The editors of Abraham Lincoln's Collected Works have tentatively dated this fragment found in his papers as July 1, 1850. It appears to have been the draft of a speech that Lincoln must have given to younger members of the Illinois bar during the period in the early 1850s when he was most active as a circuit-riding attorney. In these notes, Lincoln offered a series of common sense observations about how to succeed in the legal profession (or any profession), but he punctuated his remarks by emphasizing the need for honesty, a standard he seemed especially determined to meet in his own career. (By Matthew Pinsker)
"Fragment: Notes for a Law Lecture,"in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2: 82-83, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
Adapted by Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College