The Vanishing American Lawyer

Hardcover | February 15, 2010

byThomas D. Morgan

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Over 4,000 lawyers lost their positions at major American law firms in 2008 and 2009. In The Vanishing American Lawyer, Professor Thomas Morgan discusses the legal profession and the need for both law students and lawyers to adapt to the needs and expectations of clients in the future. Theworld needs people who understand institutions that create laws and how to access those institutions' works, but lawyers are no longer part of a profession that is uniquely qualified to advise on a broad range of distinctly legal questions. Clients will need advisors who are more specialized thanmany lawyers are today and who have more expertise in non-legal issues. Many of today's lawyers do not have a special ability to provide such services. While American lawyers have been hesitant to change the ways they can improve upon meeting client needs, lawyers in other countries, notably Great Britain and Australia, have been better at adapting. Law schools must also recognize the world their students will face and prepare them to operatesuccessfully within it. Professor Morgan warns that lawyers must adapt to new client needs and expectations. The term "professional" should be applied to individuals who deserve praise for skilled and selfless efforts, but this term may lead to occupational suicide if it becomes a justification fornot seeing and adapting to the world ahead.

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Over 4,000 lawyers lost their positions at major American law firms in 2008 and 2009. In The Vanishing American Lawyer, Professor Thomas Morgan discusses the legal profession and the need for both law students and lawyers to adapt to the needs and expectations of clients in the future. Theworld needs people who understand institutions ...

Thomas D. Morgan has been the Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law at The George Washington University Law School since 1989. He has served as Dean at the Emory University School of Law and on the faculties of the University of Illinois and Brigham Young University. In 1990, he served as President of the Associa...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 5.59 × 8.31 × 0.98 inPublished:February 15, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199737738

ISBN - 13:9780199737734

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Unsettled World of American LawyersA. Pervasive Lawyer AnxietyB. What is a Lawyer?C. Why Lawyers' Anxiety May Be IntensifyingD. Putting Some of the Concerns Into PerspectiveE. Why Should Lawyers' Anxiety Interest Us?2. American Lawyers Are Not Part of a ProfessionA. The Problematic Emphasis on Law as a ProfessionB. Two Appropriate Uses of the Term "Professional"C. The Mistake of Transforming Professionals into a ProfessionD. Could the World Get Along Without a Legal Profession?E. Some Perspective on Lawyers as a Profession? - The English Legal TraditionF. The Early Days in America and the Rejection of English Law and LawyeringG. The American Bar Association and the Renewed Rhetoric that Law is a ProfessionH. The Significance of the Survey of the Legal ProfessionI. What Makes the Professionalism Ideal Survive?1. Confidentiality of Client Information2. Committed Advocacy on a Client's Beha3. Preservation of the Rule of Law and Independence from Clients4. Making Legal Services Widely AvailableJ. Law in America Is Not a Profession - And That's a Good Thing3. The Transformation of Law Practice Since the 1970sA. Judicial Abrogation of Lawyer StandardsB. The Dramatic Growth in the Number of LawyersC. The Impact of Globalization on Lawyers and Law PracticeD. Modern Information Technology and the Transformation of Lawyers' WorkE. The Growth of Law Firms as Premier Practice Organizations1. How Lawyers Charge for Their Services2. The Matter of Leverage3. The Law Firm as a TournamentF. Transformation of the Hemispheres of the BarG. Transformation of the Relative Power of In-House and Outside CounselH. The Diminished Significance of Licensing4. How American Lawyers and Firms Should Address the New RealitiesA. The Future Course of an Individual Lawyer's Career1. Lawyers Offering Basic Services for Individual Clients2. Contested Disputes Requiring Resolution3. Lawyers for Corporate and Other Organizational Clients4. Lives Individual Lawyers Are Likely to LeadB. Private Firms Are Likely to be As Important As Ever1. Firms Help Lawyers Diversify Risk2. Firms Help Achieve Economies of Scope, i.e., the Ability to Work on "Projects"3. Firms Can Develop Reputations and Brand Names - The Matter of MarketingC. The Challenge of Meeting Diverse Client Needs Anywhere in the World1. The Need to Serve Clients That Have National and World-Wide Activities2. Developing Practice Teams With Diverse Skills3. Making Racial and Gender Diversity a Part of the Firm's RealityD. Developing Institutional Strength in a World of Individual Stars1. Seeing Firms as Shopping Centers Rather than Department Stores2. Making Firms Attractive Places in Which to Build a Career3. The Challenge of Financing Firm Operations and GrowthE. Finding New Ways For Clients to Pay for Legal ServicesF. Why Haven't We Seen a More Rapid Response to These Trends?G. Substantive Changes Needed in Lawyer Regulation1. Allow Lawyers to Form Practice Organizations with Non-Lawyers2. Allow New Methods of Financing Law Practice3. Permit Covenants Designed to Slow LawyerMovement Between Firms5. The Impact of the Coming Changes on American Legal EducationA. What Students Learn in Law School1. What it Means to Think Like a Lawyer2. Adding Additional Substantive Legal Knowledge3. Learning Practical Skills to Meet Client Needs4. Understanding a Client's Substantive ProblemB. How the American System of Legal Education DevelopedC. Interaction Between Legal Education and Professional LicensingD. A Road Not TakenE. Faulty Models Driving Legal Education TodayF. Reducing the Cost of Legal TrainingG. New Ways to Think About Legal Education1. Learning How to Think Like a 21st Century Lawyer2. An Appropriate Vision for Skills Training3. Training in Non-Legal Matter Needed for a Practice Concentration4. Education for Breadth and Context of Legal UnderstandingH. Multiple Possible Credentials for Legal Training6. Commitment to Justice in a Competitive FutureA. Meeting Justice Needs Formerly Met by Lawyers1. Guaranteeing a right to counsel in criminal cases2. Providing Civil Legal Services to the Poor and Middle Class3. The Future of Cause Lawyering and the Defense of Civil Liberties4. Who Will Be the Future Judges?B. Professionalism - A Last Look