Marc Galanter, University of Wisconsin-Madison & the London School of Economics

'A Well-Known Profession:' The Corporate Hemisphere of the American Legal Profession through the Wrong End of the Telescope

Date: 
Mon, 10/12/2009
Location: 
4:30-6 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall
Event Category: 
Seminar

We hope you will join us for the first LAPA Seminar of 2009-2010, with Marc Galanter, John and Rylla Bosshard Professor Emeritus of Law and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison & LSE Centennial Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science.  The title of his talk is "‘A Well-Known Profession:’ The Corporate Hemisphere of the American Legal Profession through the Wrong End of the Telescope."  His commentator will be Robert W. Gordon,  Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, and Fred A. Johnston Professor of Law and Professor of History at Yale University.

Professor Galanter writes:  "The American legal profession has grown prodigiously in the last half-century. This is especially true of the "corporate hemisphere" of the profession that provides services to business corporations, governments, and other corporate entities. In much of the world, the number of legal professionals has multiplied rapidly and firms comparable to large  "corporate" American firms have emerged. As globalization has proceeded, the transnational flow of lawyers and legal services has broadened and accelerated. At the same time, the "tournament" model of the American firm is being transformed as firms grow larger, more hierarchic, and more corporate. This paper examines current developments and future prospects of American law firms at the intersection of internal reorganization, internationalization, and the changing character of legal work."

Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor Emeritus of Law and South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and LSE Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He studies litigation, lawyers, and legal culture, and is the author of a number of highly regarded and seminal studies of litigation and disputing in the United States (including "Why the 'Haves' Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change"). His work includes pioneering studies on the impact of disputant capabilities in adjudication, the relation of public legal institutions to informal regulation, and patterns of litigation in the United States, and the organization of the legal profession. Professor Galanter is co-author of "Tournament of Lawyers" (with Thomas Palay, 1991), widely viewed as the most robust explanation of the growth and transformation of large law firms. He is an outspoken critic of misrepresentations of the American civil justice system and of the inadequate knowledge base that makes the system so vulnerable to misguided attacks. Much of his early work was on India, and he is currently engaged in research on access to justice in India. He received degrees in philosophy and law from the University of Chicago. In addition to the University of Wisconsin and the London School of Economics, Professor Galanter has taught at Chicago, Buffalo, Columbia, Stanford, New York Law School, DePaul, Indiana, and Hawaii.

Robert W. Gordon, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, and Fred A. Johnston Professor of Law and Professor of History at Yale University, is an expert in the field of American legal history and the history of the American legal profession. His other subject areas are contracts, evidence, the legal profession, and law and globalization. His publications include "The Legal Profession," in Looking Back at Law's Century (Cornell University Press, 2002); "The Independence of Lawyers," 68 Boston Univ. Law Review 1 (1988); and"Critical Legal Histories," 36 Stanford Law Review 57 (1984). Prior to coming to Yale in 1995, he taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Stanford Law School. Professor Gordon has an A.B. and J.D. from Harvard. He is a past president of the American Society for Legal History.