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'In the Service of Society…': Lawyers and the Idea of a Profession


A profession, as we know, is essentially a group of people with specialised knowledge and specialised skills (and certified as such), who then enjoy an exclusive or monopoly right to engage in the practice of those skills, and, moreover, enjoy a large degree of self-regulation in doing so. Why these privileges? What is the quid pro quo?

Put simply, the answer is that those monopoly rights are to be exercised not merely for personal reward but also in the service of society.

This paper was presented at the Fragmentation or Consolidation? Fostering a Coherent Professional Identity for Lawyers, Australian Academy of Law Launch Symposium, Government House, Brisbane, Australia, 17 July 2007.

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Research theme:

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