The aim of this project is to assess the impact of the increasing importance of business and managerial considerations in the operation of law firms on the conceptions and behaviors of individual lawyers and the discourse of professional organizations. More specifically, it examines how the introduction of new business and management models in law firms result in changes in the values that drive those firms. It will provide important elements to guide law firms, professional organizations and governments in anticipation of future changes in the legal services market in Canada.
The first phase of this project consisted of an analysis of the evolution over the past 30 years of Canadian lawyers' views on their profession and the issues they face. To do so, we conducted an automated analysis of the contents of four Canadian periodicals for lawyers.
The next phase of the project will examine the effects of using new management and control methods on the culture in law firms and how their members see their role as a professional and their place in these organizations.
This project has received financial support from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Insight Development Grant).