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The Experience of a Legal Career: Attorneys’ Impact on the System and the System's Impact on Attorneys

Authors
  • Reed, Krystia
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Oct 13, 2020
Volume
16
Pages
385–404
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-051120-014122
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Because attorneys are essential to a fair legal process, it is important to understand the experience of a legal career. This article first reviews research on the influence of attorneys on the legal system, focusing on the effect on the influence of trial attorneys on (a) juries, with a particular focus on attorney skill, behavior, trial decisions (i.e., joinder/severance, jury selection, opening arguments, witness selection, questioning style, cross-examination, objections, closing arguments), and characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, attractiveness), and (b) clients. The article then reviews the limited research on the role and impact of attorneys outside the litigation context, followed by the influence of the legal system on attorneys, with a focus on attorney distress (prevalence, causes, and consequences). The review concludes with a discussion of the overall relationship between attorneys and the legal system.

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