Law Firms (law + firm)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Managing the Transnational Law Firm: A Relational Analysis of Professional Systems, Embedded Actors, and Time,Space-Sensitive Governance

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2008
James R. Faulconbridge
Abstract This article argues that the relational approach can be particularly effective for addressing debates about the varieties of capitalism and the dynamics of institutional contexts. Using the case study of transnational law firms and data gathered through interviews with partners in London and New York, it makes two arguments. First, it suggests that the relational approach's focus on the behavior of key agents when new or different work practices are encountered helps explain the management of institutional heterogeneity by transnational corporations (TNCs). Such an approach reveals the peculiarities of professionals and professional service managers and how they affect the response of globalizing law firms when home- and host-country business practices diverge. Second, the article shows how relational approaches can help disaggregate descriptions of national institutional systems to reveal the importance of studying their constitutive practices. Understanding these microlevel variations, which is missed by macrolevel categories like Anglo-American, is essential for explaining how firms cope with institutional heterogeneity. The author therefore argues that a better understanding of the effects of TNCs on national business systems can be facilitated by further developing the actor- and practice-focused analyses promoted by relational approaches. [source]


Men and Women of Elite Law Firms: Reevaluating Kanter's Legacy

LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 1 2000
Elizabeth Chambliss
This paper tests the effects of minority partner representation on minority associate representation in a sample of 97 law firms from 1980 to 1990. We perform separate analyses for women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, and we consider both within-group and cross-group effects. We find that minority partner representation has a positive effect on minority associate representation, which is statistically significant in the case of women and Asian Americans. Our findings are consistent with lawyers'own accounts, which emphasize the impact of partner composition on the distribution of rewards within law firms. We also show how our findings clarify previous studies about the effects of minority representation on the distribution of organizational rewards, focusing particularly on Kanter's work and subsequent related research. [source]


Globalization as Boundary-Blurring: International and Local Law Firms in China's Corporate Law Market

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2008
Sida Liu
The worldwide expansion of international law firms has generated regulatory battles and workplace conflicts in advanced market economies as well as developing countries. This article uses the case of China to explore the changing global,local relationship in the globalization of the legal profession and to understand the role of the government in constituting the corporate law market. The author argues that the globalization of the Chinese corporate law market is a process of boundary-blurring and hybridization, by which local firms become structurally global-looking and global firms receive localized expertise. Boundary-blurring occurs in law firms' workplaces, in lawyers' career trajectories, and in state regulatory policies. It has produced a localized expertise that can be diffused conversely from local firms to global firms and has partially changed their relationship from collaboration to competition. Consequently, it becomes increasingly difficult for the government to make or enforce any substantive policy to clarify the market boundary between these two types of law firms. [source]


Knowledge management practice in Scottish law firms

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, Issue 2 2002
Laurie Hunter
Law firms, as part of the professional services sector, are increasingly engaged in strategic thinking about business growth and development. The management of partners, staff and their knowledge is critical to this strategic development. This study of a sample of Scottish law firms engaged in commercial and corporate law finds that organisations are at different stages of progress, and that change has focused more on technical solutions than on organisational and HR issues. Based on evidence from partners and management, and on attitude data from salaried staff, the article suggests that, although the traditional professional firm's interest in building and leveraging its human capital is still present, the underlying social and cultural processes involving motivation, sharing of experiences, coaching and mentoring are relatively underdeveloped. The implications for HR strategy and practice, and for the role of the HR manager, are considered. [source]


Client Influence and the Contingency of Professionalism: The Work of Elite Corporate Lawyers in China

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2006
Sida Liu
This study examines how the professional work of elite corporate lawyers is constructed by influence from different types of clients. The data presented include interviews with 24 lawyers from six elite corporate law firms in China and the author's participant-observation in one of the firms. For these elite Chinese corporate law firms, foreign corporations, state-owned enterprises, and private enterprises constitute their extremely diversified client types. Accordingly, lawyers' work becomes flexible and adaptive to accommodate the different demands of the clients. Meanwhile, client influence on lawyers' professional work is mediated by the division of labor within the corporate law firm: whereas partners have solid control over the process of diagnosis, inference, and treatment and thus enjoy a high degree of professional autonomy, associates are largely stripped of this cultural machinery in the workplace, and their work becomes vulnerable to client influence. As a result, client influence on professional work appears to decrease with a lawyer's seniority. [source]


