The New Social Structure of the Bar
The New Social Structure of the Bar
Drawing on extensive interviews with Chicago lawyers, the authors demonstrate how developments in the profession have affected virtually every aspect of the work and careers of urban lawyers-their relationships with clients, job tenure and satisfaction, income, social and political values, networks of professional connections, and patterns of participation in the broader community. Yet despite the dramatic changes, much remains the same. Stratification of income and power based on gender, race, and religious background, for instance, still maintains inequality within the bar.
The authors of Urban Lawyers conclude that organizational priorities will likely determine the future direction of the legal profession. And with this landmark study as their guide, readers will be able to make their own informed predictions.
352 pages | 43 line drawings, 10 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2005
Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies
Sociology: Occupations, Professions, Work
"With this twenty-year update, the best snapshot of American lawyers has become a major motion picture. It is theoretically trenchant, methodologically highly sophisticated, and scrupulously careful. Essential reading for anyone interested in seeking to understand the future of the legal profession from a close reading of its immediate past."
--Richard L. Abel, editor of Lawyers: A CriticalReader
Richard L. Abel
"Urban Lawyers is essential for anyone seeking to understand how the American legal profession reached where it is today and to predict where it may be in years to come. From a cautiously scrutinized empirical base of research data and interviews of Chicago lawyers, these accomplished researchers have compiled an authentic overview of the urban bar in the United States."
Robert MacCrate, former president of the American Bar Association
"An original, provocative study of how the law profession has changed over the past thirty years. The authors argue that this transformation has been driven largely by changes in corporate clients, who over time have grown bigger and have shifted away from manufacturing toward financial and service industries. Lawyers are now more likely to develop specialties and to work in large law firms--trends that have altered their legal work, compensation, and stratification in dramatic ways. Urban Lawyers shows that professions are dynamic institutions that can be changed as their economic and organizational environments are transformed."
Neil Fligstein, University of California, Berkeley
"This landmark study of Chicago lawyers documents dramatic changes over two decades: increasing diversity in both social origins and practice settings, accompanied by rising specialization, declining autonomy, and reduced professional authority and integration. Centering attention on the rising influence of large law organizations in shaping legal careers and practice patterns, Urban Lawyers engages the attention of readers interested in modern organizations and professions as well as in the evolution of contemporary legal practice."
Peter Marsden, Harvard University
"Almost a quarter century ago, John Heinz and Edward Laumann set a new standard for the scientific analysis of major social institutions with their landmark study of the Chicago bar. Urban Lawyers will be indispensable for anyone interested in the legal profession and for scholars throughout the social sciences engaged in the study of how institutions-and the networks, firms, and professions they comprise-evolve over time."
Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University
“The empirical data presented in Urban Lawyers provides readers with a clear-eyed picture of the changes that are reshaping the legal profession. . . . Urban Lawyers offers powerful stuff, especially for law students anxious about entering an increasingly difficult marketplace. In a truly important and memorable study, the volume provides a precise and nuanced assessment of the modern legal profession, in all its empirical complexity.”
William Henderson | Legal Affairs
"Like its predecessor, Urban Lawyers is an excellent and important book. The authors have gathered a vast amount of high-quality data and have painstakingly analyzed it from a variety of angles. The result is a detailed and wide-ranging map of the legal profession during a period of transition. The book will be of great interest to scholars of the legal profession and of the professions more generally. Indeed, it will serve as an indispensable reference point for future research in these areas."
Elizabeth H. Gorman | AJS
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Part I The Professions of the Bar
Chapter 1 Chicago Lawyers Revisited
Chapter 2 The Changing Character of Lawyers’ Work
with Ethan Michelson
The 1975 "Two-Hemispheres" Finding: Methodological Issues
1995 Patterns of Co-practice
Specialization by Field
Client Differentiation by Field
Allocation of Time in 1975 and 1995
Chapter 3 Integration and Separation
Law School Stratification
Race, Gender, and Family Background
Structure and Opportunity
Part II The Hierarchies of the Bar
Chapter 4 Prestige
Three Theories of Honor
Determinants of Prestige
Core Economic Values, or Professional Purity
Participation in Prestigious Work
Chapter 5 Organizations
The Economic Dominance of Large Law Firms
A Typology of Law Firms
Democracy and Participation
Determinants of Compensation
Changing Management Policies
Change and Continuity
Chapter 6 Careers
with Kathleen E. Hull
Work History and Careers
The Golden Age and Its Fading
Paths to Eminence in the Profession
Lawyers Not Practicing
Chapter 7 Income and Income Inequality
Structural Sources of Inequality
Individual-Level Correlates of Income
Part III Lawyers’ Lives
Chapter 8 Divided Opinions
with Monique R. Payne
The Chicago Data
Differences among Types of Lawyers
Adaptation to Client Values?
Chapter 9 Community Roles
with Paul S. Schnorr
The Chicago Data
Correlates of Overall Participation
Who Participates Where?
Correlates of Participation by Organization Type
Appendix: Period, Age, and Cohort Effects
Chapter 10 Connections within the Bar
The 1975 Networks
The 1995 Networks
The Structure of the Networks
Ethnoreligious and Political Divisions
Appendix: Notables’ Biographies (as of 1994<n>95)
Chapter 11 A Satisfying Profession?
with Kathleen E. Hull and Ava A. Harter
Research on Job Satisfaction
The Chicago Findings
Happy Hour at the Bar?
Part IV Transformation
Chapter 12 The Processes of Change
Autonomy and Influence
The Decline of Professional Dominance
Reasons for Growth
Changes in Firm Structure and Management
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