The nature of franchise production systems is to limit individual discretion in the work process. Workers follow a more or less rigidly defined set of tasks that require little forethought. Franchise law firms follow this same general pattern. As salespeople for prepackaged legal products, lawyers at franchise law firms are subject to the same feelings of powerlessness and boredom that permeate many mass production workplaces (see, e.g., Terkel 1972). But the issue of alienation is not as simple as boredom. Attorneys at Arthur & Nelson and Beck & Daniels interact with the production systems, clients and management in many different ways and at different levels. This chapter begins to sort out these different types of interactions and experiences to explain the levels of dissatisfaction among attorneys at franchise law firms.
As we have seen, Arthur & Nelson and Beck & Daniels offer staff attorneys and some managing attorneys relatively low pay, long hours at the office and a legal environment where intellectual