committee
were approved by the Secretary General and transmitted to the
Assembly which, after making minor alterations, passed the follow­
ing resolution on September 20,1924 :
L e g a l A s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e P oo r

Resolution adopted ( on the report of the first com m ittee) by the Assembly at
its m eeting held on Saturday, Septem ber 20, 1924 ( m o rn in g)
The Assembly decides:
1. To invite the Secretariat to prepare a list of the agencies, both public
and private, which have been established in each country for the purpose of
giving to poor persons legal assistance in connection with litigation in the
courts or free legal advice and consultation; and of international organizations
that are interested in providing or securing legal assistance to poor persons.
This list shall be printed and distributed to the various governments and
be available for the agencies named therein and for other interested institu­
This list shall be revised by the Secretariat from time to time in order
that it may mention agencies that may hereafter be established or abolished.
2. To invite the Secretariat to collect the various treaties, laws, and other
provisions regulating legal assistance to poor persons in the various nations
and between various nations.
Such treaties, laws, and other provisions or summaries hereof shall be
published and distributed to the various governments and be made available
to the agencies mentioned in the list of legal-aid organizations and to other
interested institutions.
3. To invite each government to nominate an authority or other duly qualified
person who will answer inquiries from authorities or other duly qualified per­
sons in other countries, with regard to the facilities afforded in the country
applied to for giving legal advice and assistance in litigation to poor persons
in other countries.
The list of authorities or persons so designated by the various governments
shall be published by the Secretariat from time to time.
4. To request the Secretary General of the League of Nations to ask the
various States, including States not members of the League, whether they would




be disposed to become parties to a convention dealing with free legal aid for
the poor on the basis of the principles formulated in articles 20 to 23 of the
Hague convention of July 17, 1905, and whether possibly they would desire to
propose any modification of such principles.
To request the Secretary General to transmit to the governments the
report A. 34, 1924, V., concerning international arrangements for legal assist­
ance for the poor.

The publication mentioned in the foregoing resolution appeared
in 1927 but due to lack of funds and various other reasons less has
been accomplished in this field than the proponents of the idea hoped.
Today, when a case presenting an international aspect arises, little,
if anything, can be done. However, the achievements of the Detroit
Legal A id Bureau in handling domestic cases where one party was
in Detroit and the other in Europe constitute a noteworthy excep­
tion. The Detroit bureau, acting in cooperation with the Interna­
tional Migration Service, offers a practical example of the possi­
bilities latent in this field.
A s an example of the development of the legal-aid work in E ng­
land, the report of the Law Society, Poor Persons Procedure, for
the period January 1 to December 31, 1934, is cited. This docu­
ment contains the following statement as to the expansion of this
work in London:
The increase in the number of applications received continues.
The particulars are as follow s:
T able

10 . — Development of legal-aid work in E ngland , J a n . 1 to Dec. 1 , 1924

1 9 2 9 ...............
1933......... ..
1934......... ..


1, 784




At the commencement of the year 1934 there were pending in London 264
applications, which added to the applications received during the year make
a total of 2,919 applications as against 2,759 for 1933. O f these applications
1,112 were granted, 804 refused, and 635 were otherwise disposed of, leaving
368 remaining to be dealt with at the end of the year.
Approximately 65 percent of the London applications relate to matrimonial
cases, as against 63 percent for the year 1933; 201, or 12 percent of the applicant
petitioners in matrimonial cases admitted that they had committed adultery
themselves; 76 of these were granted, 55 refused, 38 abandoned, and 32 remain
to be dealt with.

The limitations of space prevent any adequate discussion of legalaid work in other countries.
A third achievement of the national association deserves to be con­
sidered. A s the annual meetings continued there grew up in them a



body of resolutions, understandings, and often unspoken thoughts
regarding the standards by which to measure the efficiency of a legalaid organization. A t the instance of Miss Ruth M. Miner, of the
Albany Legal A id Society, a committee on standards was created in
January 1930. This committee by the time of the 1933 convention
had formulated a series of standards and ideals which deserve inclu­
sion here because they mark another step toward legal-aid maturity.

Every legal-aid organization should:
1. Have, except in the case of municipal bureaus and legal-aid clinics, a
board of directors which shall fairly represent the legal- and social-welfare
interests of the community and meet at least quarterly.
2. Have enough space in the legal-aid office to provide for private consulta­
tion between the attorney and client.
3. Have on the legal staff as a minimum the equivalent of at least one full-time
4. Maintain an active and friendly relationship with other social agencies.
5. Use the uniform classification of records adopted by the national associa­
6. Keep accurate and detailed financial accounts and information.
7. Have a committee or some means whereby close and friendly relationship
is maintained with the local organized bar.
8. Cooperate, wherever possible, with the Russell Sage Foundation and other
appropriate organizations with respect to the securing or maintaining of the
uniform small-loans law, laws relating to wage assignments, and other laws and
activities covering the entire field of consumer credit relations.
9. Belong to the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations.
10. Pay all dues to the national association regularly and promptly.
11. Answer promptly all questionnaires and communications from the national
association and chairmen of standing committees.
12. Have a social worker, or an investigator, on its staff; or have available,
through other agencies, facilities for a proper social and economic investigation
of those cases where the need arises.
13. Seek and maintain active membership in any local or State council, or
other central planning group, of social agencies.
14. Make use of the social-service exchange when and where its work will
benefit thereby, and register its own cases therein when it is of distinct com­
munity advantage so to do and where it will not violate the confidential relation­
ship of attorney and client.
15. Make adequate provision for the reference of cases which are not handled
by the legal-aid office.
16. Maintain a fund or provide a means whereby legal expenses may be avail­
able when necessary.
17. Take appeals to right palpable miscarriages of justice or to establish useful
principles when the costs can be obtained.
I deals

Every legal-aid organization
endeavor t o :


as far



conditions permit,

Provide for legal aid in criminal cases where there is no statute providing
for the assignment of counsel or for a public defender, or where the circum-



stances are such that the defendant cannot obtain proper representation in any
other way.
2. Have some member or members of the office staff whose special business it
is to investigate and handle workmen’s compensation cases, where not accept­
able to the bar, and representation is needful.
3. Establish contacts with the sources of legal-aid cases where essential to
adequate service of special type of clients, such as workmen’s compensation
cases, seamen’s cases, veterans’ cases.
4. Have established a small-claims court in your community.
5. Have established a domestic-relations court in your community.
6. Provide some adequate machinery for handling complaints against lawyers
where the legal-aid society cannot do so.
7. Act in an advisory capacity to social agencies relative to the legal problems
which they face whenever requested to do so.
8. Secure desirable legislation in its own community or State legislature when
in aid of its purposes.
9. Assume leadership in the securing of such new legal machinery for social
betterment as the community requires.
10. Accept divorce cases on behalf of indigent persons, whether plaintiffs or
defendants, in those instances in which there are social reasons which appear
to make such an action both necessary and desirable from the standpoint of the
client as well as of the family.
11. Accept bankruptcy cases on behalf of indigent persons in those instances
in which the client has a reputation for honesty and has made every reasonable
effort to pay his just debts, but in which creditors have refused to cooperate in
any reasonable plan of payment and have persisted in harrassing the client by
attachment of his wages and by other proceedings to such an extent that he is
in danger of losing his employment; that bankruptcy proceedings be undertaken,
however, only as a last resort, and after all other attempts in the way of con­
ciliation or otherwise have failed to protect the client from the unreasonable
collection practice of his creditors.
12. Except for good cause in individual instances, accept personal-injury cases
in which the client is unable to pay any fee and in which the amount of recovery
is not sufficient to induce a reputable attorney to accept the case on a contingent
13. Defend indigent defendants in both felony and misdemeanor cases in the
following instances :
Where there is no statute providing for the assignment of counsel or for a
public defender, or where the circumstances are such that the defendant cannot
obtain proper representation in any other w a y ; provided the budget and facili­
ties of the legal-aid organization permit of such representation as well as
representation in other types of cases.

In 1934 at the New York convention there was a general feeling
that the problems which had faced the national association in its
beginning had been largely solved or replaced by a new set of diffi­
culties. This idea had been present at a number of the earlier con­
ventions, but until 1934 there had not been sufficient support for it
to warrant making any substantial changes. In that year the asso­
ciation instructed the executive committee to abolish the existing com­
mittees and to set up a new group of committees to deal with the



new problems. The executive committee meeting in the midwinter
of 1935 proceeded to establish the following four fundamental com­
mittees to guide the activities of the association during this second
period of its existence: A committee on contacts with other agencies,
which was expected to develop relationship with the bar, with social
agencies, with law schools, with governmental officials, and other
groups; a committee on internal administration; a committee on
publicity and finance; a committee on specified types of cases.
After this brief glance at the developments in the national and
international field, it is time to return to an examination and
appraisal of what the legal-aid organizations have been able to
accomplish in their own field of work.

Chapter XIV.—Work of Legal-Aid Organizations
The final test of the merit of any organization that exists to
render a public or community service must depend on the amount
of work it can perform and the degree of efficiency it is able to
It is possible to apply a quantitative test to the legal-aid
organizations because most of them have kept satisfactory records
as to the major features of their work, how many clients they served,
how much they collected for clients, and the cost of their operation.
In appendix E these figures are set out in detail. For our present
purpose a condensed table will serve as an accurate reflection of
the extraordinary growth of the work. When one notes that the total
number of cases in 1900 was only 20,896 and that by 1933 it had
increased to 331,970, one realizes that while legal-aid work has
an unbroken history running back for over 50 years, yet the great
bulk of its achievement lies within the last two decades, during which
period the movement became truly national in scope.
In other
words, the legal-aid organizations taken as a whole have passed
through their experimental stage, but they are still young; they
have not assumed their final form because they are still in process
of development. They are not yet at the zenith of their powers;
they contain tremendous latent possibilities for effective service in
connection with the administration of justice, but they are only at
the threshold of the passageway which leads to a full realization of
these opportunities.
T able

11 . — Growth of legal-aid, work in the United States , by y ea rs 1


1876_____ _______________________________________
1877______ ________________________________ _____
1878_____ _______________________________________
1879_____ ______ ________________________________
1880_____ _______________________________________
1881_________ __________________________________
1882......... ............................. ............... .........................
1883_________________________ ________ _______
1887____________ _____ __________________________
1888_________________ _______ ___________________
1892_____ _________________________________ _____
1893_______ _______________________________ _____
1894_______ _________________ _____ _____ ________
i Figures are for organizations reporting.


of organ­


Number of


7, 611

Amounts col­
lected for

7, 514
17, 711
47, 580



T able


11.— Growth o f legal-aid work in the U nited States , by years — Continued


1897_____ _______________________________________
1898_______________________ ___________ ________
1901____________________ ___________ ________ _
1909_____ ______________________________________
1910_____________________ ______________________
1911_____ _____________________ _________________
1913____________________________________ _____ _
1914________________________________ _____ ______
1916__________________________________ _____ _
1917_________________________ _____ _______ _____
1918___________________ ________ ________________
1921________ _____ ______________________________
1923____________________________________ _______
1925________________________________ ______ _____
1926______ _____________________________________
1927____________________ _____ _______ __________
1930_____ _______________________________________
Total______________________________ _____

of organ­

Number of

Amounts col­
lected for

23, 544
78, 507
68, 731
42, 596
111, 719
108, 594
111, 404



76, 602

The organizations have conducted their work so quietly that their
aggregate accomplishment must be something of a surprise to any­
one who reads of their work for the first time. Not including the
figures for 1934, which are not available at this writing, the legalaid organizations have received applications for assistance in 3,912,146 cases; through their efforts they have collected for their clients
$13,604,855; and in the prosecution of their work they have expended
$7,860,746. The existing organizations now serve a territory in
which 39,000,000 persons live; each year they assist more than 300,000
clients for them; they collect nearly three-quarters of a million dol­
lars annually in amounts that average little more than $15 per case.
The maintenance of legal-aid work now costs nearly a half million
dollars a year, which means that they are able to interview, to extend
legal advice to a client, and to render whatever legal assistance he
requires at an average cost of about $1.45 per case.
The foregoing may be regarded as minimum figures because rec­
ords for some of the newer and less strongly established offices are
not available. I f we measure by number of clients, the legal-aid
43381— 36---------- 9



organizations of the United States must conduct the largest law prac­
tice in the world.
In 1923 it would not have been possible to analyze this mass of
legal matters to ascertain the source, nature, and disposition of vari­
ous kinds o f cases of which it is composed. During the past 10
years, however, legal-aid organizations have come to keep records
on a standard basis of classification, and from these it is possible to
gather the following types o f information.
T able 12—

Percentage distribution o f total num ber o f cases by nature , source , and
d isposition o f caset 1924 to 19S8f inclusive

Classification of cases




















100.0 100.0


100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0









100.0 100.0



N a t u r e o f case

Cases growing out of contractual relations...............................................................
Cases growing out of property...................
Domestic relations........................................
Criminal matters..........................................

S o u rc e o f case

Federal Government...................................
State and county government.................
Local government.........................................
Foreign consuls..............................................
Legal-aid organizations and lawyers___
Medical agencies...........................................
Religious agencies______________________
Social agencies.......... .....................................
Business and industry........ ..................... ..
Previously served__________________
Referred by client__________________
Direct application__________________
M em ber of society_________________
Private individuals________________











100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0





100.0 100.0

D is p o s itio n an d co u rt w ork

Refused at first interview........................ ..
Advice and referred...................................... 48.3
Client unable to advance costs................
Case terminated b y client............... ......... 12.1
Investigated and advice given................
Investigated and referred...........................
Investigated and refused.......................... .
Information secured and documents
Adjusted........................................................... 13.4
Disposed of after litigation............ ...........
Unclassified ____________________ _______









4 .8










100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


100.0 100.0




i Less than Ho of 1 percent.

In the conduct of their work the legal-aid organizations have
through experience, learned certain lessons which have become incor­
porated into well-established principles for their guidance; and, on
the other hand, a number of questions remain unsettled because,
although there has been an abundance of discussion, no clear agree­
ment has been reached.



A legal-aid society or bureau is a law office—its attorneys are en­
gaged in the practice of law. They are subject to the same rules of
professional conduct and to the same canons of ethics as other attor­
neys. But, in addition to these traditional precepts, the legal-aid
organizations have found it necessary to establish certain other rules.
The first of these rules is a definite principle, universally applied,
that no person who is able to employ a private attorney is entitled to
their assistance. The legal-aid organizations are not in competition
with the bar, and they are scrupulously careful in this regard. Fur­
thermore, their funds, whether received from the public treasury or
from private subscriptions, are given to them in trust to carry out a
specific purpose which, as it is commonly expressed in the constitu­
tions o f legal-aid societies, is “ to render legal aid and assistance,
gratuitously if necessary, to all persons who may appear worthy
thereof, and who, from poverty, are unable to procure it.”
While the principle is clear enough, its application to border-line
cases is sometimes difficult. There are comparatively few doubtful
cases, but the legal-aid attorneys have been at great pains to try to
fix the exact dividing line. A ll persons, when they come to a legalaid office, are first considered as “ applicants.” I f they satisfy the
attorney that they are without sufficient funds to retain their own
attorneys, then they are accepted as “ clients” , and having been
accepted the relationship of attorney and client continues to the end
of the case.
Twenty organizations allow the attorney who receives the applica­
tion to exercise his discretion as to whether or not the applicant is a
legal-aid client. Such discretionary control has been found better
than any rigid tests. The national association’s committee on rela­
tions with the bar, in its report for 1924, says in this regard:
A further argument against all of these tests would be that while they may
well be put in operation, there is always a way to beat them. I f a man who
does the work is the wrong kind of a man, no rules will keep him in place. I f
he is the right kind of man, you will have little need for rules.
A $500 wage claim presented by a healthy unmarried man would, it may be
assumed, be at once rejected by any legal-aid society. But how about an at­
tempt to cheat a widowed charwoman who is the sole support of her nine young
children out of a $500 equity in her cottage? Is that a legal-aid case?
A close working understanding between the legal-aid committee of the local
bar association and the board of directors of the legal-aid society, with the
legal-aid attorney serving as the link between the two, will be essential if
any elastic definition is to be applied satisfactorily. Would not such an under­
standing be speedily arrived at if—
1. The legal-aid attorney should submit to the bar association committee any
border-line cases whose status he considers to be doubtful; and
2. The bar association committee should visit the bureau at intervals, ex­
amine the records, question the attorney, and satisfy itself as to the character
of cases accepted, making such recommendation as it deems necessary.



The foregoing suggestion is undoubtedly as good a solution as can
be had. The legal-aid attorney’s discretion is not left free and untrammeled but is subject to enough control to prevent abuse. I f the
bar at large thinks the legal-aid office is accepting improper cases,
the remedy lies in its own hands. Some organizations have already
accepted the substance of this suggestion for their future guidance
as the need may arise.
The earnest desire to avoid criticism from the bar has led a num­
ber of organizations to take a false step in the following situation.
When an applicant is refused, either because he can pay a fee or be­
cause o f the nature of his case, he invariably asks for the name of
some reliable attorney to whom he may go. The organizations above
referred to refused to answer this simple question, lest they be ac­
cused o f playing favorites. The unfortunate result generally was
that the ignorant applicant would fall into the hands of a “runner”
and straightway be led to the office of some “ shyster.” The better
practice today is to offer1a list of names o f reputable attorneys who
have agreed in advance that they will accept such cases. Some or­
ganizations use lists compiled by themselves, and others use lists com­
piled by the local bar association. I f any substantial number of
cases are to be referred, the second plan is clearly the safer and
should be used wherever the local bar association is willing to co­
operate in this regard.
Whether or not legal-aid organizations should accept divorce cases
has long been a mooted point. Divorce is a serious step; to make it
easy by making it cheap may result in baneful social consequences.
And to refuse divorces in certain instances has equally bad social re­
sults. It might seem simple to adopt a rule to defend divorce cases
but to refuse to institute them. According to the attorney o f the
Buffalo Legal Aid Society:
It is a simple matter to bring to mind cases where a poor woman with sev­
eral children has been deserted by a worthless husband who has given her aU
possible grounds for a divorce. When such a woman finds, as many of them
do, some steady man who is willing, in return for the home life he wants, to
give her his wages and help to bring up the children, we have an opportunity
for a real, constructive piece of work. I f a divorce is granted her, she can
start life aU over again and probably make her way. I f the divorce is denied,
she may very likely take the man in as a boarder and after a time bring into
the world a group of illegitimate children.

There is in reality a dilemma which the committee on relations
with the bar o f the national association has summed up as follow s:
It is argued that because of its public or quasi-public position a legal-aid
society must take every case which comes to it, provided the client is one
within the jurisdiction and the case is not prohibited by a general rule. It is
further argued that a legal-aid organization, being merely an instrument of
the law, should not assume to determine the merit of such cases provided the
facts are such as to warrant a divorce. It is said that the moral side of such



questions is a matter for the individual client and not for the legal-aid society
to pass upon.
On the other side, it is argued that divorce is in the nature of an equitable
proceeding and that the moral standpoint of the applicant for a divorce must
be taken into consideration. It is said that the break-up of a family is in­
volved, a step is taken toward the break-up of society, and, therefore, society
at large is involved in such a proceeding and is interested in whether, morally,
the divorce should be granted or not.
It is a safe rule to lay down that while a legal-aid organization refuses a
divorce case at its peril, it also accepts such cases at its peril, and must tread
the narrow path between denying justice to the poor on the one hand and
encouraging unwarranted destruction of families on the other.

In actual practice some organizations do not accept divorce cases
and others do under special circumstances. The National Associa­
tion of Legal A id Organizations has finally stated its position on the
problem by adopting the following recommendations, suggesting the
activities of legal-aid societies regarding divorce cases:
Every legal-aid organization should, as far as local conditions permit,
endeavor t o :
Accept divorce cases on behalf of indigent persons, whether plaintiffs or de­
fendants, in those instances in which there are social reasons which appear to
make such an action both necessary and desirable from the standpoint of the
client as well as of the family.

Public opinion may be changing, but it is still at odds on divorce,
and it is too much to expect the legal-aid organizations to solve
completely such a baffling social question.
Whether or not personal-injury cases should be accepted has been,
and still is, a warmly contested point. The problem arises in a
peculiar way. A man may be utterly penniless, but if he is knocked
down by a streetcar he has a claim that may be worth a thousand
dollars against a solvent defendant. For many years lawyers have
been willing to accept these cases on a contingent-fee basis. Despite
the fact that the contingent fee has given rise to a host of abuses,
and that many excellent lawyers look at it askance, it seems to have
become a recognized method of arranging the fee in negligence cases,
and a contingent-fee contract, which was originally deemed void at
the common law, is now accorded legal recognition in most States.
On this question the committee on relations with the bar states:
A s a general proposition, a legal-aid organization has no right to contend
with other lawyers for business.
As long, then, as lawyers can be found to take contingent-fee cases, the legalaid organization ought to keep its hands off. I f such cases are of any value at
law, members of the bar will take them. I f they are of no value, a legal-aid
organization cannot make much headway.
When, however, we come to consider a small case of this sort, where there
is undoubtedly a legal right to recover and where the amount involved is so
smaU as not to warrant any action by a private attorney, even on a contingent
basis, then the legal aid may properly proceed; because if it did not interfere,
injustice would be done.



Wherever the law has acknowledged the propriety of contingentfee contracts, the committee’s observations are applicable, and they
constitute as good a practical solution as can be afforded, and the
rules o f the great majorit}7 of the legal-aid offices are in accord with
this plan.
In 1930 the national association approached the solution of this
problem when it adopted the following recommendation:
Every legal-aid organization should, as far as local conditions permit,
endeavor t o :
Except for good cause in individual instances, accept personal-injury cases
in which the client is unable to pay any fee and in which the amount of
recovery is not sufficient to induce a reputable attorney to accept the case
on a contingent basis.

Other types of cases present difficulties, but the only group that
is important enough to warrant attention here is that of complaints
against attorneys, which the legal-aid organizations are apt to re­
ceive because it is the poor and ignorant on whom unscrupulous
lawyers prey and such persons naturally turn to a legal-aid office
for assistance. A rule to reject such cases has been adopted by a
few societies but it is indefensible. These cases are of the utmost
importance, not only to the wronged individual, but to the whole
administration of justice. A legal-aid attorney, in our opinion, is
remiss in his duty unless he investigates the matter and, if the
complaint appears justified, sees that it is properly presented to
the grievance committee of the bar association or whatever other body
is vested with jurisdiction over matters of professional misconduct.
The national association has adopted the following recommenda­
Every legal-aid organization should, as far as local conditions permit,
endeavor t o :
Provide some adequate machinery for handling complaints against lawyers
where the legal-aid society cannot do so.

The last important matter of policy concerning legal-aid work
that needs some exposition is the theory and practice of charging
fees. In the purpose clause, quoted earlier, which is to be found
in the constitutions of a number of societies, the object of the
work is stated to be “ to render aid and assistance, gratuitously if
necessary.” This is a balanced phrase. When the client is unable
to pay anything the service must be extended to him free of all
charges; every legal-aid organization subscribes to this principle, and
no applicant is ever rejected on the ground that he cannot pay a fee.
On the other hand, if the applicant can pay a nominal fee, some
o f the organizations do make a charge. One definite school of
thought among legal-aid workers strongly objects to any system of
fees whatsoever. Their argument is that justice should be free; that



legal-aid service should be extended without any pecuniary reward;
that the nature of legal-aid work will be more clearly appreciated
by the community and its dignity be enhanced if no charges for
services rendered are imposed. This point of view represents an
earnest conviction, it has the merit o f simplicity, and it is based
on an ideal that carries with it an undeniable appeal.
The countervailing argument is perhaps less idealistic but is sup­
ported by strong practical considerations. It is urged with vigor
that the system of charging fees, however small, tends to eliminate
fictitious and groundless complaints; that when a client has paid a
fee he has a stake in the matter and is less likely to drop it; that
by the payment the relationship is lifted from the plane of charity
to one o f self-respect; and that these fees, although trifling in them­
selves, in the aggregate constitute a source of income that enables
the organizations to do more work than their limited finances would
otherwise enable them to perform. That there is practical validity
behind this last argument is apparent from the following table
showing fees collected by certain organizations in recent years.
T able

13.— A m ou n ts collected in fe e s and com m issions by legal-aid organiza tionsj by year



1917__________ _____
1919......... ............... ..
1920............. ........... ..
1921......... ........... .......
1922..................... .......
1924......................... ..
1925..................... ........
1927....... ................... ..
1928......................... —
1932________ _______
1933......... - ............. —








6, 295

1 ,137


1,358 184,364





M inne­
apolis '

L. A . S.


12, 513
12, 776
16, 537
25, 221



1917......... ..................
1 9 1 8 ...........................
1919_________ ______
1921__________ _____
1922__________ _____
1923 ..........................
1924________ _______
1928 _______ _______
1929 __________ ____



T otal..............




Cam­ Chicago Cincin­ Cleve­
bridge L .A .B .


Denver Detroit









Ed. Alii.








$2, 768



$1, 764
1, 600




The nature of the fees charged is shown by the following table.
By “ registration fee or retainer” is meant a payment by the ap­
plicant when he is accepted as a client and work in his behalf is un­
dertaken. A “ fee or commission on money collected” signifies that
if the society through its work is able to collect for a client some­
thing more than a nominal sum, then it may make a charge based on
a percentage of the sum recovered. The percentage figure is a maxi­
mum figure which may not be exceeded, but which may in any case
be reduced. By “ fees or commissions in special cases” is meant the
imposition o f a charge where the society’s services have produced
some valuable result other than a collection of money for the
T able

14.— F ees and com m issions charged by legal-aid organizations , by c ities

Registration fee
or retainer


A lbany___________________


25 cents___________

50 cents___________
Boston_______________ ________ ____do______________
Buffalo................ ................
25 c e n t s _ .
Cambridge____________________ ___ do____________ Chicago, Legal Aid Bureau— _____d o .____________
___ do____ _______

___ do____ _______ __

Detroit________________________ ___ do____________
Grand Rapids____ _____ ______ 25 cents___________
Jersey C ity............................... .. _____do_____________
Louisville________________ _
None__________ .
Minneapolis________ _________ 25 cents___________
N ew York, Legal Aid Society- 50 cents___________
N ew York, Educational Alli­
Newark___________ __________

25 cents, except to
female clients.
10 cents___________
25 cents___________

Rochester_____________________ ___ do____ _________
Springfield.................................... Norm

Fee or commission on money col­
lected over a certain sum

5 percent__________________ __

Fees or commis­
sions in special
cases (work­
men’s compen­
sation, etc.)


Fixed by work­
m en’s compen­
sation bureau.
___ do_____________________ _ .
__ None.
20 percent (unless amount is large) _ $5 to $15 in do­
mestic relations
10 percent_________ _ _ _
(0 .
___ do________________________________ None.
D o.
10 percent______________________ ____
10 percent if client is married; 15 10 percent.
percent if not.
10 percent__________________________ Fixed b y work­
men’s compen­
sation commis­
____d o ..__________ _________________
Voluntary con­
tribu tion s b y
clients. ............... 10 percent.
___ do________________________________
D o.
do__________________________ ____ 25 cents to $5.
N o set fee__________________________
0 ).
10 percent of amount over $5______ 3 p e r c e n t in
5 percent from $5 to $10; over $10,
0 ).
10 percent.
10 percent__________________________ 0 ).
5 percent to 10 percent_____________ 5 percent to 10
10 percent__________________________ Fee set b y State.
Contribution b y clients___________ Fee set b y indus­
trial accid ent

1 N o fig u r e s a v a i l a b l e .

O f the various societies and bureaus as to which definite informa­
tion is available 15 charge registration fees and 36 do not; 17 charge
a commission for collections or other valuable services and 34 do not.
A ll of the public bureaus are free. Nearly all of the offices which are
conducted as departments of organized charity societies (as the
united, federated, or associated charities) charge no fees. On the



other hand, most of the privately incorporated societies (and these
include the organizations that do about half of all the legal-aid work
in the United States) do charge.
The legal-aid organizations have fixed their fees at so low a point
that no injustice results, and therefore no principle is at stake. In
those courts which are closest in function to legal-aid work, the smallclaims courts, the practice varies: In Connecticut, Kansas, and Min­
nesota there are no fees; in Cleveland the fees are about $1.40; and
in Massachusetts they are $1.12. No form of social service is con­
ducted on a higher plane today than that rendered by the hospitals
in our great cities, and they generally adhere to the rule of charging
patients some small fees for the services rendered.
From the legal-aid point of view the world is divided into three
groups o f persons. First, those who can afford to retain their own
attorneys. Such persons are not entitled to legal aid on any terms.
Second, those who can afford to pay nothing whatsoever. Third,
those who can pay trifling sums which are so small that no private
attorney could or would undertake the case for such a fee, as, for
example, a fee o f 25 cents. To require persons in this last group to
pay something for services rendered is not inconsistent with the fun­
damental concept of legal-aid work, provided that the societies and
bureaus never let their rules interfere with their obligation to aid the
destitute and to extend to them freely and gladly the maximum
assistance within the power of the legal aid organizations.

Chapter XV.—Types of Legal-Aid Organizations
To give practical application to the legal-aid idea in the actual
cases of actual clients, some machinery or some kind of organization,
whether formal or informal, is necessary. In the course of expansion
various types o f legal-aid organizations have developed, and as the
work is extended into smaller cities and as it is confronted with new
conditions the number o f types tends to increase. No ironclad uni­
formity in the details of organization is needed and very likely
an absolute conformity to any single type would stifle experiment
and therefore be undesirable. It is worth while, however, briefly
to enumerate the various kinds of legal-aid organizations now in
existence, to compare them, and to venture certain general observa­
tions as to their efficiency.
The first to be considered is the group which may be designated
as specialized organizations, because their work is limited in one
direction or another. Most of the public-defender offices fall in
this group because they are limited to criminal cases. In a sense
legal-aid work in the criminal field requires specialization; it cer­
tainly requires an attorney who is expert in the conduct of criminal
cases; but in the long run it would seem to us preferable that all the
legal-aid work in any community, both the criminal and the civil
cases, should be conducted by one office. Where a legal-aid organi­
zation already exists, this could be accomplished by adding to its
legal staff a lawyer familiar with criminal practice, as has been
done in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. Where the publicdefender office already exists, the process would be reversed, which
is virtually the situation in Los Angeles. Where both a legal-aid
office and a defender’s office exist in the same city the two might
well be merged, as was done in New York.
Another type of specialized body is the National Desertion Bu­
reau, in New York, that deals only with domestic relations cases.
A third type is represented by the Legal Aid Bureau of the Edu­
cational Alliance, in New York, and by the Legal Aid Department
o f the Jewish Social Service Bureau, in Chicago, both of which
limit their service almost entirely to Jewish applicants and whose
field of activity is very largely among immigrants. Through such
specialization these organizations attain a high degree of efficiency.
It will be noticed that they exist only in our two greatest cities;
in the other cities of the country such specialization is not called



for. Most communities can afford only one organization and need
only one organization, because a properly equipped legal-aid office
can provide service in desertion cases and extend assistance to immi­
grants as a part of its regular work, and in fact the stronger legalaid societies and bureaus already do so.
The relationship between organized labor and the legal-aid or­
ganizations is yet to be defined and established. Their common in­
terests cover a wide field. It is safe to conjecture that if the facts
could be known it would appear that a substantial percentage of
legal-aid clients are members of unions and that a still larger per­
centage consists of wage earners in whose welfare and protection
organized labor is concerned. The legal reforms urged in connec­
tion with the legal-aid movement are of primary importance to
labor. Where efficient small-claims courts, industrial-accident com­
missions, and administrative officials are secured the chief bene­
ficiaries are wage earners. By reason of their community of in­
terest a better understanding between the two groups in order that
they may the more effectively cooperate is eminently desirable.
Legal aid has already established its contacts with other organized
bodies, such as the bar and the social agencies. To secure to an
equal degree the genuine interest and cordial support of organized
labor is unquestionably one o f the greatest responsibilities, and at
the same time one of the most promising opportunities that the
National Association of Legal Aid Organizations will face in the
immediate future. There is every reason to believe that organized
labor would be fully responsive. Three articles on legal aid have
already been printed in The American Federationist, whose editor,
Mr. William Green, is president of the American Federation of
Other definite progress that has already been made has been con­
sidered in chapters I X and X , where were discussed the problems
o f administering workmen’s compensation acts and the collection
of wage claims.
Taking up the organizations that engage in general legal-aid work
we find that while certain distinctive differences may be noted be­
tween various major types of organizations the dividing line is not
always clear because one type through a series of minor variations
tends to become merged with another. Thus, the simplest machinery
of all undoubtedly consists of an individual lawyer who volunteers
his services and to whom a social agency refers all its cases. While
many examples might be given of this device it is sufficient to re­
cord that in Illinois and Michigan where the State-wide plan has
been extended to local communities the local arrangements are not
much more complex than this. After the individual lawyer comes
the bar-association committee. In the preceding chapter we have



listed examples of this type, as in Seattle, Jacksonville, Evansville,
and Wheeling. A modification of this type is the legal-aid committee
of the State bar association which supplies a degree o f leadership
in developing the work in the State. Examples of this type may
be found in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York,
North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Because of their sig­
nificance, such bar-association activities are considered further in
chapter X I X . There is still one further step, namely, an unin­
corporated organization, as in New Orleans, receiving funds from
a social agency and employing an attorney to give a definite amount
o f time to the work. Through these various stages we come to a
full-fledged legal-aid society, as, for example, the one in Detroit
which functions under the direction o f a legal-aid committee of the
bar association.
The less formal machinery is, of course, more suitable to the
smaller communities where the volume o f cases is small and the pres­
sure o f the work not too onerous. This is normally the situation in
cities o f 50,000 inhabitants or less. It is feasible to have the legalaid work entrusted to a group of lawyers, preferably a group ap­
pointed by the local bar association, because the total responsibility
that each such lawyer assumes is light and does not interfere with
his own private practice. O f the various plans o f this general type
the Illinois, Michigan, and North Carolina plans seem to be the best.
While the Illinois plan has undergone some recent modifications, its
general nature may be understood by reading the following brief
memorandum which was drawn up in 1922.
M em orandum o f a g reem en t f o r ren d erin g legal aid to th e p o o r b etw een th e
fa m ily socia l-w ork so cie tie s o f th e S ta te o f Illin ois and th e Illin ois B a r
A sso cia tio n
1. The family social-work societies to furnish the Illinois State Bar Associa­
tion with a list of the cities in Illinois having family social-work societies and
the name of the local secretary or manager of each.
2. The Illinois State Bar Association to get in touch with the local bar asso­
ciation in the cities where there are organizations of family social-work so­
cieties with secretaries or managers and to invite such local associations to
cooperate in furnishing legal aid.
3. The local bar association to furnish the secretaries or managers of the
family social-work societies with a list of their own members who will contrib­
ute their services without charge on properly signed orders from the family
social-work societies.
4. The local bar associations to appoint a committee of one or more members
of the bar to act jointly with the local family social-work society’s secretary or
manager in determining the general policies to be followed in local legal-aid
5. The Illinois State Bar Association to furnish proper order blanks to be
used by the family social-work societies.



6. The member of the bar to make a notation on the report blank of the advice
given or action taken, and upon completion of the service to mail it to the local
family social-work society’s secretary or manager from whom the case came.
7. The secretaries of the various family social-work societies will issue such
orders only on such members of the bar whose names have been furnished by
the local bar association, and such orders are to be issued in rotation as such
names appear upon the furnished lists.
8. The joint committee above mentioned to determine what cases or classes
of cases may be assigned with the understanding that a small fee will be
9. The secretaries of the family social-work societies will make a report
to the State Association of Intercity Secretaries of Family Social W ork So­
cieties, who will transmit a summary to the Illinois State Bar Association not
later than May 1 of each year, beginning in 1922.

