Big Law Today and Tomorrow

  • Lawrence M. Friedman


This chapter discusses the different meanings of Big Law in relation to the external forces that affect the operation of the legal profession. The first meaning refers to the large size of the firms as professional organizations of lawyers; the second meaning of Big Law refers to the rules, regulations and laws; to the astonishing increase in the sheer volume of law: the cases, statutes, decrees, ordinances, rules, and regulations, in every modern society. In its third meaning, law is also “big” in the sense that it touches the lives of more and more people, perhaps everybody in society. The chapter suggests that Big Law in sense two and sense three have a long history; they may be, in a way, centuries old. But Big Law two and Big Law three have exploded in the modern period.


  1. Heinz, J., R. Nelson, R. Sandefur, and E. Laumann. 2005. Urban Lawyers: The New Social Structure of the Bar. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence M. Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford Law SchoolStanfordUSA

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