Textkit Logo

Latin and Law School

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Moderators: thesaurus, Jeff Tirey

Latin and Law School

Postby Tempora » Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:09 pm

Salvete Homines,

I will be studying Law in a few months and I would like to know if an advanced skill level in Latin would be helpful in any way.

Thank You
phpbb
Tempora
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:15 pm

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby paulusnb » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:54 pm

Indirectly. Scalia has said that the best writers he has worked with have been people with Latin backgrounds.

Also, people from classical studies are more successful in Law School.

"Furthermore, according to Harvard Magazine, Classics majors (and math majors) have the highest success rates of any majors in law school. Believe it or not: political science, economics, and pre-law majors lag fairly far behind. Even furthermore, Classics majors consistently have some of the highest scores on GREs of all undergraduates."

http://www.princetonreview.com/Majors.a ... cip=161200
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
User avatar
paulusnb
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby thesaurus » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:35 am

We can't overestimate the value of a Classics major. Check this out: according to Association of American Medical Colleges, students who major or double-major in Classics have a better success rate getting into medical school than do students who concentrate solely in biology, microbiology, and other branches of science. Crazy, huh? Furthermore, according to Harvard Magazine, Classics majors (and math majors) have the highest success rates of any majors in law school. Believe it or not: political science, economics, and pre-law majors lag fairly far behind. Even furthermore, Classics majors consistently have some of the highest scores on GREs of all undergraduates.


I've always wondered about such statistics. The question is whether the study of classics (as these statements suggest) makes people better at tests, schools, etc., or whether the kind of people who choose classics as a major are naturally apt to these tests and studies. (Most likely a combination of the two...)
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby paulusnb » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:43 am

thesaurus wrote:I've always wondered about such statistics. The question is whether the study of classics (as these statements suggest) makes people better at tests, schools, etc., or whether the kind of people who choose classics as a major are naturally apt to these tests and studies. (Most likely a combination of the two...)



Shhhhhhhh. Thesaurus. These types of questions are not pious to ask. :D I routinely tell parents that Med schools require Latin. Socrates calls it the Noble Lie. :twisted:


But seriously, I see where you are going and have asked this question myself. My company line is the following.....Latin students are the best students. This is not because only smart kids takes Latin. It is because Latin makes you a better student.

I have found this piece of rhetoric effective. ( My beard helps to sell the line.)

And yet, I really do believe this, even if I am skeptical about Latin's effect on scores. Being educated and being intelligent are, in some ways, two different things. As a teacher, I can help anyone gain an appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare or Roman History. As a mortal, I cannot effect a person's intelligence.

I am now preaching................

I have met many intelligent people with bankrupt souls. My high school valedictorian had basically sacrificed his "eternal jewel" on the altar of Baal by the eleventh grade, studying really hard so that he can make as much money as possible (in Louisiana as an engineer !!!!!!!!!!! :lol: ),and drive sports cars, and buy big screen televisions. He was not even observant enough to realize that he needed to leave Louisiana to make real money.

I rarely find a great soul who is not in some way familiar with the Western tradition. Will knowing Shakespeare or Cicero's orations make you a more effective lawyer? Depends what you mean by effective. Will it get you a higher pay grade as an engineer? Probably not. But it might keep you from being afraid of the dark.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
User avatar
paulusnb
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby Kasper » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:31 am

Hi Paul,

understanding Latin has some use in law, because of course there are many latin maxims in law, especially common law and equity. On the other hand, at least in Australia, if you were to ever use such maxim you will be confronted with utterly blank stares. No one will understand what you are talking about. As for learning the maxims in the first place, every textbook will provide an english translation and explanation of the maxim, so again, little use really.

i think the main benefit is that Latin has forced you to have a thorough understanding of language. Since law is all about language and semantics, this is a definite benefit.

eg. there is a famous australian case where the High Court (our highest court) held that because the constitution gives the Commonwealth governemnt power over corporations 'formed' within the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth government did not have power to prescribe how an organisation could be incorporated. An argument made up by lawyer who clearly had an awareness of the perfect passive participle.
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby Essorant » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:32 pm

Yes, learning Latin helps.

Tell those lawmen that alibi is not a noun :)
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby jeffdn02 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:05 am

I will be studying law as well! I'm a bit scared, and wondering if maybe I should just give up on the lawyer dream and go do what this guy says! :P Any words of encouragement for a newbie soon-to-be law student?

Jeff
jeffdn02
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:56 am

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby bedwere » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:46 pm

Dura lex, sed lex! :D
User avatar
bedwere
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Didacopoli in California

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby cb » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:33 pm

hi, i think any background skill that gets you thinking in a methodical way will help for law. latin may help but so would lots of other background skills. there are a fair few people around me who studied classics, but i don't know if that really helped them or not when studying law...

when practising law, your ability to understand latin won't be used very much - just the first story that come to mind, the only time in the last 10 yrs or so when my knowledge of latin itself helped was when one day, after about 16 hrs of negotiations, a lawyer for the other side said to us around 4am "...because of course nemo plus juris transferre ad alium potest quam ipse habet", and watched us keenly, and then from his reaction i don't think he expected me to understand what he said and engage back straight away. apart from that you won't use it much, apart from some phrases which have become fossilised like homeric formulae and their meaning is understood not so much from a knowledge of the latin vocab but from their use in centuries of case law.

cheers, chad
cb
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:52 pm

Re: Latin and Law School

Postby ailuros » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:33 pm

Latin itself will not help at all with law school, at least in the US. No one uses latin terminology or phrases anymore (except the most obvious ones), and all writing instructors will strongly advise you to eliminate such phrases from your writing. That said, law school is all language, and people who are good with language will have a better time of it. If you dislike reading, thinking, or working in language "gray areas", best to avoid law school.
ailuros
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:40 pm


Return to Open Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 21 guests