In order to understand what the contribution of the jurist might be in the process of 'modernization' of the public administration, it is necessary to clarify what his (or her) role is. And to do so it is necessary to agree in advance on the object of legal science: 1) by drawing the boundaries that distinguish it from the other social sciences; 2) by shedding light on the difference between it and law policy. On the basis of these premises it is possible to explain how the scientific method of the jurist is characterized: a method that combines induction and deduction, implying a need for the jurist to conduct his scientific analysis setting out from the observation of the phenomenological data, gleaned from the living law expressed by jurisprudence, for the ultimate purpose of being able to scrutinize the results of such observation in light of general theory and legal logic. The essay concludes by recalling certain words - «Popular sovereignty. Representative democracy. General and abstract law. State subject to the rule of law. Free development of the personality. Legal science as a construction of a theoretical system of human relations able to dominate the chaotic and destructive nature thereof» - decisive for defining in a paradigmatic manner the task of the jurist, even if that has caused the evoking of the 'figure of the sheer madman', for whom, if this is the way it is, the author holds that the 'great need' must be confirmed today.