What Judges Think of the Quality of Legal Representation

32 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010  

Richard A. Posner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Albert Yoon

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 30, 2010

Abstract

Studying the legal profession poses several challenges. The evolution of law has moved lawyers away from a generalist practice towards increased specialization. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to compare lawyers across different practice areas meaningfully and to provide a comprehensive assessment of the legal profession. Judges are well situated to provide such an evaluation, given their experience and scope of cases. This article reports the responses of federal and state judges to a survey we conducted in 2008. The questions relate to their perceptions of the quality of legal representation, generally and in criminal and civil cases; how the quality of legal representation influences how they and juries decide cases; and their recommendations for change in the profession. We find that judges perceive significant disparities in the quality of legal representation, both within and across areas of the law. In many instances, the underlying causes of these disparities can be traced to the resources of the litigants. The judges’ responses also suggest that they respond differently from juries to these disparities, and that the effect of these disparities on juries may be more pronounced in civil than in criminal cases.

Keywords: Legal Profession, Labor Markets, Judges

JEL Classification: J44, K41

Suggested Citation

Posner, Richard A. and Yoon, Albert, What Judges Think of the Quality of Legal Representation (August 30, 2010). Stanford Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1668783

Richard A. Posner

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Albert Yoon (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,152
Rank
13,545
Abstract Views
4,413