Attorneys who represent governments in judicial proceedings or provide legal counsel to government policy makers are “government lawyers.” Government lawyers perform a variety of roles, from routine criminal prosecutions to advising presidents or parliaments on the broader policy concerns embedded in legal controversies. The policy-making role of government lawyers, like the role of courts, varies greatly from one political system to the next. Nevertheless, there are common dimensions to the work of government lawyers, and their role as policy makers has grown alongside that of courts and the legal-administrative state.

The Size and Structure of Governmental Law Offices

The size and structure of the government's legal administrative offices will depend upon the constitutional features and policy-making processes of the political system. Federal systems of government usually ...

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