Lawyer Specialisation - Managing the Professional Paradox

Cardiff Law School Research Papers No. 5

45 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2010

See all articles by Richard Moorhead

Richard Moorhead

Centre for Ethics and Law, Faculty of Laws, UCL London

Date Written: October 13, 2008

Abstract

Specialisation within professions poses some interesting questions that go to the heart of the professional project. Does specialisation undermine the value, rationale even, of the general professional qualification? Or is it a vehicle for intra-professional closure, a means of strengthening the competitive hand of the 'elite'? From the consumer perspective, is specialisation an unalloyed good? Is the way in which the legal professions manage specialisation consistent with them protecting the public or the professions' interests? Utilising empirical data for a series of projects on legal aid programmes in the UK, this paper will examine the tensions between quality and access inherent in the notion of specialisation and consider some of the implications for professional theory and regulation. It will be argued that specialisation, which is a necessary trade-off between consumer interest and detriment, has been resolved by the profession in its own rather than the public's interest.

Keywords: Specialisation, Lawyers, Legal Profession, Self-Regulation

Suggested Citation

Moorhead, Richard Lewis, Lawyer Specialisation - Managing the Professional Paradox (October 13, 2008). Cardiff Law School Research Papers No. 5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1283605 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1283605

Richard Lewis Moorhead (Contact Author)

Centre for Ethics and Law, Faculty of Laws, UCL London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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