Update: How value billing helps both the client and the law firm

ALTERNATIVES TO THE HIGH COST OF LITIGATION, Issue 1 2010
Mark D. Wolf
First page of article [source]


Managing the Transnational Law Firm: A Relational Analysis of Professional Systems, Embedded Actors, and Time,Space-Sensitive Governance

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2008
James R. Faulconbridge
Abstract This article argues that the relational approach can be particularly effective for addressing debates about the varieties of capitalism and the dynamics of institutional contexts. Using the case study of transnational law firms and data gathered through interviews with partners in London and New York, it makes two arguments. First, it suggests that the relational approach's focus on the behavior of key agents when new or different work practices are encountered helps explain the management of institutional heterogeneity by transnational corporations (TNCs). Such an approach reveals the peculiarities of professionals and professional service managers and how they affect the response of globalizing law firms when home- and host-country business practices diverge. Second, the article shows how relational approaches can help disaggregate descriptions of national institutional systems to reveal the importance of studying their constitutive practices. Understanding these microlevel variations, which is missed by macrolevel categories like Anglo-American, is essential for explaining how firms cope with institutional heterogeneity. The author therefore argues that a better understanding of the effects of TNCs on national business systems can be facilitated by further developing the actor- and practice-focused analyses promoted by relational approaches. [source]


Knowledge management practice in Scottish law firms

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, Issue 2 2002
Laurie Hunter
Law firms, as part of the professional services sector, are increasingly engaged in strategic thinking about business growth and development. The management of partners, staff and their knowledge is critical to this strategic development. This study of a sample of Scottish law firms engaged in commercial and corporate law finds that organisations are at different stages of progress, and that change has focused more on technical solutions than on organisational and HR issues. Based on evidence from partners and management, and on attitude data from salaried staff, the article suggests that, although the traditional professional firm's interest in building and leveraging its human capital is still present, the underlying social and cultural processes involving motivation, sharing of experiences, coaching and mentoring are relatively underdeveloped. The implications for HR strategy and practice, and for the role of the HR manager, are considered. [source]


Consultants, lawyers, and the ,union free' movement in the USA since the 1970s

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS JOURNAL, Issue 3 2002
John Logan
This paper provides a qualitative analysis of the services that the anti,union consultants and law firms have provided to American employers during the past three decades and an account of the campaign tactics of several ,superstars' of the union,free movement. It describes a multi,million dollar industry that has helped employers to circumvent the intent of federal labour law through a vast array of union,busting tactics, implemented before the union arrives and continuing until after it is defeated: tactics that are designed, at every juncture, to undermine employees' free choice of bargaining representatives. [source]


Lawyers at Mid-Career: A 20-Year Longitudinal Study of Job and Life Satisfaction

JOURNAL OF EMPIRICAL LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 3 2009
John Monahan
This study is the first to our knowledge to simultaneously measure the predictors of lawyers' satisfaction with their careers and the predictors of lawyers' satisfaction with their lives more broadly. One class of the University of Virginia School of Law was studied between their matriculation in 1987 and their graduation in 1990. All 360 living graduates of this class were contacted in 2007, with a response rate of 72.2 percent. Descriptive information was obtained and empirically validated measures of both career satisfaction and life satisfaction were administered. Respondents were found to have taken many diverse career paths, with most (85 percent) having changed jobs at least once, and half having changed jobs at least twice. Gender differences in the personal and professional lives of respondents were pervasive. Women graduates were far more likely than men to interrupt or forego full-time employment (39 percent vs. 1 percent), mainly in order to care for children, and were also more likely to have a spouse or partner employed full time outside the home (77 percent vs. 24 percent). Working conditions at large private law firms emerged as a significant problem for many respondents; half of those who started their careers in large firms left to go to a different type of employer. Finally, both career satisfaction and life satisfaction were found to be high, with 81 percent of the respondents satisfied with their decision to become a lawyer, and 86 percent satisfied with their lives more broadly. [source]


