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Synopsis

The study of legal ethics and the legal profession has emerged as a distinct and important field of scholarship over the last 30 years. However, as in other disciplines, academic recognition can in turn entrench static and powerful meta-theories and narratives about professional ethos and practise, this collection seeks to disrupt this homogenising impulse and to present alternative voices by bringing together a range of international scholars writing about legal ethics and the legal profession.

The book features significant and timely contributions which take contemporary and non-mainstream perspectives on the current and future shape of the legal profession. The essays not only describe the rapidly changing profession but canvas different approaches to scholarship on the legal profession. The collection seeks to explore a diverse and contextualised profession from a number of angles. Authors examine how the public sees lawyers and how lawyers see their own profession; how we practise law and how this practice shapes lawyers; how such cultural and professional practice intersects with institutional structures of the law to create certain legal outcomes; and how we regulate the legal profession to modify or institute ethical practice.

The volume provides insights into legal culture and ethics from the perspective of authors from Australia, Canada, England, the United States, New Zealand and Kenya – a diversity of national perspectives that give valuable insights into developments in the profession at the local and global level. It also illustrates diversity within the profession by tracing differing professional career trajectories based on raced or gendered barriers, alternative ethical strategies and the impact of organisational cultures in which lawyers practice.

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