Practicing lawyers are subject to multiple pressures and intense demands on their time. Given these pressures, it can be difficult to appreciate the larger forces that are shaping practice, to stay abreast of literature from different disciplines that provides insight into working in and managing organizations, and to step back and reflect on implicit attempts to reconcile professional ideals and the exigencies of practice.
Our educational aim with respect to practitioners is to use interdisciplinary empirical work in particular to illuminate various dimensions of lawyers’ lives and prompt wide-ranging discussion of what it means to be a lawyer in the modern world. Work informed by social psychology, for instance, can educate lawyers about the subtle effects of group processes on ethical judgment, while scholarship that draws on organizational behavior can shed light on the multiple strands of organizational culture. Other empirical work has the potential to provide a deeper understanding of matters such as the globalization of practice, the quality of lawyers’ work lives, how changes in legal career patterns are affected by trends in the post-industrial labor market, the impact of outsourcing various legal functions overseas, the implications of reliance on risk management programs as a form of professional self-regulation, changing structures of hierarchy in law firms, the impact of national security law on lawyers who represent military defendants, and many other subjects.
Navigate using the links below for more on our efforts in practitioner education.