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Aside from the elementary branches, no particular subject is absolutely essential as a basis for the study and practice of the law. In this respect the law occupies a place somewhat different from that of the other learned professions. The student and practitioner of medicine must of necessity get a substantial scientific foundation for his professional work. This for him is an absolutely essential prerequisite. For the professional courses in engineering a special and definite scientific preparation must be made; without it nothing but the most ordinary work in engineering can be accomplished. And it is probable that for theology, work along certain well-defined lines is desirable, if not essential. But it by no means follows that, because success in the study of the law or in the practice of it does not depend upon the mastery of particular subjects, a thorough preparation therefor is not necessary. The contrary is most emphatically true, particularly at the present time. The law is a practical subject, most intimately connected with the private interests of the citizen, and with questions affecting his public rights and obligations; but it is at the same time a science, the mastery of which requires a mental equipment above the ordinary. No one can hope for much success as a student of it without adequate preliminary training, or in its application as an art, without being prepared for the keenest kind of intellectual competition.