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Sorting: Legal Specialization And The Privatization Of The American Legal Profession, Michael S. Ariens Jan 2016

Sorting: Legal Specialization And The Privatization Of The American Legal Profession, Michael S. Ariens

Faculty Articles

Beginning in the 1950s, legal specialization was promoted to the majority of the American legal profession, small firm and solo practice lawyers, by the elite of the bar as the future of legal professionalism. Legal specialization was a form of sorting lawyers, and sorting was contrary to the traditional understanding of an undivided legal profession. Over the course of the next thirty years, this effort succeeded. This new understanding of legal professionalism emphasized the idea of competence based on a deep but particularized knowledge of law. This resulted in a slipping away of the beliefs that law was a public ...