Henry J. Friendly on “The Legal Mind”

I am now reading David Dorsen’s biography of Judge Henry Friendly, and one thing that caught my eye was a speech Friendly gave at the University of Chicago about “the legal mind.”

“The legal mind is an inquiring mind. It does not accept; it asks. Its favorite word is ‘why.’ . . . It is analytical, it picks a problem apart so that the components can be seen and judged. It is selective; it rejects characteristics that are not significant and focuses on those that are . . . It is a classifying mind; it finds significant differences between cases that superficially seem similar and significant similarities between case that at first seem different. It is a discriminating mind; it has a profound disbelief in what Professor Frankfurter used to call ‘the democracy of ideas.'”

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1 Response

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