Bond University

Article Title

Competition, Cooperation and Legal Change, service ideal, competition, corporatisation, legal services, Australian Legal Academy


There are a number of trends in the development of the contemporary Australian legal profession which have been widely remarked upon, among them: the growth in size of the profession; the increasingly boundary-free nature of legal practice; the imperatives for private legal practice to become more competitive and “business-like”; the deprofessionalisation of certain formerly lucrative areas of legal practice, such as residential conveyancing; the crisis in legal education caused by the very poor level of resources available to the university law schools; the inaccessibility of the courts for reasons of cost and delay, and the consequent growth of Alternative (or preferably “Additional”) Dispute Resolution (ADR). The inter-relationship between these phenomena, however, has been much less often explored. In this article I have attempted to do this, with some trepidation, focussing particularly on the ways in which legal change1 may be promoted through the development of a more cooperative relationship between academic lawyers and the private legal profession.

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