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The American Legal Profession in Crisis Resistance and Responses to Change

ISBN: 9780199917631 | 0199917639
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 3/28/2013

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Throughout history, the American legal profession has tried to hold tight to its identity by retreating into its traditional values and structure during times of self-perceived crisis. The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change analyzes the efforts of the legal profession to protect and maintain the status quo even as the world around it changed. James E. Moliterno argues that with striking consistency, the profession has resisted societal change and sought to ban or discourage new models of legal representation created by such change. In response to every crisis, lawyers asked: "How can we stay even more 'the same' than we already are?"

The legal profession has been an unwilling, capitulating entity to any transformation wrought by the overwhelming tide of change. Only when the shifts in society, culture, technology, economics, and globalization could no longer be denied did the legal profession make any proactive changes that would preserve status quo. This book demonstrates how the profession has held to its anachronistic ways at key crisis points in US history: Watergate, communist infiltration, waves of immigration, the explosion of litigation, and the current economic crisis that blends with dramatic changes in technology and communications and globalization.

Ultimately, Moliterno urges the profession to look outward and forward to find in society and culture the causes and connections with these periodic crises. Doing so would allow the profession to grow with the society, solve problems with, rather than against, the flow of society, and be more attuned to the very society the profession claims to serve.


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