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Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

Reputational Economies Of Scale, Daniel M. Klerman Apr 2018

Reputational Economies Of Scale, Daniel M. Klerman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

For many years, most scholars have assumed that the strength of reputational incentives is positively correlated with the frequency of repeat play. Firms that sell more products or services were thought more likely to be trustworthy than those that sell less because they have more to lose if consumers decide they have behaved badly. That assumption has been called into question by recent work that shows that, under the standard infinitely repeated game model of reputation, reputational economies of scale will occur only under special conditions, such as monopoly, because larger firms not only have more to lose from behaving ...


Contingent Fee Litigation In New York City, Eric Helland, Daniel M. Klerman, Brenda Dowling, Alexander Kappner Nov 2017

Contingent Fee Litigation In New York City, Eric Helland, Daniel M. Klerman, Brenda Dowling, Alexander Kappner

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Since 1957, New York courts have required contingent fee lawyers to file “closing statements” that disclose settlement amounts, lawyers’ fees, an accounting of expenses, and other information. This article provides preliminary analysis of these data for the period 2004-2013. Among this article’s findings are that settlement rates in New York state courts are very high (84%) relative to previous studies, that very few cases are resolved by dispositive motions, that litigated cases and settled cases have almost exactly the same average recovery, that median litigation expenses, other than attorney’s fees, are 3% of gross recovery, that claims are ...


Forum Selling, Daniel M. Klerman, Greg Reilly Jul 2016

Forum Selling, Daniel M. Klerman, Greg Reilly

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Forum shopping is problematic because it may lead to forum selling. For diverse motives, including prestige, local benefits, or re-election, some judges want to hear more cases. When plaintiffs have wide choice of forum, such judges have incentives to make the law more pro-plaintiff, because plaintiffs choose the court. While only a few judges may be motivated to attract more cases, their actions can have large effects, because their courts will attract a disproportionate share of cases. For example, judges in the Eastern District of Texas have distorted the rules and practices relating to case assignment, joinder, discovery, transfer, and ...


How To Regulate Legal Services To Promote Access, Innovation, And The Quality Of Lawyering, Gillian K. Hadfield, Deborah L. Rhode Feb 2016

How To Regulate Legal Services To Promote Access, Innovation, And The Quality Of Lawyering, Gillian K. Hadfield, Deborah L. Rhode

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Proposals to change the regulatory framework for the legal profession to increase access to legal services have been made for decades. The organized bar frequently responds to these proposals by raising concerns about the difficulty of regulating alternative providers and corporate legal services entities with nonlawyer investors or managers. In this paper we explore the nature of the regulatory challenge. By reviewing in detail the approach developed in the U.K. under the 2007 Legal Services Act—which initiated a licensing regime for legal services entities including but not limited to lawyer-­‐owned law firms—we demonstrate the feasibility, and ...


Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner Feb 2016

Finding Certainty In Cert: An Empirical Analysis Of The Factors Involved In Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015, Adam Feldman, Alexander Kappner

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The Supreme Court annually grants approximately 5% of the petitions to hear cases it receives. It denies petitions from the federal government, from large corporations, and from high-profile attorneys. The decisions of which petitions for writ of certiorari the Court grants sets the Court’s agenda each term and defines the issues which the Court will engage. With such a low likelihood that the Court hears any particular case, what makes a petition more or less likely to be granted? The focus of much of the existing scholarship on certiorari deals with the theoretical underpinnings of these judicial decisions. In ...


Who Wins In The Supreme Court? An Examination Of Attorney And Law Firm Influence, Adam Feldman Feb 2016

Who Wins In The Supreme Court? An Examination Of Attorney And Law Firm Influence, Adam Feldman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Who are the most successful attorneys in the Supreme Court? A novel way to answer this question is by looking at attorneys' relative influence on the course of the law. This article performs macro and micro-level analyses of the most successful Supreme Court litigators by examining the amount of language shared between nearly 9,500 Supreme Court merits briefs and their respective Supreme Court opinions from 1946 through 2013. The article also includes analyses of the most successful law firms according to the same metric.


Life In The Law-Thick World: The Legal Resource Landscape For Ordinary Americans, Gillian K. Hadfield, Jamie Heine Jan 2015

Life In The Law-Thick World: The Legal Resource Landscape For Ordinary Americans, Gillian K. Hadfield, Jamie Heine

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Most advanced democracies are thick with law and regulation, rules that structure almost all social and economic relationships. Yet ordinary Americans, unlike their peers in other advanced systems, face this law-thick landscape with relatively few legal resources at their disposal. In this chapter, an updated version of Hadfield Higher Demand Lower Supply? A Comparative Assessment of the Legal Resource Landscape for Ordinary Americans (2009), we document what little data exists on the performance of legal markets for non-corporate clients in the U.S. Our results suggest that while the U.S. has nearly twice as many lawyers as comparable countries ...


