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The authors look at how divorce lawyers work to address the question of legal professionalism in practice. Through a systematic study of legal practice at the micro-level, they show how lawyers create their own controls over work through their social relationships, formal and informal norms, common knowledge, and shared values.
While much of the research on legal professionalism centers on the formal standards of the bar as reflected in codes of professional responsibility, the authors show how the discretionary judgments that lawyers make, and the choices they face, are actually understood in relation to norms and standards of other lawyers with whom they interact or compare themselves.