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File-Work And Procedural Care

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses files and filing from a cross-case perspective as a matter of cultural techniques that the legal professionals learn and inhabit. File-work, while being considered as indispensable when it comes to case-making and case-management, is generally received with reservation or even criticism. The chapter compares the file work of (just) two solicitors: Jack and Jane. It uses two cases in order to indicate a need for practical differentiation underneath the widespread concepts of legal profession, legal culture, or law. The ethnographic data indicates different styles of file-work that go together with certain understandings of legal care and professionalism. The chapter also provides some sociological explanations in order to make sense of the variant styles of file-work: Why do the lawyers treat their files and their clients so differently?.

Keywords: criminal law firm; file-work; Jack; Jane; legal culture; legal profession



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