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        International Working Group for
        Comparative Studies of Legal Professions




Website of working group

Activity Reports

Introduction     [back to contents]

The International Working Group for Comparative Studies of Legal Professions was established, more than twenty years ago, by Richard Abel and Philip Lewis, to carry out an international research project on lawyers – how they developed as a profession and how they control their markets. 27 scholars from all around the world met to discuss the subject in Bellagio in 1984. This research was published, at the end of the 1980s in the three volumes of Lawyers in Society (Berkeley / Los Angeles / London: University of California Press 1988/89).

In 1985, at the RCSL (Research Committee on Sociology of Law) Conference in Aix-en-Provence the decision was taken to carry on work as a RCSL working group. The WG is involved in the activities of RCSL, especially in its bi-annual meetings, and the activities of ISA (the International Sociological Association) of which the RCSL is part.

The successive Chairs of the WG have been: Terry Halliday, Bill Felstiner, Benoit Bastard, Emmanuel Lazega, Ulrike Schultz and since 2014 Rosemary Auchmuty (E-mail: r.auchmuty@reading.ac.uk)

The research topics covered by the WG are increasingly diverse: they include studies of other professions in a comparative perspective, such as the judiciary or notaries. The WG is divided in thematic sub-groups (see below their titles and the names of sub-group leaders). Sub-groups have their own agenda and have regular meetings, either within the WG meetings and RCSL congresses, or specific ad hoc meetings, or Onati workshops. WG meetings are devoted to the presentation and discussion of comparative research projects carried out by members. A great number of publications have come out of their activities, particularly collective books or special issues of journals.

The Working Group holds a specific meeting every two years, preferably in France.

WG members have to be members of the RCSL. They are scholars of different origins and affiliations – mainly sociologists and lawyers - interested in socio-legal studies, university teachers as well as members of research centres etc. The WG has more than 100 members who contribute effectively to its conferences and/or to sub-group activities. The WG welcomes new participants and will organize sessions on several issues related to the legal professions at forthcoming RCSL, LSA and ISA meetings. The next meeting of the Legal Profession Group will take place in July 2016.

Benoit Bastard <benoitbastard1@gmail.com>

Rosemary Auchmuty <r.auchmuty@reading.ac.uk>


Meetings                                                                                        [back to contents]

2016 Schönburg, 8-11 May

2014 Frauenchiemsee, 6-9 July

2012 Bonn, 1-4 July (Venue: Haus Schlesien)

2010 Gif sur Yvette (report for ISA Conference in Gothenburg 2010)

2008 Berder island (shorts report by the subgroups leaders)

2006 Peyresq

2004 Berder island

2002 Aix-en-Provence

2000 Peyresq

1998 Oñati

1996 Peyresq

1994 Rouen

1992 Aix-en-Provence

1990 Aix-en-Provence

1986 Aix-en-Provence


Subgroups                                                                                      [back to contents]

Subgroup 1: Ethics, Deontology

Leader: Degroot, Leny <l.degroot@jur.kun.nl>

Subgroup 2: Family, policy and the Law

Leaders: Benoit Bastard <bastard@mipplus.org>

Mavis Maclean <mavis.maclean@spi.ox.ac.uk>

Subgroup 3: International Lawyering

Leader: Terry Halliday <halliday@abfn.org>

Subgroup 4: Judiciary

Leader: Tony Bradney <a.bradney@law.keele.ac.uk>

Subgroup 5: Large Law firms

Leader: John Flood < johnaflood@gmail.com >

Subgroup 6: Lawyers and Clients

Leader: Joanna Shapland <j.m.shapland@sheffield.ac.uk>

Subgroup 7: Legal Aid

Leader: Alan Paterson <prof.alan.paterson@strath.ac.uk>

Subgroup 8: Legal Education

Leader: Fiona Cownie < F.Cownie@law.keele.ac.uk >

Subgroup 9: Legal Professional Values & Identities
Leader: Hilary Sommerlad <Sommsand@aol.com>

Subgroup 10: Political Liberalism

Leader: Terry Halliday <halliday@abfn.org>

Subgroup 11: Regulatory Reform

Leader: Christine Parker <c.parker@unimelb.edu.au>

Subgroup 12:
Women/Gender in the Legal Profession

Leader: Ulrike Schultz <Ulrike.Schultz@FernUni-Hagen.de>

Subgroup 13- Internationalization of norms :

Leader: Thierry Delpeuch <delpeuch@isp.ens-cachan.fr>

Subgroup 14- Social control of business

Leader: Emmanuel Lazega <emmanuel.lazega@dauphine.fr>


Website of the subgroup                                                             [back to contents]




Activity Reports                                                                            [back to contents]






Website of the RCSL - ISA


This page last updated 6 August 2014

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