The Michigan plan has been described at some length in the
reports of the legal-aid committee of the Michigan State Bar Asso­
ciation. In effect it provides for districting the State and securing
the services of one or more volunteer attorneys in each district who
will agree to handle all legal-aid cases referred to them and report
thereon to the committee. The North Carolina plan contemplates
the volunteer system as set out above with the additional aid of a
strong central body, the Duke Legal Aid Clinic, which is prepared
to cooperate with the volunteer groups in the various parts of the
State. It seems to us that the presence of this strong central law
office is o f great value in coordinating the local efforts in aiding
individual lawyers by preparing briefs and doing other of the
more laborious and time-consuming parts of the work. We believe
also that the psychological effect of emphasizing the administration
o f justice as being of one piece throughout the State is a step in
the right direction, since the State is the best unit of judicial
Closely related to the State-wide committee is the State legal-aid
organization. During the period from 1923 to 1928 State legalaid organizations were created in California, Massachusetts, New
York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These organizations held meetings
and encouraged the development of local legal-aid societies. The
association in California is still active and has accomplished a
substantial amount of work.
For the larger communities, certainly in cities of 100,000 inhabit­
ants and upward, the only efficient way to conduct legal-aid work
is through a definite legal-aid office organized and maintained on a
definite basis. For this purpose four standard types of organiza­
tions have appeared. The bar-association type may first be taken
up, the best illustration of which is to be found in the legal-aid
bureau o f the Association of the Bar of Detroit. This is recognized
as one o f the finest legal-aid organizations in the country. By rea-



son of the inherent nature of legal-aid work its establishment and
conduct under bar-association auspices is logical and thoroughly
sound. The only important objection that has been urged against
this plan is that bar associations have limited funds, and if they
are unwilling or unable to secure financial support from the general
community the legal-aid work is sure to be starved. This has been
the case apparently in Detroit until the financing was undertaken
by the community fund. Lawyers may not be good money raisers,
but if adequate financing is assured, the supervision of the actual
legal case work may well be intrusted to a committee appointed by
the local bar association. The organized bar is steadily assuming
a greater and greater responsibility for legal-aid work, as will be
shown in chapter X I X , and bar associations have undertaken to
start the work in many cities, but they have generally either created
a private philanthropic corporation to conduct the work, as in Bos­
ton, Louisville, and Providence, or they have worked out some joint
arrangement with an existing charity organization, as has recently
been done in Chicago.
Legal-aid work conducted as a department of a general charity
organization has been successful in many communities, notably in
Grand Rapids, St. Paul, and Chicago. An advantage o f this plan is
that the legal-aid financing is taken care of as part o f the general
financing o f the whole charity organization, which from the com­
munity point of view is a sensible arrangement. The corresponding
disadvantage is that if the general charity for any reason goes down
the legal-aid work goes down with it, as happened in 1923 in St.
Paul for a period of several months. The argument that a legal-aid
society should be independent in order that it may make its own
appeal direct to the community is not substantiated by the facts. In
Chicago the legal-aid society, while it existed as an independent
entity, received utterly inadequate support even from the bar itself;
since it became a bureau o f the United Charities it has been able,
through the cooperation of an excellent committee appointed by the
Chicago Bar Association, to increase its subscriptions from the bar to
an extent that is remarkable and sets a pace for the rest of the
country. The argument that legal-aid work cannot be managed by
the same directors who control the general charity work has some
force. Legal-aid work is a specialty; it differs from ordinary family
welfare work in many ways; the wise formulation o f its policies
requires an intimate knowledge of the law and the administration of
justice; its control, therefore, should be vested in a governing board
composed primarily o f lawyers rather than in a body whose chief
interest and training is in social work. To the extent that the legalaid bureau is given autonomy, with its own controlling committee, this



argument has no practical application. Both in Chicago and Grand
Rapids the legal-aid bureaus enjoy so large a measure of autonomy
in the working out of their own destinies that they are virtually as
free as the independent philanthropic corporations. In the past sev­
eral legal-aid organizations of this type, notably in Minneapolis,
have become independent and separate organizations such as are
described in the next paragraph.
In the largest cities most of the legal-aid societies have been in­
corporated as private charitable corporations. New York, Boston,
Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Newark, San Francisco,
and Providence, to mention a few typical instances, have always ad­
hered to this type. The incorporated society form was also used in
Philadelphia until in 1920 the work was assumed by the city, and
in Chicago until the society was merged with the United Charities.
In 1933 when the municipal support for the Philadelphia Legal Aid
Bureau had definitely been withdrawn, the old private charitable
corporation was revived and is now in active and successful opera­
tion. Much of the pioneer and development work that has been done
in the legal-aid field must be credited to the foresight, enthusiasm,
and vitality that results from this form of organization. Such a
society has initiative because it is free. Control is vested in a board
o f directors chosen exclusively because of their interest in the work.
Though legally independent, these societies have worked in close
cooperation with the bar and thus have secured the substantial ad­
vantages of the Detroit Bar Association plan. In the judgment of
the writers of this report, it is probably safe to say that the privately
incorporated societies, taken as a whole, have made a better and
more consistent record o f performance than any other type, and it
is clear that this form of organization is excellently adapted to the
needs of the largest centers of population where the volume of legalaid work is likely to amount to about 5,000 cases a year or more.
The chief weakness o f the privately incorporated societies appears
on the financial side. The price of their independence is that they
must engineer their own financial support. As few legal-aid soci­
eties are old enough to have accumulated any endowment by gifts
under wills they can be supported only by appealing to the general
public for donations. This is the responsibility of the directors
and they have never been overly successful at it. While the com­
munity support has grown from year to year, it is undoubtedly
true that many societies have been starved and the normal develop­
ment and extension of their work have been retarded by inadequate
funds. This objection may be obviated by the increasing tendency
of all charities in a community to federate themselves for the pur­
pose of making a joint public appeal for financial support. Where



community chests and like plans exist, the burden of finances has
been lifted in a large measure from the boards of directors of the
legal-aid societies, leaving them free to devote their time and energy
to the management and guidance of the work itself.
Still another type of legal-aid organization is the one known as
the legal-aid “ clinic.55 Such an organization is connected with a law
school and has two objectives,#one in the field of public service and
the other in the field of legal education. Legal-aid clinics in con­
nection with legal-aid societies have existed for some time. Legalaid clinics exclusively in the control of law schools now exist at the
University of Southern California and at Duke University. This
newest type of organization is of such significance for the future
that chapter X V I I I will be devoted to a consideration of it.
The last, and in some respects the most interesting, type is that
of the public bureau which is generally organized as a department
o f the municipal government. In addition to the public defenders
noted in chapter X I, legal-aid work in the civil field is conducted
through public bureaus in Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles,
Bridgeport, Dayton, Duluth, Omaha, Hartford, New Haven, and
Dallas. The authority for the establishment of organizations of
this type will be found in the city charters or in special ordinances.
These public bureaus give rise to certain theoretical considerations
that go to the root of legal-aid work and which are discussed at the
end of this chapter. They also present certain practical advantages
and disadvantages. Whereas the greatest weakness of the private
society is the uncertainty of its financial support, a public bureau
ought to be comparatively free from this limitation.
Once its
appropriation is made, its finances are assured. Appropriations are
made annually and the amount may at any time be reduced but the
general tendency (with unfortunate exceptions) is for a municipal
government to continue to provide steady and definite support. In
at least one city the work has been stunted by a meager grant, but
taken as a whole the cities have been more generous in supporting
legal-aid work than the public at large when solicited for subscrip­
tions. This is apt to be the case because legal-aid work is not
expensive and the item seems an extremely small one in a municipal
budget. It is certainly true that in Philadelphia the work doubled
as soon as it was taken over by the city, because the enlarged financial
support made possible a larger staff which in its turn could care for
more cases.
The greatest asset of the private society, however, is that it is
controlled by a free and independent board of directors, and the
public bureau is deprived of this advantage. It is normally subject
to control by a city council composed of men who may well pass



the final vote on its appropriation but who are not specially qualified
to give any intelligent leadership in framing the general policies
of a legal-aid office. As was pointed out in chapter X I, where
this same problem arose in connection with the public defenders,
it may be possible through the bar associations to provide this
needed oversight. In a number of instances the local bar association,
recognizing the need for supervision over an activity in the lawyer’s
field, has appointed a legal-aid committee to cooperate with the
active organization. Such a committee is often given the authority
to extend whatever assistance may be called for. This is an ad­
mirable precedent, especially if such a legal-aid committee of the
local bar association can be developed into a sort of de facto board
of directors for a municipal bureau, giving it the needed leadership
in questions of general policy.
The public bureaus have been more successful than any other type
of organization in reaching the persons who need their help. The
National Association of Legal Aid Organizations has compiled tables
on this point which are submitted in the next chapter. They assume
that a standard legal-aid office should serve 1 person for each 100
of the population each year, and they show clearly that the public
bureaus outdistance all other types in approximating this standard.
This is partly because of their better financial support, but it is
chiefly due to the very fact that they are public. As such they become
better known to the community; their work is deemed of greater
interest and is accorded more space in the newspapers; as time goes
on the average citizen learns that there is a public legal-aid office,
just as he has already learned that there is a municipal court, a
police station, and a district attorney’s office, to any one of which he
is entitled to go for assistance.
I f the legal-aid organizations are destined to become auxiliary
parts o f 4he administration of justice in modern cities, then unques­
tionably the public office is the most logical form of organization
for legal-aid work to assume. Justice is a public and not a private
concern, and it would be intolerable if any essential part of the
machinery of justice were wholly dependent on the ability of a group
o f private individuals to provide the necessary funds. In a republic
the administration of justice must be subject to the direction and
control of the people acting through their own government, and by
the same token every division or department or adjunct of the
administration of justice must be obedient to public control.
A democratic form of government undeniably has certain dangers
and certain limitations, and any public service is exposed to the same
risks, but unless one is prepared to argue against democracy itself
43381— 36------------10



it is idle to complain of the shortcomings that follow in its train.
As the technique of government is improved so will the service of
all public agencies, including legal-aid bureaus, be improved. Civil­
ization itself depends on the ability o f democracies to develop and
maintain governments that are competent to deal with the complex
problems of modern society. I f the people of the United States are
to prove competent to manage their own destiny, as we must believe
they will prove to be, then it will be safe to entrust the public under­
taking of legal-aid work to their charge.
In the face of the disasters which have marked the establishment
o f the public bureau, the cessation o f the various offices, the turn­
over in personnel, the tendency of the work, unless carefully watched,
to fall into a spiritless routine, the risk that appointments to legalaid offices may not be made on the basis of qualifications for the
work, the theory still holds good that the administration of justice
is a public function. What the history of legal-aid work has taught
us is the same thing of which students of political science are con­
tinually aware—eternal vigilance is the price of good government.
The public gets just about what it wants in the way of government.
The failure of government institutions is not so much the failure of
the individual administrative officer as it is evidence of the decline
in public morale. The municipal legal-aid bureau to be successful
must be hedged about with many more safeguards than it has known
in the past.
It is probable that for another generation at least the public and
private types o f legal-aid organizations will exist side by side. The
transition from private to public control will come about slowly
and will be made one step at a time. This is eminently desirable
because legal-aid work still needs much development in many differ­
ent directions, and the private societies by virtue of their greater
freedom and independence are the natural bodies to tftidertake
experiments. This has been their great contribution in the past,
and there is every reason to expect that they will prove competent
to manage the same course in the future. As Elihu Root wrote to
the delegates assembled at the Cleveland meeting of the National
Association of Legal Aid Organizations in 1923, no one can evolve
out of his inner consciousness the answers to all the questions that
legal aid must face. Progress will be made only through lessons
learned in the school o f trial and error. The private societies can
afford to take chances that the public bureaus cannot, and the pri­
vate offices will therefore continue for some time yet to provide the
leadership in the legal-aid world. It is natural and entirely proper
for the public offices to stand by and await developments. As ex-



perience is gained they may appropriate it, and as processes become
standardized they may adopt them.
In the long run it is believed that the public bureau will prove
to be the prevailing type. But a public bureau need not be a munic­
ipal bureau. There are many ways in which a public legal-aid
bureau can be organized, supported, and directed. In a later chap­
ter some conjectures as to how this may best be done will be
suggested. It is believed by the authors of this report that ulti­
mately all legal-aid work will be taken over by public authority*,
and it is incumbent on those who are responsible for the direction
of the work to shape their course to this end. In no other way,
so far as can be seen, can the administration of justice finally be
rounded out so that it will be able to extend the equal protection
o f the laws to all persons in our great urban centers of population.

Chapter XVI.—Present Extent of Legal-Aid Work
To measure the extent of any national movement both quantita­
tively and qualitatively in order to reach reliable conclusions that
are not mere generalizations is a difficult task. In the strictest sense
it is an impossible task, because no single eye can follow closely
enough 84 or more legal-aid offices transacting 331,970 different cases
to determine with unerring accuracy how well each matter was
cared for. In order to provide some intelligent basis for the future
guidance o f the work, the National Association of Legal Aid Organi­
zations has necessarily been bound to inquire into its present extent
and condition and in the course of its researches it has secured the
data from which the material in this chapter is taken. While these
records do not purport to be infallible, they afford the best methods
of approach, and seem to reveal a picture that may be accepted as
a close approximation to the true state o f affairs.
The first and the simplest test is to fix the geographical extent
of the work. As noted in chapter X I I , legal aid developed first in
the East, then in the Middle West, and finally reached the Pacific
coast. When the pre-war era ended, two great sections of the
country were devoid of legal-aid organizations. The first includes
the Mountain States and embraces the territory east of the Pacific
coast and west of a line running from Minneapolis to Omaha and
to Dallas. This area is in the main sparsely settled, so that there
has been less need to make provision for legal aid.
The second section lay in general south of the Ohio and east of
the Mississippi. Here, while the population was greater than west
of the Mississippi, for some reason the movement in spite of occa­
sional brilliant efforts did not gain much headway. Since 1923 legalaid organizations have been set up in Denver and Salt Lake City,
and legal-aid work is done in Houston and San Antonio. Idaho
adopted legislation securing small-claims courts for the State and
North Dakota began her interesting experiment with conciliation
tribunals. Louisville in 1913 and Atlanta in 1924 formed incorpo­
rated legal-aid societies. In Memphis an incorporated society was
established and existed from 1923 to 1934. The failure of funds
caused it to cease operation. In Lexington, in 1923 an attorney was
employed on a part-time basis to care for cases referred by social
agencies. This arrangement lasted for several years. The bar asso140



ciation in Jacksonville in 1932 set up a legal-aid committee. Groups
in Miami and Tampa intermittently performed legal-aid service.
In New Orleans the Prison Aid Society in cooperation with the bar
association in 1931 evolved the New Orleans Legal Aid Bureau in
addition to the older State bar committee which has operated since
1913. Duke University in Durham established a legal-aid clinic
in 1931. At the time this is written groups in Richmond, Knox­
ville, Orlando, and Greenville are considering the inauguration of
the work.
The less consistent development of the work in the two regional
sections mentioned here is to be accounted for in many ways other
than by criticism of the courageous people who set up and for a
time maintained the offices. Recognition of the value of legal-aid
service comes only after a long period of community education
and adequate experimenting with forms suited to less thickly settled
conditions. When these two obstacles have been fully overcome
progress, no doubt, will be as rapid and as consistent as anywhere
Legal aid in the past has been essentially an urban problem.
Owing to the fact that the conditions which require the establish­
ment o f some type o f organization are found primarily in the larger
cities, a test was made to ascertain how far legal-aid work has ex­
tended into the cities of the United States. This test shows that in
1934 legal aid was definitely established in all of the 21 cities having
a population of over 350,000 in 1930, in 15 of the 20 cities with a
population o f 200,000 to 350,000, in 5 of the 10 cities with 150,000 to
200,000 population, and was fairly well established in 47 of the cities
having populations of 25,000 to 150,000.
In cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants the need for any sepa­
rately organized work is less clearly manifested. When it was pro­
posed to inaugurate the work in less densely settled districts a dif­
ferent type of arrangement was utilized. In effect the outlines of
this plan are already in existence in North Carolina where the Duke
Legal Aid Clinic accepts cases from over the entire State and work­
ing through a group of volunteer lawyers renders much more than
a local service. As an alternative the older Illinois plan promises
much, functioning as it does in cities of a population of 11,000,
1&,000, 16,000, 25,000, 30,000, and 47,000. In the smaller cities
and rural areas where the agencies for the solution of human prob­
lems are less highly specialized, it is very likely that legal-aid service
will find itself associated with either the work o f a social agency or
the work o f a university. Experience indicates that the extension
o f the work into such areas, if made on such a cooperative basis, is far
more likely to succeed. The arrangements designed to bring about



such joint effort are stated in the following chapters devoted to a
consideration of the general relationship between legal aid and social
service on the one hand and legal aid and law schools on the other.
In connection with the above statistics, the assumption that where
legal-aid work was definitely established the situation might be
deemed satisfactory was an arbitrary one. It is true that once the
work is organized and begun in a community the probabilities are
that it will grow from year to year until the legal-aid office is able
to care for all the cases of needy persons, but when we try to ascer­
tain the present extent of the work a more rigid rule must be applied.
The best test for this purpose that has thus far been devised is to
compare the number of cases handled by a legal-aid office with the
population of the city or district that it serves.
The figures in table 15 have been compiled by the secretary of
the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations. The con­
struction of this table is more difficult than appears on the surface.
The exact population served by a legal-aid office is indefinite; the
census figures are not always conclusive because a legal-aid office
may serve a territory either larger or smaller than the district used
by the census for purposes of enumeration. Furthermore, outside
factors enter to affect the number of cases that an office theoreti­
cally ought to receive in proportion to population; where smallclaims courts exist they handle many cases that in other juris­
dictions would come to the legal-aid office, and the same is true
of domestic-relations courts and labor commissioners. The figures
have been checked with the local legal-aid organizations as far as
possible, and even if they contain a margin of error we believe
that margin of error is too small to disturb the major conclusions
which are based on the table and which follow it. The table reduces
the total number o f cases received by each organization to a basis
showing how many cases were received for each 100 of the popula­
tion. Under the rough standard set up by the legal-aid organiza­
tions, there should be one case for each 100 inhabitants. Thus an
office handling 0.75 case per 100 of population may be said to be
filling three-quarters of the community’s entire need for legal aid;
one handling 0.50 case per 100 is meeting one-half the need, and so
on. The word “ case” deserves a definition. The National Associa­
tion of Legal Aid Organizations has adopted the following defini­
Any application which, in the discretion of the attorney handling it, may
be disposed of under one of the headings of our standard classifications in­
cluding both matters where legal aid is given and matters in which time
and effort alone are given, but not including applications in which neither
legal aid nor any appreciable time is given of which a recording is made.



T able

15 . —

N u m b e r o f cases o f legal a id p er 1 0 0 o f the p o p u la tio n , b y c it y , a nd
ty p e o f o rg a n iza tio n

C ity

N um b er
N um b er of cases
opulation of cases for each
T yp e of legal-aid organization Pse
r v e d 1 received 100 of
in 1933 * popula­

M e m b e r s N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f
L e g a l-A id O r g a n iz a tio n s

f 34,906
\ 7,000,000 \
30,551,658 219,280


P rivate corporation___________
____ d o _________________________
Social a g e n c y ........................... ......
____ d o ______ ___________________
M unicipal bureau................... ......
____ d o ................................................... } 1,500,000 / 15,690
____ d o ...............................................
\ 41,516
P rivate corporation___________
____ d o _________ _______________
Bar association committee
111, 171
Social agen cy_________ ________
B ar association com m ittee____

.2 8

A lb an y _________________________________ P rivate corporation___________
B altim ore______________________________ B ureau of social agen cy _______
B osto n ___________________________ ______ P rivate corporation___________
B ridgeport___________________________ M u n icip al bureau_____________
B uffalo_________________________________ P rivate'corporation___________
C am bridge_____________________________ ......... d o...................................................
Chicago: ~
L egal A id B u reau ___________ ______ Social agency—c lin ic__________
Jew ish Social Service B ureau______ _____d o .” . . . ! .....................................
C in cin n ati_____________________________ P rivate corporation___________
C levelan d ______________________________ ......... d o............................................ ..
D allas......................................................... .......... M u n icip al b u rea u ........................
D en v er_________________________________ B ar association com m ittee____
D etroit............................ ...................................... ____ d o............. ................................. ..
D u lu th .................................................................. M un icip al bureau_____________
D u rh am ________________________________ C lin ic. T________________________
G rand R ap id s__________________________ B ureau of social agen cy_______
H artfo rd .I____________ ______ __________ M un icip al bureau_____________
Jack son ville___________ _______________ ____ do__________________________
Los A n geles____________________________ C linic__________________________
L ou isville______________________________ P rivate corporation___________
M ad ison ............................... ........................... .. M u n icip al bureau_____________
M ilw au k ee_____________________________ Private'corporation___________
M inn eap olis____________________________ Social agency—c lin ic__________
M ontreal___________________ _________ __ Social agency__________________
N ew B edford________________________ _ M un icip al b u r e a u ..__________
N ew H a v e n ____________________________ ____ do__________________________
N ew York:
Legal A id S ociety ___________ ______ P rivate corporation___________
N ational D esertion B ureau________ D ep artm en t of social a g e n c y ..
E ducational A llian ce______________ ____ do___ ______________________
O akland________________________________ C linic...................................................
P h ilad elp h ia ___________________________ M unicipal b u re a u ..___________
P ittsb u rgh _____________ _____________
P rivate corporation......................
P rovidence___________________________ _ ____ do_____________________ ____
R ochester________ ______________________ ......... do...................................................
Salt L ake C ity _________________________ Social a g e n c y .________________
San F rancisco___________ _____________ P rivate corporation___________
Springfield_____________________________ M unicipal b u re a u .._______ ____
St. L ou is_______________________________ ____ d o _____________________ . . .
S t. P a u l _________________________
__ B ureau of social a g e n c y ______
T otal............... ............................ ............

- 464,000

N o n m e m b e r o rg a n iz a tio n s

A tla n ta _________________________________
D a y to n _________________________________
E rie_______________________________ _____
H arrisburg___________ _________________
K ansas C ity _______ ____________________
L os A ngeles (civ il):
C ity defender _____________________
C ou n ty defender___________________
N ew ark ________________________________
N ew O rleans__________________ ________
R eading________________________________
W ashington_________ ___________ ______
W heeling............. ................................... ............
T o ta l4..................................... ................
P u b lic or v o lu n ta r y d e fe n d e rs

B ridgeport_____________________________ M u n icip al bureau____________
C incinn ati_____________________________ P rivate corporation___________
C olum bus__________________ ___________ M u n icip al bureau___________
H artford...........................................................

146, 000



1 Population figures secured either from reports from the organizations or the World Almanac. The
difference in the figures for Hartford may be accounted for on the supposition that the reports on pop
ulation served did not come from the same source.
* Figures are for organizations reporting.
* N o data.
* W ith Los Angeles.

T able

15. —

N u m b e r o f cases o f legal a id p er 1 0 0 o f the p o p u la tio n , b y c i t y , a nd
ty p e o f org an iza tion — Continued

Number of cases
of cases for each
Type of legal aid-organization Population
served received 100 of
in 1933 popula­

P u b lic or v o lu n ta r y d efen d ers —Con.
Los Angeles (criminal):
City defender
County defender _____________
New York City (M anhattan)_______
Oakland _ _________________________
Pittsburgh- ______ _______________
San Diego ___________-_____________
Total a
_____ _____

Municipal Bureau___________
____ do_______________________ } 1,500,000 \
Private corporation__________ 1,867,312
Social agency________________
Private corporation__________ 1,374,622
Municipal bureau___________



* W ith others.

I f we add the population figures of the various cities served by
legal-aid offices of which we have records, an aggregate o f over
39,000,000 is obtained. As these legal-aid offices received in 1933
more than 300,000 cases, it is clear that they must develop much
further before they will be strong enough and possessed o f suffi­
ciently large staffs to meet the full demand for their assistance.
Grouping the organizations by type yields instructive results.
The statistics in table 16 are drawn from the detailed figures in
table 15.
T able

16 . —

N u m ber




legal a id p er
o rg a n iza tion

T yp e of organization


o f p o p u la tio n b y t y p e o f

N um b er of
N um b er of T otal popu­ T otal cases cases per
received in
100 of
serv ed 1

M e m b e r o r g a n iz a tio n s o f N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L e g a l
A i d O rg a n iz a tio n s

M u n icip al bureaus_____________________________________
P rivate corporations____________________________________
D epartm en ts of organized charities. _ _________________
B ureaus of bar associations............................................ .........
C linics (listed separately as su ch )_____ _________________

11 3,936,737
13 15,343,022
10 21,355,465
2 1,800,000
3 1,936,434











39 30,371,658
12 3,902,765
10 5,116,806



N o n m e m b e r o r g a n iz a tio n s

M u n icip al bureaus_____________ ________________________
P rivate c o r p o r a tio n s .______________ ___________________
D ep artm en ts of organized charities_____________________
B ureaus of bar associations_____________________________
P u b lic o r v o lu n ta r y d e fe n d e rs

M u n icip al bureaus_____________ _________ ______________
P rivate corporations— ............................................... ..................
D ep artm en ts of organized charities____ ________________
R e c a p itu la tio n o f to ta ls

M em ber o rg a n iza tio n s...____ ___________ ______________
N onm em ber organizations_____ ________________________
P u b lic or volu n tary defenders__________________________
T o t a ls ................................................ ...................................

1 T his figure is exclu sive o f du plications caused by th e presence o f m ore th an 1 legalaid agency in a single city.
2 F igu res are for organ ization s reporting.



The actual legal-aid work is performed by the lawyers, stenog­
raphers, clerks, and investigators employed by the legal-aid organiza­
tions/ The number o f cases cared for is primarily dependent on
the size o f the office staff. It is difficult to construct a table showing
the number of persons on the legal-aid staffs, because such data are
not readily available and because in the smaller offices so many parttime arrangements are in effect. It has been necessary to ascertain
the proportion of time such workers devote exclusively to legal aid,
and any such apportionment can be only an estimate. Figures pre­
pared by the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations show
that o f the 21 organizations for which it has reports, 6 have staffs
equivalent to 10 or more full-time workers, 2 have 8, 9 have 5 to 6,
2 have 4, 1 has 3, and 1 has 1. It may be assumed that in each
of the other organizations not reporting there is the equivalent
of one attorney and one stenographer. Exact figures are impossible
to secure because of volunteers, legal-aid clinic workers, and others
who do not fit into the classification. The statistics show that there
is now engaged in legal-aid work in the organizations reporting
an aggregate full-time staff of at least 81 lawyers, 70 clerks, and
25 investigators. The organizations have progressed far enough
to be able to provide to their clients the services of between two
and three hundred specially trained workers. To these overworked
and generally underpaid men and women belongs the credit for the
excellent record that the legal-aid organizations have made.
The present staffs of legal-aid organizations are already over­
loaded with cases. To do the more extended work that is necessary
means that the offices must have larger staffs and this in turn calls
for more adequate financial support. The legal-aid organizations
are all poor and they always have been. I f they had known in
1916 than a war was coming the effect of which on them, in common
with everybody else, would be to double the cost of operations, they
would probably have felt that to double their income was an im­
possibility. Nevertheless, they weathered this storm. The average
cost per case was $1.47 in 1916, $2.82 in 1923, and $1.45 in 1933; yet
their budgets have expanded rapidly enough during the 18-year
period to meet an increased total cost and in many instances to per­
mit a substantially larger volume of work to be undertaken. The
following table gives comparative records for 1916, 1923, and 1933.
These records are taken from those reported by the National Asso­
ciation of Legal Aid Organizations to the legal-aid committee of
the American Bar Association for organizations existing in the years
indicated. What can be accomplished in the future is best evidenced
by what has already been accomplished.



T able 17 . —

N u m ber



a n d gross ex p e n se s, 1 9 1 6 , 1 9 2 3 , a n d
o r g a n iz a tio n 1


O rganization

M e m b e r s N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L e g a l- A id
O rg a n iz a tio n s

A lb a n y _________________________________________________
B altim ore______________________________________________
B oston ________. ____________________________ ___________
B ridgeport____________________________ _______ _________
B uffalo_____ ____________________________ ______________
C am bridge_____________________________________________
C hicago L egal A id B u reau_______________ ____________
Chicago Jew ish Social Service B ureau________________
C in cinn ati_____________________________________________
C levelan d ______________________________________________
D a lla s ........................................................... ................................. ..
D en v er_____ _________ __________________________________
D etroit_________________________________________________
D u lu th _______________ _ _____________
D u rh am _________________________________ _____________
G rand R ap id s_________________________________________
H artford. I______________________________ ______________
Los A ngeles____________________________________________
L ou isville__ __
___ ____________ _ ___________
M ad ison __________ _____________________________________
M ilw au k ee______ ______________ _______________________
M in n eap olis___________________________________________
M ontreal_______________________________________________
N ew H av en ____________________________________________
N ew Y ork L egal A id S ociety__________________________
N ew Y ork N ation al D esertion B ureau _______________
N ew Y ork E ducational A llian ce______________________
O akland___________________________ ____________________
P h ilad elp h ia _________________________________________ .
P ittsb u rgh . _ _____________ ___________ __ _____________
P ro v id e n ce ... __ ____________________ _____________
R ochester______________________________________________
Salt L ake C ity _________________________________________
San F rancisco__________________________________________
S p rin gfield .. __________________ _____________________
St. L ou is_______________________________________________
St. P au l........................................................................ .......................
T o ta l................................................................................ ........










P u b lic o r v o lu n ta r y d e fe n d e r s

C in c in n a ti.. _____________ ___________ ____________
L os A ngeles (crim inal):
C ity defender______________________________________ } 8,848
C ou n ty defender__________________________________
N ew Y ork (M a n h a ttan )______________________________
O akland___________ ____________________________________
San D iego__
___________ _________________________
T o ta l_______ _______ ______________________________ _

1 F igures for organizations reporting.
2 No record kept.
8 4 m onths.



966 $4,019
4,564 11,000
2,608 $6,498 6,742 $31,070 11,935 41,360
1,616 2,372 3,416 13,506 8,355 26,862
16,697 18,318 16,227 25,670 24,337 45,233
4,686 25,297
1,698 1,359 1,016 2,500 6,942 10,122
4,946 3, 210 5,948 19,035 8,560 16,685
500 2,803 10,958 29,284 17,818
532 1,200 1,593
1,174 2,038 2,380 6,867 1,828
3,029 3,435 1,559 6,402 2,302
41,646 44,648 29,270 81,252 34,906 124,108
900 16,718
957 11,699 1,309 16,718
5,788 6,959 2,995 7,656 3,137
4,845 4,437 12,500 28,555 3,562
684 1,882
350 1,685 4,538 12,627
382 1,313 1,056 4,350 3,521 11,153
993 1,011 7,818 4,193
1,235 5,857 1,398 8,008 25,200
92,681 140,929 94,476 273,250 219,280 434,131

N o n m e m b e r o r g a n iz a tio n s

A tla n ta ________________________________________________
D a y to n ___________ _______ ______________________ _______
E rie_____________ ______________________________________
H arrisburg____________________________________________
K ansas C ity ___________________________________________
L os A ngeles (civ il):
C ity defender______________________________________
C ou n ty defender _______ __________________________
N ew ark __________________ _____________________________
N ew O rleans. _
______________ . ___________
R ead ing________________________________________________
W ash in gton .
W heeling_____ __ _____________________________________
T o ta l........................................................................................

1 9 3 3 , by

21,199 \f 1,495


41, 516
80, 757








There is no royal road to finance. The societies have no substan­
tial endowments, and they are maintained by annual contributions
or appropriations. O f the organizations named above because of
their noteworthy financial record, 18 derived their greater funds
from increased public appropriations, 19 from community funds, 7
from more generous backing by members of the bar, and 10 from
greater support by the community at large. Table 18 analyzes the
various sources from which the legal-aid organizations derive their
T able

18 . —

S o u rces

o f in co m e o f the lega l-a id o rg a n iza tion s in 1 9 3 3 , b y cities

C ity

m u­
Subscrip­ Subscrip­ G rants C om
n ity M iscella­
M u n ici­ tions from tions
pal aid in d ivid ­ th e bar
agencies funds,

M e m b e r s N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L e g a lA i d O r g a n iz a tio n s

A lb a n y ___ _____ ___________ ______________
B altim ore _
B oston. ___
B ridgeport _ _
B uffalo........................................................................
C am bridge........... ......................................... ..
Chicago: “
Legal-aid bureau...........................................
Jew ish social-service bureau__________
C in cinn ati................................................................
C leveland................................................................
D allas..........................................................................
D en v er.......................................................................
D etroit........................................................................
D u lu th .......... ......................................
D u rh am .....................................................................
G rand R apids.....................................................
H artford.....................................................................
L os A ngeles_______________________________
L ou isville....... ...........................................................
M adison..........I.........................................................
M ilw aukee................. ..............................................
M in n eap olis.............................................................
M ontreal________ _________ ____________
N ew B edford...........................................................
N ew H aven ______________ ________ _____
N ew York:
Legal-aid so ciety ....... .............................. ..
N ational desertion bureau_________
E ducational alliance__________ _____
O akland.....................................................................
P hilad elp h ia............................................................
P ittsbu rgh .................................................................
R ochester...................................................................
Salt L ake C ity ......................................................
San Francisco......... .................................................
Springfield....................................... .......................
St. L o u is ..................................................................
St. P au l.......................................................................














N o n m e n b e r o r g a n iz a tio n s

1 Data are for organizations reporting.






A tla n ta ........................ ...........................................
D a y t o n ....................................................................
E rie...............................................................................
K ansas C ity .................................................... ........
L os A ngeles (civ il):
C ity defender....... ............................. ............
C ou n ty d e fe n d e r ........................................
N ew ark ......... .............................................................
N ew O rleans____ ________ ______
R eading___________________________________
W ashington__
W heeling.................................................................... ..........


















T able

18 .—

S o u rc e s o f in co m e o f the lega l-a id org a n iza tion s in 1 9 8 8 , b y cities —


C ity

m u­
Subscrip­ Subscrip­ G rants C om
n ity
M u n ici­ tions from tions
M iscella­
pal aid in d iv id ­ th e bar
agencies funds,

P u b lic or v olu n ta ry defen ders

B rid gep ort________________________________
C in cinn ati___________ ______ ____________
C olu m b u s_________________ _ _ _________
H artford__________________________________
L os Angeles (crim inal):
C ity d e fe n d e r ._ ___ ____________
C ou n ty defender __________________
N ew Y ork C i t y __________________________
O akland___________________________________
P ittsb u rg h ______________ _________________
San D iego_________________________________






The organizations receiving municipal aid are all municipal bu­
reaus except those in Buffalo and Baltimore. The organization in
Buffalo receives a public grant, and the one in Baltimore is furnished
its office quarters in a municipally owned building. The bureaus sup­
ported by social agencies are all operated as departments of some or­
ganized charity except in Boston, where the legal-aid society is defi­
nitely retained by certain social agencies to care for all the legal ques­
tions arising in the course of their own work.
The legal-aid organizations need, and are entitled to receive, greater
financial support. The expense of their work, when compared with
other forms of social service, is trifling. A vast amount of work can
be performed on a small budget. It is easily within the power of each
community to maintain a legal-aid office sufficiently maimed and
equipped to care for all the cases of all the persons who are entitled
to its assistance. The experience of the older* and more strongly
entrenched organizations is, on the whole, distinctly encouraging.
Each year the true nature and importance of the work becomes
clearer, more persons learn to appreciate the value of this type of
public service, a wider interest in the undertaking grows up, and as
a result the legal-aid society or bureau receives more funds whether
from public appropriations or private subscriptions. In short, legalaid work must earn its own way. It must command the respect of
public opinion, and it must win the sympathy of public-spirited citi­
zens for its ideals and purposes. Where legal-aid work is properly
interpreted so that its function is plainly understood, there is every
reason to believe and confidently to expect that it will receive ade­
quate support from the community which it serves.