Innovating To Improve Access: Changing The Way Courts Regulate Legal Markets, Gillian K. Hadfield Apr 2014

Innovating To Improve Access: Changing The Way Courts Regulate Legal Markets, Gillian K. Hadfield

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The vast majority of ordinary Americans lack any real access to courts as they struggle to navigate a world that is increasingly shaped by legal rules and obligations. Often this means simply forgoing legal rights and entitlements or giving up in the face of claims of wrongdoing. Among those who cannot avoid courts–such as those facing eviction, collection, or foreclosure and those seeking child support, custodial access, or protection from violence or harassment–the vast majority–as many as 99 percent in some cases–find themselves in court without any legal assistance at all. There are many reasons for ...


Understanding The Procrastination Cycle, Meehan Rasch, David A. Rasch Jun 2013

Understanding The Procrastination Cycle, Meehan Rasch, David A. Rasch

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Procrastination is one of the enduring challenges of human existence, as well as one of the chief problems with which law students struggle. Understanding the cycle of procrastination can help law professors and advisors more constructively address students' issues in this area -- not to mention our own.


Overcoming Writer's Block And Procrastination For Attorneys, Law Students, And Law Professors, David A. Rasch, Meehan Rasch Jun 2013

Overcoming Writer's Block And Procrastination For Attorneys, Law Students, And Law Professors, David A. Rasch, Meehan Rasch

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Legal writers face unique challenges. Law is a particularly writing-heavy profession. However, lawyers, law students, and law professors often struggle with initiating, sustaining, and completing legal writing projects. This article provides a guide for legal writers who are seeking to understand and resolve writing blocks, procrastination, and other common writing productivity problems.


Legal Barriers To Innovation, Gillian K. Hadfield Apr 2009

Legal Barriers To Innovation, Gillian K. Hadfield

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The American Bar Association and its state-level brethren control and regulate the legal profession, determining who can provide legal services, how those providers are trained, and what business forms those providers can use. This professional regulation limits what may be offered as a legal product or service, homogenizes the pool of potential innovators in terms of training and risk-orientation, prohibits the corporate practice of law, severely restricts the available financing for large-scale legal ventures, and constrains the capacity to exploit economies of scope and scale in developing better methods of producing what business clients ultimately need. This article examines this ...


Rodrigo's Riposte: The Mismatch Theory Of Law School Admissions, Richard Delgado Aug 2007

Rodrigo's Riposte: The Mismatch Theory Of Law School Admissions, Richard Delgado

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

The chronicle proceeds as a dialogue between the fictional alter ego, Rodrigo Crenshaw, and an older professor. After meeting in Rodrigo’s city, the two friends, joined later by “Giannina,” go out to dinner. Rodrigo, who is on his law school’s admissions committee, has been thinking about affirmative action.

Prompted by his conservative colleague “Laz,” Rodrigo has formulated a several-pronged attack on Sander’s premise that “stairstep” admissions (and, later, law firm hiring) just hurts the cause of black lawyers.

The professor presses Rodrigo to defend his views, and the arrival of Giannina requires him to articulate them even ...


Surfing Past The Pall Of Orthodoxy: Why The First Amendment Virtually Guarantees Online Law School Graduates Will Breach The Aba Accreditation Barrier, Nicholas C. Dranias Jan 2007

Surfing Past The Pall Of Orthodoxy: Why The First Amendment Virtually Guarantees Online Law School Graduates Will Breach The Aba Accreditation Barrier, Nicholas C. Dranias

ExpressO

The impact of the constitutional dilemma created by the ABA’s aversion to Internet schooling is widespread. Currently, 18 states and 2 U.S. territories restrict bar exam eligibility to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools. Additionally, 29 states and 1 U.S. territory restrict admission to practice on motion to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools.

Although numerous lawsuits have been filed in ultimately failed efforts to strike down bar admission rules that restrict eligibility to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools, none has challenged the ABA-accreditation requirement based on the First Amendment’s prohibition on media discrimination. This Article makes that ...


Conflicts Of Interest And Institutional Litigants, Curtis E.A. Karnow Oct 2006

Conflicts Of Interest And Institutional Litigants, Curtis E.A. Karnow

ExpressO

This paper uses techniques borrowed from the field of game theory to describe rational bargaining among institutional litigants, and explains how the results, while often not leading to the rational outcome in a given case, do rationally serve a more general strategy. The paper then reviews the law on conflicts of interests and concludes that such conflicts—as between attorney and client, and among clients—will often result when institutional litigants bargain. The paper continues with a review on the law of waiver and provides a basis to accommodate the conflicts of interests. That accommodation however will often not be ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


A Satire Of Law Firm Employment Practices (Book Review Of Anonymous Lawyer, By Jeremy Blachman), Miriam A. Cherry Oct 2006

A Satire Of Law Firm Employment Practices (Book Review Of Anonymous Lawyer, By Jeremy Blachman), Miriam A. Cherry

ExpressO

My essay is a review of Jeremy Blachman’s new book, Anonymous Lawyer. The book is a black-humorous stab at the hearts and souls of large elite law firms everywhere (if firms had such things as hearts and souls). In this review essay, I discuss why the blog struck a chord with so many readers, and why the novel Anonymous Lawyer contains a serious message about employment at law firms. First, I place Anonymous Lawyer within the tradition of satire surrounding the legal profession. Specifically, I compare Blachman’s novel to John Jay Osborne Jr.’s earlier novel The Associates ...


