Franchise Law Firms and the Transformation of Personal Legal Services

By Jerry Van Hoy | Go to book overview

4
Franchise Law Firms and Traditional Practice

Franchise law firms occupy a well-defined niche in the market for personal legal services. Firms such as Arthur & Nelson and Beck & Daniels seek a clientele that is likely to choose a lawyer based on advertising rather than personal networks (or what is commonly called "word-of-mouth advertising"). Clients are ushered through a production system where the main goal is to sell them prepackaged services. Imbedded in this analysis is an implicit argument that the services provided by the franchise firms are qualitatively different from the services offered by more traditional personal services lawyers. Yet this is an argument that needs careful attention. The line which distinguishes the work of attorneys at franchise law firms from solo and small-firm practitioners is not completely clear. In Chapter 1 we saw that attorneys employed by the franchise firms have similar social characteristics as other personal services lawyers. In addition, much, perhaps even most, personal services law is routine and may be standardized ( Carlin 1994; Heinz and Laumann 1982; Seron 1996; also see Chapter 1). For example, a solo practitioner who attended law school after first working as a CPA complains that

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Franchise Law Firms and the Transformation of Personal Legal Services
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1- The Rise of Franchise Law Firms 1
  • 2- The Organization of Mass Production Law 27
  • Notes 50
  • 3- Client Services: Selling and Processing Law 51
  • Notes 75
  • 4- Franchise Law Firms and Traditional Practice 77
  • Notes 85
  • 5- Lawyer Alienation 87
  • Notes 112
  • 6- Alienation and Unions 115
  • Notes 127
  • 7- Markets, Innovation and Prepackaged Law 129
  • Appendix: Data and Methods 139
  • Notes 142
  • References 143
  • Index 149
  • About the Author 156
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