Chapter XVII.—Legal-Aid and Social-Service Agencies
Whether a legal-aid society is visualized simply as furnishing a
form of charity, like a hospital or a children’s aid society, or is re­
garded as a modern adjunct to the public administration of justice
and as essential thereto as is the district attorney’s office or the proba­
tion staff in a municipal criminal court, it is clear that between the
legal-aid organizations on the one hand and the social-service agen­
cies on the other there should be a close and definite relationship.
Both are supported by the same community, both exist to serve the
same community. While certain questions as to the precise nature
of this interrelationship remain as yet unanswered, there has been
during the last 10 years a rapid progress toward a more intelligent
and better articulated cooperation.
For many years social agencies have played an active and im­
portant part in fostering and conducting legal-aid work. As re­
ported in chapter X V many offices are organized under the auspices
of social or charitable agencies. For example, in such cities as
Akron, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Seattle, Yonkers, Indianapolis, the
social agency has been the central point around which local legal-aid
work functions. Attorneys are made available in specific cases
where legal advice is necessary. In Plainfield, Wilkes-Barre, Sche­
nectady, Canton, Washington, Jacksonville, Houston, Harrisburg,
Montreal, and Troy, the history of the past decade shows legal-aid
work for a time at least on what is largely a cooperative basis be­
tween committees of lawyers and social agencies. In Baltimore,
Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, the National Desertion Bureau in New
York, and Springfield, Mass., the legal-aid work was fostered by
social agencies although in some instances, such as Baltimore, Min­
neapolis, and Springfield, the organizations are now independent
agencies. Finally, in Chicago, both in the legal-aid bureau o f the
United Charities and in the Jewish Social Service Bureau, in New
York in the legal-aid bureau of the Educational Alliance, and in St.
Paul the legal-aid offices are in the same building with the parent
charity organization whose executive director maintains a super­
vision o f the work just as over other departments of the organiza­
tion’s activities. In the various state-wide plans that we have de­
scribed the obligation of legal-aid work to the social-service field
is well recognized.
From the beginning the question has been argued: Is a legal-aid
society a law office or a social agency? When the national associa-








tion was originally formed it was obvious that an answer to this
question must be found. The proceedings of the earlier meetings
indicate that some of the liveliest discussion raged around the point
and there was some possibility that the movement might split into
two irreconcilable factions. The association appreciated the serious­
ness o f the matter and laid plans for its solution. Two committees,
one on relations with the bar and the other on relations with social
agencies, were appointed. Every effort was made to encourage free
discussion and an advance in thought.
During the past 10 years progress toward mutual understanding
has been substantial. Individual legal-aid societies and individual
social agencies set to work to develop a basis for local cooperation.
For example, in 1928 the Association of the Bar of the City of New
York and the Welfare Council of New York City published a re­
port of a joint committee for the study of legal aid designed to
determine the relationship between the two groups and to provide
for more adequate handling of cases. The following statement in­
dicates something of the spirit of the report:
* * * While there may have been, and undoubtedly was, a consciousness
that legal-aid work had its distinct place in the welfare field just as organized
medical service does, through the very fact that there was need of legal aid in
the field of human welfare still, the legal-aid agencies themselves were not
thought of as a factor in the general organized welfare field. It is only within
the last several years that this consciousness has been developing. A t the
present time, while legal aid holds an intermediate position between the bar
and the social agencies, it is regarded by itself, the bar, and the social agencies
as a factor in social control and hence as having a special place and function
in the general welfare field. In fact it was this realization which partly roused
legal aid to sponsor this survey.

From this there developed a legal-aid section of the Welfare
Council o f New York City, which has held a number o f meetings for
the discussion of specific problems. There are other examples of
the growth o f local harmony. Community funds generally have
accepted legal-aid societies as members and have anticipated that
they would act as legal-aid advisors to the other member agencies.
In Boston certain social agencies specifically retained the Boston
Legal Aid Society as their counsel. Individual legal-aid attorneys
have served on boards of social agencies and have been active in
promoting welfare legislation. In a number of cities—New York,
Rochester, and Durham—the legal-aid society has prepared and
distributed to the social agencies a handbook describing its work.
The National Association of Legal Aid Organizations also has
played a part in the development o f these interprofessional contacts.
In 1923 the National Conference of Social Work had a section on
law and government. Among the speakers in this section were two,



one of whom discussed legal-aid work from the legal side, and the
other from the social side. Again in 1926 the section on delinquents
and correction had two speakers presenting both sides of the prob­
lem. In the following year the section on professional standards
and education also presented two speakers. In 1928 at Memphis
a round table on legal-aid work was held at which a number of
persons in the social-work field who knew about the subject pre­
sented their viewpoints. The round-table idea proved so interesting
that in 1930 at Boston a special section meeting was held and since
1932 the committee of the National Association on Relations with
Social Agencies has annually conducted a round table, attended by
many persons from both legal-aid and social-work groups.
Legal-aid work has been presented at the following State confer­
ences of social w ork: Michigan in 1924; Pennsylvania in 1925, 1926,
and 1928; Tennessee in 1926; Ohio in 1927; and Illinois in 1928.
A t the Illinois meeting a regular course in legal-aid work was pre­
sented. In 1930 the California and Minnesota State conferences
listened to talks on the subject and a course of lectures was given
at the Minnesota conference. The West Coast Conference o f Legal
Aid Societies has held meetings annually since 1931 with the Cali­
fornia State conference. In 1931 the North Carolina conference
and in 1932 the Florida conference also had discussions on this
subject. A record of these contacts is found in the reports of the
committee on relation with social agencies.
As mutual understanding increased it became obvious that among
the many agencies in the social-work field the Family Society (often
known as the Family Welfare Society) was the one most likely to
come in contact with problems of interest also to legal-aid organi­
zations. Consequently, in 1925 under the leadership of Joel D.
Hunter o f the United Charities of Chicago two committees, one
from the Family Society of America and the other from the Na­
tional Association of Legal Aid Organizations, met in order to
examine the limits of the legal-social field and see to it that safe­
guards are provided so that no case arising anywhere within the
jurisdiction o f either organization fails to receive an adequate rem­
edy. Those who gathered at this meeting realized that a degree
o f intellectual cooperation had to be established before any practical
advance could be made. Consequently, they set themselves the task
o f surveying the socio-legal field. The meeting was so successful
that further conferences were held annually, the last one being in
1932. The meeting discussed among other matters legal-aid work
in rural communities to be accomplished by a cooperative system
between bar associations and social agencies, how to handle psycho­
pathic cases, protection for the immigrant, the ethical problems



behind the use o f the social-service index by a legal-aid society, the
problem of educating the next generation of lawyers and social
workers to understand the need for interprofessional relationships.
These meetings in themselves signify the greatest forward step that
has been made, and they provided an inspiration for much further
Among their concrete results are: First, the disclosure of the need
to provide a literature before there could be an independent discus­
sion in such a field. In the past few years a number of books and
articles have appeared, as will be indicated more definitely by refer­
ence to appendix F. Second, in several schools of social work—the
Pennsylvania School o f Social and Health Work, the Graduate
School of Social Service Administration of the University o f B uf­
falo, the School of Social Service Administration o f the University
of Chicago, Fordham University, Western Reserve, Loyola Uni­
versity, for example—courses in law have been offered.
courses are designed to deal more with interprofessional relation­
ship than with specific fields of law such as crime, delinquents, and
probation work. The following quotation from the catalog of the
Pennsylvania School of Social and Health Work will suggest the
This course will present, through lectures, readings, and class discussions
of specific cases, the essential facts about the law and legal procedure relating
to common problems arising in social work. It will include the following
topics: Contract law, including partnerships, installments, small loans,
and investments; tort law, including workmen’s compensation, negligence,
slander, fraud, etc.; property law, including real property sales, mort­
gages, leases, relationship of landlord and tenant, and personal property
rights; estate law, including wills, settling estates, trusts, estates of married
women and minors, of insane and feeble-minded, life insurance and bankruptcy;
domestic relations law, including annulment, divorce, separation and desertion,
nonsupport, adoption and guardianship, crimes against children, illegitimacy,
etc.; criminal law, including the law of evidence, procedure, defense, etc.; and
certain miscellaneous topics.
Special' attention will be given to the relation­
ships between legal-aid organizations and general social agencies.

It is apparent from the foregoing that much headway has been
made in the effort to interpret each field to the workers in the other.
It is important to summarize this growth.
The Committee on Relations with Social Agencies, already re­
ferred to, submitted at the 1934 meeting of the National Association
of Legal Aid Organizations a report of its work during the preced­
ing years. In so doing it expressed the philosophy of the joint move­
ment in the following words:
The substance of this philosophy is that the legal-aid movement is a part
of the great enterprise of coordinating law with the other social sciences; that
legal-aid work is somewhat like a buffer state with law on the one hand and



social work on the other; that therefore, because of the nature of their
support and the class of persons served, legal-aid organizations are definitely
charged with a relatively higher degree of social responsibility in their com­
munities than private law offices; and that legal-aid work can be of tre­
mendous value to other social agencies in furthering their purposes by be­
coming the medium by which the force and sanction of law can be applied
to social problems and by initiating and promoting remedial legislation for
the protection of their mutual clientele.
This philosophy allows the retention by each group of its identity and par­
ticular function in the larger field of social service and yet at the same
time permits the fostering and development of effective relations between

To achieve this degree of understanding, however, it was neces­
sary that there should be a constant evolution of thought. One
starts with the conception of the various professional groups being
organized to protect the community from certain hostile conditions.
In every professional field there is a movement to prevent disaster
to the individual citizen and another movement to remedy his con­
dition after the catastrophe has overtaken him. Law and legal
machinery are properly regarded as preventive as well as remedial
devices in such a system. I f an unpaid wage earner with the help of
a legal-aid organization can secure his money from his employer
within a reasonable time after it is due, he will not need a relief
agency to give him food. I f a woman deserted by her husband
can find a means of having the machinery of the law function in her
behalf, she will not need to go to relief agencies for clothing for
herself and her children. I f the widow and the orphan can find
adequate legal protection in time of need it will not be necessary
for them to seek shelter at the hands of charity. It is less expensive
to make the machinery of the law work and give people their rights
than it is to allow them to become demoralized and then start in
the long process of restoring their morale, rehabilitating them
physically, and setting them again on the road to self-support. A
community which invests its money in devices to make the machin­
ery of the law function is therefore taking a step in the direction
of long-time economy.
The position of the legal-aid society in such a concept arrived
more slowly. A t first the parties interested talked in terms of legal
justice and social justice and endeavored to draw a line between
them, deciding that certain cases fell on one side and other cases
on the other. It became apparent that this was an unsatisfactory
view because the individual client coming to the legal-aid society
probably had a dozen social problems bothering him of which the
legal-aid attorney might be completely unaware. The applicant to
the social agency might have a dozen legal problems, not one of
43381— 36------- 11



which would make any impression on the social worker. Viewing the
problem in terms of serving the client rather than with a hope of
marking off the limits of the legal field and guarding it against en­
croachments, it became clear that legal-aid work was concerned with
the administration of justice. The administration of justice was con­
cerned with other social and economic movements. The legal-aid
society then became a connecting link between the legal profession
and the workers in the fields of the other professions.
It would be pleasant to conclude that the problem is solved. As
a matter of fact the acceptance of a philosophy of solution is only
the first step. Other steps must be taken promptly. There is still
a divergence in viewpoint between lawyers and social workers. Prac­
tice lags behind theory. There has not yet been complete acceptance
of the idea of a mutual goal, namely, the solving of the client’s
problems whatever they may be. Much of this can be accounted
for by the fact that the legal profession since its inception has func­
tioned amid a mass of rules and precedents. The standards of the
social worker are just beginning to crystallize into a similar body
of conservative opinion. Obviously two groups with such different
backgrounds must take time to adjust themselves one to the other.
A second problem for solution is the adoption of an interprofes­
sional vocabulary or at least a recognition of the fact that a word
in one field has connotations quite distinct from what it may have in
the other. For example, legal-aid societies are accustomed to speak
of clients as “worthy” or “ unworthy.” This term to the legal mind
usually is in no sense a moral judgment but is rather a test of the
legal validity of the client’s position. The social worker viewing
the word from the standpoint of its moral connotation asks by what
authority the lawyer presumes to determine such a question. Simi­
larly the word “social” to many lawyers is tied into the idea of
socialism. The words “conciliation” and “investigation” have sub­
stantially different significance. Some effort at translation is neces­
sary here or the very language that is used will prove a stumbling
Other problems should be noted. Social agencies are inclined to
complain that legal-aid organizations do not handle as much work as
the social agencies think they should.
The legal-aid organization
replies that it does all it can with the limited funds at its disposal
A s a practical matter the cost of handling the average case in
the legal-aid field is very much less than the cost of handling the
average case in a relief agency, but, even so, legal-aid organizations
have not reached the point where they can be said to be handling
all the legal-aid problems in their community. Perhaps the most
serious obstacle of all is the inability of each group to diagnose



effectively the problems of the client. A lawyer familiar with legal
symptoms can tell what the law can do for the particular individual.
The social agency is equally expert in detecting social problems.
But lawyers fail to call in social agencies and social agencies fail
to call in lawyers because neither group realizes as fully as it should
the fact that the client’s problems extend beyond its own field.
It is clear, therefore, that while progress has been made it is neces­
sary to go much farther before the relationship is cemented.
Looking ahead it seems that the future calls for activity along
three lines, i. e., there should be more conferences between the two
groups, using as the material for discussion specific actual cases;
there should be more literature discussing the whole field for the
benefit of those who cannot attend the conferences and for students
generally; there should be more courses on law in schools of social
work. Doubtless now with the beginning already made these
further developments are merely a matter of time and intelligent
It would not do, however, to assume that all the educational
responsibility should be thrown upon the shoulders of the social
The lawyer is at least as much in need of information.
So, when we advocate courses in law schools of social work as
a means of interprofessional understanding, we should also recom­
mend courses in social work in schools of law. The nearest approach
that can be found in the law schools is the teaching usually given
in a course entitled “legal-aid clinic” work. This is discussed in the
next chapter.

Chapter XVIII.—Legal-Aid Work in the Law Schools
The legal-aid clinic is the outgrowth of certain needs common to
the legal-aid movement and to legal education. Each group ex­
ploring the boundaries of its own field found in the interstitial area
possibilities for mutual development.
From the beginning, legal-aid organizations have been handi­
capped because of the perennial need of securing new lawyers ade­
quately prepared to assume staff duty. Competition for the highranking law-school graduates has been keen. Large law offices and
public positions offered larger salaries and enticing prospects. Even
after he was secured, the legal-aid attorney might not remain in
the position any substantial length of time. A number of men, for
example, in New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, and
Los Angeles, after serving as legal-aid attorneys, have been elevated
to the bench. Whenever a vacancy occurred it was necessary not
only to discover a suitable successor but to spend much valuable
time in training him for the work.
There was a second need. Legal-aid organizations have realized
that a large section of the bar does not understand their work and
on that account has given it all too little moral support. Leading
members of the medical profession are accustomed to give their time
to work in free clinics but there was no corresponding device in the
legal field. Legal-aid clients hesitated to go to leading law offices
not knowing that free service was available. Those who had courage
to go felt, as they sat in the waiting rooms, that they were charity
clients. So there was little chance for the bar to know at first hand
the conditions under which justice was administered to poor people.
A t the same time the law-school faculties were faced with the
problem of teaching practice to their students. Legal education
in the United States beginning with an apprenticeship system and
proceeding through stages of lecture, textbook, and case instruc­
tion has emphasized the substantive law and brought the teaching
of law as a science to a high degree of perfection. The law office
originally paralleled the law school and served as a training ground
for the young lawyers in learning to apply the law. During the
last 50 years, because of competition, specialization, and other rea­
sons, the law office became less and less adapted to the needs of legal
education. The client, not the student, was the focus of attention.
The lawyer had little time for discussion with neophytes and if he



could do something better and quicker than an assistant, he did it.
The administration of justice has suffered because the younger men
coming to the bar were not taught to regard practice as an art.
They tended to learn the existing system with its good and bad
points, accept it, and make no move to keep it abreast of the times.
The public, for whom the system was established, has not been so
There was need, therefore, for some device in the field of legal edu­
cation which would provide the student with an adequate founda­
tion of practical training which would give him perspective and
vision and the ability to view critically and constructively the ma­
chinery set up to administer justice. There was need for the de­
velopment of an ethical idealism which would draw the younger men
into the battle for law reform, which would require them to include
in their legal thinking the repercussions in a case at law arising
because the human element keeps intruding upon the logical field.
For such reasons both legal-aid societies and law-school faculties
sought a solution.
It was not until 1893 that an answer was foreshadowed. In that
year some of the students at the law school of the University of
Pennsylvania established a legal dispensary. The analogy to the
field of medical education with its training of young doctors during
their period of interneship is apparent in the use of the word “ dis­
pensary” and the later word “ clinic.” These words were borrowed
by the legal field with full knowledge that the legal and medical
connotations differed. They are applied to an office and a method
where the young lawyer in contact with real clients and real cases,
but under supervision of more experienced practitioners, is taught
to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and thus qualify
himself to serve the public.
The first period in the development of the clinic idea runs from
1893 until 1907. It is marked by two attempts, both of which failed.
The enterprise at the University of Pennsylvania was soon discon­
tinued. Eleven years later, in 1904, at the University of Denver a
legal-aid clinic was established which functioned effectively for 6
years and then became so popular that the expense of operating it
was prohibitive and it was abandoned. It was so successful that
the legislature of Colorado passed a law permitting law students
to appear in court. In 1907 Arthur V . Briesen, president of the
New York Legal A id Society, published an article in the New York
Legal Aid Review in which he described the work of a “ dispensary”
in Copenhagen. It is impossible to tell at this late date just what
effect the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Denver,
and the Copenhagen experiments had on the development of the



work in the United States. I t is clear, however, that a number of
persons were interested. Several articles were written and the way
was paved for a more impressive advance.
The second period, from 1908 to 1916, was one of very definite
growth. The Chicago Legal A id Society and the Northwestern
University Law School entered into a cooperative arrangement
which has lasted to the present time. Law students, under super­
vision, were given an opportunity to handle actual cases in the offices
of the society. Eventually the work was made a required course
for all students. In 1913 the University of Minnesota Law School
and the Minneapolis Legal A id Society formed a similar partner­
ship which has continued and is still in effect. The clinic work is a
part o f the practice course at the law school and the students come
to the legal-aid society’s office for a certain period of time and
handle such cases as arise. In 1913 a group of students at Harvard
established the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau which, ever since, like
the Harvard Law Review, has been run as an honor student enter­
prise. In 1914, 1915, and 1916, respectively, the law schools at
George Washington, Yale, and Tennessee made experiments. These
last three ventures were not sufficiently established at the time of
the W orld W ar to survive the general dislocation of legal-aid work
that ensued. In addition to the more formal developments men­
tioned above, several legal-aid societies formed the habit of taking
law students on their staffs. Thus the New York Legal A id Society
for many years has taken such students for their summer work.
This second period was marked not only by the development of
permanent organizations but by a greater understanding of the
device and its possibilities. The dual objectives of the clinic, active
both in public service and in legal education, were recognized. The
legal-aid movement benefited by the increasing number of young
lawyers who went out from these law schools armed with the infor­
mation about the value of legal-aid-clinic service. The form of or­
ganization, in each instance dependent upon local conditions, was
still too experimental to warrant generalizations.
During the long period between 1916 and 1927 no new legal-aid
clinics were established. Y et the movement was far from inactive.
The organizations at Northwestern, Minnesota, and Harvard La^v
Schools continued. A few articles were written. Time was needed
for the legal-aid movement to recover its pre-war momentum and
creative interest. Finally, the occasion arose. In 1927 the legal-aid
society in Cincinnati and the law school at the University of Cin­
cinnati formed a clinic partnership.
In 1929 the University of
Southern California established under its own control an organi­
zation for this purpose with offices in the law-school building. In
1930 the University of California at Berkeley and the Oakland



Legal A id Society entered into negotiations which culminated in a
definite organization.
In 1931 the new law school at Duke U ni­
versity set up a new kind of clinic which was designed to serve
the entire State. In 1934 the law school at the Southwestern U ni­
versity in Los Angeles followed the example of the University of
Southern California.
In addition to these definite formal developments, a much wider
spread of legal aid and law school cooperation may be noted. In
Washington, D . C., the establishment of the Washington Legal A id
Bureau in 1932 formed a nucleus around which the three law schools
of the Catholic University of America, Georgetown, and George
Washington arranged to give clinical experience to some of their
students. The University of Louisville and the Legal A id Society
of Louisville, occupying offices in adjoining buildings, cut a pas­
sageway through the dividing wall and thus facilitated access by
the students to the office where the cases were handled.
A t Yale
arrangements were made with the New Haven Legal A id Bureau.
Similar plans were worked out at Washington University in St.
Louis, at Pittsburgh, and more recently at Stanford and Ohio State
This third period has been marked by a greatly increased interest.
A substantial literature of criticism and exposition has arisen.
There is now sufficient experience so that administrative problems
may be discussed and the various solutions compared. A Handbook
on Legal A id Clinics prepared at the University of Southern Cali­
fornia presents a first attempt at describing the details of office
There are now three general types of legal-aid clinics. The sole
example of the first is the Harvard Legal A id Bureau. This is
operated by students with no official faculty supervision, but with
advice when requested from the Boston Legal A id Society. W hile
the organization itself is an excellent one and does commendable
work, yet the type is not likely to be copied widely. It does not
reach all the students and very often those men who need it par­
ticularly are denied participation. Even under the most rigid super­
vision mistakes are always being made in law offices. Where the
staff is composed of inexperienced students and there is compara­
tively little supervision, the opportunities for the student to bear
responsibility and gather experience are great. But law schools are
not likely to favor a plan which calls for their financial aid and yet
denies them the right to direct the activities and keep a close check
on the student. A medical clinic does not often allow the internes
to gain experience at the expense of the public.
The second type of organization has a cooperative or partnership
basis. In communities where there is an existing legal-aid organiza-



tion and where local conditions are such that cooperation between
it and a law school are feasible, admirable results are obtained.
But there are certain inherent administrative problems, namely, the
Stanford law students come many miles from Palo Alto to Oakland;
the University of California students travel 7 or 8 miles to the Oak­
land Legal A id Society; the Minnesota student must find a way to
cover the 2 or 8 miles to the Minneapolis Legal A id Society before
he can begin his work. Again, the presence of untrained students
in the legal-aid office is not always an unmixed blessing. The at­
torneys trained to high-speed efficiency are constantly delayed by
having to explain procedures and check details in the student’s
activity. Consequently, it has been found necessary to have at hand
a member of the staff, who is also a member of the law-school
faculty, specifically in charge of the student. Such a supervisor
has time enough to explain the whys and wherefores of the simplest
steps. The task requires a great amount of insight, patience, tact,
and judgment. To load such a person with the further administra­
tive labors of directing the legal-aid organization, at least in large
cities, is impracticable. The development of a cooperative legalaid clinic usually requires the addition of a new staff member.
The third type of organization, of which the University of
Southern California and the Duke University offices are examples,
takes the process one step further. The Harvard bureau is a legalaid society staffed by students. The cooperative bureaus are legalaid societies with a department devoted to training law students.
The third type is a law-school enterprise which fuses the two func­
tions of service to the student and service to the client. Adminis­
tratively it is easier to operate because the head of the organization
may be a member of the law-school faculty and from his own office
in the law-school building may direct its operations. The work may
be integrated with the other courses in law school, not only in the
matter of hours but in the matter of subjects taught. The two ex­
amples, one in a large city and the other in an agricultural State,
present interesting contrasts in the way in which this device may
be adjusted to meet local conditions.
It is believed that of the three types the first is not likely to be
copied. In the cities where legal-aid organizations exist the second
type should prove a desirable solution.
The third type probably
represents as effective an agency as is now known to supply legal-aid
service in agricultural States and rural communities. It is the strong
central organization. I t accepts cases from all over the State. I t
is in a position to aid volunteer committees of lawyers elsewhere,
and it is constantly sending out into the younger branches o f the
profession a group of men whose contact with the law has been of
a most practical nature.



There is a substantial literature on the subject. In the early meet­
ings of the National Alliance of Legal A id Societies there were
occasional papers presented describing the work of the Harvard,
Northwestern, and Minnesota clinics.
In the last 10 years two
important steps have been taken. In 1927 the National Association
of Legal Aid Organizations appointed a committee on relations with
law schools.
This committee proceeded to make a study of the
existing agencies and through contacts with deans of law schools
and other educators aroused much discussion. In 1931 the Associa­
tion of American Law Schools created a round table on legal-aid
clinics, which prepared programs of papers for discussion at the
meetings in 1932, 1933, and 1934.
Thus, nationally, in the fields
of legal aid and legal education there is a forum for the discus^
sion of clinics. The idea has been so interesting that at the 1934
meeting the round table of the Association of American Law Schools
on law-school objectives also discussed the clinical method of teach­
Law Review articles have advocated clinical training as a
complete substitute for case-book training. The actual clinic move­
ment, however, during a period of experimentation has been content
to occupy a small portion of the law-school curriculum.
It is natural that discussion in law-school circles should center
around the question of what the student gets out of work in the
clinic. Obviously, cooperation in the future by the law schools will
depend upon the answer.
It is perhaps too early to generalize,
but at least a word may be said regarding the development of the
Originally legal-aid clinics were regarded as the modem
equivalent in the educational process of the apprenticeship system.
Some States, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, require an
interneship for law students.
Fundamentally this would seem to
be'unsound, because such interneship is necessarily in a law office
and it is believed that the present-day law office is no longer an
adequate educational device for the student either before or after
his theoretical training.
A clinic course which gives merely the details of geography of
the courthouse, the task of filing papers and doing what may be
termed the leg work of the law may have sufficed at one time.
Today, however, the clinic seems to be headed toward a far profounder service to the legal profession.
The effort to fill this educational gap is not limited to legal-aid
clinics. The junior bar, the graded bar, the student bar association,
and the period of interneship in a law office, as required in Penn­
sylvania and New Jersey, are experiments in the same general direc­
tion. The student bar associations at the law schools of Southern
California, Duke, and Ohio State have legal-aid committees which
present problems of importance in the field to the student bodies.



Valuable as these other devices are, it appears that the legal aid
clinic offers a more adequate program than any of them because it
recognizes the need for a special sort of supervision of the law
student during the period of his adjustment to practice. It gives
him elementary training in the geography of the courthouse, the
knowledge of how to serve a legal paper on a witness, and similar
matters which he needs to know. I f it did nothing more than this
it would justify its existence because it would present the material
in an orderly fashion and insure each student his participation in it.
The less formal arrangement is typified by the practice at the
University of Louisville. The 1934 catalog describes it thus:
The school of law is unusually fortunate in its location and in its affiliation
with the Legal Aid Society in Louisville. Because of this affiliation it is able
to give the student practical training offered by only a few law schools. A
course in practice court is designed to teach the student the jurisdiction of the
various classes of cases handled by the legal-aid society and to give other
practical training. The schedule is so arranged that all students spend a
certain number of hours each term in the legal-aid offices. This work is
supervised by the staff of the legal-aid society consisting of four practicing
attorneys. While there, the student assists in the preparation of cases, inter­
viewing the parties and witnesses, accompanying the staff to court, assisting
m the actual trial of cases; thus he receives practical experience in the handling
of actual legal problems. The student finds this work very interesting and the
faculty believes it is of inestimable value in giving him not only practical
training but an insight into the law as it is— not in theory, but in actual

The Northwestern Law School catalog for 1934 marks a much
greater specialization in these words:
L e g a l C lin ic .— Established in 1926 by a gift to provide a legal clinic for the
poor. It was organized under the superintendence of a joint committee of
the School of Law, United Charities, and the Chicago Bar Association. Since
its establishment the income from the Foundation, generously supplemented by
further gifts, has sustained the clinic in three branches, viz, the civil, industrial,
and criminal. These have been under the direction of attorneys of the law
school, who have been generously aided by the staff of the legal-aid bureau
of the United Charities. In connection with each clinic, instruction is given
for a semester by the professor in charge, and each student is required to
investigate, prepare for trial, and in the event of trial, take part in the conduct
of several cases, under the direction of the attorney in charge. The work of
the law school and that of the legal-aid bureau are highly coordinated. In
the civil and industrial branches, the attorneys of the law school maintain
their offices at the legal-aid bureau. Indigent claimants and defendants in
every type of case are represented. The student comes in intimate contact
with the routine and problems of office practice and litigation generally. The
claims successfully prosecuted aggregate thousands of dollars annually, and
the legitimate defenses afforded indigent persons are equally valuable. The
Foundation and clinics are the first to be set up in behalf of a law school.

The significance of the clinic movement is not limited to routine
matters which a student might learn by himself in 6 months. Its
proponents claim four more fundamental possibilities:





After 3 years in law school taking courses each of which
deals with a topic more or less arbitrarily set apart from the whole
field of law, there is need for the student to synthesize his experience
to see the law as of one piece and in working on the case of one
client learn to use rules of law that he has studied in a dozen different
Nowhere except in clinic training does the law student meet
a flesh and blood client. It is essential that along with his analyti­
cal practice in logic he learn to deal with the human factors which
are involved in every legal proceeding.
(e) The problem of teaching legal ethics is a complicated one.
The clinic, because of the opportunity it gives the instructor to
observe the student working under conditions approximating those
of general practice, is an admirable observation post. Boards of bar
examiners, admissions committees, and grievance committees of bar
associations might well look here for evidences of character and
technical efficiency in the applicants. The clinic will not determine
whether or not the student is likely to steal his client’s money but
it will give a clearer picture of his dependability, his judgment, his
initiative, and various other similar characteristics than any other
existing device.
( d ) Finally, the clinic teaches the student something about the
much neglected art of planning and conducting a campaign in a
legal case.
The experiments at the University of Southern California and
at Duke University, in particular, prove that the clinic may afford
instruction in these four vital directions.
It is the belief of the authors that this device for giving both
legal-aid service and practical legal training is sound in theory
and that there are now sufficient experiments to form a basis for
intelligent development in the future. The value of this agency to
the law student and to the legal-aid movement has been noted. A
word should be said as to the importance of this clinic movement
to the bar.
There is no problem confronting the bar at the present time
of greater importance than its prestige in the public eye. Its critics
are as vigorous as they have ever been. The demands of modern
competition and the tendency toward specialization have gone far
to weaken the traditional professional solidity. The question is con­
stantly raised whether the bar is still a profession or if it is now
really a business. I f it is to continue on a professional basis some
one should devote conscious, intelligent, constructive effort to help­
ing the incoming lawyer to see the professional aspect of the work.
There is no existing machinery devised to this end which promises
more than the clinic. A clinic-trained law student has tasted the



delights of practicing law under conditions where he cannot pos­
sibly get a fee. The whole incentive for his work is a desire to
learn and a commendable zeal to serve the client. H e has had a
chance to see the law as an instrument of righteousness and an
opportunity himself to participate in making the law extend its
protection to the innocent and the helpless exactly as it is intended
to do. I f a man goes through such an experience without achiev­
ing a sound basis for idealism and a true professional sense, one
may well question his desirability as a member of the bar. The
effect of an annual addition to the bar of a group of young men
whose altruism has found expression in concrete service to the public
will incalculably improve the lawyers’ own attitudes on social wel­
fare and this in turn will produce ultimately a far greater public
respect based upon a better understanding of what the bar really is
and what it is really trying to do.
In the last two chapters the relationship between legal-aid so­
cieties and social agencies and law schools has been discussed. Defi­
nite contact with the bar is the third and in- many respects the most
significant step which legal-aid societies have taken outside of their
own field, and to the story of that development the last chapter is

Chapter XIX.—Legal Aid and the Bar
The relationship between legal-aid work and the legal profession
is simple and clear. The legal-aid organizations are the agents of
the bar and they are accordingly entitled to receive leadership and
direction and moral and financial support from the bar. In the main
this relationship is understood and accepted today by both parties
and the resulting obligations imposed on both parties are being
honored. There is no finer chapter in legal-aid history, no other
development contains a brighter promise for the future, than the
record of what has been accomplished during the few years since
the war in cementing together the organized bar and organized legalaid work.
Because the practice of law is a profession and not a business, every
lawyer has certain ethical obligations which are sanctioned by long
tradition and which find their modern expression in definite canons
of ethics. Each lawyer is a minister of justice, and before he is per­
mitted to practice he must take a solemn oath in open court. This
oath of admission to the bar, as set forth by the American Bar Asso­
ciation, contains as its final clause these words: “ I will never reject
from any consideration personal to myself the cause of the defense­
less or oppressed, or delay any man’s cause for lucre or malice. So
help me God.”
By virtue of this promise reputable lawyers have at all times ren­
dered much professional service without hope or expectation of any
pecuniary fee or reward. It has been said that the first legal-aid
work was done in the first law office established in America, and
doubtless that is true. But beginning with the last quarter of the
nineteenth century our great cities contained steadily increasing
numbers of persons who were legally defenseless and legally op­
pressed. The bar as a whole did nothing. This inaction was not
due to hard-hearted indifference but to the fact that no one appre­
ciated what was happening. A s lawyers gradually became aware
of the serious shortcomings in the administration of justice they
realized that the conditions with which they had to contend were
beyond the power of any individual, and they began to undertake
collective action through the bar associations. The American Bar
Association itself was not formed until 1878, which is 2 years later
than the establishment of the first legal-aid office in New York.
While legal-aid work was slowly developing with the encouragement
and support of a few public-spirited lawyers, the bar associations




were also growing in numbers, prestige, and power. It is now recog­
nized that the individual lawyer can best render efficient public
service by cooperating with his fellows and by securing appropriate
action through the bar associations. For that reason the relation­
ship between legal aid and the bar, if it was to be a practical relation­
ship productive of tangible results, had to become a working alliance
between organized legal-aid work and the organized bar.
The first conference o f delegates from the State and local bar
associations of the United States was held at Saratoga Springs in
1917, and at that meeting the following resolution was adopted:
It is the sense of this conference that bar associations, State and local, should
be urged to foster the formation and efficient administration of legal-aid societies
for legal-relief work for the worthy poor, with the active and sympathetic co­
operation of such associations.

In 1920 the American Bar Association set aside one morning ses­
sion for a discussion of legal-aid work, and also voted to create a
special committee on legal-aid work. This special committee recom­
mended that the American Bar Association should amend its consti­
tution in order td provide a standing committee on legal-aid work,
and said:
Your committee’s reasons for these alternative recommendations may be sum­
marized as follows:
1. There is a direct responsibility, both civic and professional, on members of
the bar to see to it that no person with a righteous cause is unable to have
his day in court because of his inability to pay for the services of counsel.
2. This responsibilty is best met by members of the bar acting, not as indi
viduals, but in their collective capacity and through their recognized associations.
3. Legal aid and advice to poor persons are most efficiently and economically
secured, at least in the larger cities, through the existing agencies specially
created and adapted for this purpose, called legal-aid organizations.
4. There should be, therefore, a direct relationship between the American
Bar Association and legal-aid work in its national aspects and as a national
5. This relationship is of a permanent and continuing nature and should be
recognized as such by the creation of a standing or annual committee, which
should each year report to the association as to the progress, the needs, the
advantages, and the shortcomings of legal-aid work in the United States.

A t its 1921 meeting the association by unanimous vote did so
amend its constitution, and thus legal-aid work became one of the
recognized continuing professional responsibilities of the bar in the
United States. Pursuant to the recommendation of its standing
committee, the American Bar Association in 1922 adopted the follow­
ing resolution:
The association requests the officers of the section of conference of bar
association delegates to bring the subject of legal-aid work before the members
of the section as soon as may be, to the end that every State and local bar
association may be encouraged to appoint a standing committee on legal-aid



Legal-aid committees have been created by the State bar associa­
tions in Alabama (1928), California (1928), Colorado (1980), Con­
necticut (1928), Georgia (1927), Illinois (1924), Louisiana (1929),
Massachusetts (1928), Michigan (1923), Missouri (1930), New York
(1920), North Carolina (1929), Ohio (1927), Pennsylvania (1923),
Rhode Island (1930), Washington (1929), and Wisconsin (1927).
How quick the bar has been to extend its cooperation and how clearly
it has grasped the true nature of the relationship may be seen by
examining what three or four of the State associations have done.
The New York State Bar Association appointed a special commit­
tee on legal-aid societies, which filed a most admirable report on
January 16,1920. It sent questionnaires to the 61 bar associations in
the State and found “in most of these communities there was little
interest in legal-aid work and probably no organized legal-aid
This excellent report covers the ground so perfectly that certain
parts of it deserve reproduction here :
The need and opportunity for legal-aid work is apparently more pressing in
the larger cities, but we believe that there is ample opportunity for bar associa­
tions to make themselves useful in this direction even in the smaller communi­
ties. In smaller communities a separate organization may not be justified, and
the work may well be carried on by the bar association. In the larger cities,
where established agencies exist, the bar association should enter into active
It appears that the financial support of legal-aid work is wholly inadequate for
the needs of the community, and that our profession is not even meeting its fair
share of this.
Justice at prohibitive cost, as is the case with the poor, is not justice.
Free government is in peril when justice is not administered so as to sustain
belief in its easy availibility and fairness. Any State or society which does
not look to the enforcement of the law and the protection of rights for the poor
and weak and friendless is wanting in that keystone of the arch upon which
a stable society and government rests. Where this essential is lacking you
shake the faith of the people in government and bring in question the funda­
mental fairness of our institutions. Disrespect for law and the spirit of resist­
ance and unrest, which today excite the apprehension of every thinking man,
are the natural harvest of inadequate facilities to secure the rights of all,
even though they be of small pecuniary magnitude.
For our profession to meet this issue and make a substantial contribution to
the support and stability of our institutions, which in these days is the greatest
contribution anyone can make, is an alluring achievement.

