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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article revolves around the issue of whether or not legal professions deserve their status as professions. It looks at how empirical literature addresses this issue, concentrating on lawyers working within law firms in common law systems. A discussion of the way the profession is structured, and the creation of elites within elites, has intersected with arguments about the demography of the profession. In addition, this article considers the literature that looks at the quality of lawyering. It compares, through a research study, how the quality of the work of non-lawyers compared with the work of formally qualified lawyers. This article concludes by considering how economic incentives are a necessary part of any market-based service and suggests a need of more nuanced understanding of professional competence and the contribution of professionalism to the quality of services.

Keywords: legal service providers, law systems, lawyers, non-lawyers, empirical literature, demography of the profession

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