The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change

ISBN : 9780199917631

James E. Moliterno
272 Pages
168 x 237 mm
Pub date
Apr 2013
Send mail

Central to the identity of the American legal profession are its systems of self-regulation. Throughout history, the legal profession has tried to hold tight to its traditional values and structure during times of self-identified crisis. The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change analyzes the efforts of the legal profession to protect and maintain the status quo even as the world around it changed. James E. Moliterno argues that with striking consistency, the profession has resisted the societal change happening around it, and sought to ban or discourage new models of legal representation created by such change. In response to every crisis, lawyers asked: "How can we stay even more 'the same' than we already are?" The legal profession has been an unwilling, capitulating entity to any transformation wrought by the overwhelming tide of change. Any proactive changes were mostly levied against the newest members of the legal community in order to preserve the status quo, so that when the legal profession did have to change, it did so only because the changes in society, culture, technology, economics, and globalization could not be denied. This book will demonstrate how the profession has held to its anachronistic ways at key crisis points in US history: Watergate, communist infiltration, arrival of waves of immigrants, the litigation explosion, the civility crisis, and the current economic crisis that blends with dramatic changes in technology and communications and globalization. Ultimately, the author urges the profession to look outward and forward to find in society and culture the causes and connections with these periodic crises. Doing so would allow the profession to grow with the society, solve problems with, rather than against, the flow of society, and be more attuned to the very society the profession claims to serve.


Chapter 1: What Crisis? Who Speaks for the Profession?
Chapter 2: The Immigrant Wave
Chapter 3: Communist Infiltration
Chapter 4: Civil Rights, A New Kind of Lawyering
Chapter 5: Watergate, The Deepest Embarrassment
Chapter 6: The Litigation Boom
Chapter 7: The Civility Crisis
Chapter 8: The Fear of Sharing Power, MDPs and ABS
Chapter 9: Technology, Globalization and the Economy
Chapter 10: Changing the Change Game

About the author: 

James E. Moliterno is the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is one of the nation's leading educators in experiential learning and legal professionalism, and designed William and Mary Law School's award-winning ethics, skills, and professionalism program, which won the 1991 American Bar Association Gambrell Professionalism Award as the best law school or bar association program for the teaching of ethics and professionalism. Professor Moliterno is a member of the American Law Institute, and he has held committee leadership roles in both AALS and the ABA. He has also engaged in substantial international legal ethics and legal education reform work, designing new lawyer and judge ethics courses, trained law professors and judges, and revised the lawyer ethics code of over a dozen countries.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.