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The Betrayed Profession: Lawyering at the End of the Twentieth Century. Hardcover – May 25, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons; 1st edition (May 25, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684194163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684194165
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Linowitz, senior partner of Coudert Brothers and former general counsel and chairman of the board of Xerox, writes on the sea change that has occurred in law practice over the past 50 years. He tells how and why lawyers have stopped being true counselors and have started being big businessmen. He laments at length the lack of ethics in the profession today and details what law schools, firms, bar associations, and judges should do to ameliorate these problems. It is not clear whether those addressed by Linowitz feel motivated to make the changes he suggests; in a sense, his voice is a cry in the wilderness. For legal ethics collections only.
Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Overlong and overly impressionistic breast-beating from one of the elder statesmen of the American bar with help from Mayer (The Greatest Ever Bank Robbery, 1990). How profound can reader response be to a book that conludes: ``The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves''? Linowitz, former US ambassador and currently senior partner of a noted ``white shoe'' law firm, gave a lawyer-thumping speech at Cornell Law School's centenary celebration. Apparently aided and abetted by several Supreme Court justices who sent admiring notes about the speech, he has here elongated it into a book-length treatment about the decline of standards in the legal profession. His major complaint is that too many lawyers, faced with increased competition and the drive for personal profit, have abdicated their independence--i.e., they are ``afraid to say no'' to clients. This might make a hard-hitting op-ed piece despite the confusing title (``betrayed'' by whom?), but the argument peters out when blown up to over 200 pages, largely on the strength of material that seems more anecdotal than evidentiary. The book has its stranger moments, as when Linowitz lionizes old-line titans like Paul Cravath for their courage to defy their clients while admitting that the doors of the law firms run by Cravath and his peers were shut to Linowitz as a young lawyer because of his ethnic origins. Too often Linowitz's valid reflections (e.g., on the unhealthy change from a long-term lawyer/client relationship to one-shot transaction work) nestle uncomfortably next to pointless or confusing stories (``An ever-increasing number of people no longer admire doctors''). Linowitz's ``solutions''--greater independence, more pro bono work- -are worthy but not exactly cutting-edge stuff. While aware of the temptation to glorify the ``good old days,'' Linowitz is not too successful in avoiding that trap: he complains of the ``forced retirement of senior partners `who had the wisdom and leisure to serve as mentors.' '' A real ho-hum. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Siegfried E. Tischler on June 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One other example for reality (truth - considering the author!)being far more riveting than fiction! The decay of american Law (and society, for that matter) is traced back to how a profession betrayed itself! The "Miranda" debacle of Bobby K. started the real breakdown. An entire virtual industry emerged from it and corroded the integrity of not only the legal profession, but dragged down with it also the medical one into a "profit-sharing" business! BRAVO! Mr. Mayer should team up with other disillusioned professionals to create similar eposes!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OCTOBER 2012 - I AM A GRADUATE OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY, THE NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, AND TOOK MY GRADUATE DEGREES IN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION AND IN AMERICAN STUDIES FROM NEW YORK UNIVERSITY AND YALE UNIVERSITY. I PRACTICED LAW IN NEW YORK CITY AND IN LOS ANGELES FOR SLIGHTLY OVER 35 YEARS, AND I AM STILL ACTIVE WITH "PRO BONO PUBLICO" WORK IN SUCH AREAS AS ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE AND MASS TORT LITIGATION. DURING MY YEARS IN PRACTICE - I AM NOW IN MY MID-70'S - MY SPECIALTIES WERE BANKING, FINANCE, LARGE-SCALE PROJECT INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCE, ENERGY FINANCE, AND LARGE-SCALE INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC PRIVATE EQUITY TRANSACTIONS.

DURING THIS TIME I OBSERVED ... BY LIVING THROUGH IT, AND PARTICIPATING IN IT ...THE MUTATION OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN THE UNITED STATES FROM ONE WHICH STEADILY DEVOLVED ... PALPABLY AND VISIBILY, AND LIVED EACH DAY, BOTH IN THE OFFICE AND IN
THE COURTS ... FROM ONE WHICH PLACED ITS EMPHASIS UPON THAT OF BEING A "COUNSELOR," TO ONE WHICH WAS, IN THE WORDS OF ONE
SENIOR AND HIGH-RANKING PARTNER IN ONE HIGHLY-RANKED NEW YORK CITY LAW FIRM, "FRANKLY ENTREPRENEURIAL." THE EMPHASIS SHIFTED FROM ONE WHICH WAS PREDOMINANTLY HUMANE, TO ONE WHICH WAS MORE ... AND ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ... FOCUSED UPON "THE BOTTOM LINE," AND "PROFITS PER PARTNER" (AS MEASURED AND REPORTED IN ALMOST PORNOGRAPHIC DETAIL AT REGULAR INTERVALS IN "THE AMERICAN LAWYER").

THE CONCEPT OF LAW AS THAT OF A COLLEGIAL PROFESSION, AND ONE IN WHICH THE DEFECTION OF A PARTNER IN A FIRM TO ANOTHER ONE
FOR GREATER COMPENSATION WAS AN ALMOST UNHEARD OF SCANDAL AS RECENTLY AS, SAY, THE YEARS OF THE EISENHOWER ADMINISTRAION ...
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