An eminent member of the bar, carrying all the intellectual prestige of one who has led a venerated Ivy League institution, trained in the time when lawyer-statesmen walked the earth like giants, stood before his audience. Change was afoot, and a valued tradition was about to be lost. This is what he said:
Lawyers . . . have become experts in some special technical field. They do not practise law. They do not handle the general, miscellaneous interests of society. They are not general counsellors of right and obligation. . . . Lawyers are specialists, like all other men around them. . . . [This] necessarily separates them from the dwindling body of general practitioners who used to be our statesmen.
The time: 1910. The speaker: Woodrow Wilson.
In this, as in so many things, Wilson may have been ahead of his time.