Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1632459
 


 



Book Review of Philip K. Howard, Life Without Lawyers: Restoring Responsibility in America


Andrew Jay McClurg


University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

August 31, 2012

American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 51, p. 387, 2012
University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34

Abstract:     
Contrary to its title, Philip K. Howard’s Life Without Lawyers is not an anti-lawyer screed. It does not argue for a society without lawyers and suggests only in passing that America has too many lawyers. A more apt title would be “Life Without Rules” or maybe “Life Without Law.”

Howard argues that America’s enormous inventory of laws and bureaucratic rules is crippling society by making it impossible for people and institutions to do their jobs effectively. In his opinion, the primary reason is because they live in fear of potential legal consequences. He asserts that the rights-explosion of the 1960s has led to a rights-obsessed, risk-averse culture that overvalues individual rights to the detriment of broader communitarian interests.

His principal solution is to grant judges and administrators more discretion to make decisions without the necessity of having a legally supportable record to back up their decisions.

McClurg’s review contains some critique, but concludes overall that Howard’s book is a powerful one that is worth reading.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 2

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: June 30, 2010 ; Last revised: October 15, 2012

Suggested Citation

McClurg, Andrew Jay, Book Review of Philip K. Howard, Life Without Lawyers: Restoring Responsibility in America (August 31, 2012). American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 51, p. 387, 2012; University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1632459

Contact Information

Andrew Jay McClurg (Contact Author)
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )
1 Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 809
Downloads: 73
Download Rank: 196,814

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.328 seconds