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The Meaning of Lawyering

Legal scholars spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to understand the content of the law.  They usually spend less time trying to understand the behavior of lawyers in regard to the law.  One categorical exception is the group of scholars who think and write about legal ethics.  A different exception, prompting this brief post, is Suffolk’s Jeff Lipshaw, who has a provocative post at The Conglomerate today about the rituals of business lawyering.  Jeff is bugged by Ron Gilson’s transactions-cost-engineer theory of same.  From the post:

I find it equally plausible that the presence of all those lawyers doesn’t do a damned thing to make the pie bigger – but they are necessary, and they do have value, just as the accoutrements to the cock-fight have value to the participants.  Their value is in what they do to give us the courage to overcome fear, panic, seller’s remorse, buyer’s remorse, and risk averseness. Again, as I said over in the comments, lawyers provide an alternative model for resolving disputes about the deal that is better than pistols at twenty paces, but the idea that the contract language provides certainty in anything other than trivial cases is a self-justifying illusion for lawyers. 

I’ve written about certain rituals of legal scholarship, but I’m waiting for someone to analogize faculty meetings, workshops, and academic conferences to species of Balinese cockfighting.  Or has that been done?