March 01, 2018

Vantage Point

J.B. Ruhl, Issue Editor

Recently, while working in a guest office of a law firm I was visiting, I noticed some very old legal treatises on a bookshelf. One, published in 1890, was titled The Law of Roads and Streets. It was four inches thick and filled with dense legal analysis. At first, I thought it was quaint that lawyers way back when thought road and street law was a distinct field of practice deserving its own major treatise. Imagine what they would think if they saw what we are working on today! And what would they think about a distinct field of practice called environmental law? But then it struck me—what will lawyers in 2100 think is quaint about what we think of as “important” law today, and what new fields of practice will treatises of that future cover?

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