Chapter

Halting the Tide

RICHARD L. ABEL

in English Lawyers between Market and State

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780198260349
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682094 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260349.003.0003

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

Halting the Tide

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All producers seek protection from the competition that is the defining characteristic of market economies. The first line of defence is control over entry. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Bar had long enjoyed professional status. It took the entire nineteenth century for the practising Bar to double, and it did not recover from the 25% loss suffered during World War I. After the Law Society required the first professional examination in 1836, the number of solicitors stagnated. However, the post-war era initiated a major transformation and starts at the Bar increased. In the late 1980s, however, the profession was concerned about a ‘recruitment crisis’, not overcrowding. Finally, the profession was no more able to control the ebb and flow of supply than Canute to halt the tide. Its efforts to do so during this decade further delegitimated its claim to speak in the public interest.

Keywords: market economies; Bar; World War I; Law Society; solicitors

Chapter.  11520 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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