Young lawyers: learning how to become a professional between ethics, personal beliefs and motives
9th Interim Meeting ESA RN19 Sociology of Professions
This paper aims to present results from an ongoing research dedicated to the study of young business lawyer’s social trajectories in the context of large law firms. Using a qualitative methodology based on life histories interviews we intend to analyze professional pathways and the importance of socialization as an ongoing process, in particular by examining how traineeship programs can be seen as a crucial moment in the inculcation of professional values and beliefs about the profession. The life stories were analyzed in four major dimensions: emotions, reflexivity, practices and identities and covers in particular the educational pathway and the entrance in the profession. Starting from the definition of motive by Max Weber and the concept vocabularies of motives proposed by Wright Mills, we intend to explore how young lawyers explain what they do at work, how they define limits in relation to their co-workers and their superiors, how they deal with clients and their legal issues, how they deal with professional ethics, their personal beliefs and the challenges inside lawyering practices in large law firms.
lawyers; trainee lawyers; professional integration; socialization; life histories; professional ethics;