The Case For American History In The Law-School Curriculum, Harold P. Southerland Oct 2006

The Case For American History In The Law-School Curriculum, Harold P. Southerland

ExpressO

This article argues for the teaching of American History throughout the first year of law school. I do not believe that students can fully understand the cases they are reading in other courses without a knowledge of environing context. Understanding American History -- which is many respects doesn't paint a flattering picture -- may also help students in making fundamental choices about what role they wish to play in their careers as lawyers. I believe it is time to recognize that too much of the profession is run as a business and not as a noble calling dedicated to helping those ...


Form And Substance: Standards For Promotion And Retention Of Legal Writing Faculty On Clinical Tenure Track, Melissa H. Weresh Sep 2006

Form And Substance: Standards For Promotion And Retention Of Legal Writing Faculty On Clinical Tenure Track, Melissa H. Weresh

ExpressO

This article compares standards for promotion and retention of legal writing faculty on a clinical tenure track. The article provides a brief history of legal writing professionals and examines specific employment criteria such as teaching, service, and scholarship. The article makes recommendations regarding those criteria based upon an assessment of institutional realities and the historical development of the profession.


Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults Sep 2006

Herding Bullfrogs Towards A More Balanced Wheelbarrow: An Illustrative Recommendation For Federal Sentencing Post-Booker, Brian R. Gallini, Emily Q. Shults

ExpressO

The Article argues in favor of shifting the balance in federal sentencing toward a more indeterminate system. By exploring the post-Booker legal landscape at both the federal and state levels, the Article asserts that the judiciary's continued reliance on the “advisory" Guidelines has practically changed federal sentencing procedures very little in form or function. Accordingly, the Article proffers that, rather than insisting upon the Guidelines' immutability, federal sentencing would do well to reflect upon its own history, and the evolution of its state counterparts.


Flattening The World Of Legal Services? The Ethical And Liability Minefields Of Offshoring Legal And Law-Related Services, Carole Silver, Mary C. Daly Sep 2006

Flattening The World Of Legal Services? The Ethical And Liability Minefields Of Offshoring Legal And Law-Related Services, Carole Silver, Mary C. Daly

ExpressO

This article examines offshore outsourcing of legal and law-related services as the newest twist in the international market for legal services. We consider the impact of offshore outsourcing on the profession generally and analyze the ethical issues raised by offshore outsourcing, both as it exists today and as the practice may develop in the future. The article begins by situating offshore outsourcing in the framework of relationships created in the context of delivery of legal services. This framework is used, in turn, to construct a structure of analysis for the ethical implications of offshore outsourcing. Lawyers who outsource to offshore ...


Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice Sep 2006

Tough Talk From The Supreme Court On Free Speech: The Illusory Per Se Rule In Garcetti As Further Evidence Of Connick’S Unworkable Employee/Citizen Speech Partition, Sonya K. Bice

ExpressO

Garcetti v. Ceballos was intended to clear up an area of First Amendment law so murky that it was the source not only of circuit splits but also of intra-circuit splits—panels from within the same circuit had arrived at opposite results in nearly identical cases. As it turned out, the Supreme Court itself was as splintered as the circuits. Of all the previously argued cases that remained undecided during the Court’s transition involving Justice O’Connor’s retirement and Justice Alito’s confirmation, Garcetti was the only one for which the Court ordered a second argument. This suggested ...


Imagining The Law-Trained Reader: The Faulty Description Of The Audience In Legal Writing Textbooks., Jessica E. Price Sep 2006

Imagining The Law-Trained Reader: The Faulty Description Of The Audience In Legal Writing Textbooks., Jessica E. Price

ExpressO

In law schools today, first-year legal writing courses play a crucial role in helping students learn to communicate about the law. Many legal writing teachers approach legal writing education in a practical way, attempting to pass on their own experiences in law practice settings to students. Unfortunately, as other writers have observed, such reliance on personal knowledge about “what lawyers are like” may lead legal writing teachers to oversimplify a complicated matter – the needs and preferences of the audience for legal writing – and may even amount to indoctrination in stereotypes about law practice. This article offers a closer look than ...


Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila Sep 2006

Searches & The Misunderstood History Of Suspicion & Probable Cause: Part One, Fabio Arcila

ExpressO

This article, the first of a two-part series, argues that during the Framers’ era many if not most judges believed they could issue search warrants without independently assessing the adequacy of probable cause, and that this view persisted even after the Fourth Amendment became effective. This argument challenges the leading originalist account of the Fourth Amendment, which Professor Thomas Davies published in the Michigan Law Review in 1999.

The focus in this first article is upon an analysis of the common law and how it reflected the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions. Learned treatises in particular, and to a lesser extent ...


Learning To Writing In Code: The Value Of Using Legal Writing Exercises To Teach Tax Law, Scott A. Schumacher Aug 2006

Learning To Writing In Code: The Value Of Using Legal Writing Exercises To Teach Tax Law, Scott A. Schumacher

ExpressO

Traditionally, law school tax courses have been taught using a mix of problems, class discussion, the Socratic method, and one end-of-term exam. The goal of these courses is to introduce students to key concepts of tax law and to teach them the essential skill of reading and interpreting the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations. This traditional method of instruction is an efficient and cost-effective way of transmitting a great deal of complex information to a large number of students. It is also a good vehicle to teach the essential skill of reading and interpreting the Code. However, the time ...


Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2006

Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz

ExpressO

This article attempts, empirically, to explain the value that lawyers add when acting as counsel to parties in business transactions. Contrary to existing scholarship, which is based mostly on theory, this article shows that transactional lawyers add value primarily by reducing regulatory costs, thereby challenging the reigning models of transactional lawyers as “transaction cost engineers” and “reputational intermediaries.” This new model not only helps inform contract theory but also reveals a profoundly different vision than existing models for the future of legal education and the profession.


Multistable Figures: Sexual Orientation Visibility And Its Effects On The Experiences Of Sexual Minorities In The Courts, Todd Brower Aug 2006

Multistable Figures: Sexual Orientation Visibility And Its Effects On The Experiences Of Sexual Minorities In The Courts, Todd Brower

ExpressO

A multistable figure is a cognitive illusion in which a single drawing contains multiple, competing images. On first viewing a person will see one image, but not the other – it usually requires additional information to trigger the viewer’s awareness of the second image. However, once you know about the disparate figures in the illustration, you cannot erase that knowledge from your mind and see a sole image as you did originally. This inability to ignore information and its effect on subsequent experience has parallels in lesbians’ and gay men’s treatment in the courts.

Courts today are deeply involved ...


Peace Is Not The Absence Of Conflict: A Response To Professor Rogers' Article: "Fit And Function In Legal Ethics", Kirsten D. Weisenberger Jul 2006

Peace Is Not The Absence Of Conflict: A Response To Professor Rogers' Article: "Fit And Function In Legal Ethics", Kirsten D. Weisenberger

ExpressO

This paper takes the theoretical model Professor Catherine Rogers developed in her article “Fit and Function in Legal Ethics: Developing a Code of Conduct for International Arbitration,” 23 MICH. J. INT’L L. 341 (2002) as the starting point for an original argument that conflicts of laws analysis should be used to determine which legal ethics rules should apply to lawyers practicing international arbitration. The argument is supported by the new ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct rule on choice of law explicitly applies conflicts of laws analysis to lawyers practicing in the multijurisdictional settings. This paper analyses the new ...


In Facetiis Verititas: How Improv Comedy Can Help Lawyers Get Some Chops, Steven Lubet Jul 2006

In Facetiis Verititas: How Improv Comedy Can Help Lawyers Get Some Chops, Steven Lubet

ExpressO

Lawyers can learn a lot from the theory of improvisational comedy, and it isn’t just a matter of thinking on your feet. As we will explain, the key concept in both disciplines is the creation of a new, temporary reality. In improvisation, the cast must draw the audience into sharing the constructed reality of the stage, such that they can actually “see” the objects and characters portrayed, without the use of props or costumes. In trial, the lawyer must draw the jury into sharing the re-constructed reality of past events, such that they “see” what happened, even though they ...


Vengeance, Forgivness, Resentment, Jurisprudence, Dispute Resolution, Theodore Y. Blumoff Jul 2006

Vengeance, Forgivness, Resentment, Jurisprudence, Dispute Resolution, Theodore Y. Blumoff

ExpressO

Vengeance is generally accompanied by the moral emotion of resentment and indignation, which are also natural psychological reactions. We can and do give these emotions cognitive content, inasmuch as they have developed and matured over time with culture, but they are primitive. They arise when an individual suffers a non-trivial injury that was inflicted without excuse or justification. Among other injuries suffered, the harm done discounts the value we hold of ourselves as human beings, so that when this discounting (the crime or a substantial tort) occurs and we react defensively; our worth as an individual feels threatened. We hope ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.