Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Steven Alan Childress
Lawyers exist in every modern society and perform essential work within each legal system. Nevertheless, the fundamental variation around the world in how the legal occupation is defined, organized, and regulated, along with the sheer variety of legal tasks performed within any particular system, makes generalizations in this field difficult and potentially misleading. Even the concept of the legal profession defies any unitary notion, despite the nomenclature sometimes shared among various systems. There is no single conception of the profession that applies worldwide, nor is there a single list of functions that can be attributed to the term lawyer. In the United States, the legal profession encompasses lawyers practicing in the private sector, individually or in small to large firms; lawyers employed by the government, corporations, organizations, and legal aid societies; law professors; and judges and related judicial or administrative actors also employed by the government. Most lawyers have a ...