Professors Elizabeth Chambliss and Tanina Rostain
Explores the varied roles of lawyers in American society, drawing primarily on empirical research. The first several meetings focus on the diverse and conflicting views of lawyers's functions in the American system of justice, including lawyers as zealous advocates, representatives of big business, counselors for the situation, and trustees of liberal democracy. Through historical and sociological research students consider whether and when these ideals are realized in practice. The seminar focuses on the influence of different practice specializations and settings in the reenforcement or weakening of professional ideals, and considers such questions as: What role does specialization play? Do in-house counsel and litigators have different views of their functions? Are legal services lawyers simply "hired guns" for the poor? What ideals shape government practice? Does a big- or small-firm setting make a difference to how lawyers function? Also explores the effects of increasing gender, racial, and ethnic diversity in the composition of various specialized bars. A paper and presentation are required. Enrollment limited.
Prerequisite: Legal Profession (REQ450).