During the past several months I have been working behind the scenes to organize the Law Firms Working Group. Today I am proud to announce our new website.
The Working Group is a collaborative research network of scholars who focus on law firms and the legal profession. We currently have 38 members drawn from a wide array of universities and disciplines, including law, sociology, economics, business, and political science. Our institutional sponsors are Indiana Law and the American Bar Foundation (ABF), which is the leading independent research institute for the empirical study of law and legal institutions.
One of the Working Group's most important assets is a special license with American Lawyer Media (ALM), which provides access to an enormous wealth of cross-sectional and longitudinal data. This resource is now the basis for several specific projects by Working Group Members.
The Working Group's research model includes an ongoing dialogue between practicing lawyers and researchers. The legal marketplace is changing rapidly, and practicing lawyers, students, and legal educators need accurate, realistic, and accessible research to help them adapt. The Working Group will facilitate the exchange of ideas and perspectives among these different constituencies; these discussions will also inform the research process. Our first lawyer-researcher forum is scheduled for October 12 in Chicago.
The Law Firms Working Group also has an excellent Resources page, which includes some fabulous research bibliographies and helpful law firm-related links. Many thanks to my assistant, Erin Cowles, and the IU Law webmaster, Frank Burleigh, for helping me put together a very attractive and useful website.