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SOC475H5 (11)
Lecture

Lecture Notes

10 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC475H5
Professor
Ronit Dinovitzer

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Sept 10, 2013 • Weberian Theories of Professions o ‘Workers in every occupation seek to maximize their prestige, incomes, and practical autonomy’ o For an occupational group to become a profession, it must create demand for its services o Not only are they experts, but they’re institutionalized:  They have professional associations and licensing committees to define standards of practice (ie. LSUC)  Establish university programs (ie. Law school) • Average annual cost of tuition has gone up a lot. o Although law school tuition is not the highest; 3 behind medicine and dentistry • Chances of getting an articling job are going down o 2008 – 94.2% o 2011 – 85% • Law grad starting salaries o 1991 - $40,000 o 2009 - $93,454  Amuuuuch higher percentage is making around $150k o 2012 - $80,798  Shift in salaries after the recession  Large number of people making around $165k, but also around $40-65k • What is a profession? (Weberian theory) o Basic assumption is that workers in every occupation seek to maximize their prestige, incomes, and practical autonomy, and the most effective way to do that is by acting collectively to establish a monopoly over the work they do o Expertise is not a precondition for professionalization o Knowledge must be institutionalized o Aspiring professional groups are likely to:  Set up professional associations and licensing committees  Establish uni-based training schools  Create elaborate socialization rituals (exams, professional credentials, etc) o Underlying goal is monopoly • Legal education o Barrier to entry into the profession o Consequences of entry barriers  Law students: BarAdmissions • 1935 – 45,000:5,000 • 1965 – 40,000:15,000 • 1990 – 135,000:40,000  This barrier managed to stabilize the profession, but after WW2, new lawyers entered the profession at a faster rate than older lawyers retired, leading to sharp growth in the 1990s • After the JD o Females  ~55% in private practice  ~29% in public practice  ~13% in business o Males  ~65% in private practice  ~18% in public practice  ~17% in business • Racialization and gender of lawyers in Ontario o White men earn the most as age goes up o Then white women o Racialized men and women earn about the same, on avg Sept 17, 2013 • Tong and Pue o Focus on LSAT and UGPA • Sauder and Espeland • Overview of both readings • Attempt to create a new system o What makes a good lawyer?  26 effectiveness factors • ppt based • Law school applicants stats (apps:registrants) o 1997 – 3200:1100 o 2007 – 4100:1200 o 2012 – 4800:1300 o Number of applicants going up o Number of registrants going down, generally • Reasons for choosing law o Desire to develop a satisfying career o Desire for eventual financial security o Desire to build a set of transferable skills o Lowest: desire to defer entry into the job market • Results of Tong and Pue study o Reliance on combined LSAT and UGPAprovides a predictor that’s ‘superiror’to either alone. o The report confirms that LSAT scores taken alone are a better predictor of first-year average than UGPA o Problems with LSAT/UGPAand correlation studies  Late bloomers  What do lawyers do? • First year performance may not be the most accurate test of professional abilities  Apples and oranges • Comparing the curriculum of diff law schools and diff jurisdictions is not right • Sauder and Lancaster o The rank of school has clear influence on where students with high LSAT scores apply, which in turn affects a school’s future ranking o Spiralling  Ranking affect a school’s admission policies • What makes a good lawyer? o Shultz and Zedeck  26 effectiveness factors • Analysis and reasoning • Creativity and innovation • Practical judgement • David Segal (law school economics) o Tuition is going up a lot, more so in public than private schools Sept 24, 2013 • Granfield and Koenig o Creating ‘eminence’and an elite culture o Socratic method: the method where you call on people in class o Teaching students how to work together rather than to compete with each other o Pre-law school competitiveness • Mertz o How law schools change the way that you think o Teaching students to forget about morality  It’s about precedent • ‘What did the judge tell us to do?’ o Telling students that context doesn’t matter  Defining the argument in ‘argumentative terms’ • What’s the defendant, what’s the plaintiff, what’s the argument? • Christa McGill o Educational debt and job choice o Data find: Your educational debt level has no impact on your job choice o Significant factors  Salary gap was one of the strongest predictors of the percentage of students who entered GPI o Local labour market makes a big diff  Ex. If you go to school in Ottawa, where gov’t is a big part of the economy, more students end up taking gov’t jobs • David Segal o Who’s gonna train the associates? • The elusive brass ring o Articling crisis • # of people taking the LSAT went up until 2009, and is not declining rapidly. First year enrolment has stayed relatively constant, at about 50,000. • Harvard teaches about collective eminence o Rather than the Paper Chase (competitiveness) o Elite law school education introduces a culture that constructs a student’s ‘rightful’position in society • Threats to collective eminence o Harvard Law Review, b/c only 40 students are chosen to serve o Counter-hegemonic front  Students who challenge the elitist orientation of the law school • Mertz o Learning to think like a lawyer o Socratic method (calling on students in class) • Christa McGill o Oct 1, 2013 • Making partner used to be so different o Your life got a little better once you made partner o Now, you don’t really stop working hard, even after making partner • The changes in these firms... the associates were most affected by them o Firms start raising salaries to get the smartest lawyers to work for them • Firms are now required to act more like a business o The initial growth is about the economy o Then it’s about the firm o There are two stages: The growth phase, then the transformation phase • The tournament of lawyers (happens outside the firm) o Work for up to 10 years, then you’re considered for promotion-to-partner, or you’re out o Tournament theory  The reason they’re not gonna be irresponsible is because you’re holding out this carrot of compensation at the end of the day (they’re working toward the promotion to partner). They entered into that contract when they began working at the large law firm.  For a tournament to work well, firms must promote associates that will make profitable partners  Associates are leaving before you have a chance to evaluate them properly • So firms started offering them more and more money o The elastic tournament  There’s more than just associates and partners now • New positions created (it’s no longer just up and out)  You can now get rid of partners through (de-equitization) • Means that the firm gives them their money back and make them leave • So now the norm of loyalty to your firm is out the window o Because there’s no guarantee that you’ll stay with the same firm for life  Billable hours • Everything is billable • Is billing subjective? o Women bill less hours, on average, than men • There is a difference between the hours you spend at the firm and the minutes that you bill • Equity partner: you’re a part owner of that firm o You’re no longer earning salary. Your compensation is based on the profits of that firm. Equity partner means you have to put in a substantial investment into the firm. • Nonequity partner: you’re still making salary, but they call you a partner • Inside the firm • Malhotra article - New career models in UK professional service frms o Found that there are diff positions in the firm o Professional Support Lawyers
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