In 1922 the committee on legal-aid societies of the New York State
Bar Association filed its second report. It stated:
In the opinion of your committee the work of providing legal relief to the
poor is primarily the duty of the bar as a whole, and instead of officers of legalaid societies being required, as they now are, to appeal constantly in every
quarter for funds to meet legal expenses, local bar associations should take it
upon themselves first to see that the work is adequately performed, and then
that the cost is fully met.



It called attention to the following resolution which had been
adopted by the State association:
R e s o l v e d , That the State bar association and all local bar associations should
assume greater responsibility for the maintenance and conduct of legal-aid work,
and to that end should actively seek support for established legal-aid organiza­
tions, and in communities where no such organizations exist should become
directly responsible for the systematic conduct of such work.

The admirable work of the Illinois Bar Association in devising the
so-called Illinois plan for extending legal-aid work in the smaller
cities has already been described. This plan was formulated in 1921;
it was officially approved at the 1922 meeting of the association, and
in 1924 a committee on legal-aid work was appointed.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association considered the subject in 1922
and 1923, and in the latter year authorized the creation of a legal-aid
committee. The report of this committee is especially valuable, be­
cause it took the thought expressed in the 1920 report of the New York
State Bar Association committee as to the duty of the bar in smaller
communities and translated it into definite recommendations which
were approved by the association. The committee recommendations
were as follows:
1. That every bar association in the State of Pennsylvania be requested and
encouraged to appoint a standing committee on legal-aid work.
2. That this association and all local bar associations should assume greater
responsibility for the maintenance and conduct of legal-aid work, and to that
end should actively seek support for established legal-aid organizations and, in
communities where no such organization exists, should become directly responsi­
ble for the systematic conduct of such work.
3. That in the smaller communities where a separate legal-aid organization
may not be justified, the work be carried on by the bar association. That in the
larger cities bar associations should actively cooperate in the establishment,
maintenance, and supervision of such organizations.

The legal-aid committee of the Michigan Bar Association appointed
in 1923 recommended legislation for the establishment of public legalaid bureaus throughout the State. In its 1924 report it asks “ approval
and support of legislation which would permit cities in Michigan of
over 25,000 population to establish and maintain an office of legal aid
as a department of municipal government55, and suggests “ that the
committee on legislation and law reform be requested to prepare and
present to the association for consideration whatever bill may be nec­
essary to grant such authority.55 In its 1924 report it outlined a com­
prehensive State-wide program for rendering legal aid through
volunteer attorney service in the different districts. This plan is now
in effective operation.
The legal-aid committee of the California State Bar Association
during the past few years has done much to develop the interest of
Tocal bar associations in the subject. Its activities have resulted in
ihe creation of a considerable number of local legal-aid committees.



The legal-aid committee of the North Carolina State Bar Associa­
tion has also gone on record as favoring legal-aid work and in its
1934 report proposed an alternative plan for developing a State-wide
system o f service with a strong central organization and a group of
outlying committees.
So many o f the local or city bar associations have taken action in
furtherance of legal-aid work that any detailed description of their
activities is impossible within the limits of this report. The following
list o f cities in which bar associations or groups of lawyers have
rendered valuable service, either in the establishment or supervision of
legal aid, is sufficiently indicative of the widespread interest that is
now manifested in all sections of the country:
California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Sac­
Colorado: Denver.
Connecticut: Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven.
District of Columbia: Washington.
Florida: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, W est Palm Beach.
Georgia: Atlanta.
Illinois: Chicago, and in the smaller cities under the State-wide plan de­
scribed herein.
Indiana: Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne.
Io w a : Des Moines.
Kentucky: Louisville, Covington, Lexington.
Louisiana: New Orleans.
M ain e: Portland.
Massachusetts: Boston, Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford.
M ichigan: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Pontiac, Muskegon, and the va­
rious cities in the State-wide system.
Minnesota: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth.
Missouri: St. Louis, Kansas City.
New Jersey: Newark, jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, Camden.
New Y o r k : New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Schenectady, White
Plains, Troy.
North Carolina: Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Asheville.
Ohio: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Canton, Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown, Dayton.
Oklahoma: Tulsa, Oklahoma City.
Oregon: Portland.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, Reading, Scranton,
Harrisburg, Erie, Easton, Johnstown, Chester.
Rhode Isla n d : Providence, and throughout the State.
Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville.
T e x a s: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio.
U tah : Salt Lake City.
Virginia: Richmond.
W ashington: Seattle, and throughout the State.
W est Virginia: Wheeling, Charleston.
W isconsin: Milwaukee, Madison.

In the local field the bar associations have an opportunity to give
extremely practical assistance. One or two illustrations must suf­
fice to show what the bar associations are doing along these lines.
4 3381— 36--------12



In 1921 the New York County Lawyers’ Association adopted and
sent to every member a resolution commending legal-aid work and
asking members o f the bar to support it. In 1923 this association
appointed a special committee to examine the work o f the Legal
Aid Society o f New York, and the association at its own expense
sent out a copy of this report to all its members urging them to
become subscribers to the legal-aid society. The New York City
Bar Association appointed a special committee on legal-aid work
in 1919, which filed a report calling upon the bar to give more
generous support to the legal-aid organizations in the city. In 1923
the executive committee sent to every member a letter stating, “Legal
aid is primarily the obligation o f the legal profession” , pointing
out that comparatively few lawyers actually support the work, and
urging more lawyers to become contributing members o f the legalaid society. In 1928 the Association o f the Bar of the City o f New
York cooperated with the Welfare Council o f New. York City in
appointing a joint committee to study legal-aid work, and “ through
orderly, unbiased presentation of the material so gained to carry the
right and full impression of what is the state of justice to the poor
in New York City * *
This admirable report (already referred
to in chapter X V I I ) , prepared under the direction o f W. Bruce Cobb,
was the first well-rounded effort at self-appraisal to which the legalaid movement has been subjected. In Chicago the bar association
has assumed the responsibility for raising half of the budget of the
legal-aid bureau. In Philadelphia so long as the bureau was sup­
ported by municipal appropriations there was little for the bar
association to do. When public support was withdrawn, however,
the bar association not only contributed generously from its own
treasury to the reestablishment of the privately supported legal-aid
society, but through an active committee has aided materially in
developing policies and supervising the work. In Detroit the bar
association has assumed full responsibility for the establishment and
conduct o f the local legal-aid bureau, the funds for which come
from the community chest.
The responsibility of the organized bar for legal-aid work may be
analyzed into four major undertakings:
First. In cities where a legal-aid organization is needed and none
exists the bar should take the lead in its establishment. In chapter
X V I we have pointed out the class of cities which presumably re­
quire a definite legal-aid office with a salaried attorney if the work
is to be adequately done.
Second. In cities where legal-aid organizations and public defend­
ers already exist the bar’s obligation is essentially of a paternal
nature. It should support the work through its own financial con-



tributions. There is no reason why the entire expense should fall
on lawyers, but there is every reason why the members of the pro­
fession should give their full share before other citizens in the com­
munity are asked for subscriptions. Equally important is the task
of leadership. It is natural that the majority of a board of directors
or other governing board should be lawyers, but in addition the bar
association, through an appropriate committee, should maintain an
independent supervision that may be invaluable in times of emer­
gency and that is of especial importance in connection with the
municipal legal-aid bureaus. Such a committee should cooperate in
the formulation of the general policies of the work, it should pass
on those borderline cases and classes o f cases, noted in chapter X IY ,
where the duty and function of the legal-aid office is in doubt, and
it should provide a list o f attorneys to whom the legal-aid office may
refer clients whose cases for one reason or another it is unable to
In the smaller cities, the bar itself should perform whatever legalaid work is necessary. Where the population is 25,000 or less, not
more than a hundred or so cases are likely to arise each year. No
formal organization is required to carry so light a load. By dividing
these cases among the members of the bar under some simple system
o f assignment the burden imposed on each individual lawyer does
not interfere with his private practice, and yet under such a plan no
poor person need be deprived of his rights because of his inability to
pay for legal services.
Finally, the bar must be relied on to take the leading part in shap­
ing and guiding the future developments in this general field along
sound and constructive lines. The fundamental idea expressed in
the legal-aid organizations has passed the experimental stage. The
necessity and importance of their service have won for them the
support of such eminent members of the profession as Chief Justice
T aft; Chief Justice Hughes; Hon. Elihu Boot; Hon. George Wharton
Pepper, United States Senator; Dean Boscoe Pound, of the Harvard
University Law School; and Dean (emeritus) John H. Wigmore, of
the Northwestern University Law School.
On November 15, 1934, a banquet was held under the auspices of
the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York
County Lawyers Association, and the Legal Aid Society of New
York on the occasion o f the annual convention of the National Asso­
ciation of Legal Aid Organizations. A t that meeting the following
telegram was received from Chief Justice Hughes:
I send cordial greetings to those who are engaged in the work of the legalaid organizations. I am glad to note the cooperation of the bar association in
the endeavor to discharge the duty of the legal profession to see that no one



on account of poverty shall go without necessary legal assistance to maintain
his rights. The profession, by reason of its opportunity and privilege, has a
special obligation to see that equal justice is assured.
I congratulate the legal-aid organizations on their growth and efficiency, and
I trust that they will have the support both moral and financial that is essential
to their success.

Every bar association has as its primary object the advancement
of the administration o f justice. The legal-aid organizations need
and are entitled to receive a full measure of bar association support,
because they constitute an essential feature in any plan for adapting
our legal institutions to the requirements of our present industrial
and urban communities. The legal-aid societies and bureaus are not
an end in themselves. They are the means through which the most
formidable barriers in the path o f the impecunious citizen who needs
legal redress or protection may be removed.
A ll the chapters o f this report have been designed to show that
already we have nearly enough experience to construct a definite,
comprehensive, and thoroughgoing plan that will serve beyond any
reasonable doubt to overcome the difficulties of delays, court costs,
and the expense o f counsel and thus to make the laws actively effec­
tive in behalf of all persons. The plan calls for some simplification
of procedure, it requires the adoption of an adequate in forma pau­
peris statute, it relies on the small-claims courts to provide for the
summary adjudication of the smaller controversies and on the indus­
trial accident commissions to safeguard the rights of injured work­
men through efficient administration o f the compensation acts. In
the field o f claims for unpaid wages it contemplates more stringent
legislation, modeled on the California plan, enforced through the
office of a labor commissioner. To make certain that indigent per­
sons who are accused of serious crimes have adequate representation,
it advocates the public defenders as slightly more efficient and eco­
nomical than the alternative system of paid assigned counsel.
To provide the necessary services of attorneys in civil cases it pro­
poses that in the smaller communities some such simple arrangement
as the one devised by the Illinois State Bar Association, the Michigan
State Bar Association, or suggested by the North Carolina State Bar
Association should be applied; that in the great cities where the
cases needing attention are numbered by the thousands a definitely
organized legal-aid office, whether public or private, should be estab­
lished and maintained; and that as a final resort every court should
have express power to assign any member of the bar in a proper
case and to fix his remuneration.
The task for the future is to integrate these separate remedial
measures and remedial agencies into one harmonious whole, to coor­
dinate them, to urge their adoption by the legislatures of the several
States, and then to maintain a continuing study o f their operation in



actual practice, so that such modifications and amendments as may
be proved necessary or desirable in the light o f further experience
can promptly be made.
There is reason to believe that with each passing year the relation­
ship between the organized bar and organized legal aid will steadily
grow closer. And it is quite likely that through this more definite
association and communion the hardest and most fundamental prob­
lem confronting all future legal-aid development will be solved in
the best of all possible ways.
To make this clear we must hazard some guesses, but they are all
based upon changes and trends that are becoming quite plain. In
this age of transition, when institutions and ideas are in flux, the
bar associations themselves are moving with the current of events
and disclosing new capabilities that are full of promise.
Just as the individual lawyer is a minister of justice, so the bar
association must assume many of the attributes of a ministry of
justice. This is what is happening. It is reflected in the increasing
interest o f lawyers in their associations; within the past few years
the membership of the American Bar Association, which is entirely
voluntary, has increased tenfold. A body of 30,000 highly trained,
conscientious, and earnest persons has power. Perhaps even more
significant is the movement for the State incorporated bar.
The essentials of this plan, which has already been enacted in a
score of States, are that every lawyer, when admitted to the bar,
at once and necessarily becomes a member of the all-inclusive State
bar association which has been chartered by act o f legislature and
to which have been delegated, by statute or rule of court, certain
definite responsibilities together with commensurate powers, con­
cerning the administration of justice. The powers thus far most
commonly relate to standards of admission, standards of conduct,
grievance-committee work, and disbarment.
The instant a bar association is vested with legal powers it be­
comes a quasi-public if not indeed a public institution. The signifi­
cance o f this trend, from the authors’ point of view, becomes manifest
when three propositions advanced in earlier chapters are recalled.
A democracy cannot tolerate any denial of justice because of pov­
erty but in practical fact, if the laws are to be actively effective,
something like legal-aid work is an absolute necessity The legalaid organizations, because they have learned to perform the work
more efficiently than any other plan yet devised, have become indis­
pensable adjuncts to the administration of justice. It is question­
able if any service so directly touching the public welfare should
be left entirely in private hands, and it is unpermissible that that
service should fail if the private hands are too weak to uphold and
support the work.



Though this indicates that public support and control may be in
order, the experience of the municipal legal-aid bureaus is so
chequered as to give rise to grave apprehensions. The suggestion that
legal aid should be under judicial control has never been tried in this
country, but analagous experience indicates that it is unfair and
unwise to load onto courts too many administrative and executive
functions. The judicial and the executive casts of mind are apt to
be different and, in any event, the judicial function in and of itself
can absorb and utilize all the time and strength and power that any
man can bring to its service.
That there is a natural affinity between the organized bar and
organized legal aid and that structurally they are complementary
has been pointed out in this chapter. As bar associations move in
the direction of becoming recognized public or quasi-public bodies,
what would be more natural, more effective, or more in accord with
democratic principles than that the governance of legal-aid work
should be entrusted to such bar associations ? It is work they under­
stand better than any other group in the community, work which
they have already approved, and work which they are preeminently
fitted to guide and lead. It might be that in its open championship
o f legal-aid work the bar would find a solvent for some of its more
acute public-relations problems. The logic and the sequence of
events intimate, if they do not yet foretell, that sooner or later, and
probably sooner than its leaders now realize, the bar will be called
to the task o f taking over, definitely and authoritatively, the re­
sponsibility for legal-aid work in our country.
To the performance of this task the bar must bring its trained
faculty of critical analysis, its intimate knowledge of the constitu­
tional principles on which our legal institutions are based, and its
highest vision. While the responsibility for leadership may fairly
rest on the shoulders of the bar, its resources and its power are
limited, and therefore every other possible aid must be enlisted.
From the National Association o f Legal Aid Organizations should
come whatever expert information concerning technical details and
routine may be required. From the social-service agencies which
now exist in every city, whether large or small, and which occupy
such a strategic position in their relation to this whole problem,
there may be expected an increasing spirit o f cordial helpfulness.
Above all, if progress is to be had, a genuine community interest
and the moral support of an enlightened public opinion must be ob­
tained. This task cannot be performed in a day, it may not be
completed within our generation, but every advance that is made
brings us one step nearer to a practical realization of our American
ideal that through the orderly administration o f justice all citizens
shall receive the equal protection of the laws.

Appendix A.—Second Draft of a Poor Litigant’s Statute
I n t r o d u c t io n
The first draft of this statute was submitted to the American Bar Associa­
tion by its committee on legal-aid work on July 10, 1924, was published in the
1924 report of the American Bar Association (Yol. X L I X , pp. 386 et seq.),
and was reproduced as appendix A in Bulletin 398 of the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics. Each draft contains 20 sections. Sections 1 to 4, 9, 13,
15 to 17, and 19 and 20 are identical in both drafts. The first draft commen­
tary on these sections is not reprinted from the report above referred to,
but the sections themselves are reprinted so that the statute is presented as
a complete unit.
As bearing upon the present draft the report of the international legal-aid
conference, made by the Secretary-General to the Assembly of the League of
Nations (Geneva, Aug. 22, 1924; A 34, 1924, V .), is of interest and importance.
Perusal of this report, of the documents upon which it was based, and of
certain other descriptions of foreign in forma pauperis systems which have
come to the chairman of your committee from reliable and authoritative
sources, leads to the conclusion that so far as practical experience can indi­
cate the present draft follows thoroughly sound general lines. It should be
borne in mind that this draft is not intended for a legislative strait-jacket.
Judicial procedure in our various States contains, and properly contains, too
much individualism for that. The cloth must be cut to fit the diverse local

P oor L it ig a n t ’s S t a t u t e
S e c t io n 1. Any person, whether a resident or non-resident, citizen or alien,
may be admitted to participate as a poor litigant in any cause, civil or crim­
inal, pending or proposed, before any court of original or appellate jurisdiction,
subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth.
Am ong the foreign system s, those of Denm ark, E ngland, Italy, N orw ay, Sweden, and
som e L atin-A m erican countries afford assistan ce indifferently to their own n ation als and
to a lie n s ; th ose of France, Germany, H olland, Japan, P oland, and m ost other countries
afford a ssistan ce only to th ose a lien s w hose countries offer reciprocity in th is respect
or have m ade treaties covering the point. I t seem s unquestionably desirable for every
S tate in th is country to take the more liberal attitu de, but u n fortu n ately som e h ave not
yet done so. Nor has Congress, except so far as alien claim an ts are seam en.
Sec. 2. Wherever used in this act (chapter, title) —
A. The term “participation” shall mean and include the prosecution or de­
fense of any cause, or any intervention or joinder whatever therein, whether
directly in person or indirectly through a representative party.
B. The term “ representative party” shall mean and include any guardian, ad­
ministrator, executor, trustee, or other person duly authorized to represent in
legal proceedings the personal or financial interests of a poor litigant, but
said term shall not mean or include a corporation, association, or trust in
which a poor litigant has an interest only as stockholder or creditor.
G. The term “cause” shall mean and include any and every proceeding of
whatever name or nature before a court, judge, justice, or judicial magistrate.




D . The term “final judgment” shall mean and include any and every
judgment, decree, or order in whatever form which terminates any cause or
any separable portion of any cause.
Seo. 3. The term “poor litigant” as used in this act (chapter, title) shall
mean any applicant found by the public counselor hereafter defined:
A. Not to be worth a sum exceeding $500, exclusive of his rights in respect
o f such cause, and also exclusive of property exempt from execution and from
being reached or applied upon a creditor’s b ill; and
B. Not to be receiving or reasonably to be expected to receive, an income
averaging more than $25 per week;
And also, except in respect of criminal proceedings wherein the applicant is,
or is about to become, a defendant:
C. To have reasonable grounds for participation in the cause in question.
In case participation in a cause is sought not directly but through a repre­
sentative party, only the beneficially interested party shall be required to estab­
lish his status as a poor litigant.

A show ing of poverty is n ecessarily and u n iversally required under all i n f o r m a p a u p e r i s
system s. A few countries, one of w hich is Sweden, require no dem onstration of the
m erits o f th e applicant’s claim . T o om it th is second requirem ent seem s a great m istake.
B aseless or hopeless litig a tio n by th e poor should be frow ned upon a t least as stern ly as
is sim ilar litig a tio n by those able to pay th eir own expenses.
Seo. 4. For special and unusual reasons peculiar to the situation of any ap­
plicant the public counsellor may in his discretion find that such applicant is
a poor litigant although he does not comply with the requirements of the
preceding section. The public counselor may in any case refuse to find that
the applicant is a poor litigant, notwithstanding the fact that he complies
or appears to comply with the relevant requirements of said preceding section.
S ec. 5. Subject to the provisions of section 8, the term “public counselor”
as used in this act (chapter, title) shall mean the district (county) attorney
for the time being within whose district (county) the cause in question may
lawfully be, and is being or is proposed to be, tried or presented. A public
counselor may delegate to an assistant or assistants the execution of all or
any part or parts of his powers, discretion, and duties in such capacity except
those duties imposed by section 18, but he shall be responsible for proper
execution by such assistant or assistants. Each public counselor shall main­
tain an approved attorneys list containing the names of an adequate number
of attomeys-at-law residing or having places of business in his district
(county) whom he deems qualified to represent poor litigants. He shall submit
this list annually not later than t h e ----------- day o f -----------to the chief justice
of (name the court) for the latter’s examination and approval. No name
shall remain on said list except with the approval of said chief justice. Sub­
ject to said chief justice’s approval a public counselor may at any time add
the name of an attorney-at-law to, or remove it from, his approved attorneys
list, and he shall thus add or remove a name whenever directed to do so by
said chief justice. Each public counselor shall furnish every other public
counselor with a copy of his approved attorneys list as soon as may be after
its examination and approval by said chief justice, and shall promptly inform
each other public counselor of any changes in said list.

The first d raft provided th at clerks o f inferior courts should serve as public counselors
w ith respect to causes in th eir respective courts. T his now seem s unw ise. There should
be a central auth ority and a corresponding central responsibility in each county or district.
B u t clerks of court should receive and tran sm it app lications for relief. T he n ext section
specifically provides for such action by them .



T he com m entary on th is section as originally drafted em phasized th e im portance of
not clogging the courts w ith prelim inary in vestigation s. T he older and more efficient
foreign system s, notably th ose of Scotland, Italy , and F rance, th u s separate th e in vestig a ­
tive from the tru ly ju dicial operations.
T he concluding provisions of th is redrafted section are intended to accom plish a double
o b je c t: F irst, by ju dicial endorsem ent to safeguard the poor a ga in st undesirable attorneys
and thus to m ake honest and able attorneys the more ready to do th e work called for
under th e statu te. Second, to render easily available to all th e public counselors the
nam es of eligible poor m en’s law yers throughout th e S tate. It is suggested th at if possible
th e chief ju stice or other corresponding ju dicial official to exam ine and approve the
attorney lists should be the head o f th e h ighest court in the State. B u t in some cases
it m ay be desirable to have the head of the principal trial court pass upon th e lists.
S e c . 6. Each public counselor shall on request from any intending applicant
furnish him with a form of application and shall advise and assist him in filling
out or completing such form. Any clerk of court or other corresponding official
shall likewise furnish forms, advice, and assistance to intending applicants,
and shall forward completed applications to the proper public counselor.
Where participation in a cause is sought not directly but through a represent­
ative party, such representative party may be permitted to make out and file
the application. Unless and until prescribed by rule of court, forms of applica­
tion shall be prescribed by the respective public counselors. The expense of pre­
paring such forms shall be payable in the same manner as other usual official
expenses of district (county) attorneys.
S ec . 7. In passing upon any application the public counselor may make or
cause an assistant to make such investigation as he deems advisable. He may
in his discretion refer the application to any available legal-aid society or
other like organization, or he may appoint as reporting attorney or attorneys,
to make such investigation and report thereon, one or more of the attorneys-atlaw whose names appear upon the approved attorneys lists described by section
5 of this act (chapter, title). Unless and except so far as otherwise ordered
by the public counselor in charge, the report, any documents or information
obtained for the purposes of the report, and any documents or information
furnished in connection with the application shall be privileged from disclosure
in any cause and shall not be disclosed to any party or other person.

O ccasionally a public counselor m ay have to carry on an in vestig a tio n outside his own
d istrict or county. T he foregoing section, com bined w ith section 5, w ill furnish the
m eans for doing so. In m any such in stan ces, of course, th e in vestig a tin g public counselor
m ay be able to learn w h at he needs to know by com m unicating w ith another public
counselor. T he privilege provided by th e concluding sen tence o f th is section has been
found m ost im portant in the E nglish system . W ithout it, a n yth in g like fu ll disclosure
w ould often be unobtainable.
S e c . 8. All findings, decisions, and orders of the public counselor as to
matters committed to him by this act (chapter, title) shall be final and binding
upon all persons unless and until modified or revoked by him, and shall not
be subject to review by appeal or otherwise, except that any applicant ag­
grieved by the public counselor’s refusal to find that he is a poor litigant may
apply to a judge (justice) of the (principal civil court in the county) who may
if he deems it advisable appoint a special master to inquire into the matter
and find whether the applicant is a poor litigant. The finding by such master
shall have the same effect as a similar finding by the public counselor, and if the
finding be that the applicant is a poor litigant any judge (justice) of said
court may authorize and direct the master thereafter to exercise and perform,
with respect to the applicant’s participation in the particular cause or causes,
whether in a lower or an appellate court, all the powers, discretion, and duties
given the public counselor under sections 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and the



last sentence of section 7, of this act (chapter, title). A special master thus
authorized and directed shall also make an annual written report to the
governor respecting the cause or causes of any poor litigant under his super­
vision, such report to comply with the requirements of section 18 hereof.

T he red raftin g done in th is section has been intended only to m ake p erfectly clear and
unam biguous th e pow ers and d u ties of a special m aster, and n ot in su bstance to vary the
original draft.
S ec. 9. The public counselor may at any time revoke his finding that any
applicant is a poor litigant, and with respect to proceedings after such revoca­
tion such applicant shall stand as if the finding had not been made. Notwith­
standing the finding that any applicant is a poor litigant, the public counselor
may at any time or times impose such terms as he deems desirable upon the
applicant’s participation in the cause. Neither a finding by the public coun­
selor that an applicant is a poor litigant nor any imposition of terms in con­
nection therewith shall have any force or effect except in the particular cause
and in the particular court with respect to which it is made.

So far as th is section requires a fresh determ ination as to the gran tin g o f i n f o r m a
on appeal, it follow s th e better considered foreign system s. It goes w ith o u t
sayin g th a t th e m aterial for th e redeterm ination w ould alm ost alw ays be easily accessible.

pau peris

Sec. 10. I f the public counselor finds that the applicant is a poor litigant,
he shall assign to the applicant from his approved attorneys list an attorney
or attorneys, hereinafter referred to as the conducting attorney or attorneys, to
conduct the proceedings. By special order of a judge (justice) of the court
having jurisdiction of any cause, a public counselor or special master appointed
under section 8 may be authorized himself to act as conducting attorney for
any poor litigant interested in said cause.

T he la st sentence of th is section is new . It seem s a provision particu larly advisable for
S tates con tain in g d istricts or cou n ties in w hich th ere are few law yers.
Sec. 11. A conducting attorney assigned by the public counselor shall have
the ordinary duties of an attorney-at-law to his client and may conduct the
cause in the ordinary way with the following exceptions:
A. No poor litigant nor any conducting attorney assigned to such poor liti­
gant under this act shall withdraw from, discontinue, default, settle, or com­
promise the cause without leave of court.
B. It shall not be lawful for any poor litigant to discharge any conducting
attorney assigned hereunder or make claim against him for breach of duty,
without written consent of the public counselor in charge.
C. No conducting attorney assigned hereunder shall be at liberty to dis­
continue his assistance unless he satisfies the public counselor or the court
before which the cause is pending or is to be presented that he has some reason­
able grounds for so discontinuing.
D. Every conducting attorney assigned hereunder shall from time to time
send to the public counselor reports showing the progress and result of all
causes assigned to him for conduct Unless and until otherwise prescribed by
rule of court, the form of reports and the times for making the same shall be
prescribed by the public counselor in charge.
E. Should the conducting attorney or the poor litigant discover at any
time that the litigant is possessed of means beyond those previously disclosed
he shall report the matter at once to the public counselor.

The only change in th is section is th e su ggestion o f a general court rule offered by
paragraph D.



Sec. 12. Every person appointed or assigned as a public counselor, special
master, reporting attorney, or conducting attorney hereunder shall have a
duty to serve in such capacity. A person appointed or assigned as special
master, reporting attorney, or conducting attorney may, however, be relieved
from this duty upon his giving reasons satisfactory to the public counselor
or the judge (justice) appointing or assigning h im ; and any person serving in
any of these capacities shall receive a reasonable fee, the amount and time
or times of payment to be fixed for a reporting or conducting attorney by the
public counselor in charge, for a special master acting in that capacity by a
judge (justice) of the court appointing him, and for a special master or
public counselor acting as conducting attorney by a judge (justice) of the
court authorizing him so to a ct; provided, however, that save where a public
counselor thus acts as conducting attorney no person in receipt of a salary
as a public official shall be further paid for services in any of the foregoing
capacities unless and except to the extent that the court having jurisdiction
over the cause shall otherwise direct.

W here in vestigation or conduct of cases cannot be placed in the hands o f legal-aid
organizations, it seem s essen tial to success th at persons actin g for applicants or poor
litig a n ts should receive reasonable com pensation. And it seem s fair and w ise th at legalaid organ ization s should also receive reasonable com pensation to fu rth er th eir useful
work. T he E nglish system , based upon the idea of service either gratu itou s or a t bare
cost, has failed to function sa tisfactorily. The Scotch system has been w orking gra­
tu itou sly for several hundred years, but now (to quote from the Scotch report to the
in tern ation al conference) “m ost people are agreed th a t the agen ts w ho undertake th is
work should be rem unerated out of public fu nd s.” T he Italia n report is m ost em phatic
on th e p o in t: “H ow ever high the bar’s standard m ay be— and it is very high— it has not
m oral stren gth to struggle for any length of tim e a ga in st the law of recom pense for
hum an a c tiv ity ; and if, taken a ll together, th e system of free help does n ot m easure up to
th ose social exigencies to w hich one w ould w ish to apply it, th is is n ot to be laid to the
attorneys, but exclu sively to the illu sion of th e legislato r w ho believes he can solve a
serious problem w ith fine w o r d s: as by announcing th a t free help is an ‘honorable
a ctiv ity ’ o f th e legal p rofession.”
A t th e sam e tim e, it seem s m ost im portant to prevent poor litig a n ts’ causes from be­
com ing a happy h unting ground for predatory p olitician s of the sm aller sort. H ence
the general provision at the end of th is section calling for a court determ ination w herever
com pensation is sought by a person already on the public-salary list.
Sec. 13. A person found by the public counselor to be a poor litigant shall
not be required to give security for court costs or fees and shall not be
personally liable for costs or fees incurred in his cause, except as otherwise
provided by terms imposed by the public counselor or by the court which
enters the final judgment in the cause. In cases where the public counselor
or such court shall find there was substantial misrepresentation or mistake
in the information given by the applicant to the public counselor or the
reporting attorney and also in cases where the financial condition of the
poor litigant has improved prior to final judgment such terms may require
the poor litigant to pay all or any part of the costs, fees, and expenses pre­
viously paid or accrued.

T he substance of th is provision is found in p ractically every w ell-m olded foreign system .
Seo. 14. All fees and compensation provided for by section 12 shall be payable
from the Poor Litigants’ Fund hereinafter defined. All other necessary fees
and expenses for participation in the cause shall be approved in writing by
the public counselor from time to time and shall be payable during the
course of the litigation/ from said Poor Litigants’ Fund on his warrant or
authorization.' The public counselor may grant the conducting attorney an
appropriation from said fund for necessary fees and expenses. The conducting
attorney shall render to the public counselor from time to time such state-



ment of fees and expenses as the latter may require. No party opposing any
poor litigant shall be entitled to any payment from the Poor Litigants’ Fund
on account of his costs or expenses.
S eo . 15. In each county the amount appropriated for poor litigants authorized
to apply therein shall be held as a revolving fund entitled the Poor Litigants’
Fund. Gifts may be received and added to the fund, and such gifts may be
made generally to the fund or limited to particular purposes.

It is scarcely profitable to draw th is section in other th an general term s. In actual
app lication it m ust be varied to su it varyin g fiscal m achinery.
Sec. 16. A ll money recovered by a poor litigant shall be paid in the first
instance to the public counselor, who shall distribute such money as follows:
A. H e shall first reimburse the Poor Litigants’ Fund for all amounts expended
for fees, compensation, and expenses in the conduct of the poor litigant’s cause.
B. Out of the remaining money recovered he shall make such if any addi­
tional payment into the Poor Litigants’ Fund as the court which enters the final
judgment in the cause may direct. This sum shall be such as to place the
reasonable cost of the poor litigant’s participation in the cause upon a parity
with the reasonable cost to a person not a poor litigant. Direction of such
additional payment shall be entirely discretionary.
C. H e shall pay over to the poor litigant the net remainder of the money
In cases where the recovery consists of property other than money no final
judgment shall be entered until the payment of items A and B set forth above
is made or secured to the reasonable satisfaction of the court or the public
S eo. 17. No person shall take or agree to take or seek to obtain from any
poor litigant any payment, fee, profit, or reward either for reporting, for the
conduct of the proceedings, or for out of pocket expenses, and so doing shall
be a contempt of the court in which the cause is pending or proposed to be
instituted. I f any such payment, fee, profit, or reward shall be made, given,
or promised the application or the finding as the case may be may be dismissed
or revoked, in which case the applicant or poor litigant shall not afterwards be
admitted into the same cause or any other proceedings as a poor litigant unless
otherwise ordered.
Sec. 18. Each public counselor shall annually on or before t h e -----------day of
-----------prepare and furnish the governor with a written report respecting poor
litigant’s proceedings in his district (county), covering such matters as the
governor may prescribe.
Seo. 19. Except as expressly provided otherwise by this act (chapter, title)
the cause of poor litigants shall be conducted in the same manner as ordinary
litigated causes. Wherever the foregoing provisions for remission of costs,
fees, or security, or for assignment o f attorneys, apply they shall supersede
existing provisions for the same purposes.
Seo. 20. Nothing herein contained shall prevent any court from exercising
its rule-making power consistently with the provisions of this act (chapter,
title) for speeding the causes of the poor.

Appendix B.—Massachusetts Small Claims Court Act and
Rules of Court
S m a l l C l a im s P ro c ed u r e
(Mass. Laws Ann. (Michie, 1933), ch. 218, secs. 21-25)

S e c t io n 21. The justices or a majority of them of all the district courts,
except the municipal court of the city of Boston, shall make uniform rules ap­
plicable to said courts, and the justices of the municipal court of the city of
Boston shall make rules applicable to that court, providing for a simple, in­
formal, and inexpensive procedure, hereinafter called the procedure, for the
determination, according to the rules of substantive law, of claims in the
nature of contract or tort, other than slander and libel, in which the plaintiff
does not claim as debt or damages more than fifty dollars, and for a review of
judgments upon such claims when justice so requires. The procedure shall
not be exclusive, but shall be alternative to the formal procedure for causes
begun by writ. Actions under this and the four following sections shall be
brought in the judicial district where the defendant lives or has his usual
place of business.
S e c . 22. The procedure shall include the beginning of actions with an entry
fee of one dollar but without writ, and without requirement, except by special
order of court, of other pleading than a statement to the clerk or an assistant
clerk, who shall reduce the same to concise written form in a docket kept
for the purpose. The procedure shall include notice by registered mail instead
of the mode of service heretofore required, and shall include provisions for
early hearing.
The procedure may include the modification of any or all
rules of pleading and practice, anything contained in other chapters, sections,
or acts notwithstanding, and may include a stay of the entry of judgment or
of the issue of execution. The rules for the procedure may provide for the
elimination of any or all fees and costs, and that costs shall be in the discre­
tion of the court. In causes begun under the procedure, the court may on
application for cause shown issue writs of attachment of property or person as
in causes begun by writ.
S eo . 23.— A plaintiff beginning a cause under the procedure shall be deemed
to have waived a trial by jury and any right of appeal to the superior court
and any right to a report to an appellate division; but if said cause shall be
removed to the superior court as hereinafter provided, the plaintiff shall have
the same right to claim a trial by jury as if the cause had been begun in the
superior court. No other party to a cause under the procedure shall be en­
titled to an appeal or report. In lieu thereof, any such party may, prior to
the day upon which he is notified to appear, file in the court where the cause
is pending a claim of trial by jury, and his affidavit that there are questions
of fact in the cause requiring trial, with specifications thereof, and that such
trial is intended in good faith, together with the sum of three dollars for the
entry of the cause in the superior court and a bond in the penal sum of one
hundred dollars, with such surety or sureties as may be approved by the plain­
tiff or the clerk or an assistant clerk of the district court, payable to the other


182 ]


party or parties to the cause, conditioned to satisfy any judgment for costs which
may be entered against him in the superior court in said cause within thirty days
after the entry thereof; and thereupon the clerk shall forthwith transmit such
original papers or attested copies thereof as the rules for the procedure may
provide, and the superior court may try the cause as transmitted or may
require pleadings as in a cause begun by writ, but the cause may be marked
for trial on the list of causes advanced for speedy trial by jury.
one hundred and five and one hundred and seven of chapter two hundred and
thirty-one shall apply in all district courts in causes begun under the procedure.
Any party, in lieu of filing the bond required by this section, may deposit with
the clerk the sum of one hundred dollars and the provisions of section one
hundred and six of said chapter two hundred and thirty-one shall apply.
S eo . 24. The court may, in its discretion, transfer a cause begun under the
procedure to the regular civil docket for formal hearing and determination as
though it had been begun by writ, and may impose terms upon such transfer.
Seo. 25. In any cause begun by writ which might have been begun under
the procedure, the rules for the procedure may provide, or the court may by
special order direct, that the costs to be recovered by the plaintiff, if he
prevails, shall be eliminated in whole or in part.

