There was a time when the young man "studied law" in the private office of some successful practicing lawyer. Much time was spent by the student in copying legal papers the real meaning of which was seldom understood and seldom explained. Fundamental legal principles were but little considered. Only under the most exceptional circumstances was this method educational. There was little, if any, systematic and orderly study of law as a science. That young men, after serving such an apprenticeship, ever became good lawyers was rather in spite of this manner of training them than because of it. As the variety of subjects dealt with by practicing lawyers multiplied, each lawyer became more and more a specialist, confining his attention to but few of these subjects. The partial view of legal principles obtained by the so-called students in his office became still more partial and restricted.
Brewster, James H. "Conveyancing in the Law Department." Mich. Alumnus 9 (1903): 293-5.