Precarious Professionalism: An Invitation

My Inaugural lecture takes place at UCL on Thursday 6 March 2014 from 6 – 7pm , chaired by Mr Justice Blair.  It will develop and draw together many of the themes I discuss on this blog.  If you would like to come tickets you can book here (it’s for numbers, there is no cost).  If you’d like a flavour…

Legal Aid and legal market reform has been significantly accelerated by austerity and the creation of the Legal Services Board.   Professional power has decreased and the influence of the market increased.  State – or rather politician – hostility to lawyers and fiscal retrenchment has led to a reduction in legal aid and a hostile ideology.  Globalisation and the growth of large law firms has increased the extent to which law is seen as a business rather than a profession.  Market reform and the recession have shed a harsher light on the economics and ethics of large law firms. 

For many, the market and the State are combining to squeeze out professionalism.   The evidence, however, paints a much more complicated picture.   This lecture will outline that evidence, including some new evidence on the ethical consciousness of commercial lawyers.  It will argue that professionalism is precarious – demonstrably so – but also that the blame lies with markets, with the State, regulators and with lawyers themselves.  And it will consider what needs to be done to renew these institutions.

There is a drinks reception afterwards.

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