With law school graduation season winding down and bar review about to start up, it seemed an appropriate time to think a bit about the making of lawyers.
Recently I was sent an unpublished autobiography of Volney Howard, who practiced law out of Virginia beginning in 1878 until near his death in the 1930s. His path to the bar was sufficiently typical of his times – yet sufficiently different from today’s model – that I thought it was worth sharing.
Howard was born in rural southside Virginia in the years before the Civil War.
His early education was, at best, scattered and scanty.
“When the war ended with Gen Rob’t E. Lee’s surrender on April 5, 1865, I was 11 years old. I had never been to school of any sort.