A tale of two professions

Legal Research Plus comments on an article about John West [founder of West Publishing] and other non lawyers who have revolutionized legal research.

Apparently West called for neutral citations way back in 1908.

The author of the article, Prof Robert Jarvis, asks:

how a man who did not go to college, and was untrained in law, was able to devise methods that revolutionized legal research and, by extension, legal practice. Why was no judge or lawyer able to see what he saw? Perhaps the answer is that they were not looking, or perhaps it took an outsider to see what the cognoscenti could not.

I think the short answer is that lawyers are (we hope and expect) good at lawyering not at developing publishing systems.

The full 23-page article by prof Jarvis is availablein PDF.

One thought on “A tale of two professions”

  1. I would also highlight the corollary: not only are lawyers good at lawyering and not publishing but it so happens that publishers are good at publishing and not lawyering.

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