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Title: Solicitors and the wider community
Author: Podmore, David
ISNI:       0000 0000 3004 3328
Awarding Body: University of Aston in Birmingham
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis exam~nes the involvement of solicitors in community affairs and politics. Previous research, largely carried out in the United States, indicates that lawyers have a high level of participation in activities in the wider community. Six conceptual schemes are examined which suggest some reasons why this may be so. One approach has proposed, for example, that lawyers in private practice are "dispensable" in their occupational role and thus can make themselves readily "available" to take part in extra-professional activities; other approaches refer to the advertising value of parcicipation and the ready transfer of skills between law and extra-professional activities. Empirical studies of American lawyers have shown that some participate more than others in such activities, and in different ways - for example, lawyers in large practices participate to a greater extent in civic and community organisations whilst those in small practices take a greater part in politics. ren hypotheses are formulated in this study and the principal ones postulate (1) that solicitors in private practice will participate more in extra-professional activities than those practising in business organisations, (2) that amongst solicitors in private practice, participation will be positively related to the size of the practice for non-politi~al and negatively for political activities, and (3) that private practitioners practising in smaller communities will participate more in both types of extra-professional activity than those practising in Central Birmingham. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with a sample of 128 West Midlands solicitors. The data strongly support the first hypothesis, refute in part the second and weakly support the third. Reasons for the pattern of results found are discussed. The thesis concludes with a consideration of the extent to which solicitors may be involved in the future in activities in the wider community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Sociology