Legal Profession (legal + profession)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Integration through Distinction: German-Jewish Immigrants, the Legal Profession and Patterns of Bourgeois Culture in British-ruled Jewish Palestine1

JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
RAKEFET SELA-SHEFFY
It argues that their accepted image as cultural aliens, based on their allegedly incompatible European-like bourgeois life-style, was propagated by both parties in this encounter, causing their marginalization and at the same time serving them as an important socio-cultural resource. Focusing on the field of the legal profession, it analyses the 1930's and the already emerging and highly-accepted patterns of a local middle-class civic culture (despite its rejection by the political discourse), which facilitated the advancement of an elite group of German-born lawyers in this field. [source]


Regulating Law Firm Ethics Management: An Empirical Assessment of an Innovation in Regulation of the Legal Profession in New South Wales

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 3 2010
Christine Parker
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) was the first jurisdiction to fully deregulate law firm structure and allow alternative business structures in the legal profession. At the same time it also introduced an innovation in regulation of the legal profession, requiring that incorporated legal practices implement ,appropriate management systems' for ensuring the provision of legal services in compliance with professional ethical obligations. This paper presents a preliminary empirical evaluation of the impact of this attempt at ,management-based regulation'. We find that the NSW requirement that firms self-assess their ethics management leads to a large and statistically significant drop in complaints. The (self-assessed) level of implementation of ethics management infrastructure, however, does not make any difference. The relevance of these findings to debates about deprofessionalization, managerialism, and commercialism in the legal profession is discussed, and the NSW approach is distinguished from the more heavy-handed English legal aid approach to regulating law firm quality management. [source]


Women Solicitors as a Barometer for Problems within the Legal Profession , Time to Put Values before Profits?

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
Lisa Webley
This article will consider the theoretical explanations for why women are not remaining within and progressing through the ranks of the solicitors' profession in England and Wales. It sets out the findings from a Law Society commissioned project to examine the reasons why women have had a break from practice or chosen to leave the profession. Finally, it considers whether one of the purported strategies used to empower women solicitors , the business case for equality of opportunity in the solicitors' profession , is actively working against women and the profession (more broadly), and that only a return to a wider values-based approach to professional identity will meet the criticisms raised by many of the women who participated in this research. [source]


In My Opinion , Respecting Parent and Child Representation in the Legal Profession

JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JOURNAL, Issue 2 2006
JUDGE CHRIS MELONAKIS
First page of article [source]


Advocates unlimited: the numerus clausus and the college of justice in Scotland

HISTORICAL RESEARCH, Issue 216 2009
John Finlay
The college of justice established in Edinburgh in 1532 provides an interesting case study of the operation of the numerus clausus rule by which a limit was placed on the number of advocates permitted to practise there. Such a rule is found in a number of European jurisdictions; however in Scotland's central court it was unusually short-lived, and lasted for less than two decades. The focus of this article is on why the rule was so briefly employed and what consequences this had for the legal profession, the court and wider Scottish society. As well as analysis of the contemporary court record, and consideration of the growth of the legal profession subsequent to the relaxation of the rule, discussion of some of the relevant considerations is informed by a debate on the same issue to be found in some inferior courts in the eighteenth century. [source]


Voices in court: lawyers' or litigants'?

HISTORICAL RESEARCH, Issue 186 2001
Joanne Bailey
Written records of litigation lie at the heart of numerous studies of English society and culture. Although some documents appear to demonstrate individuality, historians advise that they be used cautiously since the words of litigants and deponents were filtered through the legal profession. This article uncovers the process of mediation by exploring the interaction between litigants and their legal advisers, using correspondence received by church court proctors. It reveals that some parties had an active role in their litigation and, crucially, that their own motives could obscure the reality underlying their lawsuits as much as the legal process. [source]


Integration through Distinction: German-Jewish Immigrants, the Legal Profession and Patterns of Bourgeois Culture in British-ruled Jewish Palestine1

JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
RAKEFET SELA-SHEFFY
It argues that their accepted image as cultural aliens, based on their allegedly incompatible European-like bourgeois life-style, was propagated by both parties in this encounter, causing their marginalization and at the same time serving them as an important socio-cultural resource. Focusing on the field of the legal profession, it analyses the 1930's and the already emerging and highly-accepted patterns of a local middle-class civic culture (despite its rejection by the political discourse), which facilitated the advancement of an elite group of German-born lawyers in this field. [source]


Regulating Law Firm Ethics Management: An Empirical Assessment of an Innovation in Regulation of the Legal Profession in New South Wales

