‘Let’s kill all the lawyers’,1 has probably been uttered more often by lawyers in their own defence than by generations of budding Thespians. The profession’s fondness for the quote, of course, derives from its neat forensic value in demonstrating that there is nothing new in public antagonism towards its members — aversion to lawyers is a timeless social habit, an unfortunate side effect of the essential social role of the profession, part of the ritual and mystery at the heart of the practice of lawyering. Nevertheless, in the climate of the 1980s, there is now a more real fear in the profession than at any previous period that the suggestion of Jack Cade’s comrade may be in the process of enactment in the real world. But, this time round, the danger appears in the more subtle economic and organisational forms of the 20th century rather than those envisaged by Shakespeare’s rough character. It demands a more adequate response than forensic skill.
KeywordsPrivate Practice Legal Profession Legal Service Legal Department Corporate Lawyer
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