Private Lawyers and the Public Interest: The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession

Overview

This collection of original essays by leading and emerging scholars in the field examines the history, conditions, organization, and strategies of pro bono lawyering. Private Lawyers and the Public Interest: The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession traces the rise and impact of the American Bar Association's campaign to hold lawyers accountable for a commitment to public service and to encourage public service within law schools. Combining empirical legal research with reflections by practitioners ...

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Overview

This collection of original essays by leading and emerging scholars in the field examines the history, conditions, organization, and strategies of pro bono lawyering. Private Lawyers and the Public Interest: The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession traces the rise and impact of the American Bar Association's campaign to hold lawyers accountable for a commitment to public service and to encourage public service within law schools. Combining empirical legal research with reflections by practitioners and theorists about the meaning and practice of pro bono legal work, this collection of essays interrogates the public service ideals that are inscribed within the legal profession and places these ideals within a broader social, economic, ideological, and normative context. Particular attention is paid to the factors that explain why lawyers engage in pro bono work and the ways in which their views of pro bono are mediated by the institutional context of their legal practice. The book also explores the concept of "public" in public service and compares pro bono as a means of delivering legal services with other mechanisms such as state funding. Collectively, these essays investigate the evolving role of pro bono in the legal profession and in law schools, the relationship between pro bono ideals and pro bono in practice, the way that pro bono is shaped by external forces beyond the individual practitioner, and the multi-faceted nature of legal professionalism as expressed through pro bono practice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume provides a rich variety of perspectives on lawyers' pro bono work today. For anyone interested in this field of inquiry, this fine collection should be the starting point of any future research agenda in this area."
—Law & Politics Book Review
Mark C. Miller, Department of Political Science, Clark University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195386073
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/4/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Granfield is Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York.

Lynn Mather is Profoessor of Law and Political Science at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

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