Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2003

Subjects

legal profession; professional history; cultural history; structural transformation; British Empire; North America; Canada; Alberta; West; Calgary; Manitoba; Canadian Bar Association; Law Society of Alberta; integrated bar

Abstract

This paper explores the history of professional formation amongst lawyers, pointing to the surprising conclusions that contemporary legal professionalism bears little continuity with supposed roots in British professionalism and that one of the major motors driving professionalism was related to a project of cultural transformation in state and society at large. Whilst legal professions appear exclusionary and xenophobic from an outside perspective, the desire to control difference has deeper, more fully cultural roots, than arguments from self-interest per se might suggest.

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