R ules

fo b

S m a l l C l a im s P roc edu re

R u l e 1. The plaintiff, or his attorney, shall state the nature and amount of
his claim to the clerk, who, after due inquiry, shall cause the claim to be
reduced to writing in the docket, in concise, untechnical form, and to be signed
by the plaintiff or attorney. The signature shall be deemed the beginning of
the action. I f the claim involves more than three items, the plaintiff or at­
torney shall deliver to the clerk a fair list of such items, numbered con­
secutively. I f the clerk deems the statement of claim insufficient to make a
prima facie case, the court, at the request of the plaintiff or attorney, shall
decide whether such claim shall be received.

For the m eaning o f “attorney” and “docket,” see rule 12.
( b ) I n using th e printed docket cards prepared by the com m ittee on law and procedure,
the m ain card for th e record of the case should he numbered in th e upper righ t corner.
W here there are tw o defendants, a second printed docket card bearing the sam e number
w ith “A ” added, should be used to record th e nam e and addresses of, and th e n otice to,
the second defendant. A third defendant m ay be treated in a sim ilar w ay. Two plain ­
tiffs w ith a com mon place of business m ay be recorded on th e m ain docket c a r d ; a second
card “A ” m ay be used for other plaintiffs.
(c) The am ount claim ed should be stated in unliquidated claim s as w ell as others, for
ju risdictional purposes, although th e court m ust assess dam ages even after d efau lt.
( d ) The list o f item s delivered to th e clerk has several uses.
W hether incorporated
in to the claim , and therefore in to th e docket and record, by reference, or not, it serves to
show to the defendant, upon inquiry of the clerk, th e d etails of th e claim again st h im ;
and it a ssists th e court, at th e hearing, in arriving a t th e facts. I t m ay fu rn ish th e
m eans o f am ending th e claim , if am endm ent should be needed.
W here th e lis t of item s is short, th e clerk m ay reproduce it in substance in th e claim
w ritten on the docket card, th us avoiding th e perm anent p reservation o f a separate l i s t ;
to file n othing perm anently except th e docket card, is an ideal to be attain ed w hen prac­
ticable. Longer lists o f item s, w hen it is deem ed necessary to have them become part o f
the claim , m ay he incorporated therein by reference, under rule 12, as, e. g., “See list of
item s filed.”
(e) The claim should be reduced to w ritin g in th e docket in a form sufficient to apprise
the defendant o f its nature, to furnish the b asis of an in telligib le judgm ent, to preclude
any further su it upon th at claim , and, w hen practicable, to show w hether th e claim is
w ith in th e class o f claim s for labor or n ecessaries upon w hich equitable process m ay be
based. More th an th a t is unnecessary.
(a )



T he follow in g are su ggestion s for statin g c la im s:
“C la im : D efendant ow es plaintiff $27.83 for groceries and household goods, sold him
betw een October 16, 1920, and Decem ber 28, 1920, in clu sive.” [If th e list of item s is to
be m ade a part of the claim , add “ See list of item s filed.” ]
“C la im : D efendant ow es p lain tiff for rent o f apartm ent 10 A llston Street, B oston, for
m onth ending October 31, 1920, $50, less $30 paid, balance due, $20. In terest on sam e,
November 1, 1920, to January 1, 1921, $0.20. T otal claim , $20.20.”
“C la im : D efend an t, on or about Decem ber 13, 1920, a ssau lted and beat p laintiff, dam ­
ages claim ed $35.”
“ C la im : D efendant, on or about Decem ber 28, 1920, converted plaintiff’s clock, value
$10, and desk, value $20. T otal claim $30.”
R ule 2. The plaintiff or attorney shall also state to the clerk, the plaintiff’s
and the defendant’s place of residence, usual place of business and place of
employment, or such thereof as the clerk may deem necessary, including the
street and number, if an y; and the clerk shall note the same in the docket.
The clerk shall give to the person signing the claim a memorandum of the time
and place set for the hearing. Summonses for witnesses, if requested, will be
issued by the clerk, without fee.

(a) For th e m eaning o f “attorney,” see rule 12.
(b) T he d efendant’s place o f residence or usual place o f business and in som e cases
the p lain tiff’s place of residence or usual place of business, m ust be show n, to determ ine
the venue. (G eneral Law s, ch. 223, sec. 2.)
( c ) M ost defendants have no “place of business.”
H anley v. E astern Steam ship Cor*
poration (221 M ass. 1 25 ). O ften a notice a t the place o f em ploym ent w ould be w holly
effective. The clerk should use discretion as to the address to w hich he sends th e notice,
and if he is in doubt should send n otices to m ore than one address.
( d ) The mem orandum given to th e person signing the claim should state th a t if the
claim is supported by w itn esses, books o f account, or docum ents, th ey should be produced
a t the h earing; and also th a t in case of an unliquidated claim th e am ount of dam age
m ust be proved by the p lain tiff at the hearing w hether the defendant defends or not.
R u l e J 3. The clerk shall mail to the defendant, at one or more of the ad­
dresses supplied by the plaintiff, as the clerk may deem necessary or proper,
by registered mail, return receipt requested, the expense being prepaid by the
plaintiff, a notice signed by the clerk, bearing the seal of the court and bear­
ing teste like a writ, which, after setting forth the name of the court, shall
read substantially as follow s:
“To (here insert name of defendant).
“ (Here insert name of plaintiff) asks judgment in this court against you for
(here insert the amount claimed in dollars and cents) upon the following claim :
(here insert the nature of the claim as it appears on the docket; but no list
of items need be included).
“The court will give a hearing upon this claim at (here insert the location
of the courthouse and the room therein, as may be necessary) at (here insert
the hour) o’clock in the (here insert ‘forenoon’ or ‘afternoon’ as the case may
be) on (here insert the date, including the day of the week, as may be pre­
scribed by general or special order of the court).
“ I f you deny the claim, in whole or in part, you must, not later than (here
insert the date, including the day of the week, of the second day before the day
set for the hearing), personally or by attorney state to the clerk, orally or in
writing, your full and specific defense to said claim, and you must also appear
at the hearing. Unless you do both, judgment may be entered against you by
default. I f your defense is supported by witnesses, account books, receipts, or
other documents, you should produce them at the hearing. Summonses for
witnesses, if requested, will be issued by the clerk without fee.



“ I f you admit the claim, but desire time to pay, you must, not later than
(here insert the date, including the day of the week, of the second day before
the day set for the hearing), personally or by attorney, state to the clerk,
orally or in writing, that you desire time to pay, and you must also appear at
the hearing and show your reasons for desiring time to pay.”
The clerk shall note in the docket the mailing date and address, the date
of delivery shown by the return receipt, and the name of the addressee or
agent signing the receipt.
Notice shall be valid although refused by the defendant and therefore not
delivered. I f the notice is returned undelivered, without refusal by the de­
fendant, or if in any other* way it appears that notice has not reached the
defendant, the clerk shall issue, at the expense of the plaintiff, such other or
further notice as the court may order.

T he court should estab lish hearing days by general order, so th a t the clerk may
set th e hearing.
(b) The clerk is expected to use all reasonable m eans o f m aking the notice effective.
In cases of doubt, notice should be sen t to m ore than one address. T he docket cards pre­
pared by the com m ittee on law and procedure provide an easy m ethod of recording the
address to w hich each notice is sent, and th e result.
I f the usual notice by registered m ail fails, th e court m ay order service o f a notice
by registered m ail deliverable to addressee only or by a sheriff or constable.
(c) R eturn receipts are n ot part of the record. (R ule 12.) T he m aterial facts show n
by them are to be noted on th e docket card. I f th e clerk d esires to keep th e return
receipts, th ey m ay be numbered to correspond w ith th e cases, and kept in any card tray
or elsew here.
R u l e 4. A defendant, unless the court shall otherwise order, shall be de­

faulted unless he shall, personally or by attorney, not later than the second
day before the day set for the hearing, state to the clerk, orally or in writing,
his defense to the claim. A court sitting in more than one city or town may
prescribe by general order other times for stating defenses, and may vary the
form of notice to the defendant accordingly. The clerk shall enter the sub­
stance of the defense in the docket, and the docket entry shall be deemed the
answer. The answer shall state fully and specifically, but in concise and untechnical form, what parts of the claim are contested, and the grounds of such
contest. Demurrers, dilatory pleas, and the answer of general denial are pro­
hibited. No case shall be deemed ripe for judgment before the time set for the


( a ) W hile the E nglish county courts usually require no answ er, it is felt to be u njust
to require p laintiffs to atten d hearings prepared to try claim s th a t w ill often prove to be
undefended. T he defense m ay be stated orally to th e clerk, or m ailed in season to reach
the clerk on th e specified day, by th e defendant or attorney, so th e requirem ent w ill not
be burdensom e. For the m eaning o f “attorney”, see rule 12.
(b) D em urrers and other tech n ical in cid ents or resu lts of im perfect pleading have been
in ten tion ally avoided. The creation of technical questions of pleading w ould be unde­
sirable. Y et it is desirable th at claim s and answ ers should give am ple notice o f th e real
claim or defense.
A party w ho does not m ake th e fair disclosure required by th ese rules, risks the im posi­
tion o f discretionary costs under rule 9, and th at liab ility seem s sufficient.
(c) S uggestions of answ ers a r e :
“ A n s w e r . D efendant paid $17 on claim , and ow es the balance.”
“ A n s w e r . D efend an t ow es f o r the coat, but the h at w as never delivered t o him .”
“ A n s w e r . T he part o f claim accruing before January 1, 1915, barred by statu te o f
lim itation . The la tter part contracted by w ife w ith ou t auth ority.”
“ A n s w e r . D efendant s t r u c k p lain tiff i n self-defense.”
“ A n s w e r . P la in tiff agreed to do w hole job for $15.
D id n ot do w orkm anlike job.
Did n ot use proper p a in t.”



“ A n s w e r . D efendant ow es item s 1 and 3.
Item 2 w as not up to sam ple, and w as not
m erchantable, and w as returned by defendant. Item 4 w as never ordered, and w as
returned by d efendant.’’ [T h is answ er is adapted to a case w here a list o f item s is
incorporated into th e claim .]
R u l e 5. The defendant, within the time for answer, may, in the manner

provided by rules 1 and 2, claim any set-off or counterclaim within the juris­
diction of the court in civil cases. Upon the making of such claim by the
defendant, the clerk shall give a notice to the plaintiff, at the expense of the
defendant, similar to that provided by rule 3, and shall postpone the hearing
of the original claim until the time set for hearing the defendant’s claim, and
shall notify the parties accordingly. The defendant’s claim shall be answered
within the time and in the manner provided by rule 4, and the penalties upon
defendants provided by said rule shall apply to plaintiffs in respect to claims
by a defendant. The original claim, and the claim of set-off or counterclaim,
shall be deemed one case.
( a ) If th e p lain tiff chaoses to adopt th is procedure, it is subm itted th a t he adop ts it
subject to its rules for set-off and counterclaim . See A l d r i c h v. E . W . B l a t c h f o r d & C o .
(175 M ass. 3 6 9 ). The defendant, seeking to avail h im self of th is set-off rather than a
set-off of judgm ents w hich the courts have inherent power to allow ( F r a n k s v. E d i n b e r g ,
185 M ass. 4 9 ), can have, it is subm itted, no cause to com plain if the resu lt happens to be
(b) A set-off or counterclaim m ay be recorded upon a printed docket card bearing
th e number of th e case w ith “B ” added.
R u l e 6. The court may at any time allow any claim or answer to be amended.

Interrogatories shall not be filed, nor depositions taken, except by leave of

(a) A m endm ents m ay be m ade w ith out any w ritten m otion, and th e am endm ent m ay
be noted on the back of th e docket card.
(b) Interrogatories and depositions, if allow ed, w ould delay cases intended to be
speedily heard.
R ule 7. Witnesses shall be sw orn; but the court shall conduct the hearing
in such order and form, and with such methods of proof, as it deems best suited
to discover the facts and to determine the justice of the case. I f the plaintiff
does not appear at any time set for hearing, the court may dismiss the claim
for want of prosecution, or enter a finding on the merits for the defendant, or
make such other disposition as may be proper.

(a ) See C o m . v. R o s e n b l a t t (2 1 9 M ass. 1 9 7 ).
(b) U nder sm all claim s procedure, th e judge is an in vestigator, not m erely an um pire.
He, rath er than counsel or parties, is in active charge o f the proceedings. To allow
hearings to be delayed or postponed on account of engagem ents of counsel is contrary to
the sp irit o f th e statu te, and subversive o f th e procedure.
(c) L aym en presenting their own cases cannot be expected to com ply w ith all th e
technical rules o f evidence and tria ls th at the desire to prevent prejudice in jury tria ls
h as developed. “T he greatest and m ost rem arkable offshoot of th e jury w as th a t body
o f excluding rules w hich chiefly con stitu te the E nglish ‘law of evidence.’ * * *
Sharply and tech n ically used, th ese rules enable a m an to go far in w orrying an inex­
perienced or ill-prepared adversary, and in supporting a w orthless case.” (Thayer, P re­
lim inary T reatise on E vidence, 180, 528.) Only th e essen tial principles o f ju stice in
procedure are useful to a judicial in vestigator w ith out a jury.
( d ) W here the plaintiff w ith out cause fails to prosecute his claim it is believed th at
th e court should have power to enter a judgm ent on the m erits and end th e controversy.
(S ee C a r p e n t e r , e t c . , v. N . Y . , N . H . & H . R . R . C o . , 184 M ass 9 8 ; K y l e v. R e y n o l s , 211
M ass. 110.) T his power should n ot be exercised, however, except to prevent oppression.
43381— 36------- 13



R u l e 8. No process of mesne attachment shall issue under this procedure,
except upon the order of the court. Such order shall state the amount of the
attachment and the property or credits to be attached. The form of the process
shall be substantially that required for supplementary process in ordinary civil
R u l e 9. The actual cash disbursements of the prevailing party for entry
fee, mailing fees, witness fees and officers’ fees shall be allowed as costs.
No other costs shall be allowed either party, except by special order of the
court. The court shall have power in its discretion to award costs, in a sum
fixed by the court, not exceeding twenty-five dollars (exclusive of such cash
disbursements, or in addition thereto) against any party, whether the prevailing
party or not, who has set up a frivolous or vexatious claim or defense, or has
made an unfair, insufficient or misleading answer, or has otherwise sought to
hamper a party or the court in securing a speedy determination of the claim
upon its m erits; and to enter judgment and issue execution therefor, or set
off such costs against damages or costs, as justice may require.

T he discretionary power to aw ard costs w ill tend to make ju stice speedy and efficient
and to prevent in ten tion al delay and trickery. W here the discretionary costs go again st
the losin g p arty, th ey w ill be included in th e judgm ent. W here th ey go a ga in st th e pre­
v ailin g party, th ey m ay be set off or m ade th e subject o f a separate judgm ent and execu­
tion — not a n ovelty in our law . General Law s, ch. 261, secs. 3, 2 2 ; W i x o n v. M a r c u s ,
174 M ass. 67.
R u l e 10. The court may order that the judgment shall be paid to the pre­
vailing party, or, if it so order, into court for the use of the prevailing party,
at a certain date or by specified installments, and may stay the issue of execu­
tion and other supplementary process during compliance with such order.
Such stay shall at all times be subject to being modified or vacated.

A fter the hearing on the m erits, or after d efau lt on the m erits, the court may, a t the
tim e set for the hearing, consider the question o f stay of execution. O ften the w hole
defense, in ordinary civil actions, is caused by a desire to secure a stay of e x ecu tio n ;
if such stay is authorized it w ill tend to secure speedy ju stice w ith out oppression. The
court need not feel hound to consider a stay asked by a defaulted defendant w ho has not
asked for a sta y according to th e term s of the n otice to him . (R ule 3.)
R u l e 11. The court may at any time upon motion, and after such notice,
by mail or otherwise, as it may order, for cause shown vacate any judgment
entered under this procedure, for want of actual notice to a party, for error,
or for any other cause that the court may deem sufficient, and may stay or
supersede execution. The court may also order the repayment of anything
collected under such judgment, and may enter judgment and issue execution
therefor; but no order shall affect the title of any bona fide holder for value
under said judgment. Costs in an amount fixed by the court not exceeding
twenty-five dollars may be awarded, in the discretion of the court, for or against
either party to a motion to vacate judgment, and judgment may be entered and
execution may be issued therefor, and any action by the court may be made
conditional upon the payment of such costs or the performance of any other
proper condition.




The vacation o f judgm ent “on m otion,” i, e„ by application in th e game cage, is much
more sim ple than existin g m ethods. No w ritin g is required, only an entry in the docket,
(R ule 12.) Proceedings upon such a m otion m ay he recorded upon an unprinted dookat
the wwbw q<the





T his rule covers the cases w ith in the scope of m otions and p etition s to vacate judg­
m ent, and w rits and bills of review . (See General Law s, ch. 250.) W hile broad and
sim ple, the provision for discretionary costs w ill prevent its abuse.
T his rule does not prevent th e court from correcting its record, of its ow n m otion,
under its inherent pow er, to conform to th e truth. ( K a r r i c k v. W e t m o r e , 210 M ass. 5 T 8 ;
H a t h a w a y v. C o n g r e g a t i o n O h a b S h a l o m , 216 M ass. 5 3 9 ; W a u c a n t u c k M i l l s v. M a g e e
C a r p e t C o . , 225 M ass. 3 1 ; W e t m o r e v. K a r r i c k , 205 U. S. 141.)
R ule 12. The docket shall consist of cards, envelopes, or folders, and such
other documents as may be incorporated therein by reference. Nothing shall
be deemed part of the record except the docket entries. Any written papers
delivered to the clerk shall be merely authority for the clerk to enter the
substance thereof on the docket and such papers need not be filed or preserved.
The word “clerk” in these rules shall include an assistant clerk. The word
“attorney” in these rules shall mean an attorney at law, a person specially
authorized in writing to prosecute or defend the claim, one of a number of
partners or joint plaintiffs acting for all, or an officer, manager, or local
manager of a corporation acting for it. Notice to such attorney for a party
shall be equivalent to notice to such party.

(a ) T he accum ulation of a m ass of claim s, answ ers, m otions, letters, and other papers,
draw n by th e parties, w ould be a nuisance. Even the return receipt does n ot become
part of the docket or record. A list of item s becom es part of the docket and record only
w hen incorporated in to th e claim by reference, as, e. g., “See list o f item s filed.” To
file nothing perm anently except a single docket card is an ideal to be attain ed w hen
( b ) T he use o f the. 5 by 8 printed docket cards prepared by the com m ittee on law and
procedure and printed by the Library Bureau, 43 Federal Street, B oston, is recom m ended.
T hese cards are printed from plates owned by the A ssociation o f Justices of D istrict
Courts. T he nam e o f the particular court ordering cards is printed in the m argin.
F ilin g envelopes, 5 by 8, to be numbered like th e docket cards, for th e tem porary or
perm anent filing o f lists of item s, etc., are also useful. F ilin g devices for such cards
and envelopes are readily procurable.
( c ) In sm all courts the docket cards them selves, filed w ith any accom panying envelopes
by th e nam es of th e defendants, m ay con stitu te a sufficient index. In larger courts the
docket cards and any accom panying envelopes w ould better be filed and numbered chrono­
logically, w ith a card index for plaintiffs and defendants.
R ule 13. Actions shall be brought in the Judicial District where the defend­
ant lives or has his usual place of business. Rules of practice in ordinary
civil actions, which are applicable to this procedure and not inconsistent with
these rules, shall apply to cases under this procedure.
R ule 14. Upon removal of a cause to the superior court, the original docket
entries, or in case of removal by some of several defendants, an attested copy
thereof, shall be transmitted to the clerk of the superior court.
R u l e 15. In actions of contract or tort, other than slander and libel, hereafter
begun by writ, in which the recovery of debt or damages does not exceed fifty
dollars, no costs other than the taxable cash disbursements shall be recovered
by the plaintiff, except by special order of the court for cause shown.
R u l e 16. I f any question of law arises under this procedure which the court
is of the opinion requires review, it may submit the matter, in the form of a
report of a case stated, to the appellate division. The report shall go on the
next calendar of that division, shall take precedence over other business, no
briefs shall be required, and the order of the. appellate division thereon shall
not be appealable.

Appendix C.—First Draft of a Model Statute for Facilitating
Enforcement of Wage Claims
W hile the statute books of all or nearly all our States contain provisions for
enforcing prompt payment of wages, these laws are often imperfect. This state­
ment is not intended as an adverse criticism of their draftsmen. The earlier
laws were courageous experiments. They had to steer a tortuous course among
outjutting constitutional difficulties. They suffered considerable judicial mis­
understanding and disapprobation. From tentative small beginnings they have
grown unevenly and frequently have not attained comprehensive symmetry.
They have included many provisions which proved futile when put to the
practical acid test.
States which resolutely forced their way through the
stages of trial and error may wisely continue to build upon the workable resi­
due of their old accustomed forms. But it is doubtful policy to shape fresh
legislation in other jurisdictions by such irregular models, and obviously waste­
ful to repeat primitive mistakes. Hence, this first draft of what is intended to
become a scientific model statute is now published for the purpose of inviting
criticism and suggestion. It is not proposed as a uniform law for general adop­
tion in fixed phrasing. Local variations render utterly impracticable any idea
of nation-wide uniformity- Omissions and additions should be freely made to
fit particular needs. But the draftsmen have striven to produce a statute
which, in general outline and method of approach, reflects the best features of
existing laws, combined with certain helpful new features of substance and
It is respectfully suggested that the most helpful criticism will proceed
from fully informed minds. Fortunately, certain Government publications, by
no means so widely studied as they should be, furnish a wealth of conveniently
organized source material and comment thereon. The existing American leg­
islation on the point through 1925 is either reprinted or described in United
States Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 408 (June 1926), pp. 42 et
seq. In this same publication and in United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bulletin No. 229 (December 1917), are citations and discussions of a large
number of court decisions relating to the validity and interpretation of such
legislation. See also United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin No. 370
(M ay 1925), and id., Bulletin No. 403 (March 1926), the first containing a
general collection of labor laws in the United States and the second the 1925
labor legislation in the United States.
One remark is ventured upon the contents of the foregoing publications to
emphasize a consideration which seems supremely important to the draftsmen
and which goes far to explain the nature of their draft. The Government
bulletins excellently show the quantity and form of prior wage-payment legis­
lation, the extent to which it has broken upon or avoided constitutional ob­
stacles, and the interpretation given the more common provisions.
legalistic foundation is essential. The bulletins do not, however, purport to
picture the success or failure in everyday application of the statutes now



operative. Here the draftsmen believe two simple and almost self-evident
points are to be made. First, a vigorous administrative agency is essential
to successful wage-law enforcement. The mere words of an act are but
Vrutwn, fulm en without human driving power behind them. Second, a good
wage law must show so many effective teeth that its threat will be ever
present to all whom it is meant to curb. W age claimants as a class pitifully
lack the means for enduring even a moderate amount of delay. That law helps
them most which forestalls wrongs meditated but yet undone, not confining
its effect to the correction of wrongs already done. And since some cases of
correction must be encountered and quickly dealt with, there is a double
reason for giving the administrative agency more than one clear method of
inflicting prompt painful pressure on defaulting employers. The agency
should have a set of thumbscrews so assorted as to fit every unfairly grasping
N o t e .— In th is d raft altern ative w ordings are put in p arentheses ( ).
T en tative provi­
sions are put in square brackets [ ] .

S e c t i o n 1 . The following definitions are prescribed for the interpretation of
this act (chapter, etc.) :
( a ) The term “employer” shall mean any individual, partnership, business
trust, association, joint stock company, or corporation who or which is con­
ducting in this State directly or through an agent any business engaging per­
sonal services of not fewer than ----------- employees [for an aggregate of not
fewer than ----------- working hours per week]. The term shall include any
successor to the business of any employer, or any lessee or purchaser of any
employer’s business property for the continuance of the same business, so far
as such employer shall not have paid employees in full. The term shall ex­
clude the United States [and any State, county, municipal corporation, town, or
other governmental division]. The term shall also exclude trustees and assign­
ees in bankruptcy or insolvency, and receivers, whether appointed by Federal
or State courts, and persons otherwise falling under the definition of employers
so far as the times or amounts of their payments to employees are regulated
by laws of the United States, or regulations or orders made in pursuance
(b) The term / ‘employee” shall mean any individual who otherwise than as
copartner of the employer or as an independent contractor renders personal
services wholly or partly in this State to an employer who pays or agrees to
pay such individual at a fixed rate, based on the time spent in the performance
of such services or on the number of operations accomplished [which averages
not in excess o f -----------dollars per working day]. Provided, however, that the
term “employee” shall not include any selling agent the amount of whose com­
pensation is wholly or partly dependent upon the number or amount of his
sales. And provided that where services are rendered only partly in this State
an individual shall not be an employee under the meaning of this paragraph
unless his contract of employment has been entered into, or payments there­
under are ordinarily made or to be made, within this State. [In determining
at any time the average rate of payment of an individual in pursuance of this
paragraph, there shall be considered only amounts paid and payable by the
employer for services rendered during the immediately preceding 30 days, or
the total time of the immediate employment, whichever is the shorter period.]
(c) The term “pay” shall mean to deliver or tender compensation at a pre­
viously designated and reasonably convenient place in this State, during work­
ing hours, in legal tender or by order or negotiable instrument payable and
paid in legal tender, without discount, on demand in this State. The term



[ “rate of payment” shall mean the rate at which payment is made or is to be
made in the manner described in this paragraph and the term] “payment”
shall mean the delivery or tender of compensation in the medium of payment
described in this paragraph. Such delivery or tender shall be made to the
employee concerned or to any person having due authority to act in said
employee’s behalf.
( d ) The term “demand” shall mean a written or oral demand for payment
made during business hours on an employer or an appropriate representative
of an employer by an employee or by some person having and exhibiting due
authority to act in said employee’s behalf.
( e ) The term “ wage claim” shall mean an employee’s claim against his
employer for compensation for his own personal services which [does not
exceed ----------- dollars in aggregate amount, has accrued at a rate averaging
not in excess ----------- dollars per working day during the particular employ­
ment, and] is unpaid in violation of ahy provision of section 3 of this act
(chapter, etc.).
( f ) The term “commissioner” shall mean the commissioner of labor for the
time being.
(g ) The term “court” shall mean a court of competent jurisdiction and
proper venue to entertain the proceeding referred to by the context.
com m entary


s e c t io n


The general purpose of th is defining section is to insure sa tisfactory in terpretation
and a t the sam e tim e to avoid com plex and confusing w ording in th e operative sections.
P a r a g r a p h a .— The provision th a t the em ployer m ust be “doing
* * * busin ess”
is inserted as a brief and adequate su b stitu te for m any com plex excepting clauses in exist­
in g acts. T he phrase probably appears som ewhere in the statu tes of every State. Its
m eaning is w ell understood. T his p art o f th e definition, o f course, excludes dom estic
service from the operative field of th e statu te.
T he altern ative or com plem entary lim itation s based on number of em ployees and num ­
ber o f w orking hours are inserted to exclude very sm all business concerns, th e average
run of farm ers, etc. Observe th a t th e lim itation referring to number o f em ployees
is so w orded a s n ot to require th a t th e en tire tim e o f th ese em ployees be used in th e
particular business. H ence th is lim itation provides a less p recise standard th an does
th e other lim itation! based upon aggregate w orking hours. W hether th e la tter more
precise standard is desirable seem s som ew hat questionable to th e draftsm en. Con­
sequently they have placed th e w ording in square brackets. G enerally speaking, through­
out th e act th e draftsm en have placed in square brackets those p assages w hich they
believe ought to be considered but w hich they think m ay be w isely om itted.
T he m atter of th e la st tw o sentences of paragraph (a) should be stated exp licitly to
avoid difficulties o f interpretation. On th e w hole th e draftsm en w ould prefer to see th e
S tate and its governm ental d ivisions included w ithin the scope o f th e statu te. B ut a s
it is common to exclude governm ental u n its they have inserted a bracketed clause
accom plishing th is result.
P a r a g r a p h b.— T he draftsm en feel th a t the statu te should display an unequivocal in ten ­
tion to include piece w orkers a s w ell as tim e w orkers. B ut they do n ot believe th a t
such persons as travelin g salesm en w ho work on com m ission should be included. T hey
have taken pains in th is paragraph to show th a t the “truck system ” is n ot to be tolerated.
W hile serious doubts have arisen in th e p ast w ith respect to “truck acts”, exam ination
of th e more recent decisions lead s to th e conclusion th at legislation forbidding th is m ethod
of paym ent is now lik ely to be held con stitu tion al.
T he tw o passages in square brackets call for som e explanation. U nless th ese passages
are in serted it is th eoretically possible th a t very h igh ly paid executives or p rofessional
advisers m ight claim th e benefits of th e statu te. T his of course seem s som ew hat
ridiculous. M en o f such financial stan d in g are w ell able to em ploy their own law yers
and fight th eir own b attles in court. H ow ever, th e draftsm en believe th a t in few , if any,
cases w ould th is theoretical p ossib ility be realized. C onsequently it seem s to them th at
th e tw o square-bracketed passages m ight be om itted w ith out any p ractical dam age. The
reader w ill notice th a t if these passages are included the paragraph has been so worded
as to prevent tip s, C hristm as presents, and other g ra tu ities from being included for
th e purpose of calcu latin g average rate of paym ent.



P a r a g r a p h c .— T he requirem ent th a t any order or com m ercial paper m ust not only be
payable but actu ally paid in a certain w ay is a brief and adequate su b stitu te for the
com plex provisions som etim es found as to the state o f th e em ployer’s bank account, etc
The definition included in th e square brackets seem s superfluous to the d raftsm en ; but
to m ake assurance doubly sure th ey have ten ta tiv ely inserted it.
P a r a g r a p h d .— The sh ift from “w orking hours” in th e preceding paragraph to “busi­
ness hours” in th is paragraph is in ten tion al. To th is exten t it w ould seem th a t the
em ployer’s convenience should be consulted. The draftsm en assum e th at to a con­
siderable exten t “w orking hours” and “business hours” w ill coincide. W here th is is
not true a situ ation arises for special treatm ent under section 10. T he sh ift of phrasing
from “having due auth ority” in the preceding paragraph to “h aving and exhibiting due
au th o rity ” in th is paragraph h as an obvious ju stification .
P a r a g r a p h e .— As to the bracketed m atter in th is paragraph com pare the discussion of
paragraph b , supra. H ere again th e draftsm en feel th at as a practical m atter the clause
in brackets m ight w ell be om itted. Indeed, their feelin g is som ew hat stronger in th e
present connection. A good-natured stupid em ployee m ay be w heedled along by his
em ployer u n til his unpaid claim exceeds even a rather liberal m axim um am ount. Yet
because of the very am ount tied up, such an em ployee w ill have less m oney in hand
w ith w hich to seek ordinary legal assistan ce.
O bviously it is im practical to sp lit a w age claim into th e part payable for services
w ith in th e S tate and th e part payable for services outside the State. It has seem ed to
the draftsm en th a t th e requirem ent in paragraph b , supra, of som e services w ith in the
S tate is proper and not essen tia lly in con sistent w ith th e m ore broadly in clu sive provisions
of paragraph e.
P a r a g r a p h f .— T he existen ce or in stitu tio n of a public official or board charged w ith
seein g to th e enforcem ent of the sta tu te is absolutely v ita l. L egislation of th is type is
the reverse o f autom atic in operation. It is safe to say th a t th e great th in gs accom ­
plished of late years by w age-paym ent legislation and other social legislation of related
types are attributable to the operation of proper adm in istrative m achinery for enforce­
m ent. On th is p oin t see R. H . Sm ith’s article on A dm inistrative Justice (18 III. L aw
R eview , p. 211, 1 92 3 ). For practical exam ples one m ay refer to the w idely separated
S tates of M assachusetts and C alifornia. The w age-paym ent la w s of th ese S tates are
very different in form . In M assach u setts enforcem ent of th e statu te u ltim ately de­
pends upon crim inal p roceed in gs; th e com m issioner is not em powered to do collection
work. In C alifornia, crim inal proceedings are available as a la st resort, but the
bureau of labor sta tistic s brings num erous civil actions to collect unpaid w a g e s ; as a
m atter of fact these collections consum e m ost of th e tim e o f th e bureau’s staff, and in
th is work its accom plishm ents are g reatest. Each of th ese sta tu tes brings about large
social benefit because an a ctiv e executive organization im pels it.
The model statu te assum es the existence of an appropriate ad m in istrative official
for its enforcem ent. Of course, the official title w ill vary from S tate to S tate. The
d u ties o f th is office ough t to extend to m any other m atters affecting labor besides th e
mere paym ent o f w ages. F or th a t reason no attem p t is m ade to in sert a d raft section
creatin g such an a d m in istrative official or board for S tates w here he or it is now
S e c . 2. Any employer may designate regular pay days for employees or any

class or group of employees. Pay days so designated shall occur not less often
t h a n -----------in each calendar month and at intervals of not more t h a n -----------days. In the absence of such designation, regular pay days shall fall on Friday
of each week. When any regular pay day falls on a holiday or a Sunday, it
shall shift to the next preceding business day. Every employer shall post and
keep posted at each regular place of business in a position or positions easily
accessible to all employees one or more notices on forms supplied from time to
time by the commissioner containing (1) a copy or summary of the provisions
of this act (chapter, etc.), (2) a statement of the regular pay days, and (3) a
statement of the place or places and the time or times for payment of employees.




’.This section is purposely so draw n th a t th e operation of th e statu te does not depend
upon action by the em ployer in d esign atin g pay days. It is also draw n to perm it
design ation o f different sets of pay days by the sam e em ployer. In som e large business
organ ization s p art of the em ployees are paid every day to spread th e financial work.
N orm ally th e blanks in th is section w ould be so filled as to m ake th e sta tu te call for



n ot few er th an 2 days per m onth at in tervals n ot greater than 16 d a y s; or for n ot
few er than 4 pay days per m onth a t in tervals n ot greater than 7, 8, or possibly 10
days. The provision th at the com m issioner sh all prepare and supply th e n otices enables
th is part of th e statu te to be put very briefly. I t also perm its flexibility in th e form
of n otice so th a t an ineffective form m ay be w ith d raw n from circu lation and replaced
by an effective one.
S ec. 3.

