Migration and Social Structure: The Spatial Mobility of Chinese Lawyers

30 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014

See all articles by Sida Liu

Sida Liu

University of Toronto; American Bar Foundation

Lily Liang

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Sociology

Ethan Michelson

Maurer School of Law; Indiana University Bloomington, Department of Sociology

Date Written: April 2014

Abstract

This article uses the case of Chinese migrant lawyers to examine how the spatial mobility of individual practitioners shapes the social structure of the profession. Drawing on data from 261 interviews conducted in twelve Chinese provinces during 2004–2010, the 2009 Chinese Legal Environment Survey, lawyer yearbooks, and other public sources, the authors examine the patterns, causes, outcomes, and structural consequences of Chinese lawyers' internal migration. The empirical analysis shows that the spatial mobility of Chinese lawyers has not only increased the stratification and inequality of law practice in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but it has also aggravated the shortage of legal service and intensified interprofessional competition in western and rural China. Based on findings from the Chinese case, the article connects the sociology of law and migration studies and moves toward a new processual theory for understanding the relationship between microlevel mobility and macrolevel stratification in the legal profession.

Suggested Citation

Liu, Sida and Liang, Lily and Michelson, Ethan, Migration and Social Structure: The Spatial Mobility of Chinese Lawyers (April 2014). Law & Policy, Vol. 36, Issue 2, pp. 165-194, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2411210 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12016

Sida Liu (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

725 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2J4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://sidaliu.net

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sidaliu.net

Lily Liang

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Sociology ( email )

Madison, WI 53706
United States

Ethan Michelson

Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-1521 (Phone)
812-855-0781 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.indiana.edu/~emsoc/

Indiana University Bloomington, Department of Sociology ( email )

Ballantine Hall
Bloomington, IN 47405

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
403
PlumX Metrics