Organization, Ego and the Practice of Alternative Law

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Yale Review of Law and Social Action, Vol: 2, Issue: 1, Page: 9

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James Douglas
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An increasing number of lawyers and law students are trying to work in alternative kinds of law practices. In Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Boston, groups are getting together to form law communes, legal collectives, and people's law offices. They are united in their rejection of the traditional role of the corporate lawyer and in their belief that corporate practice serves only to perpetuate the inequalities that exist in American society.As more people begin to consider new forms of practice, it is important to consider some of the problems they will face in becoming "people's lawyers." The following discussion outlines some of the problems and considerations that one alternative firm had to face. Hopefully these observations and reflections on this firm will provide some idea of the practical problems involved in becoming part of an alternative venture.