Unique to the legal profession, this book focusses on one of the core aspects of professional practice – the ability to the exercise of judgement.
Unique to the legal profession, this book focusses on one of the core aspects of professional practice – the ability to exercise judgement. While described by both lawyers and their clients as an essential part of successful practice, the methods that enable its development have, to date, remained unarticulated. The UK legal profession is responding to disruptive change that is altering its structure and ‘community of practice’, and this is having a significant effect on both its work and future roles. Despite the use of information technology to ‘commoditise’ much of its routine work, the practice of law continues to become more complex and specialised, requiring interpretation and the exercise of professional judgement. Historically new entrants to the professions learned under the tutelage of an experienced practitioner who allocated tasks of incremental complexity and responsibility and provided commentary. This traditional ‘apprenticeship’ also instilled an appreciation of the norms and standards required to become an admitted member. As law firms adapt their trading structures to respond to market pressures, there is a risk that this training structure becomes dissipated and their ‘community’ fragments. Yet, judgement has to be exercised and ‘defended’ based on what is regarded as established practice. Exercising Professional Judgement:?Mastering the Craft of Lawyering addresses all of this and, based on extensive research within UK law firms, regulatory and professional bodies as well as other jurisdictions and professions, provides a model that explains its constituent elements and describes processes and activities to enable novices, in particular, to continue to develop the ability to exercise it. While concentrating on the craft of lawyering, its contents are also relevant to other professions where the training of novices has to be embedded in organisations that need to match their people and resources with risk, client satisfaction and quality service.