Every employer shall pay employees as follow s:

(a) On demand, after a discharge or decrease of compensation has become
operative with respect to any employee, such employer shall pay said employee
in full to the time of discharge or decrease of compensation.
(b) On each regular pay day such employer shall pay in full each employee
voluntarily leaving employment on or since the last preceding regular pay day.
( c ) On each regular pay day such employer shall pay each other employee
in full for services rendered to within — working days of said pay day.
( d ) I f because of absence from the place of payment any employee is not
paid on any regular pay day the sums then payable under this section, he shall
be paid at any time thereafter on demand said sums, or he shall, if he so
demands, be paid said sums by mail, less the actual cost of transmission.
( e ) The mailing of compensation in the medium described by section 1, para­
graph c, of this act (chapter, etc.) to an employee in time to reach his postoffice address by usual course of mail on the proper regular pay day shall be
due compliance with the requirements of this section.
None of the foregoing provisions shall make unlawful more frequent or earlier
payment of any employee. Violation of any of the foregoing provisions of this
section [shall give rise to a civil right of action on any resulting wage claim,
and violation of any of said provisions] or of any provision of the last sentence
of section 2 of this act (chapter, etc.) shall be a misdemeanor punishable on
complaint of the employee affected or of the commissioner as hereinafter

The corresponding sections o f a number of existin g a cts call for paym ent o f w ages
“earned” or “due.” T his seem s dangerous w ording, opening th e w ay to devious legal
quibblings. T he m odel statu te avoids it.
P a r a g r a p h s a , 6, a n d c.— T hese are com m onplace provisions found in th e m ajority of
existin g acts. The m odel statu te is so draw n th at even if em ployees leave their em ploy­
m ent for th e purpose of going on strike they are entitled to prom pt paym ent. It has
seem ed to th e d raftsm en th a t if a strik e is to be recognized a s a legitim a te m ethod of
protest, discrim inations should not be m ade against th ose w ho em ploy th is m ethod.
P a r a g r a p h s d a n d e .— T hese p rovisions are less u sual and in som e p articu lars unique to
the m odel statu te. T hey are self-explanatory.
In th e concluding paragraph o f th is section it is assum ed th a t m inor crim inal pro­
ceedings m ay be com menced by “com plaint.” It is also assum ed th at th e district, county,
or prosecuting attorney is not n ecessarily or usually engaged in such m inor prosecutions.
H ence there is no exp licit provision requiring him to act a t th e in stan ce of th e com ­
m issioner. Such provision m ay be inserted if desired and practicable. T he w ords in
square brackets m ay w ell be om itted in view of the first sentence in section 8.
P e r r y v. K i n s l e y I r o n & M a c h i n e C o m p a n y (195 M ass. 548, 81 N. E. 305 (1 9 0 7 )),
serves at once as a concrete illu stration of the difficulty in dicated by th e first paragraph
o f the com m entary upon th is section and also as a w arning on an im portant point. In
th is case an em ployee who had left h is em ploym ent w ith out givin g advance notice sued,
th e form er em ployer for unpaid w ages. T he em ployer’s d efen se w as based upon a con­
tract betw een h im self and th e plaintiff w hereby the la tter agreed to fo rfeit “w hatever
w ages [m ight] be due him ” if he le ft w ith out givin g n otice 10 days in advance. The
M assachusetts w age-paym ent statu te provided th a t an em ployee leavin g h is em ploym ent
should be paid in fu ll on the follow in g regular pay day the w ages earned by him . T he
sta tu te also contained a p rovision th a t no person should by sp ecial con tract or by any
other m eans exem pt h im self from its operation. T he court held th a t because o f th e agree­
m ent betw een p lain tiff and d efendant as to th e g ivin g o f notice, th e com pensation w hich
p lain tiff claim ed had not been “earned” in such sense th a t he could su ccessfu lly sue for it.
T he draftsm en have prepared their statu te w ith th e idea of p reventing such con­
tracts as th e one involved in the foregoing case except w here th e com m issioner’s approval



is obtained. See section 10 and com m entary thereon. B ut th ey realize th at in some
jurisdictions other legislation or ju dicial decisions m ight require th is in ten tion to be more
exp licitly indicated. Since they have in view a general object th ey do not attem pt to deal
w ith such peculiar situ ation s. They also realize th at as con tracts o f the kind above
discussed w ill cause only m oderate forfeitures w hen operating under a law com pelling
frequent periodic w age paym ents, it m ight be deemed advisable to perm it th ese contracts.
If so, it would probably be w isest to in dicate th is fa ct in a sp ecial provision. See also
th e com m entary on section 12, w hich refers to another featu re of th e foregoing
M assachusetts case.
Sec. 4. Any employer may not less than ----------- days after the death of
any employee and before the filing of a petition (application, etc.) for letters
testamentary or of administration in respect of the decedent’s estate, make pay­
ment of decedent’s compensation [if not in excess of the maximum amount of a
wage claim as above defined] to the wife, children, father or mother, brother
or sister of the decedent, giving preference in the foregoing order; or, if no
such relatives survive, may apply such payment or so much thereof as may be
necessary to paying creditors of the decedent in the order of preference pre­
scribed for satisfaction of debts by executors and administrators. The making
or application of payment in this manner shall be a discharge and release of
the employer to the amount thus paid or applied.

T his is a convenient provision found in the law s o f about h a lf a dozen S tates in
slig h tly varying form s. As it is optional, there is no need to spell out th e details. An
em ployer who does not feel safe in th us m aking paym ent is n ot required to do so. The
usual tim e lim its run from 30 to 120 days. R etention or exclusion o f th e m atter
enclosed in square brackets depends upon th e w ay in w hich th e bracketed m atter of
section 1, paragraph e , is dealt w ith .
S e c . 5. Any employee may sue his employer on a wage claim without giving
security for payment of costs. In any such proceeding the court may allow
the prevailing party in addition to all ordinary costs a reasonable sum not
exceeding----------- dollars for expenses. No assignee of a wage claim shall be
benefited or affected by this section except as expressly provided by paragraph
b of section 6.


se c t io n


The provision o f th e first sentence m ay often be im portant p articularly to nonresidents
and is n ot likely to be held un con stitu tion al. The provision of th e second sentence
avoids one-sidedness and is alm ost undoubtedly con stitu tion al. H oldings o f u n con stitu ­
tion a lity w ith respect to such provisions have generally occurred w here an act gave am
expense allow ance to the em ployee only. The reason for p reventing an assignee from
h aving the benefits o f th is section is spoken of in th e com m entary on section 6,
paragraph b.
Seo. 6. It shall be a (the) duty of the commissioner to enforce the provisions
of this act (chapter, etc.), and to that end he shall have the following powers:
( a ) H e may investigate and attempt equitably to adjust controversies be­
tween employers and employees in respect of wage claims or alleged wage
(b) He may take assignments of wage claims in trust for the assigning
employees. A ll such assignments shall run to the commissioner and his suc­
cessors in office. The commissioner may sue employers on wage claims thus
assigned with the benefits and subject to the provisions of section 5. He may
join in a single proceeding any number of wage claims against the same
employer, but the court shall have discretionary power to order a severance
or separate trials or hearings.
(c) He may make complaint in a criminal court for any violation of the
provisions of section 3 or of the last sentence of section 2. Such complaint



shall be made not later t h a n -----------months after the violation complained of.
The employer complained against shall, if found guilty, be liable to a fine of
not less t h a n ----------- dollars nor more than ----------- dollars. Judgment may be
entered for such fine and costs and may be enforced by execution and other­
wise in the same manner as if rendered in a civil proceeding [but payment
may not be enforced by imprisonment]. [Any such judgment shall have the
same preference as a judgment for taxes in favor of the State.]
He may, after entry of final judgment against an employer in any pro­
ceeding in pursuance of section 5 or the foregoing paragraphs of this section,
require such employer to execute and deliver to him a bond conditioned upon
the full future performance for a period of 1 year from its date of the pro­
visions of section 3 and the last sentence of section 2. Every such bond shall
run to the commissioner and his successors in office; shall be for a sum not
exceeding — the average aggregate compensation payable monthly by such
employer to employees in the business with respect to which judgment was
entered; and shall be executed by one or more sureties satisfactory to the com­
missioner [or approved in the same manner as bail in criminal proceedings]. In
determining the maximum amount for such a bond, there shall be computed
the monthly average of the aggregate compensation paid and payable for
services rendered by employees in such business over the 6-month period
immediately preceding the commissioner’s written notice or over the period
during which said employer has been conducting said business, whichever
period is shorter.
Before requiring such bond the commissioner shall give such employer not
less than 7 days notice in writing to enable the employer to show cause why
such bond should not be executed and delivered. Unless such bond is executed
and delivered when duly required, any court shall, on suit by the commissioner,
enjoin such employer from doing business in this State until the requirement
is met, or shall make other, and may make further, orders appropriate to com­
pel compliance with the requirement. In any legal proceeding respecting such
bond, the employer shall have the burden of proving the amount thereof to be
The commissioner shall prosecute all legal proceedings [as a corporation
sole] under his official title.

T h e p a ra gra p h s o f th is section are m ade o p tio n a l ra th e r th a n m a n d a to ry in te rm in o lo g y
because the com m ission er ca n n o t p o ss ib ly su cceed un less he has su b sta n tia l d iscre tio n .
O f cou rse th e p ro p e r and effectiv e u se o f th e d is c re tio n d ep en d s u p on th e in cu m b e n t’s
a b ility an d ch a ra cter. T h e best a d m in is tra tiv e m a ch in e ry in th e w o r ld w ill break d ow n
u tte rly i f in tru sted to in com p eten t officials.
P a ra g ra p h a .— T h is b rie f p a ra gra p h g iv es a m ple b asis f o r c o n cilia tio n p roced u re.
A m erica n le g a l-a id o rg a n iz a tio n s h a ve sh ow n h ow effe ctiv e ly c o n c ilia t io n ca n be ca rrie d
on w ith o u t sp ecial trib u n a ls o r ela b ora te sp ecia l p ro v is io n s o r m a ch in ery . E xp erien ce in
su ch S ta tes as M a ssa ch u setts in d ica te s th a t it is u n n ecessa ry, an d th e re fo re unw ise, to
set up sp ecial a d m in is tr a tiv e trib u n a ls fo r h a n d lin g w a g e cla im s.
P a ra g ra p h 6.— T h is p a ra g ra p h in less ela b ora te fo rm is a n im p o r ta n t p a r t o f th e
C a lifo rn ia w a g e p a ym en t law . I t s m erits a re deb ata b le. T h e o p e ra tio n o f a co lle ctio n
system e n ta ilin g u se o f th e c iv il co u rts req u ires a con sid e ra b le fo r c e o f p u b lic officials
in clu d in g la w y ers an d a ccou n ta n ts .
T h e cases o f M a ssa ch u setts a n d C a lifo rn ia have
a lrea d y been con tra sted .
T h ey a fford m ateria l f o r co m p a riso n o n th e p resen t p o in t.
T h e p op u la tion s o f th e tw o S ta tes are v ery n ea rly equal. M a ssa ch u setts can sca rce ly
be con sid ered in fe r io r in in d u s tria l a c tiv ity .
Y et w h ile C a lifo rn ia d u rin g 1926 w a s
co lle ctin g n ea rly $90 0 ,0 0 0 on 25,0 00 w a g e cla im s, M a ssa ch u setts d e a lt w ith fe w e r th a n
2 ,0 0 0 w a g e cla im s on w h ich b etw een tw e n ty -e ig h t an d tw e n ty -n in e th ou sa n d d o lla rs
w ere p a id . T h e d ifferen ce in th e ela b ora ten ess a n d exp en se o f the t w o a d m in is tr a tiv e
o rg a n iza tion s m a y be im a gin ed . N or is th e M a ssa ch u se tts la w in effective.
I t s e n fo r ce ­
m en t is ad m irable. B u t the M a ssa ch u setts cyim|n^l cou rts ve ry e x p e d itio u sly ha n d le com -



p la in ts as to v io la tio n o f th e w a g e p a ym en t law . N or is th e ir h a n d w eaken ed b y co n ­
s titu tio n a l p ro v is io n s fo rb id d in g im p rison m en t f o r d eb t.
E lsew h ere, u n d er d ifferen t
ju d ic ia l an d c o n stitu tio n a l co n d itio n s the M a ssa ch u setts la w m ig h t fa il u tte rly a n d c iv il
p roceed in g s fo r w a g e co lle ctio n m ig h t be th e s w ifte s t an d best en forcem en t m eth od .
H en ce th e d ra ftsm e n in sert th e p a ra gra p h w ith th e s u gg estion th a t it be p ro m p tly
d eleted w h erev er it is a n eed less ex tra v a g a n ce.
A ssig n m en t o f cla im s to th e com m ission er is p ro v id e d f o r because h e m u st h ave co m ­
p lete c o n tr o l o f a n y cla im w h ich he tak es in hand. I f he m erely o b ta in e d an a p p o in t­
m en t as a tto rn e y in fa c t c o m p lic a tio n s a n d w ra n gles o v e r c o n tr o l m ig h t im pede o r p re ­
v en t su ccessfu l co lle ctio n . I t w ill be ob served th a t p a ra gra p h e o f se ctio n 1, and se ctio n
5, an d th is p a ra g ra p h com b in e to m ake th e com m issio n e r th e o n ly assignee w h o m ay
h a ve an a llow a n ce f o r expen ses. I t does n o t seem sou n d p o lic y to h o ld o u t such gold en
p oss ib ilitie s to m on ey len d ers and o th e r sm a ll specu la tors. T h e sta tu te is so fra m e d th a t
th e com m ission er w ill in m an y cases h a ve a ch oice betw een c iv il an d crim in a l p roceed in g s.
O f cou rse, he m ay re s o rt t o b oth u n d er s ection 8.
P a ra g ra p h c .— H ere a g a in a “ co m p la in t” is assum ed to be th e n o rm a l m eth od o f
com m en cin g a m in o r cr im in a l case.
A v e ry sh ort p e rio d o f lim ita tio n — p erhap s n o t
m ore th a n 3 or 6 m on th s— ou g h t p rob a b ly to be prescribed . T h e m a tte r en closed in th e
firs t p a ir o f b ra ck ets sh ou ld be om itted , i f possib le.
B u t w h ere th e lo ca l co n stitu tio n
fo rb id s im p rison m en t f o r d eb t it is p erh a p s a d iscreet q u a lifica tion . T h e m a tte r in the
n e x t p a ir o f bra ck ets is a m ere su g g estion su scep tib le o f en tire o m issio n o r o f g r e a t
v a ria tio n .
P a ra g ra p h d .— T h e d ra ftsm e n s u gg est th a t th e m ax im u m a m o u n t o f th e b on d m ig h t
be tw ice th e a gg rega te m o n th ly com p en sation . T h e m a tte r enclosed in square b rackets
is a su ggestion on ly . In a specific ju ris d ictio n th ere m ay be o th e r co n v e n ie n t m eth ods
o f a p p ro v in g such bonds. O b v iou sly th e eq u itab le p roce e d in g s co n te m p la te d fo r e n fo r ce ­
m ent o f the p rov is ion s o f th is p a ra gra p h m ig h t lead to im p rison m en t f o r con tem p t. B u t
it does n ot seem th a t th is w ou ld b e “ im p rison m en t fo r d e b t” ; th e w h o le h y p o th e sis is
th a t p oten tia l, n o t e xistin g, cr e d ito rs a re to be given p ro te ctio n . O f cou rse, a clause
m ig h t be in serted fo rb id d in g en forcem en t o f a d ecree o r an o rd e r b y im p rison m en t.
B u t in con n ection w ith th is an d th e p reced in g p a ra gra p h s, see s e ctio n 11.
I n th e la st b rie f p a ra g ra p h th e b ra cketed p rov is io n is p ro b a b ly superfluous. T h e
id ea sou gh t here is to m ake s u b stitu tion o f su ccessor com m ission ers a u to m a tic.

Sec. 7. Violation of any provision of section 3 or of the last sentence of
section 2 by a corporation organized and existing under the laws of this state
shall be sufficient cause for forfeiture of its charter, and such violation by a
foreign corporation shall be sufficient cause for forfeiture of its right to do
business in this State. A t the request and upon the advice of the commissioner
the attorney general may commence proper proceedings to enforce the for­
feiture prescribed. Before commencing such proceedings the attorney general
shall give the corporation affected not less than 7 days’ notice in writing to
enable it to present reasons why forfeiture should not be enforced. In such
proceedings a prior civil judgment against the defendant on a wage claim shall
place upon the defendant the burden of disproving its liability to forfeiture
and a prior judgment under complaint made in accordance with paragraph c
of section 6 shall be conclusive evidence of such liability.

T h e p r o v is io n s o f th is s e ctio n a re su gg ested b y a C olora d o s ta tu te . (C o lo r a d o C om p. L,
1921, secs. 4 23 8 , 4 23 9 , a n d 4 2 4 0 .)
T h e s e ctio n ha s been d ra w n w ith th e id ea th a t th e
com m ission ers sh ou ld be the p rim a ry m o v in g fo r c e in fo r fe it u r e p roceed in gs. T h e a t ­
t o rn e y g en era l is a ssu m ed t o be th e p ro p e r p u b lic officer a ctu a lly to in s titu te a n d to
ca rry on such p roceed in g s. I t h a s seem ed w iser to m ake h is a ctio n d isc re tio n a r y ra th er
th a n m a n d atory .
I f th e p ro v is io n is en a cted as it stands in the d r a ft no co r p o r a tio n
w ou ld be su b jected t o th is seriou s p e n a lty un less and u n til tw o resp on sib le a d m in is tra ­
tiv e officers had con cu rred as t o th e d e sira b ility o f ta k in g th e step.
S in ce the a tto rn e y gen era l b rin g s his p roceed in g s as a re p re se n ta tiv e o f th e S tate
it is f a ir a n d rea son a ble to g iv e h im th e benefit o f re s ju d ic a ta i f a s u cce ssfu l crim in a l
p rosecu tion fo r v io la tio n o f th e sta tu te has a lrea d y occu rre d .
Som e d ecision s sta te in
b roa d term s th a t a leg isla tu re m ay n o t d ecla re w h a t s h a ll be co n clu siv e evid en ce o f a
fa c t.
( J oh n son v. T h eod oron , 155 N. E . 483 (111. 1 9 2 7 ).)
B u t th e d ra ftsm e n b elieve
th a t th is p rin c ip le w ou ld n o t exten d to a case w h ere th e e v id en ce is a p rio r ju d gm e n t
o f a d om e stic crim in a l cou rt.
G iv in g a p rior .civil ju d g m e n t the effect o f s h iftin g th e



burden o f p r o o f is ca lcu la ted t o e x tra ct an ad equ ate exp la n a tion , i f o n e e x ists, fr o m
th e p a r ty h a v in g c o n tr o l o f th e evid en ce on th e p o in t. T h e d ra ftsm e n h ave h e sita te d
t o s a y t h a t a p r io r c iv il ju d g m e n t sh a ll b e eith er p rim a fa c ie o r p resu m p tiv e e v id e n ce
a g a in s t th e d efe n d a n t because o f th e la ck o f p recision w ith w h ich b o th ju d g e s an d le g is ­
la to r s h a ve u sed th ese term s. I t m ig h t p erh a p s b e w ise t o in s e rt in th is s e ctio n a tim e
lim it s im ila r t o t h a t con ta in ed in s ection 6, p a ra gra p h c.
I t has occu rred t o th e d ra ftsm e n th a t w h ere special p a rtn ersh ip s, jo in t s to ck a ss o cia ­
tio n s, o r busin ess tru sts receiv e sp ecial s ta tu to ry p riv ileg e s th ey, as w e ll as co r p o r a tio n s ,
m ig h t be su b jected to th e loss o f th ese p riv ileg es fo r v io la tio n s o f th e w a g e p a y m e n t
sta tu te. B u t as p ro v is io n s f o r tra n s la tin g th is id ea in t o le g is la tio n m ust o f n e ce ssity
be d ra w n a cco r d in g to the sta tu tes o f e a ch p a rtic u la r S ta te, no a tte m p t is m a d e here t o
su ggest th e p rop er w ord in g .
S e o . 8. The remedies provided by this act (chapter, etc.) 'shall be additional
to and not in substitution for other remedies now or hereafter existing or pro­
vided, and may be enforced simultaneously or consecutively so far as not in­
consistent with each other. No payment or tender after the filing of a criminal
complaint or commencement of any proceeding by the commissioner or the
attorney general shall affect the liability therein of an employer for expenses,
or prevent such employer from being subject to fine or forfeiture, or to the
giving of bond for the performance of the provisions of this act (chapter, etc.).
So far as any civil proceeding hereunder is brought in [or appealed to] a court
of limited jurisdiction, allowance to the prevailing party for expenses shall be
taxed as additional costs, shall not oust such court of jurisdiction, and may be
enforced despite the fact that the total judgment thus rendered exceeds the
ordinary maximum jurisdictional amount.



T h is s ection ch okes off a n u m ber o f q u estion s w h ic h h a ve arisen under e x is tin g a cts.

Sec. 9. For the purpose of paying expenses and costs of the commissioner’s
proceedings under this act (chapter, etc.) there is hereby created a [trust]
fund to be known as the contingent fund of the commissioner, and to be pay­
able at any time or from time to time on order of the commissioner. This
fund shall be self-sustaining. All sums collected’ by the commissioner for
costs, expenses, and fines shall become part of this fund. A reasonable por­
tion of the amount recovered on any assigned wage claim may also be added
to the fund if the court in which judgment is entered so orders at the request
of the commissioner. For the establishment of said contingent fund the sum
o f -----------dollars is hereby appropriated to be placed to the credit of said con­
tingent fund as a temporary loan and paid out from time to time on order
of the commisioner. This loan so far as availed of shall be repaid to the
State treasury by applying any accumulations above ----------- dollars in said
fund on t h e -----------day o f -------------, 192— , and by applying subsequent accumu­
lations annually thereafter until repayment without interest is completed.

A recen t N eva d a a ct su gg ests t h is section .
(N eva d a a cts 192 5 , c. 9 5 .)
T h e p ro­
v is io n seem s d esirable. T h e tw o d ifficulties w h ic h h a ve been e n cou n tered in N evada
sh ou ld be a n ticip a te d and a v oid ed . T h e o rig in a l N eva d a a p p ro p ria tio n f o r e sta b lish in g
t h e sp ecia l fu n d a m ou n ted t o o n ly $500. T h is sum w a s so sm a ll th a t it w o u ld h a rd ly
suffice to c a rr y th rou g h one g o o d case. M oreov er, th e fo rm a litie s o f d ra w in g u p o n th e
fu n d in N eva d a w ere t o o com p lica ted . I t is w o r th y o f n o te th a t a fo r m e r la b o r co m ­
m ission er o f N eva d a m et th e secon d d ifficu lty b y b o rro w in g $500 o n h is p erson a l re­
s p o n sib ility a n d p la c in g th is sum in ban k as th e “ special co n tin g e n t fu n d ” , su b je ct t o
p erson a l ch eck. B y m ean s o f a s m a ll fee, w h ich th e la w a llo w e d him t o e x a ct, th e loa n
w a s rep a id , a n d in J a n u a ry 1927, a sm a ll b a la n ce existed a t th e bank. T h is p r a c t ic a l
e x p erien ce in N eva d a s tr o n g ly in d ica tes th a t such a re v o lv in g fu n d ca n be m a in ta in e d
a t an a d equ ate lev el w ith o u t con tin u ed d r a ft s u p on th e p u b lic trea su ry. T he e x p e rie n ce
o f le g a l-a id o rg a n iz a tio n s in h a n d lin g th e ir exp en ses a lso le a d s t o th is fa v o r a b le co n -



elu sion . So fa r as th e w o r d in g o f th is section cov ers th e m a tte r o f a p u b lic a p p ro p ria ­
tion , i t w ill need exp a n sion an d a ltera tion to su it lo c a l usages.

Sec. 10. No employer may by special contract or any other means exempt
himself from any provision of or liability or penalty imposed by this act
(chapter, etc.) except so far as the commissioner in writing approves a special
contract or other arrangement between an emjployer and one or more of such
employer’s employees. The commissioner shall not give his approval unless he
finds that such contract or arrangement will not prejudicially affect the inter­
ests of the public or of the employee or employees involved, and he may at any
time retract such approval, first giving the employer not less than 30 days’
notice in writing. None of the provisions of this act (chapter, etc.) shall
[affect the right of any employer under lawful contract to retain part of the
compensation of any employee for the purpose of affording such employee
insurance, or hospital, sick, or other similar relief; nor shall any of said pro­
visions] diminish or enlarge the right of any person to assert and enforce a
lawful set-off or counterclaim or to attach, take, reach, or apply an employee’s
compensation on due legal process.

T h e first sen ten ce m ig h t he r h e to r ic a lly stren gth en ed b y sa y in g in so m an y w o r d s th a t
co n tr a c ts o f th is s o rt a re n u ll a n d v o id , o r even by m ak in g it a m isd em ea n or t o a tte m p t
t o fo r m such a c o n tr a c t o r m ak e su ch a n a rra n g em en t. B u t a s im ila r ly w o r d e d cla u s e has
p rov ed a d equ ate in M a ssa ch u setts, su b sta n tia lly the on ly d ifferen ce in p h ra seology b e in g
th e su b stitu tio n h ere o f th e w o r d “ m a y ” fo r “ s h a ll” in th e M a ssa ch u se tts fo rm . O n th e
w h ole th e d ra ftsm en d ou b t w h eth er th e rh e to r ic a l stren gth en in g w ou ld a d d m uch t o th e
a ctu a l stren gth o f th e section . T h e p ro v is io n f o r th e co m m issio n e r’ s a p p ro v a l seem s
d esirab le as g iv in g th e statute rea son a ble e la sticity an d th u s o b v ia tin g th e n ecessity o f
ela b ora te leg isla tion as to p ecu lia r cases. T h e d ra ftsm e n a re v e r y d o u b tfu l a b o u t th e
w isd om o f in s e rtin g the w o r d s in clu d ed in square bra ck ets. T h e y k n o w th e sto r y o f t h e
ca m el w h o g o t his nose in sid e th e ten t d oor, and fe a r th a t th is p a rt o f th e s e ctio n m ig h t
tu rn o u t to be a lega l cam el.
S e c . 11. Despite any determination that any provision, or any application of
any provision, or any particular method of enforcing any provision, of this
act (chapter, etc.) is unconstitutional, the remaining provisions and applica­
tions and methods of enforcement shall be unaffected and shall remain in full
force and effect.

I n v ie w o f e x istin g d ecision s resp ectin g the co n stitu tio n a lity o f such le g is la tio n th is
seem s th e m ost a p t w o r d in g fo r a cla u se intended to a cco m p lish th e p u rp ose o f su sta in ­
in g a n d h o ld in g to g e th e r as m an y p rov is ion s as p ossib le. T h e d ra ftsm en w is h to sta te
th a t n o con v en tion a l p r o v is io n has been in serted in th e m od el sta tu te w ith o u t ca re fu l
w eig h in g o f preceden ts an d th a t n o n ov el p ro v is io n has been in serted w ith o u t a b e lie f
th a t th e ch an ces a re in fa v o r o f its b ein g d eclared co n stitu tio n a l. O ne fa v o r it e p u n itiv e
p ro v is io n — th a t im p osin g in one fo rm o r a n oth er a cu m u la tive d a ily p e n a lty f o r d elay
in p a ym en t o f w a g es— th e d ra ftsm en h a ve in te n tio n a lly om itted . T h is p ro v isio n , w h ere
it becom es severe enou gh to a ccom p lish resu lts, is v e r y lik e ly t o be d e cla re d u n co n s titu ­
tion a l. A ls o it co n ta in s a “ get rich q uick w ith o u t a n y w o r k ” fla v o r w h ic h is u n d esirable.
S e c . 12. Repeal, etc.

S in ce th e o b je ct o f this d r a ft is to p resen t a sm ooth, co m p a ct, a n d com p reh en siv e
s ta tu te , it is a lm o s t ce r ta in t h a t a n y S ta te e n a ctin g le g is la tio n based u p o n th e d r a ft
w ou ld h a v e to d o a certa in a m ou n t o f rep ealin g. F o r exam ple, in F e r r y v. K in s le y I r o n
& M a ch in e C om p a n y, the M a ssa ch u setts case d escribed in th e co m m en ta ry o n s e ctio n 3,
it a ppears th a t th e sta tu te b ook con ta in ed a p rov is ion la y in g d o w n ce rta in req u irem en ts
o f m u tu a lity w ith resp ect t o agreem ents betw een em p lo y e r a n d em p loy ee f o r a d v a n ce
n o tice o f in ten tion to d isch a rg e o r t o lea ve em p loym ent. T h e co u rt v e ry p ro p e rly sa id
th a t th is con stitu te d an im p lied re co g n itio n o f th e v a lid ity o f th ese co n tra cts .

Appendix D.—Legal Aid Directory
April 19351

[Compiled by the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations]

Name of organization

Akron, Ohio.............. Legal Aid Committee of the Family Service
Albany, N . Y ........... Legal Aid Society _ . _ _
Atlanta, Ga___ ___ ___Id o......... .........'______________________ _______
Baltimore, M d____ Legal Aid Bureau, Inc_________________________
Boston, Mass
Legal Aid Society 1____________________________
Bridgeport, Conn__ Legal Aid Division, Department of Public
Buffalo, N . Y ............ Legal Aid Bureau, Inc_________________________
Cambridge, M ass... Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.........................................
Chicago, 111—............. Legal Aid Department of the Jewish Social
Service Bureau.
D o......................... Legal Aid Bureau of the United Charities
Cincinnati, Ohio— Legal Aid Society...........................................................
. ............_ _
D o......................... Voluntary Defender
Cleveland, Ohio___ Legal Aid Society...........................................................
Columbus, Ohio___ Family Bureau................................................................
Legal Aid Clinie . . . . . .
Clvde H. Wright, Esq
Do _
Lytle G. Zuber, Esq.
_ _ ........
D o......................... Public Defender_______________________________
Dallas, Tex _
Free Legal Aid Bureau________ ______ ________
Danville, 111............... Legal Aid Committee of the Illinois State Bar
Dayton, Ohio______ Bureau of Legal Aid .....
Denver, Colo______ Legal Aid Society. _____________________________
Detroit, M ich........... Legal Aid Bureau of the Detroit Bar AssociationDuluth, M inn_____ Legal Aid Bureau _ . .
Durham, N. O _
Legal Aid Clinic______________________________
Erie, Pa....................... Legal Aid Committee of the Erie County Bar
G ra n d R a p id s, Legal Aid Bureau of The Family Welfare Asso­
"Hartford, Honn ... Legal Aid Bnrean _
D o......................... Public Defender______________________________
Indianapolis, Ind-__ Legal Aid Committee...................................................
Jacksonville, Fla___ Legal Aid Committee of the Jacksonville Bar
Kalamazoo, M ich— Civic Improvement League.......................................
Lansing, M ich.......... Legal Aid Bureau of the Ingham County Bar
Long Beach, Calif— Legal Aid Committee...................................................
Los Angeles, C alif.. Southern California Legal Aid Clinic Associa­
Do _
Legal Aid Clinin
D o......................... City Public Defender_________________________
D o . ..................... County Public Defender______________________
LorjisvillA, TCy _
Legal Aid Society_____________________________
Madison, W is_____ ____ do________________________________________
__ _ _ __
Milwaukee, Wis
Minneapolis, M inn. ........ do................................................................................
Montreal, Canada Legal Aid Bureau...........................................................
Legal Aid Department. _ __
Nashville, Tenn___ Legal Aid Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce.Newark, N . .T _
Essex County Legal Aid Association___________
N ew Bedford, Mass- Legal Aid Society...........................................................
N ew Haven, Conn - Municipal Legal Aid Bureau.....................................
N ew Orleans, L a ... Legal Aid Society...........................................................
D o......................... Legal Aid Committee of.the Bar Association.........

76 South High St.
82 State St.
422 Fulton County Courthouse.
327 St. Paul PI.
16A Ashburton PI.
Public Welfare Bldg.
367 Main St.
Gannett House.
1800 Selden St.
203 North Wabash Ave.
312 West 9th St.
Room 231, City Hall.
614 Fidelity Bldg., 1940 East
6th St.
337 South High St.
Ohio State University.
44 East Broad St.
43 West Long St.
17 North High St.
404 City Hall.
303 Community Chest Bldg.
51 West Warren Ave.
317 City Hall.
Duke University.
306 Association of Commerce
Municipal Bldg.
750 Main St.
520 Bankers Trust Bldg.
1009 Greenlief Bldg.
440 S. Burdick St.
c/o Social Service Bureau, 567
Hollister Bldg.
635 First National Bank Bldg.
712 W. 36th Place.
Southwestern University, 1121
8. Hill St.
Room 291, C ity Hall.
Hall of Justice.
312 Realty Bldg.
Cantwell Bldg.
502 Safety Bldg.
200 Citizens Aid Bldg.
1421 Atwater Ave.
c/o Baron D e Hirsch Institute,
2040 Bleury St.
217 Chamber of Commerce Bldg.
222 Market St.
234 Union St.
City Hall.
1406 W hitney Central Bank Bldg.
602 United Fruit Co. Bldg.

4 T h e N a tion a l A ss o cia tio n has been ob lig ed t o rely so le ly n p o n in fo r m a tio n se n t to
i t in rep ly t o q u estion n a ires a n d up on such in fo rm a tio n as it ha d o n file. I t ca n n o t th e re ­
f o r e be held resp on sib le fo r th e a ccu ra cy o f th e in fo r m a tio n g iv en .




"Mow Vnrk City

Name of organization


Legal Aid Society_____________________________ 11 Park Place.
Legal Aid Bureau of the Educational Alliance— 197-East Broadway.
National Desertion Bureau____________________ 71 West 47th St.
D o......................... National Council of Jewish Women____________ 1122 Forest A ve.
D o......................... Legal Aid Committee of the New York State
Bar Association.
Oakland, Calif . _ Legal Aid Snninty.... _
602 Security Bldg.
D o__.................... Public DefenderI_____________________________ 2d Floor, Court House.
Omaha, Nebr............ ........ do............................................................................... Court House.
302 City Hall.
Peoria, 111_________ Associated Charities Anri Philanthropies . ,
Philadelphia, P a .-- Legal Aid Society..................................I....................... 400 Harrison Bldg., 4 South
15th St.
_ _
D o............. ........... Voluntary Defender Association
Pittsburgh, Pa
Legal Aid Society_____ ________________________ 519 Smithfield St.
Plainfield, N . J......... Case Conference Committee, Society for Or- City Hall.
ganizing Charity.
Portland, Oreg.......... Legal Aid Committee of the Oregon State Bar 212 Terminal Bldg.
Providence, R. I ___ Legal Aid Society.......................................................... 100 North Main St.
Reading, Pa.............. Legal Aid Committee of the Berks County Bar 18 South 5th St.
Reno, N e v _______ Frank W. Ingram_____________________________ Clay Peters Bldg.
Rochester, N . Y_— Legal Aid Society........................................................... 500 Aetna Bldg., 25 Exchange St.
Sacramento, Calif— Legal Aid Committee................................................... 706 Capital National Bank Bldg.
St. T .m i is , M n
Legal Aid Bureau_____________________________ Department of Public Welfare
302 Municipal Courts Bldg.
D o......................... Legal Aid Committee of the St. Louis Relief 2221 Locust St.
St. Paul, M inn......... Legal Aid Department of the United Charities.. 106 Wilder Bldg.
Salt Lake C i t y , Legal Aid Society........................................................... 612 Beason Bldg.
San Antonio, Tex— Legal Aid Department of the Social Welfare 4th floor, Court House.
San Diego, Calif___ Public attorney............................................................. Community Welfare Bldg., 645
A St.
San Francisco, Calif. Legal Aid Society........ ............................................. 913 Hearst Bldg.
Seattle, Wash............ Legal Aid Committee of the Washington State Central Bldg.
Springfield, Mass— Legal Aid Society........................................................... Community Welfare Bldg., 104
State St.
Springfield, Ohio__ Legal Aid Committee of the Springfield Bar........ M & M Bldg.
Washington, D. C . _ Legal Aid Department of the Council of Social 1010 Vermont Ave. NW .
Wheeling, W. Va_ __ Legal Aid Committee of the Ohio County Bar 607 Board of Trade Bldg.
W hite Plains, N . Y . Bar Association of Westchester County with Bar Bldg.
Social Agencies through Children’s Associa­
Wilkes-Barre, P a.._ Charles N . Loveland................................................... 1111 Miners Bank Bldg.
Youngstown, Ohio. Legal Aid Committee of the Youngstown Bar Court House.
d o

.................: ............

