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http://ssrn.com/abstract=251750
 
 

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Lawyers' Property Rights in State Law


Larry E. Ribstein (Deceased)


University of Illinois College of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

November 27, 2000

George Mason Law & Economics Working Paper No. 00-43

Abstract:     
The current system of state licensing of lawyers is being challenged by significant changes in the legal profession, including multi-state and multi-disciplinary law firms and the rise of Internet law practice. Conventional client-protection explanations of lawyer licensing are inadequate to meet this challenge. However, lawyer licensing can be best understood in the context of the state competition debate. State licensing has an important overlooked benefit in terms of enabling lawyers' role in the state lawmaking process. Efficient laws make the state an attractive forum for potential litigants to choose at the time of their contract. Lawyer licensing encourages lawyers' involvement in lawmaking by capitalizing the benefits of their law-improvement efforts in the value of their law licenses. In other words, state licensing gives lawyers a kind of property right in law. This article shows how lawyers' influence over state law may be consistent with social welfare and how giving lawyers property rights in law through state licensing helps produce these effects.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

JEL Classification: G3, H1, H4, H7, K0, K2, K4

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Date posted: December 4, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Ribstein (Deceased), Larry E., Lawyers' Property Rights in State Law (November 27, 2000). George Mason Law & Economics Working Paper No. 00-43. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=251750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.251750

Contact Information

Larry Edward Ribstein (Deceased) (Contact Author)
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-244-9881 (Phone)
217-244-1478 (Fax)
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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