Bernard E. Witkin Photo

Bernard E. Witkin

Born: May 22, 1904

Death: Dec 23, 1995

Birthplace: United States of America

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Bernard E. Witkin

Date of Birth : May 22, 1904
Date of Death : Dec 23, 1995
Birth Place : United States of America

Bernard E. Witkin is the founder of the California law treatise Witkin's. In 1928, Witkin was an unhappy law student at Boalt Hall who thought that the Socratic method used in law school teaching was not an efficient way to learn the law. He seldom went to class and was in danger of flunking out. About the time the Dean told him he needed to shape up, Witkin had an epiphany: law is like any other discipline; it has rules that can be taught. He thought legal education should be more like science education and should teach students the rules of the discipline in an organized way. In his view, the way to understand the law is to be instructed in what the rules of the law are. He created an outline for each of his courses and started selling his notes to his fellow students. Following graduation, Witkin took a job with a law firm in San Francisco for two years, while continuing to develop and sell his outlines. Following that job, Witkin clerked for the California Supreme Court. At the same time, he started to teach a bar review course. Witkin later clerked for the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.


  • Lawyer

Also known as

  • Bernard Witkin
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