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This paper sketches a new theoretical approach to the study of professions and uses that approach to analyze differences that have emerged between the American and English legal professions since the late nineteenth century. Earlier studies have generally emphasized professional structure and organization while ignoring work and its control. I argue that control of work is central to professional development. Since work is central and since professions compete for it, interprofessional competition is the determining fact in the history of professions. This paper analyzes the work available to the legal profession, the numbers and types of legal personnel available to do that work, and the various competitors contesting it. Studying in detail complaints of unqualified practice in England (1870–1940) and two American states (1910–50), I locate the types of contested work and the competitors involved, using these to explain important aspects of the two legal prof essions today. Throughout, a variety of theoretical concepts are developed and applied to the particular case. One striking discovery is the contrast in competitors; American lawyers' chief competitors were corporations, while British lawyers' chief competitor was the state. I close by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the particular methodology here used—the study of conflicts—and suggest alternative methods using the same theoretical framework.
The anecdotal literature suggests that the process of legal education impairs the maintenance of emotional well-being in law students. The purpose of this article is to present the results of a cross-sequential research design that empirically assessed the validity of this hypothesis. Data were collected, using four standardized self-report instruments (Brief Symptom Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist, and Hassle Scale) on subjects before and during law school and after graduation. Before law school, subjects expressed psychopathological symptom responses that were similar to the normal population. Yet during law school and after graduation symptom levels were significantly elevated. The implications of these results are presented.
In this study, relations between criminal defense lawyers and their clients are explored from the attorneys' perspective using interviews with 155 defense counsel from nine felony trial courts. Attorneys claim public clients are more skeptical and less willing to accept their professional authority than private clients and that they need to take extra steps to gain their cooperation. The accountability of attorneys is investigated in relationship to the need to establish “client control.” This problem is resolved through a gamelike situation leading to the apparent paradox that attorneys share decision-making power with public clients contrary to their expectations.