'All Lawyers are Somewhat Suspect': Adolf A. Berle and the Modern Legal Profession
23 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019 Last revised: 2 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 25, 2019
Adolf A. Berle was perhaps the preeminent scholar of the modern corporation. He was also an occasional scholar of the modern legal profession. This article surveys his writings on the legal profession from the 1930s to the 1960s, from the sharp criticisms he leveled at lawyers, particularly corporate lawyers, during the Great Depression, to his sunnier account of the lawyer’s role in the postwar era. I argue that Berle’s views were shaped both by the reformist tradition he inherited from Louis Brandeis and his writings on the corporation, which left him convinced that the fate of the legal profession would be determined by that of the modern corporation.
Keywords: Berle, Corporate Law, Law Firm, Legal Profession, Legal History
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation