This chapter presents the choice Harvard Law School (HLS) students and professors had to make—whether to make “the uncomfortable transformation of gentlemen into professionals.” Some were attracted to Langdell's vision of sorting students and lawyers by their academic merit; others held to the traditional norms of professional education. In either case, the current and prospective students of HLS had to decide whether and how to respond to the policies of “the new system,” particularly during the second stage of the school's metamorphosis from 1876 to the early 1880s. The different paths of four representative individuals—John R. Jones, George Wigglesworth, William E. Russell, and Edmund M. Parker—offer insight into students' decisions concerning that uncomfortable transformation.
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