Urban Lawyers: The New Social Structure of the Bar
Authors: John P. Heinz, Robert L. Nelson, John P. Heinz, Robert L. Nelson, Rebecca L. Sandefur and Edward O. Laumann
Published by The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 2005
Over the past several decades, the number of lawyers in large cities has doubled, women have entered the bar at an unprecedented rate, and the scale of firms has greatly expanded. This immense growth has transformed the nature and social structure of legal profession. In the most comprehensive analysis of the urban bar to date, Urban Lawyers presents a compelling portrait of how these changes continue to shape the field of law today.
Drawing on the 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 author 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.