The Strategic Use of Demand-side Diversity Pressure in the Solicitors' Profession

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 3 2010
Joanne P. Braithwaite
There has been a long line of official initiatives seeking to address the poor record of the solicitors' profession on diversity. One of the latest, the Law Society's 2009 Diversity Charter and Protocol, attempts to harness client pressure as a way of bringing about change. The objective of the paper is to assess this strategic use of ,demand-side diversity pressure' in the solicitors' profession, contextualizing the strategy and using different perspectives to assess it. The paper first considers the strategy as a development of ,business case' arguments for diversity and explores the implications of scholarly objections to this approach. Secondly, the paper uses empirical data from the City law firm sector to explore the nature and practical effects of demand-side diversity pressures within law firms. I conclude by considering the prospects of the Law Society's scheme having a meaningful effect, factoring in the possible effects of the ongoing global economic crisis. [source]


The professionalism of practising law: A comparison across work contexts

JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, Issue 8 2008
Jean E. Wallace
Traditionally, the literature assumed that solo practitice best exemplifies the ideal professional work arrangement and that when professionals become salaried employees their professionalism is seriously threatened. The primary goal of this paper is to examine lawyers' sense of professionalism across two work contexts: solo practitioner offices and law firm settings. We also examine status distinctions within law firms, between associates and partners, and compare both to independent practitioners. Solo practitioners and law firm partners are similar on most key dimensions of professionalism, whereas the greatest contrasts occur between partners and associates within law firms. Partners and solo practitioners share similar experiences of autonomy and service as owner-managers, whereas partners and associates share greater collegiality among professionals, perhaps fostered through law firm cultures. All three groups report comparable amounts of variety in their work and are equally committed to the practice of law. The key factors that account for gaps in professionalism reflect the nature of law practices, primarily through time spent with corporate clients and pressure to generate profits. We conclude that different versions of lawyers' professionalism are influenced by the everyday aspects of their work and one version is not necessarily more professional than the other. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Men and Women of Elite Law Firms: Reevaluating Kanter's Legacy

LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 1 2000
Elizabeth Chambliss
This paper tests the effects of minority partner representation on minority associate representation in a sample of 97 law firms from 1980 to 1990. We perform separate analyses for women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, and we consider both within-group and cross-group effects. We find that minority partner representation has a positive effect on minority associate representation, which is statistically significant in the case of women and Asian Americans. Our findings are consistent with lawyers'own accounts, which emphasize the impact of partner composition on the distribution of rewards within law firms. We also show how our findings clarify previous studies about the effects of minority representation on the distribution of organizational rewards, focusing particularly on Kanter's work and subsequent related research. [source]


Globalization as Boundary-Blurring: International and Local Law Firms in China's Corporate Law Market

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2008
Sida Liu
The worldwide expansion of international law firms has generated regulatory battles and workplace conflicts in advanced market economies as well as developing countries. This article uses the case of China to explore the changing global,local relationship in the globalization of the legal profession and to understand the role of the government in constituting the corporate law market. The author argues that the globalization of the Chinese corporate law market is a process of boundary-blurring and hybridization, by which local firms become structurally global-looking and global firms receive localized expertise. Boundary-blurring occurs in law firms' workplaces, in lawyers' career trajectories, and in state regulatory policies. It has produced a localized expertise that can be diffused conversely from local firms to global firms and has partially changed their relationship from collaboration to competition. Consequently, it becomes increasingly difficult for the government to make or enforce any substantive policy to clarify the market boundary between these two types of law firms. [source]


Client Influence and the Contingency of Professionalism: The Work of Elite Corporate Lawyers in China

