When New York's Lawyers Took
RICHARD B. MORRIS
/■ If ^HE current movement for periodic reccrtification of
physicians, lawyers, and other professionals may find a
model, so far as lawyers are concerned, in a recent gift to
the Rare Book and Manuscript Library made by Dr. John J.
DuBois. This unique item comprises a set of minutes and rules of
a New York club of lawyers called the Moot, which describes how
the lawyers of this city, in the five years inuiiediately preceding
the American Revolution, worked out a program for continued
study after admission to the Bar.
These minutes of the .Moot are one of four known copies.
An original set of Moot minutes, the first two pages of which
containing the rules of the Moot are tattered, is owned by the
New-York Historical Society, which also owns a contemporary
transcript along with a copy of that transcript. The DuBois gift
is a contemporary transcript of the original minutes. The making
of this kind of material by contemporaries was by no means un¬
usual. In the days before there were abundant law books or full
sets of reported cases, law students customarily abridged judicial
decisions reported by others, and prepared commonplace books
—memoranda on writs and remedies—as well as books on proce-