Temporary Lawyers: A Quantitative and Qualitative Examination of Intraprofessional Stratification




Edwards, Angela M.

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This exploratory study uses quantitative and qualitative data to describe temporary lawyers who perform routinized professional tasks. Temporary lawyers working in the large law firm have been largely overlooked by the scholarly literature, perhaps because they are a relatively new and evolving part of the legal profession or because of the transitory nature of their work. To compensate for this lack of scholarly literature, formal sources from within the profession, such as law journals, bar associations‘ published ethics opinions, and court cases, are used as qualitative source to explore the issues surrounding temporary lawyers and lawyering and how they are incorporated into the profession. Statistical analyses of wave two of the American Bar Foundations‘ After the JD study are used to describe temporary lawyer‘s and compare them to permanent lawyers across sociodemographic variables, professional activities, and workplace satisfaction. Experiential data taken from informal sources, legal media and blogs, present information regarding the working lives of temporary lawyers and their experiences within the legal labor market. Through these quantitative and qualitative sources this study finds evidence of limited mobility and disparate working conditions between temporary and permanent lawyers within large law firms though the experiences of temporary lawyers can vary greatly and they do not necessarily exist as a homogeneous group as originally thought. The existence of these professionals has implications for the routinization of professional labor, the segmentation of professions, and the organization of abstract labor and service work within the global economy.



Professions, Blogs, Globalization, Lawyers, After the JD