Social Reform Organizations and Subsequent Careers of Participants: A Follow-Up Study of Early Participants in the OEO Legal Services Program
42 American Sociological Review 233 (1977)
10 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014
Date Written: September 29, 2014
This paper considers the extent to which participation as a salaried professional in a reform oriented organization affects the participant's subsequent career. This issue is studied in the context of one such organization, the OEO sponsored Legal Services Program, which was probably the largest and best known organization oriented to the redistribution of professional services in the late 1960s. Because of the paucity of literature on the consequences of participation in reform organizations, a related literature, that of the consequences of participation in the student movement of the sixties, is drawn upon for insight, yet also critically examined.
Comparison of the subsequent careers of 228 lawyers in Legal.Services in 1967 to those of 981 other lawyers who were practicing law in 1967 indicates that participation in the program has an important effect on both the distribution of professional services and the rendering of reform oriented pro bono (free or reduced fee) work. In contrast to previous studies, the explanation offered here differentiates between various components of socialization. In addition, the importance of job market factors is stressed. A further difference from previous work is the consideration, albeit brief, of the effects of variation in experience of the organization.
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