Each year more than 2 million Americans get divorced, and most of them use a lawyer. In closed-door conversations between lawyers and their clients strategy is planned, tactics are devised, and the emotional climate of the divorce is established. Do lawyers contribute to the pain and emotional difficulty of divorce by escalating demands and encouraging unreasonable behavior? Do they take advantage of clients at a time of emotional difficulty? Can and should clients trust their lawyers to look out for their welfare and advance their long-term interests? Austin Sarat and William L. F. Felstiner's new book, based on a pioneering and intensive study of actual conferences between divorce lawyers and their clients, provides an unprecedented behind-the-scenes description of the lawyer-client relationship, and calls into question much of the conventional wisdom about what divorce lawyers actually do. Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients suggests that most divorces are marked less by a pattern of aggressive advocacy than by one of inaction and drift. It uncovers reasons why lawyers find divorce practice frustrating and difficult and why clients frequently feel dissatisfied with their lawyers. This new work provides a unique perspective on the dynamics of professionalism. It charts the complex and shifting ways lawyers and clients "negotiate" their relationship as they work out the strategy and tactics of divorce. Sarat and Felstiner show how both lawyers and clients are able to draw on resources of power to set the agenda of their interaction, while neither one is fully in charge. Rather, power shifts between the two parties; where it is achieved, power is found in the ability to have one's understandings of the social and legal worlds of divorce accepted. Power then works through the creation of shared meanings. Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients examines the effort to create such shared meanings about the nature of marriage and why marriages fail, the operation of the legal pr
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How do lawyers think about and make the important decisions that constitute the day-to-day practice of law? This book explores that question through an extensive empirical study of lawyers practicing divorce law in New England. The authors emphasize the importance of "collegial control" in shaping lawyers' decisions and identify a variety of "communities of practice" that serve as key agents of that control. Offering a new understanding of the nature of lawyers' work in divorce law as well as a new perspective on legal professionalism, this book is required reading for scholars, students, and practitioners.
Based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, this is the first comprehensive study of women in the world's legal professions.
- Author : Gregg M. Herman
- Publisher : American Bar Association
- Release Date : 2003
- Genre : Business & Economics
- Pages : 562
- ISBN : 1590311736
A collection of practical tips from prominent family lawyers offering a wealth of advice and proven techniques to enhance the family law practice.
Over the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the way the legal system approaches and resolves family disputes. Traditionally, family law dispute resolution was based on an “adversary” system: two parties and their advocates stood before a judge who determined which party was at fault in a divorce and who would be awarded the rights in a custody dispute. Now, many family courts are opting for a “problem-solving” model in which courts attempt to resolve both legal and non-legal issues. At the same time, American families have changed dramatically. Divorce rates have leveled off and begun to drop, while the number of children born and raised outside of marriage has increased sharply. Fathers are more likely to seek an active role in their children’s lives. While this enhanced paternal involvement benefits children, it also increases the likelihood of disputes between parents. As a result, the families who seek legal dispute resolution have become more diverse and their legal situations more complex. In Divorced from Reality, Jane C. Murphy and Jana B. Singer argue that the current "problem solving" model fails to address the realities of today's families. The authors suggest that while today’s dispute resolution regime may represent an improvement over its more adversary predecessor, it is built largely around the model of a divorcing nuclear family with lawyers representing all parties—a model that fits poorly with the realities of today's disputing families. To serve the families it is meant to help, the legal system must adapt and reshape itself.
This compendium of practical advice is gathered from family law professionals, including lawyers, judges, CPAs, and psychologists, who share their real-world experience in a concise chapter. Even better, a bonus CD-ROM contains forms, agreements, charts, and checklists. Other time-saving tools include financial charts and hypotheses, questions to ask, and interview forms and checklists. Topics include fees, custody, discovery, trial techniques, support, avoiding malpractice, discovery, premarital agreements, valuation, settlement, and evidence.
Legal realism is a powerful jurisprudential tradition which urges attention to sodal conditions and predicts their influence in the legal process. The rela tively recent "sodal sdence in the law" phenomenon, in which sodal research is increasingly relied on to dedde court cases is a direct result of realistic jurisprudence, which accords much significance in law to empirical reports about sodal behavior. The empirical research used by courts has not, how ever, commonly dealt with language as an influential variable. This volume of essays, coedited by Judith N. Levi and Anne Graffam Walker, will likely change that situation. Language in the Judicial Process is a superb collection of original work which fits weIl into the realist tradition, and by focusing on language as a key variable, it establishes a new and provocative perspective on the legal process. The perspective it offers, and the data it presents, make this volume a valuable source of information both for judges and lawyers, who may be chiefly concemed with practice, and for legal scholars and sodal sdentists who do basic research about law.
This book is about the role of lawyers in constructing a just society. Its central objective is to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between lawyers' commercial aims and public aspirations. Drawing on interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives, it explores whether lawyers can transcend self-interest to meaningfully contribute to systems of political accountability, ethical advocacy and distributional fairness. Its contributors, some of the world's leading scholars of the legal profession, offer evidence that although justice is possible, it is never complete. Ultimately, how much - and what type of - justice prevails depends on how lawyers respond to, and reshape, the political and economic conditions in which they practise. As the essays demonstrate, the possibility of justice is diminished as lawyers pursue self-regulation in the service of power; it is enhanced when lawyers mobilize - in the political arena, workplace and law school - to contest it.
