American Lawyers / Edition 1

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This detailed portrait of American lawyers traces their efforts to professionalize during the last 100 years by erecting barriers to control the quality and quantity of entrants. Abel describes the rise and fall of restrictive practices that dampened competition among lawyers and with outsiders. He shows how lawyers simultaneously sought to increase access to justice while stimulating demand for services, and their efforts to regulate themselves while forestalling external control. Data on income and status illuminate the success of these efforts. Charting the dramatic transformation of the profession over the last two decades, Abel documents the growing number and importance of lawyers employed outside private practice (in business and government, as judges and teachers) and the displacement of corporate clients they serve. Noting the complexity of matching ever more diverse entrants with more stratified roles, he depicts the mechanism that law schools and employers have created to allocate graduates to jobs and socialize them within their new environments. Abel concludes with critical reflections on possible and desirable futures for the legal profession.

A comprehensive picture of the contemporary American legal profession tracing its development over the last hundred years.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195072631
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

University of California, Los Angeles
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Table of Contents

Tables xiii
1. Introduction 3
2. Theories of the Professions 14
Weberian Theories of Professions in the Marketplace 18
Marxist Theories of Professions in the Class Structure 30
Structural Functional Theories of Professions and Social Order 34
Theoretical Frameworks for Understanding American Lawyers 39
3. Controlling the Production of Lawyers 40
Lawyers Without a Profession 40
The Rise of Professionalism 44
Tightening Control Over Supply 48
The Trajectory of Entry Control 71
4. The Consequences of Controlling Entry 74
The Number of Lawyers 74
Influences on the Production of Lawyers 77
The Characteristics of Lawyers 83
Demographic Change 108
5. Restrictive Practices: Controlling Production by Producers 112
Defining the Monopoly 112
Defending the Turf Against Other Lawyers 115
Price Fixing 118
Advertising and Solicitation 119
Specialization: Recapturing Control by Redefining the Market 122
The Rise and Fall of Restrictive Practices 123
6. Demand Creation: A New Strategy in the Professional Project? 127
The Rediscovery of Legal Need 128
The Limitations of Professional Charity 129
Institutionalizing the Right to Legal Defense in Criminal Cases 130
The Contested Terrain of Civil Legal Aid 132
Public Interest Law 134
Expanding the Middle-Class Clientele 135
Is Demand Creation an Effective Means of Market Control and Status Enhancement? 139
7. Self-Regulation 142
The Promulgation of Ethical Rules 142
The Disciplinary Process 143
Protecting the Client Against Financial Loss 150
Ensuring Professional Competence 151
The Record of Self-Regulation 156
8. How Successful was the Professional Project? 158
The Income of Lawyers 158
The Status of Lawyers 163
The Varying Fortunes of Lawyers 164
9. Differentiation Within the Legal Profession 166
The Professional Periphery: Employed Lawyers 167
The Core of the Profession: Private Practice 178
One Profession or Many? The Dilemmas of Collective Action 208
10. Reproducing the Profession 212
Law School Socialization 212
The Rationalization of the Labor Market 214
Allocation to Roles 217
The Revival of Apprenticeship 221
The Institutionalization of Reproduction 223
11. The Future of the Legal Profession 226
Tables 249
Entry Barriers 249
Number of Lawyers 277
Characteristics of Lawyers 284
Self-Regulation 291
Differentiation Within the Legal Profession 298
Notes 319
Bibliography 355
Theories of the Professions 355
American Lawyers 365
Index 389
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