T in

Appendix E.—Work of Legal-Aid Organizations
The figures have been secured from the reports of such organizations as
publish reports and by direct correspondence with other organizations. In a
few instances where exact figures were not available reliable approximations
furnished by responsible officials have been used. The detailed statistics begin
with the year 1905 and continue to 1933. For the few organizations that
existed prior to 1905, only the total figure to 1905 is stated. The detailed
annual figures for such organizations can be found in the tables appended to
Justice and the Poor, published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advance­
ment of Teaching, copies of which may be obtained by request addressed to the
foundation at 522 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Where the fiscal year of an
organization does not coincide with the calendar year, the figure has been
placed in the column opposite the later calendar year; thus a figure for a
fiscal year of 1922-23 has been placed in the column opposite the calendar year
1923. Annual figures are published by the legal-aid committee of the American
Bar Association and by the National Association of Legal Aid Organizations.
The figures of the American Bar Association show the number of cases han­
dled and the expense of operation. The figures of the national association
show the source, nature, and disposition of cases where such figures are
The first three tables, giving figures for separate organizations, include only
those organizations for which we have data extending over a considerable num­
ber of years. These are followed by a summary table which includes figures
for all organizations combined, so far as data are available.


T able 19 .—

N u m b er o f cases received b y specified legal-aid organ iza tion s {existing in 1 93 S )

[Member organizations of National Association of Legal Aid Organizations]
43381— 31


A l­ B alti­
Bridge­ B uf­ C am ­
b any more Boston port
falo bridge


3 650

1 Work discontinued.

4, 770
6,732 1,921
6,742 1,790
7,759 1-, 414
8,134 1,376
8,241 1,295
10,227 1,253
11,600 1, 272
12,861 1,346
150,205 13,296

80,591 4,378

* 1 month.

10, 674
11, 265
12, 491
14, 254
16, 227
23, 309
27, 565
29, 731

Jew ish C in­
Social cin­
Service nati
B ureau
3, 515


6, 572

3 Reorganized in 1929.

C leve­ D allas D en ­ D etroit D u ­
lu th

6, 711
10, 392
8, 560



1 ,829

1, 459


2, 557
2, 213
2f 361

4 Legal-aid bureau organized.

D ur­ Grand H art­ Jack­
ham Rapids ford sonville A ngeles


8 66

1, 254
1,446 1,575
1,185 1,593
14,089 10,038


* 660


Prior to 1905..........................
1924............................................ 375
1925............................................ 651
1926............................................ 632
1927............................................ 681
1929....................................... ..
1931........................................... 777
1932............................................ 958
T otal______________ 7,122

A id

• 4 months.

N u m b er o f cases received by specified legal-aid orga n iza tion s (<existing in 1 9 8 8 )—


T able 19,—


[Member organizations of National Association of Legal Aid Organizations]

Y ear

T otal


7 730



2,302 1,179
38,159 5,186

• No exact record; about 2,700 during 1917-22, inclusive.
7 Reorganized in 1922


N ew
N ew
York N a­
Legal tional
Society tion

N ew
Salt San Spring- St.
E duca­ Oak­ P hila­ P itts­ P rovi­ R och­ Lake
tional land delphia burgh dence ester C ity Fran­
cisco field L ouis P aul
A lli­

852 4,402
37,796 1,091 7,687
39,189 1.097 2,584
40,430 1.098 7,997
42,000 1,101 6,715
957 5,788
898 6,375
38,287 1,252 4,992
922 4,397
30,466 1,009 3,986
26,294 1,391 4,430
30,128 1,337 4,706
29,270 1,309 4,630
30,474 1,168 4,705
29,502 1,129 3,892
27,583 1,053 3,070
31,411 1,318 2,834
32,142 1,471 3,123
467 14,559
35,103 1,372 2,777
31,881 1,363 4,294 1,106 18,253
40,200 1,285 3,808 4,889 23,467
934 3,326 2,232 21,113
896 3,137 2,269 « 3,562
1,152,489 26,303 149,143 10,963 237,557




137 2,578
619 33,160

1,905 1,551
1,235 1,749
1,351 1,040
830 2,295
982 2,798
2,355 3,362 1,119
2,993 25,200 1,236
12,257 56,241 14,619


Prinr to 1905
_____ .
_____ _
_____ _
191ft_____ _________________
1926........................................... ..

il­ M in ­ M on t­ N ew
L ouis­ M ad i­ wMau­
neap­ real H aven
ville son

T able 20.—

N u m b er o f cases received b y specified nonm em bers o f the N a tio n a l A sso c ia tio n o f L ega l A i d O rga n iza tion s and public or voluntary
defenders (existing in 1 9 8 3 )

P u b lic or voluntary defenders

N onm em bers of nationa ]organization

A tlan­ D ayton

N ew ­ N ew R ead­ W ash­ W heel­ C incin­ H art­
nati ford C ity C ounty
C ity C ounty ark Orleans ing ington ing
defend­ defend­
defend­ defend­






8, 761

4 839
2, 615
2, 778
3, 296
4, 334
5, 271
15, 690 41,516 4,938
133, 887 41,516 55, 240
6, 263
17, 519



J 851
1, 754


6, 373
19, 529
24, 707
2 10,391



8,704 1,936

1Early statistics combined civil with criminal matters—where only 1 figure appears both have been combined.
* Combined with county defender.
* No records.

N ew
C ity Oak­ San
(M an­ land D iego


3, 273


Reorganized in 1920.
fPart time.



Prior to 1905 _______
1905______ ... _____
1907______ _______
1908______ .... ______
1909______ _________
1929..................................... ..
T otal

Erie Harris­
burg C ity

L os A ngeles
(crim inal cases)

Los Angeles
(civil cases)1







T able

A m o u n t o f m o n e y collected f o r clients by specified legal-aid organiza tions (existing in 1 9 8 3 )

[Members National Association of Legal-Aid Organizations]
Y ear

1918 ............................
1919 ............................
1920 ............................


_ .



No record.

B ridge­ B uffalo Cam ­

A id

Jewish C in­ C leve­
en ­ D etroit D u lu th D ur­ Grand
art­ Jack­ Los
ap­ Hford
D allas Dver
ham Rids
sonville A ngeles
Service cinnati land

3,857 $6,548
7,206 9,794
7,009 19,198
9,503 23,354
5,954 21,006
7,845 28,516
9,048 22,192
17,200 19,740
22,861 26,679 $1,175
$1,159 29,066 30,623 1,659
$948 1,647 18.528 29,269 2,036
410 21.529 32,787 2,271
410 22,508
605 36,460
53,884 3,317 2,475
68,428 4,206 2,825
62,241 $2,733 33,268
300 64,660 5,204 5,222
400 86,165 2,499 4,680
11,971 (0
80,103 2,092 3.056
93,393 9,260 39,541
13,844 0)
188,095 7,236 41,902 1,117 100,386 3,844 7.057
85,876 8,437 49,967 3,858 82,563 4,046 8,944
10,966 0)
17,441 3$8,000 152,037 7,202 33,814 4,011 127,049 5,607 20,353
7,543 0 )
137,399 7,242 42,157 2,501 147,929 5,387 17,230
113,000 5,231 18,317 2,839 119,888 6,144 9,869
9,607 0 )
9,948 (0
129,897 2,874 9,886 2,544 110,900 11,056 7,240
7,458 0)
82,660 4,386 8,043 2,666 122,029 9,677 4,794
102,546 8,000 1,630,566 54,601 403,301 24,797 1,627,328 332,785 112,095


3 Reorganized in 1929.

17, 742









3 None.

24, 653


3,407 1,000
3,228 10,400
................ ..............
(3) 3,215
(3) 2,337 350 $191 3.000
(3) 1,983
44,811 13,002
191 10,429


_ ______
1 9 1 5 _________ ___

alti­ B oston
A lbany Bmore

N ew Y ork
Y ear

1931... .............................

1933 _.

21,800 (3)
32,185 $100 9,232

T otal............................ 199,987

M in ­
ont­ NHew
neap­ Mreal

1, 775

A id
135, 221
112, 238

28.000 $450
28,360 501
25,493 605
29,418 726
26,132 863
21,641 912
25,350 979
100 129,657 78,551 246,765 5,036 4,811,266
i N o records.

Salt San
P h il­
N a­
tional E duca­ Oak­ adel­ P itts­ P rovi­ R och­ L ake Fran­ Spring- St.
D eser­ tional land phia burgh dence ester C ity cisco field L ouis
A lli­



3, 257
6, 676

16, 224
$700 4,500
1,000 5,349
20,533 2, 500 1,000 4,450
742 7,176
0) 2,125 8,289
39,189 0) 2,538 6,595
30, 207 0) 2,294 20,070
30, 762 0) 4,124 8,805
11,981 $600 40,138 4,398 3,769 16,629
11,301 350 28,793 9,644 7,079 29,725
64,042 5,465
530 18,708
17,996 250 5,780 6,148 1,800 31,514

293,961 388,524 1,200 442,019 47,366 27,701 171,062



10, 679
$50 5,273
5, 356
50 94.589
1 '

P aul

8,457 $1,429
4,893 5,006
7,390 5,781
5,109 6,477


23,000 18,000
155,382 136,418 20,85


Prior to 1905 _ __ __
1905 .........................................
1906 .........................................
1907 - .......................................
1908 .........................................
1909 .........................................
1 9 1 1 ............................
1917 —
1918 . .
1920.......................... ................
1921....... ...................................

L ouis­ M ad­ wMau­
ville ison kee

3 N on e.




T able

2 2 . — A m o u n t o f m o n e y collected f o r clien ts b y sp ecified n o n m e m b e rs o f
the N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L eg a l A i d O rg a n iza tio n s (ex istin g i n 1 9 3 8 ) 1

Prior to 1905________
1906 .
1907................... ..............
1911.— ...........................
1916— ...........................
1927________ ________
Total _________

Atlanta Dayton


New Reading
Angeles Newark Orleans





23, 550
72, 758

3, 600
4, 500
4, 500

10, 542
10, 520
11, 273
15, 499
17, 585
21, 646
20, 632
17, 592

48, 058


1, 550
5, 344
3, 517
84, 638

* N o collections made b y public or voluntary defenders in criminal cases.
2 C ity defender.
8 N o records.






T able 23.—

Gross operating expense o f specified legal a id organiza tions {operating in 1 9 3 3 )

[Member organizations of National Association of Legal Aid Organizations]

1926.......................................... .......................
T o ta l............ ......................... ..........

Baltim ore












B uffalo



C am ­

L egal A id
B ureau

Jew ish








C incin­

C leveland





D allas

D enver






Prior to 1905........................................................
1909................................ .......................................
1913.................................... ...................................

A lbany

B ridge­

«< !

T able 23.—

G ross operating expense o f specified legal a id organ iza tion s {operating in 1 9 8 3 )—


1911............................................................ ...........
1918........................................... ...........................
1919— ....................................................................
1 9 2 4 -....................................................................
1925............. ............... ...........................................
1926— .................. ................................................






* No records.
2 Cannot estimate.










M ilwau­








M on­















7, 662










New York

63, 603


Total_______________________________ 2,185,483



7, 656
7, 656
7, 656
9, 613

















St. Louis









Salt Lake SanFrancisco



St. Paul






















Prior to 1905.......................................................
1905.................................................... ...................
1906............. ..........................................................
1911................................................ ...................
1914........................ ...................... .......................
1 9 1 5 ............................................ .......................
1916............................ ....................... ...................
1918........................ ............................. .................
1919__________ _________ ______ _______ _____
1920_____________ _____ _________ __________
1921...................................... ................ ...............
1922................................ ....................... ...............
1 9 2 3 ....____ _____________________ ________
1924_________ _____________ ________________
1925.............................. ................... ....... .............
1926.................................... ......... ......... ...............
1927........................................ ...............................
1928.................................. ............. ............. .........
1929................................ ................. .....................
193 0 .............................. ....................... ...............
1931.................................. ....................................

National Educa­
Legal aid
Desertion tional A l­



G ross operating expense o f specified legal-aid organiza tions {operating in 1 9 3 8 )

Nonmembers of national organization

Public or voluntary defenders

Los Angeles
(civil and criminal)!






Reading Wheeling





- ................ ...... ...............
................ .......................
___________ ______________
______ ________________









i Includes figures of Los Angeles nonmember organizations.
* Prior to 1920.
* No records.



















Prior to 1905 ..............................
1905 .................................................
1906 .............................. .................
1907 ...................................... .......
1908 .................................................
1910 ............................................ .......................... .............
.......................... ...........
...................... .............
........................ ...............
................................... ..
_ ___________________
.................... ...............
____________ _______
............................ .......


T able

a $14,072











T able 2 5 . — S u m m a r y o f work o f legal-aid o rg a n iza tion s in the U n ited States
hy ye a rs

(for org a n iza tion s rep o rtin g )

M em ber organizations of N . A .
L . A . O.

Nonmembers of N . A . L. A . O.

of cases

of cases

Public or volun­
tary defenders3


Prior to 1905
1912................ .............
1914.......... ...................
1915.......... ...................
1 9 1 6 ..........................
1922.................... .........
1923______ _____ _
1924............ .................
1925............ .................
1926............ .................
1927............ .................
1928______ _____ _
1930.............. ...............
1931.____ __________
1932................. ............
1933........ .....................

for clients

302,190 $1,257,408
32’, 860
80j 020
98| 222
36' 813
42' 596
12&, 515
48' 212
136', 105
264, 280
77, 581
688, 294
134, 510
852, 673

ing ex­

for clients

ing ex­






of cases

ing ex­

42, 737
258, 786
412, 664



9, 257
13, 215
20, 370
9, 658
31, 753
35, 248
38, 699

10, 886
38, 236
34, 778
35, 798
47, 659
44, 253

8, 271
9, 591
4, 226
4, 225
9, 550
12, 766
32, 407
21, 710
22, 360
21, 385

7, 246
4, 726
3, 751
4, 667
41, 628

32, 568
42, 236
60, 697
67, 564

Totals_______ 3, 213,170 12,885,328 6,886,187






1 Montreal is a member of the N . A . L . A . O.
3 N o figure.
3 N o collections in criminal cases.

T ab le 26 . — R e c a p iiu ta tio n 1

Type of organization

Number of
of cases

for clients


M em ber o r g a n i z a t i o n s ____________ _________ ________________
Nonmember organizations______________________________________
Public or voluntary defenders __________ _____ _______________


$12, 885, 328

832, 792

Total......... ................................... .....................................................


13,668, 323


1 F o r o rg a n iza tio n s in clu d ed in ta b le 25.

Appendix F.—Bibliography of Legal Aid W ork1
(May 1,1934)

A m e r ic a n A c a d e m y



o l it ic a l a n d

S o c ia l S c ie n c e .

Legal Aid Work. John S. Bradway and Reginald Heber Smith, editors.
Philadelphia, 1926. 210 pp. ( I t s Annals, March 1926, y o I. 124.)
------Progress in the Law. John S. Bradway, editor.
pp. (I t s Annals, March 1928, vol. 136.)

Philadelphia, 1928.


B radw ay, J o h n S.
The Bar and Public Relations.
362 pp.

Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1934.

------Is Legal Aid Work a Municipal Function?
Public Management, July 1933, vol. 15, pp. 204-205.
------Laws for the Poor— Legal-aid societies— Sources of legislative information.
State Government, May 1931, pp. 3-4.
------Legal Aid Work in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, September 1931, no. 9, pp. 20-24.
------Public or Private Legal-Aid Work.
Public Management, November 1931, vol. 13, pp. 371-372.

B row nell, E

m e r y A.
Legal Aid— Justice its Foundation.
Delta Upsilon Quarterly, July 1934, vol. LII, no. 3.



D . B arlow .

State’s Attorney for the Needy.
General Magazine and Historical Chronicle (University of Pennsyl­
vania), vol. XXXV, no. 3, pp. 385-395.

G i s n e t , M o r r is .
A Lawyer Tells the Truth.

New York, J. P. Kahn Co., 1931.

G u r n e y -C h a m p i o n , F r e d e r i c k C e c i l .
Justice and the Poor in England. London, George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.,
68-74 Carter Lane, E. C, 4, 1926. 245 pp.

A n a c c o u n t o f th e p o s itio n o f th e p o o r in le g a l m a tte r s in E n g la n d a n d
W a le s ; a n d a stu d y o f th e in e q u a lity in th e a d m in is tr a tio n o f ju s tic e , w h e n
th e y a re c o n c er n e d , a n d o f th e r e m e d ie s w h ic h h a v e b een a tte m p te d a n d
s u g g e ste d .
L eg al A id .
Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 13, pp. 871-872.

(14th ed.)

1 A lth o u g h t h is b ib lio g r a p h y c o n ta in s a ll th e m a te r ia l w h ic h h a s com e to th e a tte n tio n
o f th e se c r e ta r y o f th e N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L e g a l A id O r g a n iz a tio n s, i t is n o t
e x p e c te d t h a t it is c o m p le te a n d a ll-in c lu s iv e . A n y a d d itio n a l r e fe r e n c e s t h a t m a y be
s e n t in to su p p le m e n t t h is c o lle c tio n w ill be g r e a tly a p p r e c ia te d .

M a g u ir e , J o h n



M acA rth ub.

The Lance of Justice: A semi-centennial history of legal-aid societies,
1876-1926. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1928. 305 pp.

M a y a ls o b e p ro cu red fro m W . B ru c e Cobb, 11 P a r k P la c e , N e w Y ork C ity .
M cM il l e n , W a y n e .

Legal Aid— Definition and Extent of Field.
Statistics (Council of Social Agencies of Chicago, Statistical Bureau),
May 1934, vol. 1, no. 5.
N a t io n a l A s s o c ia t io n o f L e g a l A id O r g a n iz a t io n s .

Handbook, 1931.

C op ies m a y b e o b ta in e d fr o m th e se c r e ta r y ’s office.
N. H.
Legal aid.
The Law College Magazine, October 1933.

P a n d ia ,

T h e a u th o r is a tto r n e y -a t-la w , H ig h C ou rt, B o m b a y , I n d ia .
The Gospel and the Law.

P a r r y , S ir E d w a r d

------ The Law and the Poor.
------ What the Judge Thought.

London, Heinemann, Ltd., 1928.
London, Smith Elder & Co., 15 Waterloo Place,
New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1923.

The Importance of Judicial Personnel.
Pittsburgh Record, October-Noveinber 1931.

Sch r a m m , G ustav

S m i t h , R e g in a l d

H eber.

Justice and the Poor. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advance­
ment of Teaching, 522 Fifth Avenue, 1924. (3d ed.)

A s tu d y o f th e p r e s e n t d e n ia l o f ju s tic e to th e p oo r a n d o f th e a g e n c ie s m a k in g
m o re e q u a l th e ir p o s itio n b efo r e t h e la w , w ith p a r tic u la r r e fe r e n c e to le g a l-a id
w o r k in th e U n ite d S ta te s .
S o c ia l

W ork

Y ear

B ook.

New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 130 East 22d Street.

S ee 1 9 2 9 e d itio n , p. 2 3 7 , a n d 1 9 3 1 e d itio n .
U n i t e d S t a t e s , B u r e a u o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s .

Growth of legal-aid work in the United States, by Reginald Heber Smith
and John S. Bradway. Washington, 1926. 145 pp. ( I t s Bulletin No.
W il l o u g h b y , W il l ia m .

Principles of Judicial Administration, part VI, chs. 40-44.
Institute for Government Research, 1929.


Technical D evelopm ent o f a Legal Aid Organization
B radw ay,

Jo h n


A Handbook of the Legal Aid Clinic, 1930.

(Published privately.)

------ A Supplement (No. 1) to Handbook of the Legal Aid Clinic, 1932.
----- - A Supplement (No. 2) to Handbook of the Legal Aid Clinic, 1933.

T h e th r e e a b o v e p u b lic a tio n s m a y b e o b ta in e d fr o m th e office o f th e se c r e ta r y o f th e
N a tio n a l A s s o c ia tio n o f L e g a l A id O r g a n iz a tio n s.



D uke

L ega l

U n iv e r s it y ,

A id

C lin ic.

Animal reports, 1933, 1934.
J o in t C o m m it t e e f o b t h e S t u d y o f L e g a l A id o f t h e A s s o c ia t io n o f t h e B a b


Cit y




Y ork



W elfare

C o u n c il o f N e w

New York City, W. Bruce Cobb, 11 Park Place.

Y ork

Cit y .

156 pp.

N e w s L e t t e r , published bimonthly by the National Association of
Legal Aid Organizations, Duke University, Durham, N. C.

L e g a l A id

C o n ta in s b r ie f n o te s s h o w in g th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f d iffe r e n t p h a s e s o f le g a l-a id w ork ,
a n d th e e s ta b lis h m e n t o f n e w o r g a n iz a tio n s a n d th e ir a d d r e sse s, e tc .
quarterly publication of the New York Legal Aid Society,
11 Park Place, New York City.

L e g a l A id R e v i e w ,

T h is p u b lic a tio n “ m a k e s i t p o s s ib le fo r le g a l-a id a g e n c ie s a n d o th e r s in te r e s te d to
fo llo w th e m o s t im p o r ta n t a n d in te r e s tin g e v e n ts a n d to p ic s o f th e field . I t p er fo rm s
a n a d m ira b le a n d n ee d e d e d u c a tio n a l, c o o r d in a tin g , in fo r m a tiv e , a n d h is to r ic a l fu n c tio n .”
L e g a l A id

S o c ie t y of N e w

Office Regulations.
N a t io n a l

A s s o c ia t io n

Y ork.

New York, September 1934.

L e g a l A id

2d ed.

O r g a n iz a t io n s .

Legal Aid Bureaus— A Manual of Practice, 1935.
ministration Service.

Chicago, 111., Public Ad­

------ Reports of Committees, 1924-25 to 1932-33; and Proceedings of Conven­
tions, 1923 to 1933.

T h ese r e p o r ts d ea l w ith office o r g a n iz a tio n ; reco rd k e e p in g , fin a n c ia l a c c o u n t in g ; th e
r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n le g a l a id a n d th e b a r ; b e tw e e n le g a l a n d s o c ia l w o r k ; b e tw e e n
le g a l a id a n d la w s c h o o ls ; b e tw e e n le g a l a id a n d w o r k m e n ’s c o m p e n sa tio n p r o b le m s ;
b e tw e e n le g a l a id a n d t h e c o lle c tio n o f w a g e c la im s ; a n d th e v a r io u s o th e r m a tte r s o f
in te r e s t to a le g a l-a id o r g a n iz a tio n . T h e s e p u b lic a tio n s a r e p ro c u ra b le th r o u g h th e
s e c r e ta r y ’s office, e x c e p t R e p o r ts o f C o m m itte e s fo r 1 9 2 8 - 2 9 (su p p ly e x h a u ste d ) a n d
P r o c e e d in g s o f C o n v e n tio n s fo r 1 9 2 4 , 1 9 2 3 , a n d 1 9 3 3 (n o t p r in te d ).
M any o f th e lo c a l o r g a n iz a tio n s p rep a re a n d p u b lish a n a n n u a l r ep o rt. C o p ie s o f
th e se a re a v a ila b le th r o u g h th e lo c a l o r g a n iz a tio n s . A m o n g t h e o r g a n iz a tio n s p u b ­
lis h in g r e p o r ts a r e th e N e w Y ork L e g a l A id S o c ie ty , H a r v a r d L e g a l A id B u r e a u , C le v e ­
la n d L e g a l A id S o c ie ty . L e g a l A id S o c ie ty o f R h o d e I s la n d . A n u m b er o f th e o r g a n iz a ­
tio n s — B o s to n , C h ic a g o L e g a l A id B u r e a u , D en v er , e tc .— h a v e p rep a red b ook s o f
in s tr u c tio n fo r n e w m em b ers o f th e sta ff. A lso , c o p ie s o f c o n s titu tio n , b y la w s, a n d
r u le s o f office p ro ced u re m a y b e sec u r e d by c o r r esp o n d e n ce th r o u g h th e s e c r e ta r y ’s office.
P r a c t ic a l

S u g g e s t io n s

C o n c e r n in g


F o u n d a t io n


L e g a l - A id

O r g a n iz a ­

t io n s .

Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 1926,
vol. 124. Appendix, pp. 175-189.

T h is p u b lic a tio n is a n a p p e n d ix to th e U n ite d S t a t e s B u r e a u o f L a b o r S t a t is t ic s
B u lle tin N o . 3 9 8 .

Relationship Between Legal A id and the Organized Bar
A m e r ic a n

B a r A s s o c i a t i o n , S ta n d in g C o m m it t e e on L e g a l A id .

Advance Program, August 28-31, 1934.
------ Reports * * * 1922 to date.


T h e c o m m itte e h a s r ep o rte d e a c h y e a r s in c e it s fo r m a tio n in 1 9 2 1 (s e e R e p o r ts, 1 9 2 1 ,
v o l. 4 6 , p. 5 1 ) , a s f o llo w s : 1 9 2 2 , v o l. 4 7
(p p . 9 6 , 4 0 2 ) ;1 9 2 3 , v o l. 4 8 (p p . 1 1 8 , 3 7 4 ) ;
1 9 2 4 , v o l. 4 9 (p p . 1 0 2 , 3 8 4 ) ;
1 9 2 5 , v o l. 5 0 (p p .
1 2 6 ,4 5 1 ) ; 1 9 2 6 ,
v o l.
1 9 2 7 , v o l. 5 2 (p p . 1 1 4 , 3 2 3 ) ;
1 9 2 8 , v o l. 5 3 (p p .
1 4 1 ,4 5 9 ) ; 1 9 2 9 ,
v o l.
1 9 3 0 , v o l. 5 5 (p p . 1 0 5 , 4 6 0 ) ;
1 9 3 1 , v o l. 5 6 (p p .
1 2 8 ,4 1 0 ) ; 1 9 3 2 ,
v o l.
1 9 3 3 , v o l. 5 8 (p p . 1 8 9 , 3 8 1 ) .
B rad w ay, Jo h n


Legal Aid a Form of Professional Service.
Michigan State Bar Journal, January 1924, p. 65.
— - A Place for Legal-Aid Organizations in the Work of the Bar,

New York State Bar Reports, 1932, vol, 55, p, 346,

5 1 (p p . 1 2 6 , 4 5 2 )
5 4 (p p . 1 3 2 , 3 8 0 )
5 7 (p p . 1 6 0 , 5 1 2 )


C a l if o r n ia ,


State B ar



o f , C o m m it t e e o n L e g a l A i d .

The State Bar Journal, September 1934, vol. IX, no. 9, pp. 26-34.

C a n a d ia n B a r A s s o c ia t o n .
Reports: 1926, p. 379; 1927, p. 338; 1929, p. 69.


a v id ,

L eon T .

Legal Aid and the Lawyer.
California State Bar Journal, February 1932, vol. 7, p. 38.


ug h es,

Charles E.

Legal Aid Societies— Their Function and Necessity.
Reports of American Bar Association, 1920, vol. 45, p. 227.

L in d s a y , B e n B .
Justice for Parent and Child Without Cost.
Reports of American Bar Association, 1920, vol. 45, p. 247.


it h

, R

e g in a l d



The Relation Between Legal Aid and the Administration of Justice.
Reports of American Bar Association, 1920, vol. 45, p. 217.

See also Ohio Law B ulletin , vol. 65, p. 3 7 9 ; C entral L aw Journal, 1920, vol.
91, p. 372.


it h

, R e g in a l d H

eber, a n d

B radw ay, J o h n S.

Legal Aid and the Bar.
Tennessee Law Review, 1927, vol. 5, p. 223.

S t a t e B a r A s s o c ia t io n s .
California.— Reports: 1924, p. 57; 1925, p. 137; 1926, p. 215; 1927, p. 328;
1929, p. 169; 1930, p. 11.
Colorado.— Reports: 1930, p. 1; 1931, p. 13; 1932, p. 20.
Georgia.— Reports: vol. 43, p. 41; vol. 44, p. 96.
Illinois.— Reports: 1925, p. 231; 1927, p. 298; 1928, p. 285; 1929, p. 230;
1930, p. 224; 1932, p. 205.
Iowa.— Reports: 1918, p. 36; 1920, p. 77.
Louisiana.— Reports: 1913, p. 366; 1914, p. 326; 1915, p. 371; 1916, p. 163 ;
1917, p. 208; 1918, p. 174; 1919, p. 270; 1920, p. 220; 1921, p. 175; 1922, p.
206; 1923, p. 345; 1924, p. 204; 1925, p. 177; 1927, p. 183; 1928, p. 264;
1929, p. 154; 1930, p. 184; 1931, p. 140.
Missouri.— Reports: 1930, p. 83.
New York.— Reports: 1918, p. 606; 1919, p. 89; 1920, p. 102; 1924, p. 80;
1925, p. 59; 1926, p. 76; 1927, p. 169; 1928, p. 58; 1929, p. 63; 1930, p. 56;
1931, p. 54; 1932, p. 361; 1933, p. 386.
North Carolina.— Reports: 1932, p. 131; 1933, p. 77; 1933, p. 39.
Ohio.— Reports: Yol. 47, p. 236.
Pennsylvania.— Report of the Legal Aid Committee, Pennsylvania Bar
Association Quarterly, June 1932, no. 12, pp. 55-70; L e g a l A i d C o m m i t t e e :
Reports . . . 1922 to date.

The reports con tain references to th e a ctiv ities of th e various S tate B ar A sso­
ciation s.

Rhode Island.— Reports: Yol. 29, p. 40; vol. 30, p. 38; vol. 31, p. 33; vol.
32, p. 52.
Texas.— Reports: Vol. 47, p. 79,
Wisconsin.— Reports: 1924, p. 98; 1925, p. 105; 1926, p, 100; 1927, p, 280;
1928, p. 175; 1930, p. 191.
T u s t i n , E r n e s t L.
The Relation of Legal Aid to the Municipality,

Beports «£ American Bar Association, W2Q, yoi, 45, p, m



W is h e s ,

O tto


The Law, the Lawyer, and the Poor in Michigan.
Michigan State Bar Journal, January 1924, p. 83.

Relationship Between Law and Social W ork
A m e r ic a n

A cadem y


P o l it ic a l

Law and Social Welfare.
220 pp.


S o c ia l

S c ie n c e .

John S. Bradway, editor.

Philadelphia, 1929.

annals, September 1929, vol. 145, pt. 1 [no. 234].)
A preliminary study of the inter-relationship between the two fields of human

Law and Social Work: An introduction to the study of the legal-social field
for social workers. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1929. 189 pp.

B radw ay, Joh n

------ Laws of Pennsylvania Relating to Social Work. Philadelphia, Public
Charities Association of Pennsylvania, 1929. 261 pp.
------ Legal Aid Work— A Social Service.
Association of Professional Men’s Clubs, Quarterly, December 1927, pp.
------The Legal Aspects of Social Work.
Hospital Social Service, August 1928, p. 119.
------ Social Distance Between Lawyers and Social Workers.
Sociology and Social Research, July 1930, vol. XIV, no. 6, p. 516.
N a t io n a l

C onference


S o c ia l

W ork.

Legal Aid Service and Social W ork: The legal point of view by John S.
Bradway; The social point of view, by Alice Waldo.
( I n its Proceedings, 1923, pp. 183-192.)
----- Social Work and the L a w : Forms of cooperation between law and social
work, by George W. Kirchwey; Legal aid, by John S. Bradway.
( I n i t s Proceedings, 1926, pp. 181-195.)
------ The Use of Social Workers of Legal Resources: In the practice of case
work, by J. Prentice Murphy; In constructing social programs, by John S.
( I n i t s Proceedings, 1927, pp. 622-635.)
P a c h t , H on. I saac.

Some Contributions of Social Work to the Law.
Brooklyn Law Review, May 1933, vol. II, p. 180.

Legal Aid Clinics
B radw ay, Joh n


Administrative Problems of the Legal Aid Clinic.
Southern California Law Review, December 1930, vol. IV, no. 2, p. 103.
------ The Beginning of the Legal Clinic at the University of Southern
Southern California Law Review, February 1929, vol. II, no. 3, p. 252.
------ Clinical Preparation for Admission to the Bar.
Temple Law Quarterly, January 1934, vol. VIII, no. 2, p. 185.



Law Laboratories: How the legal-aid clinics train budding lawyers.
Survey Graphic, June 1931, vol. XIX, no. 3, p. 250.

B ead w a y , J o h n

------ The Legal Aid Clinic.
Reports, North Carolina Bar Association, 1932, vol. 34, p. 131.
------The Legal Aid Clinic: A means of building tough mental fiber.
Southern California Law Review, October 1931, vol. Y, no. 1, p. 36.
----- The Legal Aid Clinic: A means of coordinating the legal profession.
Pennsylvania Law Review, March 1931, vol. 79, p. 549.
------Legal Aid Clinic: Training for the art of law practice.
St. John’s Law Review, 1933, vol. XII, pp. 236-253.
------ Legal Aid Clinic and Social Thinking.
Bulletin of the California Conference of Social Work, 1930, vol. XIII, no.
2, p. 26.
------Legal Aid Clinic as a Law School Course.
Southern California Law Review, April 1930, vol. Ill, no. 4, p. 320.
------The Legal Aid Clinic as an Educational Device.
American Law School Review, May 1934, vol. 7, no. 12.
------Legal Aid Clinics: Their purpose and their value to the bar.
California State Bar Journal, November 1933, vol. VIII, no. 11, p. 261.
------ Legal Aid Clinics and the Bar.
Southern California Law Review, June 1930, vol. I ll, no. 5, p. 384.
------Legal Aid Clinics in Less Thickly Populated Communities.
Michigan Law Review, April 1932, vol. 30.
------ Nature of a Legal Aid Clinic.
Southern California Law Review, February 1930, vol. I ll, no. 3, p. 173.
------ The Place of the Legal Aid Clinic.
Hospital Social Service, April 1930, p. 284.
------ The Social Viewpoint and the Legal Aid Clinic.
Hospital Social Service, February 1931, vol. 23, p. 211.
------Some Distinctive Features of a Legal Aid Clinic Course.
University of Chicago Law Review, January 1934, vol. I, no. 3.
The Clinical Lawyer-School: The Clinic.
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, November 1934, vol. 83, no. 1.

D a v id , L e o n

F r a n k , Jero m e.

Why not a Clinical Lawyer-School?
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 1933, vol. 81, pp. 907-923.
G a r d n e r , G eorge K .

Why not a Clinical Lawyer-School?— Some Reflections.
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 1934, vol. 82, pp. 785-804.
M a g u ir e , J o h n

M acA r th u r .

Legal Aid Clinics— A Definitional Comment.
American Law School Review, May 1934, vol. 7, no. 12.
43381— 36------- 15



M cC l a i n , J o s e p h A ., J r .

Some Practical Problems to be Considered in Undertaking Clinical Work in
Law Schools Located in Small Communities.
American Law School Review, May 1934, vol. 7, no. 12.
The Operation of the Clinic of the Cincinnati Society.
Cincinnati Law Review, March 1929, p. 165.

S il v e r m a n , G eorge

Law Students and Legislation.
American Law School Review, May 1934, vol. 7, no. 12.

S to n e , R obert

E con om ic Problem s and Their Relationship to Legal A id
Small Loans and Loan Sharkery
J. L. R.
Substitutes for Loan Sharks in Atlanta, Ga.
( I n Discussion of the Availability of Consumer Cash Credit. New
York, Russell Sage Foundation, Department of Remedial Loans,

B oyd,

Legal Aid and Personal Finance.
Personal Finance News, January 1932.

B rad w a y , J o h n

C a m a l ie r , R e n a h


Digest of Personal Finance Laws. Washington, D. C., American Associa­
tion of Personal Finance Companies, 1932.
Constitutional Phases of the Small Loan Act.
Personal Finance News, October 1931.

G a l l e r t , D a v id

J., H i l r o r n , W a l t e r S., a n d M a y , G e o f f r e y l
Small Loan Legislation: A history of the regulation of the business of
lending small sums. New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1932. 255 pp.

G a l l e r t , D a v id

M. R.
The Personal Finance Business.

N e if e l d ,

New York, Harper & Bros., 1933.

T h e au th or is sta tis tic ia n fo r the B eneficial M anagem ent C orporation.
O r c h a r d , D o r o t h y J ., a n d

M a y , G eoffrey.

Moneylending in Great Britain.
1933. 185 pp.
S m it h ,

R e g in a l d

New York, Russell Sage Foundation,

H eber.

Legal Aid Progress.
Personal Finance News, October 1931.

Workmen’s Compensation
B rad w a y , J o h n


The National Association of Legal Aid Organizations.
( I n United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 385: Pro­
ceedings, International Association of Industrial Accident Boards
and Commissions, Aug. 26-28, 1924, pp. 114-123.)



