Foundations of the Sociology of Law provides a conceptual framework for thinking about the full range of topics within the sociology of law discipline. The book: contrasts normative and sociological perspectives on law; presents a primer on the logic of research and inference as applied to law related issues; examines theories of legal change; and discusses law in action with specific reference to civil rights legislation.

Law as a Profession

Law as a profession

Max Weber argued that the legal profession is indispensable to the legal order as we know it in modern Western societies. Professional attorneys are not the only actors in the legal system, but certainly they are the dominant actors. In the role of advocates attorneys plead the cases, in the role of judges they preside over trials and appeals, and as teachers they pass on the lore of law to new generations of attorneys. Furthermore, since most legislators are trained lawyers, it is fair to say they write the laws as well. The idea of law as a profession—a self-regulating body of trained experts—seems central to the ideal of law as an autonomous institution, one that operates independently ...

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