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This book is the first monograph to analyse the workings of Scotland’s legal profession in its early modern European context.
It is a comprehensive survey of lawyers working in the local and central courts; investigating how they interacted with their clients and with each other, the legal principles governing ethical practice, and how they fulfilled a social role through providing free services to the poor and also services to town councils and other corporations.
Based heavily on a wide range of archival sources, and reflecting the contemporary importance of local societies of lawyers, John Finlay offers a groundbreaking yet accessible study of the eighteenth-century legal profession which adds a new dimension to our knowledge of Enlightenment Scotland.