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Behind Closed Doors: Shedding Light on Lawyer Self-Regulation - 'What Lawyers Do When Nobody’s Watching'

33 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2011

Jack Patrick Sahl

University of Akron - School of Law

Date Written: April 12, 2011

Abstract

This Article examines the significance of Professor Fred C. Zacharias’s work, What Lawyers Do When Nobody’s Watching: Legal Advertising as a Case Study of the Impact of Underenforced Professional Rules. Following the Introduction, Part II of the Article summarizes Nobody’s Watching – an empirically based study of lawyers in California who advertised in the yellow pages of telephone books. Part II reviews Professor Zacharias’ findings and analysis concerning unenforced or underenforced ethics rules regulating lawyer advertising. Part III discusses the significance of Nobody’s Watching as an early empirical study of lawyer advertising in the field of professional responsibility and its impact on the legal field. Part III also provides an interdisciplinary analysis of Nobody’s Watching. It notes that many of Zacharias’ findings and conclusions in Nobody’s Watching track the work of leading sociologists who have been studying professions and other organizational behavior for some time. The Article concludes by suggesting that Zacharias was a transformational scholar in the field of professional responsibility and that Nobody’s Watching provides a helpful roadmap for avoiding some of the adverse consequences associated with the underenforcement of ethics rules.

Keywords: professional code of conduct, advertising rules, lawyer discipline

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Sahl, Jack Patrick, Behind Closed Doors: Shedding Light on Lawyer Self-Regulation - 'What Lawyers Do When Nobody’s Watching' (April 12, 2011). San Diego Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2011; U of Akron Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1782887

Jack Patrick Sahl (Contact Author)

University of Akron - School of Law ( email )

150 University Ave.
Akron, OH 44325-2901
United States

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