Franchise Law Firms and the Transformation of Personal Legal Services

By Jerry Van Hoy | Go to book overview

7
Markets, Innovation and Prepackaged Law

Franchise law firms bring legal services into our mass consuming society. The commodity system is where consumers expect to satisfy most of their daily needs ( Ewen 1976). That the goods and services available are increasingly prepackaged has not deterred their purchases. Franchises continue to enjoy incredible popularity and growth (see, e.g., Ritzer 1996; Cullen 1996). The success of franchise law firms at gaining clients and the adoption of their techniques by plaintiff's personal injury firms ( Van Hoy 1996) suggest that legal services are not immune to the twentieth-century trend toward creating a mass society.

For most middle-income consumers the prepackaging of legal services offers many potential benefits. Advertising increases awareness that legal needs can be solved by procuring professional services. Standardization of services focuses consumers on price competition rather than quality and may even ensure that some basic level of quality is being maintained. Most importantly, however, prepackaged law offers consumers what they have come to expect: an atmosphere that is appealing, courteous and efficient. The branch office secretary's calm voice and friendly smile combine

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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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