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langdell christopher principles scientific

Christopher C. Langdell, 1871

The 1871 publication of A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts by Christopher Columbus Langdell revolutionized legal education. The book, which consisted of a collection of mostly English judicial opinions, was meant to assist the professor in developing within the student a scientific approach to the law. Langdell chose the cases for the fundamental principles they contained. Students were expected to dispense with the idea that they were attending a vocational school. Instead, they were to apply the principles they learned in the scientific search for truth. In his preface Langdell said that he sought to "select, classify, and arrange all cases which had contributed in any important degree to the growth, development, or establishment of any of its essential doctrines."

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