Dedication, Author Information, Acknowledgments & Note on Citations

AuthorCharles D. Kelso; R. Randall Kelso
ProfessionProfessors of Law

Page 1932


We dedicate this book to the late Richard McKeon, a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago. In the 1940s, Professor McKeon taught a course on Jurisprudence in which he argued that it would be useful to study the legal system by making use of Aristotle's analysis of material, formal, efficient, and final causes. This book is an effort to implement Professor McKeon's thesis, with particular emphasis on constitutional law. The authors hope that Professor McKeon would have been pleased with our efforts.

Author Information

Charles D. Kelso is a Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He received an A.B., 1946, and J.D., 1950, from the University of Chicago; an LL.M., 1962, and J.S.D., 1968, from Columbia University, and an LL.D., in 1966, from John Marshall. He clerked for Justice Minton on the United States Supreme Court from 1950-51. He was a Professor at Indiana School of Law - Indianapolis from 1951-78, and has been a Professor at McGeorge School of Law since 1978. During 1966-68, he served as a Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Miami School of Law. He was the Director of the AALS Study of Part-Time Legal Education from 1963-72; Chair of the ABA Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar in 1973-74; Editor of Learning and the Law magazine from 1974-78; and President of the Law & Society Association in 1979. He is also the co-author of R. Randall Kelso & Charles D. Kelso, Studying Law: An Introduction (West. Pub. Co. 1984), and author of numerous monographs and over 70 articles.

R. Randall Kelso is the Spurgeon E. Bell Distinguished Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law. He received a B.A., 1976, from the University of Chicago; and a J.D., 1979, from the University of Wisconsin. He was an Instructor at the University of Miami School of Law from 1979-80; an Associate at Columbia University School of Law from 1980-82; and has taught at South Texas College of Law since 1983. He is also the co-author of R. Randall Kelso & Charles D. Kelso, Studying Law: An Introduction (West. Pub. Co. 1984), and author of numerous articles.


Throughout the preparation of this book, R.K. Van Every provided outstanding secretarial services and advice on using computer programs. We owe her a great debt of thanks.

Thanks are also due to the creators of the WordPerfect and Adobe Acrobat programs for making it so readily possible for a computerized book to be created.

Page 1933

The title of this book is a paean to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s famous article, The Path of the Law, 10 Harv. L. Rev. 457 (1897). In the opening paragraph of that article, Holmes observed:

When we study law we are not studying a mystery but a well known profession. We are studying what we shall want in order to appear before judges, or to advise people in such a way as to keep them out of court. The reason why it is a profession, why people will pay lawyers to argue for them or to advise them, is that in societies like ours the command of the public force is intrusted to the judges in certain cases, and the whole power of the state will be put forth, if necessary, to carry out their judgments and decrees. People want to know under what circumstances and how far they will run the risk of coming against what is so much stronger than themselves, and hence it becomes a business to find out when this danger is to be feared. The object of our study, then, is prediction, the prediction of the incidence of the public force through the instrumentality of the courts. Id. at 457.

This book is both a description of the past and a...

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