Conflict of Two Ideals of Social Justice.
Journal of the American Bar Association, April 1929.

C l u t e , W il l ia m

H o r o v it z , S a m u e l B .

Boston Plan of Legal Aid in Compensation Cases.
{ I n United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 456: Pro­
ceedings, International Association of Industrial Accident Boards
and Commissions, Sept. 27-29, 1927, pp. 25-83.)
------ How Far Workmen’s Compensation Acts Can Apply to Maritime Law,
Interstate Commerce, and the Doctrine of Extraterritoriality.
{ I n United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 577: Pro­
ceedings, International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and
Commissions, Sept. 26-29, 1932, pp. 119^137.
H o r o v i t z , S a m u e l B ., a n d B e a r , J o s e p h .

Practice and Procedure Under the Massachusetts Workmen’s Compensation
Law. Boston, E. W. Hildreth, 89 State Street, 1930.
Legal Aid and Workmen’s Compensation in New York City.
Legal Aid Review, October 1932, vol. XXX, no. 4, pp. 1-4.

S e n io r , S o l o m o n

Wage Claims
Cooperation of Legal Aid Societies and Labor Commissioners in the Col­
lection of Unpaid Wages.
{ I n United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 480: Pro­
ceedings, Association of Governmental Officials in Industry of the
United States and Canada, May 21-24, 1928, pp. 66-76.)

B radw ay, John

A r b it r a t io n W i n s


C a l if o r n ia .

Journal of American Judicature Society, 1927, vol. 11, p. 12.
F. R.
The Des Moines Conciliation Court.
Journal of American Judicature Society, 1928, vol. 12, pp. 22-24.

A um ann,

------ Des Moines Tries the Conciliation Court.
National Municipal Review, 1928, vol. 17, pp. 211-214.
R. C.
Conciliation in Ordinary Cases.
Philippine Law Journal, 1930, vol. 10, pp. 113-117.

B ueuconsejo,

C ases

S e ttle d o n E ve of T r ia l .

Journal of American Judicature Society, 19301, vol. 13, pp. 183-185.
C o n c il ia t io n


Iow a.

Journal of American Judicature Society, 1923, vol. 7, no. 1.
C o st s of C o m m e r c ia l A r b it r a t io n .

Solicitor’s Journal, 1932, vol. 76, pp. 424-425.
C r im in a l M atters a n d

A r b it r a t io n .

Justice of the Peace, 1931, vol. 95, p. 375.



J. I.
Conciliation of Legal Controversies by Counsel.
University of Detroit Law Journal, 1931, vol. 1, pp. 14-26; Common
Law Journal, 1933, vol. 38, pp. 51-56, 128-133.

E llm an,

------To Arbitrate— or Not to Arbitrate.
University of Detroit Law Journal, 1933, vol. 2, pp. 81-93.
Is A r b i t r a t i o n C h e a p e r ?
Law Times, 1930, vol. 169, pp. 489-490.

E x p e n s e of L it ig a t io n ,

H a r l e y , H erbert.

Conciliation Procedure in Small Cases.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1926, vol. 124, pp. 91-97.
H a r t o g e n s is , B . H .

A Successful Community Court.
Journal of American Judicature Society, 1929, vol. 12, p. 183.
H. C.
The Lawyers and Commercial Arbitration.
Journal of American Bar Association, 1931, vol. 17, pp. 502-504.

H a v ig h u r s t ,

C. E.
The Lawyer’s Relation to Arbitration.
Journal of American Judicature Society, 1929, vol. 12, pp. 154-156.

H e r r in g ,

H is t o r ic a l D e v e l o p m e n t of C o m m e r c ia l A r b it r a t io n i n


U n it e d S t a t e s .

Minnesota Law Review, 1928, vol. 12, pp. 240-262.
Conciliation— A Cure for the Law’s Delay.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1928, vol. 136, pp. 54^59; Massachusetts Law Quarterly, February
1930 (supplement), vol. 15, pp. 1-7.

L a u e r , E dgar

The Law

C o u r t s a n d A r b it r a l T r ib u n a l s .

Law Times, 1928, vol. 165, pp. 237-239.
L aw yers


A r b it r a t o r s .

Solicitor’s Journal, 1930, vol. 74, p. 555.
L it ig a t io n


A r b it r a t io n .

Law Times, 1930, vol. 170, pp. 438-439.
P. V.
Effective Method of Settling Disputes.
St. John’s Law Review, 1932, vol. 6, pp. 366-370.

M a n n in g ,



P rom ote

I n d u s t r ia l

P eace

C o n s id e r e d .

Journal of American Bar Association, 1928, vol. 14, pp. 166-168.
R andall, F r an k


Conciliation as a Function of the Judge.
Kentucky Law Journal, 1930, vol. 18, p. 330.
S m i t h , R e g in a l d

H e b e ®.

Conciliation and Legal Aid— An Opportunity for Pioneering.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1928, vol. 136, pp. 60-65.
------ Conciliation Procedure in the Administration of Justice in Norway.
. Monthly Labor Review, June 1926, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1199-1207.



S m i t h , R e g in a l d H e b e r .

Simplified Procedure in the Administration of Justice: The Danish Con­
ciliation System.
Monthly Labor Review, May 1926, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 980-989.
J. J.
Public Conciliation System.
Law Times, 1927, vol. 164, pp. 241-244.

S p r ig g e ,

S t a n d in g

C o m m it t e e

Stew art,




L egal

A id

W ork.

Reports, American Bar Association, 1928, vol. 53.)


Arbitration of Small Claims as a Relief for Court Congestion.
Reports, Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1925, vol. 31, p. 365.
S y m p o s iu m

C o n c il ia t io n .


Journal of American Bar Association, November 1923.
P. J.
Advantages of Arbitration.
Lawyer and Banker, 1933, vol. 26, pp. 299-300.

T hom pson,

U n i t e d S t a t e s , B u rea u o f L abor S ta tistics .

Growth of Legal Aid Work in the United States, by Reginald Heber Smith
and John S. Bradway. 1926. 145 pp.
See C hapter 8 — C onciliation

tribun als,

pp. 3 0 -3 2 .

Legal A id W o rk in the Criminal Field 2
A. M a b e l .
Public Defender.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1923, vol. 14, p. 556.

B arrow,

Notes on the Defender in Criminal Cases.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1928, vol. 136, pp. 119^-128.

B rad wa y , J o h n

------ Training for Criminal Justice.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, November-December 1933, vol.
24, p. 723.
The Public Defender System— Cook County, 111.
United States Law Review, September 1934, p. 479.

F in n e g a n , P h il ip

F a b r io a n t ,

L o u is .

The Voluntary Defender in Criminal Cases.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1926, vol. 124, pp. 74-80.
G eorge, C h a s . E .

The Public Defender.
Lawyer and Banker, 1930, vol. 23, p. 127.

2T h e variou s P ublic D efenders prepare sta tistica l reports o f their w ork. T h e V o lu n ­
ta ry D efenders in N ew Y o rk, C hicago, and C in cinnati present even m ore extended m ate­
No u n iform classification o f in fo rm a tio n h as y et been agreed upon, but a com ­
m itte e o f th e N a tio n a l A sso cia tio n o f L e gal A id O rg a n iza tio n s is engaged in w orkin g on
th is v ita l problem .
F u rth er m aterial on th is subject w ill be fou n d in the general section
in the first p a rt o f the bibliography.



Public Defenders.
American Bar Association Journal, 1930, vol. 16, p. 70.

G oldm an, M ayer

------ The Public Defender.
H e r s g h , A l v in

New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1917.


The Public Defender.
Bi-monthly Law Review, 1923, vol. 6, p. 197.
K a n e , F r a n c is

F is h e r .

Public and Voluntary Defenders.
The Survey, March 15, 1931, pp. 655-656.
K a u m h e im e r , W il l ia m .

Assigned Counsel in Criminal Cases.
Annals of American Academy of Political and! Social Science, March
1926, vol. 124, pp. 81-83.
M il l e r , J u s t i n .

The Difficulties of the Poor Man Accused of Crime.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1926, vol. 124, pp. 63-68.
N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f L e g a l A id O r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

Committee on the Defender

in Criminal Cases.

C ontain an n u al com m ent on certain phases o f the grow th o f the w ork.

Public Defender in the Police Courts.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1928, vol. 136, pp. 146-151.

O r f il a , E r n e s t

P e n n s y l v a n i a B a r A s s o c ia t io n ,

Legal Aid Committee.

Reports: 1927 (p. 167), and 1930 (p. 106).
C ontain m aterial on legal aid w ork in the crim inal field.
P f e if f e r , T i m o t h y N e w e l l .

Legal Aid1 Service in the Criminal Courts.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, September
1929, vol. 145, pp. 50-54.
R u b in , Sa m u e l .

The Public Defender an Aid to Criminal Justice.
Journal of Criminal Law, 1927, vol. 18, p. 346.
L. G.
Office of Public Defender.
Mississippi Law Journal, vol. 2, 1930, p. 462.

S h iv e r ,

T he

U n d e f e n d e d P r is o n e r .

Justice of the Peace, 1923, vol. 87, p. 298.

S c h a i c k , G eorge S.

The Handicap of Poverty in Litigation.
Cornell Law Quarterly, 1927, vol. 12, p. 460.



W a l t o n J.
The Office of Public Defender.
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, March
1926, vol. 124, pp. 69-73.



W ynne, K enneth.

Public Defenders in Connecticut.
Journal of Criminal Law, 1926, vol. 17, p. 359.
Lawyer and Banker, 1930, vol. 23, p. 127.

International Legal Aid W o rk
Clag ho rn, K ate H olladay.

The Immigrant’s Day in Court.
(Americanization studies.)

New York, Harper & Bros., 1923.

546 pp.

I n s t it u t e for G o v e r n m e n t R e s e a r c h .

The Problem of Indian Administration: Summary of findings and recom­
mendations. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1926. 55 pp.
From report o f survey m ade a t request o f H u bert W ork , Secretary o f In terior.
L e a g u e of N a t io n s .

Legal Aid for the Poor.

Geneva, 1927.

472 pp. (Y. Legal, 1927, vol. 27.)

P a rt I .— L a w s, regu lation s, and tre a ty p rovision s regu latin g le g a l aid in certain
c o u n tr ie s; pa rt I I .— L is t o f agencies fo r legal aid established in certain c o u n tr ie s ;
p a rt I I I .— L ist o f au th orities or persons appointed in certain cou ntries to an sw er
inqu iries from abroad.
W a i n h o u s e , D a v id W .

Some Legal Aspects of International Case Work.
The Family, November 1933, vol. XIY, no. 7.

Legal Aid and the Medical Profession
B r ad w ay, Jo h n


Team Work.
Hospital Social Service, November 1932, vol. XXYI, no. 5.
F o r b u s , W i l e y D ., a n d B r a d w a y , J o h n


A Problem for Coordinated Medical and Legal Talent.
Southern Medical Journal, September 1933, vol. XXYI, no. 9.


List o f Bulletins o f the Bureau o f Labor Statistics
The following is a list of all bulletins of the Bureau of Labor Statistics published since
July 1912, except that in the case of bulletins giving the results of periodic surveys of the
Bureau only the latest bulletin on any one subject is here listed.
A complete list of the reports and bulletins issued prior to July 1912, as well as the bulle­
tins published since that date, will be furnished on application. Publications indicated by
an asterisk, which are not available for free distribution, can in some cases be obtained by
purchase from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
D. C.; all can be consulted at libraries which are Government repositories.
Collective agreements
♦No. 191. Collective bargaining in the anthracite coal industry. [1916.]
♦No. 198. Collective agreements in the men’s clothing industry. [1916.]
N o. 341. Trade agreement in the silk-ribbon industry of New York C ity .
♦No. 402. Collective bargaining b y actors. [1926.]
♦No. 468. Trade agreements, 1927.


Conciliation and arbitration (including strikes and lockouts)
♦No. 124. Conciliation and arbitration in the building trades of Greater N ew York. [1913.]
♦No. 133. Report of the industrial council of the British Board of Trade on its inquiry into industrial
agreements. [1913.]
♦No. 139. Michigan copper district strike. [1914.]
♦No. 144. Industrial court of the cloak, suit, and skirt industry of N ew York C ity. [1914.]
♦No. 145. Conciliation, arbitration, and sanitation in the dress and waist industry of New York C ity.
N o. 233. Operation of the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act of Canada. [1918.]
♦No. 255. Joint industrial councils in Great Britain. [1919.]
♦No. 283. History of the Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board, 1917 to 1919.
N o. 287. National W ar Labor Board: History of its formation and activities, etc. [1921.]
♦No. 303. Use of Federal power in settlement of railway labor disputes. [1922.]
♦No. 481. Joint industrial control in the book and job printing industry. [1928.]
♦No. 313.
♦No. 314.
♦No. 437.
♦No. 531.
♦No. 598.

Consumers’ cooperative societies in the United States in 1920.
Cooperative credit societies (credit unions) in America and in foreign countries. [1922.]
Cooperative movement in the United States in 1925 (other than agricultural).
Consumers’ , credit, and productive cooperative societies, 1929.
Organization and management of consumers’ cooperative associations and clubs (with model
bylaws). [1934.]
N o. 606. Organization and management of cooperative gasoline and oil associations (with model
bylaws). [1934.]
N o. 608. Organization and management of cooperative housing associations (with model bylaws).
N o. 612. Consumers’, credit, and productive cooperation in 1933.

Employment and unemployment
•No. 109. Statistics of .unemployment and the work of employment offices [in the United States]. [1913.]
♦No. 172. Unemployment in New York City, N . Y . [1915.]
♦No. 183. Regularity of employment in the women’s ready-to-wear garment industries. [1915.]
♦No. 195. Unemployment in the United States. [1916.]
♦No. 196. Proceedings of Employment Managers’ Conference, held at Minneapolis, M inn., January 19
and 20,1916.
♦No. 202. Proceedings of the conference of Employment Managers’ Association of Boston, M ass.,
held M a y 10,1916.
♦No. 206. The British system of labor exchanges. [1916.]
♦No. 227. Proceedings of Employment Managers’ Conference, Philadelphia, Pa., April 2 and 3,1917.
♦No. 235. Employment system of the Lake Carriers’ Association. [1918.]
♦No. 241. Public employment offices in the United States. [1918.]
♦No. 247. Proceedings of Employment Managers’ Conference, Rochester, N . Y ., M a y 9-11,1918.
♦No. 310. Industrial unemployment: A statistical study of its extent and causes. [1922.]
♦No. 409. Unemployment in Columbus, Ohio, 1921 to 1925.
N o. 542. Report of the Advisory Committee on Employment Statistics. [1931.]
♦No. 544. Unemployment-benefit plans in the United States and unemployment insurance in foreign
countries. [1931.]
N o. 553. Fluctuation in employment in Ohio, 1914 to 1929.
♦No. 555. Social and economic character of unemployment in Philadelphia, April 1930.
N o. 610. Revised indexes of factory employment and pay rolls, 1919 to 1933.
N o. 611. Unemployment insurance and reserves in the United States: A selected list of recent refer­
ences. [1935.]
N o. 613. Average annual wage and salary payments in Ohio, 1916 to 1932.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.


Government aid to home owning and housing of working people in foreign countries. [1914.]
Housing by employers in the United States. [1920.]
Building operations in representative cities, 1920.
Building permits in the principal cities of the United States [1921] to 1930.
Organization and management of cooperative housing associations (with model bylaws),


Industrial accidents and hygiene (including occupational diseases and poisons)
♦No. 104. Lead poisoning in potteries, tile works, and porcelain-enameled sanitary ware factories.
N o. 120. Hygiene of the painters’ trade. [1913.]
♦No. 127. Dangers to workers from dusts and fumes, and methods of protection. [1913.]
*No.. 141. Lead poisoning in the smelting and refining of lead. [1914.]
*N o. 157. Industrial accident statistics. [1915.]
♦No. 165. Lead poisoning in the manufacture of storage batteries. 11914.]
*N o. 179. Industrial poisons used in the rubber industry. [1915.]
*N o. 188. Report of British departmental committee on the danger in the use of lead in the painting of
buildings. [1916.]
♦No. 201. Report of the committee on statistics and compensation insurance costs of the International
Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. [1916.]
♦No. 209. Hygiene of the printing trades. [1917.]
*N o. 219. Industrial poisons used or produced in the manufacture of explosives. [1917.]
*N o. 221. Hours, fatigue, and health in British munition factories. [1917.]
♦No. 230. Industrial efficiency and fatigue in British munition factories. [1917.]
♦No. 231. Mortality from respiratory diseases in dusty trades (inorganic dusts). [1918.]
♦No. 234. The safety movement in the iron and steel industry, 1907 to 1917.
*No. 236. Effects of the air hammer on the hands of stonecutters.
♦No. 249. Industrial health and efficiency. Final report of British Health of M unition Workers’
Committee. [1919.]
*No. 251. Preventable death in the cotton-manufacturing industry. [1919.]
*N o. 256. Accidents and accident prevention in machine building. [1919.]
N o. 267. Anthrax as an occupational disease. [1920.]
N o. 276. Standardization of industrial accident statistics. [1920.]
♦No. 280. Industrial poisoning in making coal-tar dyes and dye intermediates. [1921.]
*No. 291. Carbon monoxide poisoning. [1921.]
*N o. 293. The problem of dust phthisis in the granite stone industry. [1922.]
N o. 298. Causes and prevention of accidents in the iron and steel industry, 1910-1919.
N o. 392. Survey of hygienic conditions in the printing trades. [1925.]
N o. 405. Phosphorus necrosis in the manufacture of fireworks and in the preparation of phosphorus.
N o. 427. Health survey of the printing trades, 1922 to 1925.
N o. 428. Proceedings of the Industrial Accident Prevention Conference, held at Washington, D . C .,
July 14-16, 1926.
N o. 460. A new test for industrial lead poisoning. [1928.]
N o. 466. Settlement for accidents to American seamen. [1928.]
N o. 488. Deaths from lead poisoning, 1925-1927.
N o. 490. Statistics of industrial accidents in the United States to the end of 1927.
N o. 507. Causes of death, by occupation. [1930.]
*N o. 582. Occupation hazards and diagnostic signs: A guide to impairments to be looked for in hazard­
ous occupations. (Revision of Bui. N o. 306.) [1933.]
N o. 602. Discussions of industrial accidents and diseases at the 1933 meeting of the International Asso­
ciation of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, Chicago, 111.
Industrial relations and labor conditions
*N o. 237. Industrial unrest in Great Britain. [1917.]
*N o. 340. Chinese migrations, with special reference to labor conditions. [1923.]
*N o. 349. Industrial relations in the W est Coast lumber industry. [1923.]
*N o. 361. Labor relations in the Fairmont (W . Va.) bituminous-coal field. [1924.]
N o. 380. Postwar labor conditions in Germany. [1925.]
N o. 383. Works council movement in Germany. [1925.]
N o. 384. Labor conditions in the shoe industry in Massachusetts, 1920-1924.
N o. 399. Labor relations in the lace and lace-curtain industries in the United States.
N o. 483. Conditions in the shoe industry in Haverhill, M ass., 1928.
N o. 534. Labor conditions in the Territory of Hawaii, 1929-1930.


Labor laws o f the United States (including decisions o f courts relating to labor)
*N o. 211. Labor laws and their administration in the Pacific States. [1917.]
♦No. 229. Wage-payment legislation in the United States. [1917.]
♦No. 285. Minimum-wage laws of the United States: Construction and operation. [1921.]
♦No. 321. Labor laws that have been declared unconstitutional. [1922.]
N o. 322. Kansas Court of Industrial Relations. T1923.]
N o. 343. Laws providing for bureaus of labor statistics, etc. [1923.]
N o. 370. Labor laws of the United States, with decisions of courts relating thereto. [1925.]
No. 408. Laws relating to payment of wages. [1926.]
♦No. 581. Laws relating to employment agencies in the United States, as of January 1, 1933.
N o. 583. Proceedings of the National Conference for Labor Legislation, held at Washington, D . C .t
February 14 and 15, 1934.
N o. 590. Labor legislation, 1931 and 1932.
,*No. 592. Decisions of courts and opinions affecting labor, 1931 and 1932.
N o. 596. Laws relating to prison labor in the United States, as of July 1, 1933.
♦No. 603. Comparative digest of labor legislation for the States of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South
Carolina, Tennessee. [1933.]
N o. 609. Discussions of labor laws and their administration at the 1933 convention of the Association
of Governmental Officials in Industry of the United States and Canada, Chicago, 111.
Labor laws o f foreign countries
♦No. 142. Administration of labor laws and factory inspection in certain European countries.
N o. 494. Labor legislation of Uruguay. [1929.]
N o. 510. Labor legislation of Argentina. [1930.]
N o. 529. W orkmen’s compensation legislation of the Latin American countries. [1930.]
N o. 549. Labor legislation of Venezuela. [1931.]
N o. 554. Labor legislation of Paraguay. [1931.]
N o. 559. Labor legislation of Ecuador. [1931.]
N o. 569. Labor legislation of Mexico. [1932.]



Labor organizations
*No. 342. International Seamen’s Union of America: A study of its history and problems.
N o. 461. Labor organizations in Chile. [1928.]
♦No. 465. Beneficial activities of American trade-unions. [1928.]
♦No. 506. Handbook of American trade-unions: 1929 edition.


Minimum wage
♦No. 167. Minimum-wage legislation in the United States and foreign countries. [1915.]
*No. 176. Effect of minimum-wage determinations in Oregon. [1915.]
*No. 285. Minimum-wage laws of the United States: Construction and operation. [1921.]
♦No. 467. Minimum-wage legislation in various countries. [1928.]
Old-age care,
♦No. 386.
♦No. 465.
N o. 477.
♦No. 489.
N o. 505.
N o. 561.

pensions, and insurance
Cost of American almshouses. [1925.]
Beneficial activities of American trade unions. [1928.]
Public-service retirement systems, United States, Canada, and Europe. [1929.]
Care of aged persons in the United States. [1929.]
Directory of homes for the aged in the United States. [1929.]
Public old-age pensions and insurance in the United States and in foreign countries.


Prison labor
N o. 372. Convict labor in 1923.
N o. 595. Prison labor in the United States, 1932.
N o. 596. Laws relating to prison labor in the United States, as of July 1, 1933.
Proceedings o f annual conventions o f the International Association o f Government Labor Officials
♦No. 266. Seventh, Seattle, W ash., July12-15, 1920.
N o. 307. Eighth, New Orleans, La., M a y 2-6, 1921.
*N o. 323. Ninth, Harrisburg, Pa., M a y 22-26, 1922.
*No. 352. Tenth, Richmond, V a., M a y 1-4, 1923.
♦No. 389. Eleventh, Chicago, 111., M a y 19-23, 1924.
♦No. 411. Twelfth, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 13-15, 1925.
*No. 429. Thirteenth, Columbus, Ohio, June 7-10, 1926.
*No. 455. Fourteenth, Paterson, N . J., M a y 31 to June 3, 1927.
*No. 480. Fifteenth, New Orleans, La., M a y 21-24, 1928.
N o. 508. Sixteenth, Toronto, Canada, June 4-7, 1929.
*N o. 530. Seventeenth, Louisville, K y ., M a y 20-23, 1930.
♦No. 563. Eighteenth, Boston, M ass., M a y 18-22, 1931.
*No. 609. Nineteenth, Chicago, 111., September 14-15, 1933.
Proceedings o f annual meetings o f the International Association o f Industrial Accident Boards and
N o. 210. Third, Columbus, Ohio, April 25-28, 1916.
♦No. 248. Fourth, Boston, M ass., August 21-25, 1917.
N o. 264. Fifth, Madison, W is., September 24-27, 1918.
*No. 273. Sixth, Toronto, Canada, September 23-26, 1919.
N o. 281. Seventh, San Francisco, Calif., September 20-24, 1920.
N o. 304. Eighth, Chicago, 111., September 19-23, 1921.
N o. 333. Ninth, Baltimore, M d ., October 9-13, 1922.
*No. 359. Tenth, St. Paul, M inn., September 24-26, 1923.
N o. 385. Eleventh, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 26-28, 1924.
♦No. 395. Index to proceedings, 1914-1924.
N o. 406. Twelfth, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 17-20, 1925.
N o. 432. Thirteenth, Hartford, Conn., September 14-17, 1926.
*No. 456. Fourteenth, Atlanta, Ga., September 27-29, 1927.
N o. 485. Fifteenth, Paterson, N . J., September 11-14, 1928.
N o. 511. Sixteenth, Buffalo, N . Y ., October 8-11, 1929.
N o. 536. Seventeenth, Wilmington, Del., September 22-26, 1930.
N o. 564. Eighteenth, Richmond, Va., October 5-8, 1931.
N o. 577. Nineteenth, Columbus, Ohio, September 26-29, 1932.
*No. 602. Twentieth, Chicago, 111., September 11-14, 1933.
Proceedings o f annual meetings o f the International Association o f Public Employment Services
♦No. 192. First, Chicago, December 19 and 20, 1913; second, Indianapolis, September 24 and 25, 1914;
third, Detroit, July 1 and 2, 1915.
♦No. 220. Fourth, Buffalo, N . Y ., July 20 and 21, 1916.
N o. 311. Ninth, Buffalo, N . Y ., September 7-9, 1921.
♦No. 337. Tenth, Washington, D . C ., September 11-13, 1922.
N o. 355. Eleventh, Toronto, Canada, September 4-7, 1923.
♦No. 400. Twelfth, Chicago, 111., M a y 19-23, 1924.
N o. 414. Thirteenth, Rochester, N . Y ., September 15-17, 1925.
N o. 478. Fifteenth, Detroit, M ich., October 25-28, 1927.
♦No. 501. Sixteenth, Cleveland, Ohio, September 18-21, 1928.
N o. 538. Seventeenth, Philadelphia, Pa., September 24-27, 1929; eighteenth, Toronto, Canada, Sep­
tember &-12, 1930.
Productivity o f labor and technological unemployment
N o. 356. Productivity costs in the common-brick industry. [1924.]
N o. 360. Tim e and labor costs in manufacturing 100 pairs of shoes, 1923.
N o. 407. Labor cost of production and wages and hours of labor in the paper box-board industry
♦No. 412. Wages, hours, and productivity in the pottery industry, 1925.
N o. 441. Productivity of labor in the glass industry. [1927.]
No. 474. Productivity of labor in merchant blast furnaces. [1928.]
N o. 475. Productivity of labor in newspaper printing. [1929.]
N o. 550. Cargo handling and longshore labor conditions. [1932.]
N o. 574. Technological changes and employment in the United States Postal Service. [1932.]
N o. 585. Labor productivity in the automobile-tire industry. [1933.]
N o. 593. Technological changes and employment in the electric-lamp industry. [1933.]


Retail prices and cost of living
N o.
N o.
N o.


Sugar prices, from refiner to consumer. [1913.]
W heat and flour prices, from farmer to consumer. [1913.]
Butter prices, from producer to consumer. [1914.1
Foreign food prices as affected by the war. [1915.]
Cost of living in the United States. [1924.]
The use of cost-of-living figures in wage adjustments. [1925.]
Retail prices, 1890 to 1928.

Safety codes
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.
N o.


Safety code for the protection of industrial workers in foundries.
Rules governing the approval of headlighting devices for motor vehicles.
Safety code for the construction, care, and use of ladders.
Safety code for laundry machinery and operations.
Code of lighting school buildings.
Safety code for paper and pulp mills.
Safety code for power presses and foot and hand presses.
Safety code for rubber mills and calenders.
Safety code for forging and hot-metal stamping.
Safety code for mechanical power-transmission apparatus— first revision.
Textile safety code.
Code for identification of gas-mask canisters.
Safety code for woodworking plants, as revised 1930.
Safety code for the use, care, and protection of abrasive wheels, as revised 1930.
Code of lighting: Factories, mills, and other workplaces. (Revision of 1930.)
Safety codes for the prevention of dust explosions.

Vocational and workers' education
N o.


Short-unit courses for wage earners, and a factory school experiment. [1915.]
Vocational education survey of Richmond, Va. [1915.]
Vocational education survey of Minneapolis, M inn. [1917.]
Adult working-class education in Great Britain and the United States. [1920.]
Apprenticeship in building construction. [1928.]

Wages and hours of labor
♦No. 146. Wages and regularity of employment and standardization of piece rates in the dress and
waist industry of New York City. [1914.]
♦No. 147. Wages and regularity of employment in the cloak, suit, and skirt industry. [1914.]
♦No. 161. Wages and hours of labor in the clothing and cigar industries, 1911 to 1913.
♦No. 163. Wages and hours of labor in the building and repairing of steam railroad cars, 1907 to 1913.
♦No. 190. Wages and hours of labor in the cotton, woolen, and silk industries, 1907 to 1914.
♦No. 204. Street-railway employment in the United States. [1917.]
♦No. 225. Wages and hours of labor in the lumber, millwork, and furniture industries, 1915.
♦No. 265. Industrial survey in selected industries in the United States, 1919.
♦No. 297. Wages and hours of labor in the petroleum industry, 1920.
N o. 356. Productivity costs in the common-brick industry. [1924.]
♦No. 358. Wages and hours of labor in the automobile-tire industry, 1923.
N o. 360. Tim e and labor costs in manufacturing 100 pairs of shoes, 1923.
N o. 365. Wages and hours of labor in the paper and pulp industry, 1923.
N o. 407. Labor cost of production and wages and hours of labor in the paper box-board industry.
♦No. 412. Wages, hours, and productivity in the pottery industry, 1925.
♦No. 416. Hours and earnings in anthracite and bituminous-coal mining, 1922 and 1924.
N o. 484. Wages and hours of labor of common street laborers, 1928.
♦No. 502. Wages and hours of labor in the motor-vehicle industry, 1928.
N o. 514. Pennsylvania Railroad wage data. From Report of Joint Fact Finding Committee in
wage negotiations in 1927.
N o. 523. Wages and hours in the manufacture of airplanes and aircraft engines, 1929.
N o. 525. Wages and hours of labor in the Portland cement industry, 1929.
N o. 532. Wages and hours of labor in the cigarette-manufacturing industry, 1930.
N o. 534. Labor conditions in the Territory of Hawaii, 1929-1930.
N o. 539. Wages and hours of labor in cotton-goods manufacturing, 1910 to 1930.
N o. 547. Wages and hours of labor in the cane-sugar refining industry, 1930.
N o. 567. Wages and hours of labor in the iron and steel industry, 1931.
N o. 568. Wages and hours of labor in the manufacture of silk and rayon goods, 1931.
N o. 570. Wages and hours of labor in foundries and machine shops, 1931.
N o. 571. Wages and hours of labor in the furniture industry, 1910 to 1931.
N o. 573. Wages and hours of labor in metalliferous mining, 1924 to 1931.
N o. 575. Wages and hours of labor in air transportation, 1931.
N o. 576. Wages and hours of labor in the slaughtering and meat-packing industry, 1931.
N o. 578. Wages and hours of labor in gasoline-filling stations and motor-vehicle repair garages, 1931.
N o. 579. Wages and hours of labor in the boot and shoe industry, 1910 to 1932.
N o. 580. Wages and hours of labor in the baking industry— bread and cake departments, 1931.
N o. 584. Wages and hours of labor in woolen and worsted goods manufacturing, 1932.
N o. 586. Wages and hours of labor in the lumber industry, 1932.
N o. 587. Wages and hours of labor in the rayon and other synthetic yarn manufacturing, 1932
N o. 588. Wages and hours of labor in the dyeing and finishing of textiles, 1932.
N o. 589. Wages and hours of labor in the leather industry, 1932.
N o. 591. Wages and hours of labor in the hosiery and underwear industry, 1932.
N o. 594. Wages and hours of labor in the men’s clothing industry, 1932.
N o. 600. Union scales of wages and hours of labor, M a y 15, 1933.
N o. 601. Wages and hours of labor in bituminous-coal mining, 1933.
N o. 604. History of wages in the United States from colonial times to 1928. Revision of Bulletin
N o. 499, with supplement, 1929-33.
N o . 613. Average annual wage and salary payments in Ohio, 1916 to 1932.

[IV ]

W elfare work
•No. 123. Employers' welfare work. [1913.]
•No. 222. Welfare work in British munition factories. [1917.]
•No. 250. Welfare work for employees in industrial establishments in the United States.
N o. 458. Health and recreation activities in industrial establishments, 1926.
N o. 565. Park recreation areas in the United States, 1930.
Wholesale prices
•No. 284. Index numbers of wholesale prices in the United States and foreign countries.
•No. 453. Revised index numbers of wholesale prices, 1923 to July 1927.
N o. 572 Wholesale prices, 1931.



Women and children in industry
•No. 116. Hours, earnings, and duration of employment of wage-earning women in selected industries
in the District of Columbia. [1913.]
•No. 117. Prohibition of night work of young persons. [1913.]
•No. 118. Ten-hour maximum working-day for women and young persons. [1913.]
•No. 119. Working hours of women in the pea canneries of Wisconsin. [1913.]
•No. 122. Employment of women in power laundries in Milwaukee. [1913.]
•No. 160. Hours, earnings, and conditions of labor of women in Indiana mercantile establishments
and garment factories. [1914.]
•No. 175. Summary of the report on condition of woman and child wage earners in the United States.
•No. 176. Effect of minimum-wage determinations in Oregon. [1915.]
•No. 180. The boot and shoe industry in Massachusetts as a vocation for women. [1915.]
•No. 182. Unemployment among women in department and other retail stores of Boston, Mass.
•No. 193. Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts. [1916.]
•No. 215. Industrial experience of trade-school girls in Massachusetts. [1917.]
•No. 217. Effect of workmen’s compensation laws in diminishing the necessity of industrial employ­
ment of women and children. [1917.]
•No. 223. Employment of women and juveniles in Great Britain during the war. [1917.]
N o. 253. W om en in the lead industries. [1919.]
N o. 467. Minimum-wage legislation in various countries. [1928.]
N o. 558. Labor conditions of women and children in Japan. [1931.]
W ork o f Federal and State departments o f labor
N o. 319. The Bureau of Labor Statistics: Its history, activities, and organization. [1922.]
•No. 326. Methods of procuring and computing statistical information of the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics. [1923.]
N o. 479. Activities and functions of a State department of labor. [1928.]
N o. 599. W hat are labor statistics for? [1933.]
N o. 614. Bulletins and articles published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: A selected list of refer­
ences. [1935.]
Workmen's insurance and compensation (including laws relating thereto)
•No. 101. Care of tuberculous wage earners in Germany. [1912.]
•No. 102. British National Insurance Act, 1911.
N o. 103. Sickness and accident insurance law of Switzerland. [1912.]
•No. 107. Law relating to insurance of salaried employees in Germany. [1913.]
•No. 155. Compensation for accidents to employees of the United States. [1914.]
•No. 212. Proceedings of the conference on social insurance called by the International Association of
Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, Washington, D . C ., December 5-9,1916.
•No. 243. Workmen’s compensation legislation in the United States and foreign countries, 1917 and
•No. 301. Comparison of workmen’s compensation insurance and administration. [1922.]
N o. 312. National health insurance in Great Britain, 1911 to 1921.
•No. 379. Comparison of workmen’s compensation laws of the United States, as of January 1, 1925.
N o. 423. Workmen’s compensation legislation of the United States and Canada, as of July 1, 1926.
N o. 496. Workmen's compensation legislation of the United States and Canada, as of January 1, 1929.
(W ith text of legislation enacted in 1927 and 1928.)
N o. 529. W orkmen’s compensation legislation of the Latin American countries. [1930.]
Miscellaneous series
•No. 174. Subject index of the publications of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics up to
M a y 1, 1915.
N o. 208. Profit sharing in the United States. [1916.]
•No. 242. Food situation in central Europe, 1917.
•No. 254. International labor legislation and the society of nations. [1919.]
•No. 268. Historical survey of international action affecting labor. [1920.]
•No. 282. M utual relief associations among Government employees in Washington, D . C . [1921.]
•No. 346. Hum anity in government. [1923.]
N o. 401. Family allowances in foreign countries. [1926.]
N o. 518. Personnel research agencies: 1930 edition.
•No. 541. Handbook of labor statistics: 1931 edition.
N o. 599. W h at are labor statistics for? [1933.]
N o. 605. Labor through the century, 1833-1933. (Revised.)
N o. 615. The Massachusetts system of savings-bank life insurance. [1935.]
N o. 616. Handbook of labor statistics: 1935 edition. (In press.)