This informative book, written in lively language, analyzes extensive material from in-depth studies of divorce professionals and their clients and uses vivid real-life examples to describe what facilitates or blocks successful settlements.
Justice and Power in the Sociolegal Studies asks what interdisciplinary work in the law and society tradition tells us about the relationship of law and justice, as well as the way power operates in and through law. The fundamental concepts of justice and power provide points of departure for leading scholars to explore the various domains of socio-legal research. As they note the explicitness of the engagement with issues of power and the relative silence about -- or indirectness in taking on -- questions of justice found in most law and society research, they ask how engagement with issues of power and silence about justice constituted law and society as a research field caught between a desire to have political impact and, at the same time, to maintain its scientific respectability.
The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society is an authoritative study of the relationship between law and social interaction. Thirty-two original essays by an international group of expert scholars examine a wide range of critical questions. Authors represent various theoretical, methodological, and political commitments, creating the first truly global overview of the field. Examines the relationship between law and social interactions in thirty-three original essay by international experts in the field. Reflects the world-wide significance of North American law and society scholarship. Addresses classical areas and new themes in law and society research, including: the gap between law on the books and law in action; the complexity of institutional processes; the significance of new media; and the intersections of law and identity. Engages the exciting work now being done in England, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, as well as "Third World" scholarship.
Law and Society offers a contemporary yet concise description of the structure and function of legal institutions, along with a lively discussion of both criminal and civil law, as well as basic legal doctrine. Unlike comparable books on law and society available today, Matthew Lippman takes an interdisciplinary approach to integrate distinctive coverage of diversity, inequality, and globalism through an organized theme in a strong narrative. This practical and invigorating text provides readers with a better understanding of the connection between law and society and the impact recent literature on crime, justice, international human rights, and law has had to promote that connection.
This book contains an edited selection of the papers by contributors from around the world delivered at the 10th World Conference of the International Society of Family Law. The papers cover three broad themes: innovations in processes for resolving and determining family disputes; changing patterns in family and professional practices; and the political and other pressures operating on family law systems and law reform processes.
This book examines the state of access to criminal justice by considering the health of the lawyer-client relationship under legal aid. In the largest study of its kind for some two decades, ethnographic fieldwork is used to gain a fresh perspective upon the interaction that lies at the heart of the criminal justice system's equality of arms. The research produces two contradictory messages; in interview, lawyers claim a positive relationship with their clients while, under participant observation, there emerges quite the opposite. Paying more heed to what was seen than what was said, it is supposed that these lawyers were able to talk the talk but not walk the walk. The lawyers treat their clients with wanton disrespect; making fun of them, talking over them and pushing them to plead guilty – despite protestations to the contrary. The evidence is damning for this branch of the legal profession – and tragic for the clients who depend on them. What is responsible for this malaise...inadequate financial remuneration? Increased time pressures? Lapsed ethical training? Whatever the origin, this book is intended to show the profession that there is a problem – one that could get worse unless they choose to learn from the mistakes made by the lawyers in this study.
This collection of articles and essays by Herbert Kritzer draws on his extensive research related to lawyers and legal practice conducted over the last 35 years. That research has applied existing theoretical frameworks and developed innovative ways of thinking about how to understand what it is that lawyers do. The chapters reflect the wide range of both qualitative and quantitative research methods he has employed, and draw on his work on the Civil Litigation Research Project, a massive study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Carter administration, and continues through subsequent studies of lawyer-client relationships in Canada, contingency fee legal practice, and insurance defense practice. This book is for scholars and practitioners interested in understanding the work of lawyers in day-to-day litigation-like settings—and those concerned about what the future might hold for the structure of the legal profession and the nature of legal practice. “Lawyers at Work is a masterful collection, by one of the leading and award winning empirical researchers on legal institutions and the legal profession today, on the ‘black box’ of law practice. Spanning decades of research, Professor Kritzer presents data and findings on how lawyers bill, develop relationships with clients and opponents, manage scientific expertise, negotiate, and conduct their everyday work in a wide variety of case types. He explores and exposes the differences in both theories and data about the legal profession from virtually every major study there is on what lawyers actually do. If anyone wants to know about the real practices of lawyers in the past and present, and with important projections about the future, this is a must read. We can speculate about what lawyers really do, but Kritzer has the actual ‘facts.’” — Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine, and A.B. Chettle Professor of Law, Dispu
This book examines the world of family solicitors and will allow a balanced assessment of the role and of the place of the law in this aspect of life.
A guide to expanding any psychotherapy practice, this book provides therapists with essential information for helping clients manage the process of divorce with minimal damage to their kids, themselves, and their finances. The author is a prominent divorce mediator who shows how to guide individuals and couples to make sound choices at each step of the divorce process. He clearly explains the legal and practical aspects of divorce, and discusses how legal and emotional processes interact. Topics include helping clients choose the right lawyer or mediator, collaboratively develop custody and parenting plans, and deal with property and support issues. A wealth of concrete examples are included.