Notes on the Margins of Lawyering, In Three and a Half Minutes

 In Ideas

Mitu Gulati and Robert E. Scott have given us a wonderful study. They tell us about how elite lawyers practice law, and they tell us about the transformation of the process of producing all of the standard form contract terms that govern so much of our economic life. Moreover, those of us who have done work involving interviewing lawyers can understand what it took to produce this work. One reason that law professors know so little about what lawyers for major economic actors do is that these lawyers are so hard to study. I confess that most of what I know about sovereign debt I learned reading this study. It is not my world. The authors caution about not over-generalizing because things may be different in other areas. Nonetheless, I want to speculate about what the changes in elite practice may mean for other areas of creating contracts and dealing with disputes that are likely to follow. I also want to say something about the methods of studying lawyers.

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