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 3 2010
Christine Parker
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) was the first jurisdiction to fully deregulate law firm structure and allow alternative business structures in the legal profession. At the same time it also introduced an innovation in regulation of the legal profession, requiring that incorporated legal practices implement ,appropriate management systems' for ensuring the provision of legal services in compliance with professional ethical obligations. This paper presents a preliminary empirical evaluation of the impact of this attempt at ,management-based regulation'. We find that the NSW requirement that firms self-assess their ethics management leads to a large and statistically significant drop in complaints. The (self-assessed) level of implementation of ethics management infrastructure, however, does not make any difference. The relevance of these findings to debates about deprofessionalization, managerialism, and commercialism in the legal profession is discussed, and the NSW approach is distinguished from the more heavy-handed English legal aid approach to regulating law firm quality management. [source]


After Dark and Out in the Cold: Part-time Law Students and the Myth of ,Equivalency'

JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY, Issue 2 2009
Andrew Francis
This paper presents the findings of the first major research study of part-time law students. It argues that many face multiple disadvantages, largely unrecognized by universities, whose emphasis on the formal equivalency of part-time and full-time law degrees ignores the distinctive backgrounds and needs of part-time students. As a result, many are marginalized, impacting on their retention, overall performance, and work prospects. It is also argued that the context within which part-time law students experience legal education contributes to a collective habitus which may structure what is ,thinkable' for their futures. Such concerns are of particular importance given the strong vocational drive amongst part-time law students. An effective response requires action by both universities and the legal profession. Without this, part-time legal education will remain a fundamentally paradoxical experience, offering broader access to legal practice for non-traditional entrants, while continuing to inhibit their chances of success by entrenching their difference in the eyes of the profession. [source]


Swift,and,Erie: The Trials of an Ephemeral Landmark Case

JOURNAL OF SUPREME COURT HISTORY, Issue 3 2009
TONY A. FREYER
Like jazz improvisation, the meaning of,Swift v. Tyson,was elusive.1 Justice Joseph Story's 1842 opinion concerning an important commercial-law issue arose from a jury trial.2 When the creditor plaintiff appealed, counsel for the winning debtor raised as a defense Section 34 of the 1789 Judiciary Act. The federal circuit court disagreed about the standing of commercial law under Section 34. Although profound conflicts otherwise divided nationalist and states'-rights proponents, the Supreme Court endorsed Story's commercial-law opinion unanimously.3 New members of the Court and the increasing number of federal lower-court judges steadily transformed the,Swift,doctrine; after the Civil War it agitated the federal judiciary, elite lawyers, and Congress.4 Asserting contrary tenets of American constitutionalism, the Supreme Court overturned the ninety-six-year-old precedent in,Erie Railroad v. Tompkins,(1938).5 The,Swift,doctrine's resonance with changing times was forgotten. The Court and the legal profession established, transformed, and abandoned the doctrine though an adversarial process and judicial instrumentalism. Although the policy of each decision reflected its time, Story's opinion was more consistent with the federalism of the early Constitution than was,Erie.6 [source]


Lawyer Specialization,Managing the Professional Paradox

LAW & POLICY, Issue 2 2010
RICHARD MOORHEAD
This article explores a series of paradoxes exposed by specialization within the legal profession. It will argue that while the existing literature rightly identifies specialization as posing potential challenges to coherence, legitimacy, and professional ethics, it fails to grapple with the relationship between professional competence and specialization. In exploring this relationship, three paradoxes are articulated. The first is that specialization is both a necessary element in the development of professionalism and a threat to it. The second is the normative ambiguity of specialization: specialization is capable of giving rise to both benefits and detriments. The third paradox is the profession's response to this ambiguity. It will be argued that the profession's approach is incoherent in public interest terms and can be best explained as part of a desire to protect its members' interests and its collective identity over the public interest in competence. These arguments are made in the context of a series of three empirical studies of specialists and nonspecialists in legal aid practice in England and Wales. The evidence is worrying enough to suggest significant concerns about the quality and indeed legitimacy of the professional qualification as a general warrant of competence. The implications for institutionalizing specialization within the legal profession are discussed. [source]


The Bar Examination and the Dream Deferred: A Critical Analysis of the MBE, Social Closure, and Racial and Ethnic Stratification

LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 3 2004
William C. Kidder
In this article, the author applies social closure theory to help explain why more than a dozen states have recently enacted more stringent bar exam passing standards and why others are considering similar changes. While higher standards are usually advocated as a way to protect the public from lower student "quality," the author applies social closure theory and argues that changes in passing standards are a response to a perceived oversupply of lawyers, especially among solo practitioners. In the 1990s, crowding among solo practitioners reached record levels, and real earnings eroded substantially. The author then links this labor market analysis to a critical examination of the knowledge claims that justify the bar exam to the legal profession and the public at large. The article's conclusion is that the psychometric research sponsored by the National Conference of Bar Examiners consistently minimizes and obscures the disparate impact and unfairness of the bar exam for people of color. [source]


Bushwhacking the Ethical High Road: Conflict of Interest in the Practice of Law and Real Life

LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 1 2003
Susan P. Shapiro
A long-standing scholarly tradition regards professions, in general, and ethics rules, in particular, as "projects" of market control. It is no surprise, critics charge, that in the latest assault on the monopoly of the American legal profession,waged by multidisciplinary professional service firms,lawyers are hiding behind their ethics rules to protect their turf. In this article, I report on an extensive empirical study of conflict of interest in private legal practice and look comparatively at other fiduciaries, among them, accountants, psychotherapists, physicians, journalists, and academics. I investigate the role of ethics rules that seek to insure fiduciary loyalty in structuring the delivery of services. How does social and institutional change, roiling the fiduciary world, threaten disinterestedness and loyalty and how, if at all, do fiduciaries respond? How is the regulation of conflict of interest accomplished? Where are the conflicts rules most likely to be honored or ignored? What incentive structures encourage compliance? What are the costs and unexpected consequences of compliance? What is foregone? And is it all worth it? In what might come as a surprise to many, I find that the legal profession takes conflict of interest more seriously than many of the rest of us. As the title implies, legal practitioners largely travel alone, bushwhacking through the underbrush snarling the ethical high road. As critical scholarship predicted, lawyers do enjoy a monopoly at the end of the road. But this monopoly is achieved, not by restraint of trade or some other artifice or stratagem of market control, but by lack of competition. It seems that no one else is trudging alongside the lawyers. Lawyers are not necessarily more ethical than the others; they just behave more ethically,at least with respect to conflict of interest. The question is why. And what difference does it make? [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]


Lawyer Satisfaction in the Process of Structuring Legal Careers

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 1 2007
Ronit Dinovitzer
This article proposes a new approach to the study of job satisfaction in the legal profession. Drawing on a Bourdieusian understanding of the relationship between social class and dispositions, we argue that job satisfaction depends in part on social origins and the credentials related to these origins, with social hierarchies helping to define the expectations and possibilities that produce professional careers. Through this lens, job satisfaction is understood as a mechanism through which social and professional hierarchies are produced and reproduced. Relying on the first national data set on lawyer careers (including both survey data and in-depth interviews), we find that lawyers' social background, as reflected in the ranking of their law school, decreases career satisfaction and increases the odds of a job search for the most successful new lawyers. When combined with the interview data, we find that social class is an important component of a stratification system that tends to lead individuals into hierarchically arranged positions. [source]


Out of touch and out of time: lawyers, their leaders and collective mobility within the legal profession

LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 3 2004
Andrew M Francis
The legal profession has experienced enormous upheaval over the last 30 years and this paper suggests that legal professional associations have failed to come to grips with this ,brave new world'. This paper argues that the Law Society's current difficulties in performing its traditional roles are not simply examples of passing contemporary problems. Rather they represent the declining ability of the Law Society to serve as the fulcrum of the profession's collective advancement. Professional control may exist but on an individual and contingent basis alongside a reduced role for the Law Society. [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]


Career Paths and Choices in a Highly Differentiated Profession: The Position of Newly Qualified Solicitors

THE MODERN LAW REVIEW, Issue 4 2001
Andrew Boon
Differences in the working lives of solicitors have become increasingly marked in recent years. Growing numbers of lawyers are employed in the public and corporate sectors and, with the increasing size and wealth of City of London commercial firms, there are significant differences between these firms and those ,high-street' firms that serve local communities. These differences impact on lawyers throughout training and beyond, both in terms of rites of passage into the profession and in conditions of employment. This research, the final stage in a longitudinal survey spanning the 1990s, combines quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the reactions of newly qualified solicitors to their work. Building on the project's previous surveys, which charted the nature of disadvantage suffered by many prospective entrants to the legal profession, the research finds a large measure of satisfaction regarding careers. It also identifies causes for concern, including increasing specialisation in legal education and the potential separation of the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of professional practice. [source]