Friday, February 9, 2007
Posted by Alan Childress
Fred Zacharias (U. San Diego--Law) has posted to SSRN his article, "Effects of Reputation on the Legal Profession." In part it is a follow-up to the analysis he began in his Images of Lawyers article, on which we posted here, though that of course was more about the image of the profession itself and the identified roles lawyers play (and the effect on rules conceptions). His new article's abstract is:
This Article considers the role that the reputation of lawyers and signaling between lawyers and clients plays in determining the impact of the professional rules. Academics who have written about the relationships between lawyers and clients and the ways lawyers typcially act have not adequately considered how much of a role reputation and signaling between lawyers and clients play in ordinary attorney relationships. The empirical issues are key to a proper analysis of many professional rules, as well as the approach bar associations should take to mechanisms that match lawyers and clients.
The article will focus primarily on lawyers' reputations as a proxy for what clients want, or need, to know about their representatives. Part I offers a taxonomy of the ways in which lawyers' reputations are important. Part II discusses what we do, and do not, know about lawyers' reputations in today's real world. Part III identifies a series of questions about reputation that academics and the bar might do well to consider more seriously than they have in the past.