Cheaper by the Hour: Temporary Lawyers and the Deprofessionalization of the Law

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9781439902851: Cheaper by the Hour: Temporary Lawyers and the Deprofessionalization of the Law
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How attorneys' work is deprofessionalized, downgraded, and controlled through part-time and temporary assignments

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Book Description:

Recent law school graduates often work as temporary attorneys, but law firm layoffs and downsizing have strengthened the temporary attorney industry. Cheaper by the Hour is the first book-length account of these workers.

Drawing from participant observation and interviews, Robert A. Brooks provides a richly detailed ethnographic account of freelance attorneys in Washington, DC. He places their document review work in the larger context of the deprofessionalization of skilled labor and considers how professionals relegated to temporary jobs feel diminished, degraded, or demeaned by work that is often tedious, repetitive, and well beneath their abilities.

Brooks documents how firms break a lawyer's work into discrete components that require less skill to realize maximum profits. Moreover, he argues that information technology and efficiency demands are further stratifying the profession and creating a new underclass of lawyers who do low-end commodity work.

About the Author:

Robert A. Brooks is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Criminal Justice at Worcester State University in Massachusetts.

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9781439902868: Cheaper by the Hour: Temporary Lawyers and the Deprofessionalization of the Law

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ISBN 10:  1439902860 ISBN 13:  9781439902868
Publisher: Temple University Press, 2012
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