Citations (1)



Doing Good Instead of Doing Well? What Lawyers Could be Doing in a World of 'Too Many' Lawyers

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California Irvine, School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center

May 24, 2013

Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2013
UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-125

This paper explores some of the misalignment in the legal profession in terms of allocation to particular parts of the profession. The paper suggests that there are not “too many lawyers,” but that lawyers could and should be doing other things, beyond conventional forms of legal representation, both for access to justice, and for transformations of the legal system and human problem solving. Lawyers can perform different roles in dispute resolution (mediating, arbitrating, negotiating, as well as litigating), including performing design functions for organizations and other sites of iterated disputes, advising individuals and entities about how to handle and “manage” conflict in order to actually reduce the need for conventional legal services. The paper explores issues of what constitutes “legal knowledge and expertise” and how such knowledge might be deployed to solve complex social and legal problems outside of conventional legal professional boundaries. Contrasts are made with other areas of expertise and the restructuring of professional knowledge in other fields such as business consulting and architecture. The paper concludes by suggesting that lawyers and legal educators need to proactively reframe what is considered to be legal work and legal education for new ways of legal and human problem solving to be studied and learned.

Este artículo analiza algunos desajustes en la distribución de determinadas partes de la abogacía. Se sugiere que no hay "demasiados abogados", sino que los abogados podrían y deberían estar haciendo otras cosas, más allá de los sistemas convencionales de representación legal, tanto en el acceso a la justicia, como en las transformaciones del sistema jurídico y la resolución de conflictos humanos. Los abogados pueden asumir diferentes papeles en la resolución de conflictos (mediación, arbitraje, negociación, o defensa jurídica), incluyendo el diseño de funciones para organizaciones y otras instituciones dedicadas a las disputas, aconsejando a individuos y entidades sobre cómo manejar y “gestionar” los conflictos, con el fin de reducir de forma real la necesidad de los servicios jurídicos convencionales. El artículo explora los asuntos relacionados con "el conocimiento y la experiencia jurídica" y cómo se puede utilizar este conocimiento para resolver problemas sociales y legales complejos que quedan fuera de los límites profesionales jurídicos convencionales. Se comparan con otras áreas de conocimiento y con la reestructuración de los conocimientos profesionales en otros campos, como las empresas consultoras y de arquitectura. El artículo concluye sugiriendo que abogados y profesores de derecho deben replantear de forma proactiva lo que se considera trabajo legal y educación jurídica, para estudiar y aprender nuevas formas de resolver conflictos humanos y legales.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Legal profession, social problem solving, legal knowledge, legal education, comparative professions, Abogacía, resolución de problemas sociales, conocimiento jurídico, educación legal, comparación de profesiones

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: July 30, 2013 ; Last revised: July 31, 2013

Suggested Citation

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie, Doing Good Instead of Doing Well? What Lawyers Could be Doing in a World of 'Too Many' Lawyers (May 24, 2013). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2013; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-125. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2269818

Contact Information

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow (Contact Author)
University of California Irvine, School of Law ( email )
401 E. Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-1987 (Phone)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9379 (Phone)
202-662-9412 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,565
Downloads: 213
Download Rank: 112,952
Citations:  1