Socialization Effects of Professional School: The Law School Experience and Students' Orientation to Public Interest Concerns

27 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2014

See all articles by Howard S. Erlanger

Howard S. Erlanger

University of Wisconsin Law School

Douglas Klegon

Independent

Date Written: September 24, 2014

Abstract

While undergoing training in professional school, students are assumed to experience attitude change, internalizing the norms of their future profession. In law school this change is thought to be particularly conservative, reflecting a business orientation and a minimal concern with pro bono and social reform work. This paper examines these assumptions by presenting data from a panel study of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. Although some changes in attitudes are found, they are much smaller than suggested by recent critical literature on legal education. These findings lead to the proposal of a research agenda that stresses the contribution of the job market as well as that of education in fostering a traditional orientation toward the role of lawyers and the law.

Suggested Citation

Erlanger, Howard S. and Klegon, Douglas, Socialization Effects of Professional School: The Law School Experience and Students' Orientation to Public Interest Concerns (September 24, 2014). 13 Law & Society Review 11 (1978); Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1296. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2500913

Howard S. Erlanger (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.wisc.edu/facstaff/biog.php?iID=266

Douglas Klegon

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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