Doing Business: The Management of Uncertainty in Lawyers' Work

Law & Society Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1991

32 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2008  

John Flood

Griffith University Law School; University of Westminster School of Law; University College London

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

Apparently naive, but in fact not, is the question: What do lawyers do? Many scholars assume the central role of the lawyer is that of the advocate, but among lawyers working in law firms advocacy consumes little of their time. Similarly, the term 'lawyer' provides hardly any meaning in itself. The research presented here is based on a participant-observation study of a corporate law firm. The central thesis proposed, in the light of case studies of the selling of a shopping mall and the arranging of a bank loan, is that business lawyers are engaged in managing uncertainty for both their clients and themselves. Managing uncertainty is accomplished through interaction rather than appeals to the law.

Keywords: business, lawyers, clients, law firms

JEL Classification: J44

Suggested Citation

Flood, John, Doing Business: The Management of Uncertainty in Lawyers' Work (2001). Law & Society Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1991. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1185570

John A. Flood (Contact Author)

Griffith University Law School ( email )

Nathan Campus
170 Kessels Road
Nathan 4111, Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://experts.griffith.edu.au/academic/j.flood

University of Westminster School of Law ( email )

4 Little Titchfield Street
London, England W1W 7UW
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.westminster.ac.uk

University College London ( email )

Faculty of Laws
Endsleigh Gardens
London, England WC1H 0EG
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.laws.ucl.ac.uk/people-at-ucl-laws/honorary-appointments/

Paper statistics

Downloads
126
Rank
182,734
Abstract Views
798