Effects of Reputation on the Legal Profession

50 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2007

See all articles by Fred C. Zacharias

Fred C. Zacharias

University of San Diego School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 8, 2007


This Article considers the role that the reputation of lawyers and signaling between lawyers and clients plays in determining the impact of the professional rules. Academics who have written about the relationships between lawyers and clients and the ways lawyers typically act have not adequately considered how much of a role reputation and signaling between lawyers and clients play in ordinary attorney relationships. The empirical issues are key to a proper analysis of many professional rules, as well as the approach bar associations should take to mechanisms that match lawyers and clients.

The article will focus primarily on lawyers' reputations as a proxy for what clients want, or need, to know about their representatives. Part I offers a taxonomy of the ways in which lawyers' reputations are important. Part II discusses what we do, and do not, know about lawyers' reputations in today's real world. Part III identifies a series of questions about reputation that academics and the bar might do well to consider more seriously than they have in the past.

Keywords: reputation, legal advertising, referrals, lawyer referral services, client-orientation

JEL Classification: K00, K04

Suggested Citation

Zacharias, Fred C., Effects of Reputation on the Legal Profession (February 8, 2007). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 07-81, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962138 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.962138

Fred C. Zacharias (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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