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2006
Sida Liu
This study examines how the professional work of elite corporate lawyers is constructed by influence from different types of clients. The data presented include interviews with 24 lawyers from six elite corporate law firms in China and the author's participant-observation in one of the firms. For these elite Chinese corporate law firms, foreign corporations, state-owned enterprises, and private enterprises constitute their extremely diversified client types. Accordingly, lawyers' work becomes flexible and adaptive to accommodate the different demands of the clients. Meanwhile, client influence on lawyers' professional work is mediated by the division of labor within the corporate law firm: whereas partners have solid control over the process of diagnosis, inference, and treatment and thus enjoy a high degree of professional autonomy, associates are largely stripped of this cultural machinery in the workplace, and their work becomes vulnerable to client influence. As a result, client influence on professional work appears to decrease with a lawyer's seniority. [source]


How Green Was My Valley?

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 4 2003
An Examination of Tournament Theory as a Governance Mechanism in Silicon Valley Law Firms
The tournament model is a widely used mechanism to control opportunistic behavior by associates in law firms. However, this mechanism can only operate in certain economic (and social) circumstances. When those circumstances do not exist, the model breaks down, and with it the ability to control opportunism in the absence of some alternative mechanism. Prior research has not investigated whether the utilization of a tournament model prevents the opportunistic behaviors identified as grabbing, leaving, and shirking. In order to test the limits of the tournament model, it is necessary to find particular historical moments when the economic environment radically challenges assumptions/premises of the model. The dot-com bubble in Silicon Valley provides precisely such a time and place. This article demonstrates limits to the applicability of tournament theory. Those limits are to be found in the economic environment in circumstances in which: (1) exogenous reward structures offer many multiples of internal rewards; (2) demonstrably high short-term rewards outside the firm starkly contrast with the delayed long-term rewards inside the firm; (3) the managerial strata reduce their emphasis on long-term recruiting of potential partners in favor of short-term productivity by young associates; and (4) firms develop departmental leverage ratios in excess of their capacity to monitor, mentor, and train recruits. [source]


Liberalisation of legal services in Europe: progress and prospects

LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2010
Robert G Lee
The usual excuse for regulation is the failure of market provision. This paper examines legal services and suggests that, in the case of provision of commercial legal services to corporate clients, true events of market failure, to support the case for regulation, and more particularly self-regulation, are hard to locate. It further argues that the market for legal services is heavily stratified with a commercial legal services market effectively operating quite separately to that of professional legal services for private clients. In consequence, it may be more effective and proportionate to adopt differentiated strategies of regulation. This might be achieved by shifting the focus of regulation away from the individual practitioner, as is historically the case, towards law firms as such. This simple step, it is suggested, could facilitate much greater liberalisation of the market for legal services. This proposal is explored with particular reference to freedom of services within the European single market and, as a backdrop to the paper, progress to date in facilitating cross-border legal services in Europe is reviewed. [source]


The European single market and the regulation of the legal profession: an economic analysis

MANAGERIAL AND DECISION ECONOMICS, Issue 3 2002
Frank H. StephenArticle first published online: 3 APR 200
The article analyses the effect of removing barriers between two autarkic legal markets with different technologies. Firms using the more efficient technology penetrate the other market. The result is mergers between firms from the efficient jurisdictions and those in the inefficient jurisdictions. Social welfare increases from reduced resource costs in the production of legal services even if prices remain regulated. This leads to pressure for prices for legal services to be reduced. Recent trends in the penetration of EU legal markets by English solicitors firms are discussed, particularly recent mergers involving English and German law firms. Implications for future market regulation are drawn. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Standard promotion practices versus up-or-out contracts

THE RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS, Issue 2 2010
Suman Ghosh
This article develops a theory concerning the choice between standard promotion practices and up-or-out contracts. Our theory is based on asymmetric learning and promotion incentives. We find that firms employ up-or-out contracts when firm-specific human capital is low and standard promotion practices when it is high. We also find that, if commitment to a wage floor is feasible and effort provision is important, up-or-out is employed when low- and high-level jobs are similar. These results are consistent with many of the settings in which up-or-out is typically observed, such as law firms and academia. [source]