Eugen Ehrlich's book is one, the reading of which can afford great pleasure and instruction, but only at the cost of unusual patience and concentration.
Ehrlich was one of those fertile and original geniuses who covered a wide territory. A scholar could probably find much to criticize in his history and in his logic. Every chapter abounds in "remarkable remarks" of a general character. It is not a book to be swallowed whole. Living law and sociological jurisprudence based thereon will bring about no revolution in theory, teaching or practice of law. There is, however, an element of value, a point of view, as Professor Pound shows in his introduction. Practising lawyers have always unconsciously been guided in advising clients by the way in which business is actually done and the way people feel about the situation involved. The reading of this book should make the process a conscious one to use wherever it promises results. The amazing temporal and spatial extent of the author's observations give many suggestive leads so that the work repays readings.
... Professor Ehrlich discusses numerous other topics of interest to jurist and sociologist alike, such as the theory of customary law, the codification of juristic law, the methods of the sociology of law and especially the methods of studying what he calls living law. The treatment throughout is singularly lucid and direct. Sociologists will welcome it as a valuable contribution to the comparative study of social institutions and as indicating fields of investigation in which sociologists and lawyers may co-operate with profit to both branches of study.
The publication of an English translation of Eugen Ehrlich's Sociology of Law is an event of importance. ... his Sociology of Law is a great book, which is as fresh and readable today, fifteen years after Ehrlich's death, as it was at the publication of the German original in 1913.