Document Type



Legal Profession


Lawyers throughout the world seek to influence law, not only through their individual actions, but also through lawyer organizations. As interest groups, these organizations often work to affect not only law, but also the justice system and the workings of government. It is no secret that these organizations sometimes try to block legal change or create new legal rules to promote lawyers' own interests.' Lawyer organizations also work to influence law in ways that will benefit their clients. Yet sometimes lawyers' collective actions reflect broader political concerns rather than their clients' or their own self-interest, such as when thousands of Pakistani lawyers took to the streets in 2007 to protest General Pervez Musharraf's attempt to remove the Supreme Court Chief Justice for political reasons. In contrast, the German Bar Association did little to oppose Nazi efforts in 1933 to take over the bar association and to remove Jewish judges from the judiciary. What explains attempts by lawyer organizations to affect law? In what situations and for what reasons do they do so?