So a week or two ago we received our one-volume, softbound supplement to Wigmore. It was pretty thick, and the quality of the analysis is probably very good. But the price was $ 522.00 (and that’s without shipping – I forgot what the total was).
Today’s mail brought another Aspen supplement: The Law of Lawyering, Third Edition, by Geoffrey Hazard, William Hodes and Peter Jarvis. I don’t know how many pages it is, because it’s shrink-wrapped and we might be sending it back, so I don’t want to open it. But I measured it with a ruler: It’s less than 1/2 inch of paper, and its price is $ 302.00. I don’t have a scale handy, but it can’t weigh but a half-pound or so, yet its shipping and handling cost is $ 26.00.
Can our students become good lawyers without The Law of Lawyering? I think so. And brilliant as our students are, the name Wigmore doesn’t mean a whole lot to them. We probably won’t cancel Wigmore — at least not this year. But with the economy the way it is, budget cuts are not unforeseeable. Publishers, please take note: there is a very strict limit to how many $ 500 books — or $300 for that matter — this library can buy under our current situation, and if our budget is cut, well that’ll be a whole nother story.