The process of globalization has affected the way of doing business and to a large extent influenced legal profession all over the world. The globalization has increased the way of doing trade between several countries which had different legal systems and has forced individual countries to develop programs that make sure their systems are compatible to enable a viable business environment. The increasing international economic activities have affected the power of States and their markets and there are huge changes to the legal profession so as to regulate those activities (Bradlow, n. d.). With the changing globalization demands the legal education system has to be changed so as to meet the dynamic demands (Klabbers & Sellers, 2008). In the research we shall study the effect of globalization on the legal profession because there is need to understand the exact influence that globalization has caused in the profession.
The problem with the legal profession is that it has been continuously undergoing fundamental transformation which is changing the work lives and professional opportunities of lawyers globally. The changes in the global market environment open opportunities for the legal profession to operate internationally and as such local practices become irrelevant and there is need for international exposure and training (The Center for Law, Society, and Culture, 2006). Moreover, there is need to harmonize the legal systems of several countries that operate globally so as to arrive at an acceptable legal structure for all participating countries. These needs have created a problem that has seen continuous transformations in the legal environment that directly affect the lives of lawyers in the profession. Therefore these continued transformations in legal profession are important to study because they have direct impact on the business, social and political environments of the entire world and as such should be understood by all.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study of the effects of globalization on the legal profession is to understand those effects as well as their long term expectation in changing the international justice system. Therefore the study intends to create an awareness of the changes in the legal profession as a result of globalization which will help lawyers as well as the subjects to adhere to the changing structures. This is intended to provide knowledge for all so as not to be ignorant in the courts of law whenever they are subjects and as such ensure that all persons are up to speed with the latest changes in the legal profession especially practicing lawyers all over the world.
Significance of the Study
This study is important because it will provide the legal profession with the changes that have already taken place in the profession as well as those expected. With this research information lawyers will be able to prepare their case arguments as well as defense whenever their clients are subjects to international legal system. This study is important to all clients including corporations, national economies and individuals because the knowledge of changing legal trends will help lawyers to represent them effectively. Therefore it is possible that several legal clients will benefit from this study. If this study is carried out successfully it will make available several changes in the legal profession to the extent that those who are not aware will be able to utilize and gain knowledge of the same.
The research questions for this study will be;
What is the attitude of lawyers towards the continuous transformation in legal profession?
Is there a noticeable difference between the new structures from the old structures?
Is there a significant relationship between the knowledge of the lawyers and the changing legal structures?
Are these legal changes affecting the entire globe or selected countries only?
The businesses environment has had drastic changes caused by the globalization process. This has brought a renewed competition among firms in the international arena as compared to the local competition. With the emergence of increased competition, the business environment is faced with a lot of emerging legal issues which should be addressed for continued international operations. There is need for legal education for the companies involved in the international business so that they do not find themselves in the wrong side of the dynamic international legal structures (Winter & May, 2007). The globalization culture which is emerging in technology has caused a lot of innovation that has made business across the world to be made easy and accessible to all parties.
The attitude of lawyers has been positive with the globalization which has even forced them to seek further education available. The use of computers and internet for research in legal profession has been increased by the process of globalization whereby technology is being accelerated and transferred worldwide. Although the legal profession may not be impacted directly by globalization, it affects national economies, education systems, technology and politics, all of which are created through a legal system as guided by legal professionals (Winter & May, 2007). Therefore it is important that the attitude of the lawyers be positive towards the process of globalization so as to remain in business.
The process of globalization has put a lot of pressure in the world to adapt to changing institutional processes which go beyond borders. This means that the pressure of globalization is causing a lot of changes which demand that legal structures be changed to go in line with the new structures. The changing structures in turn confront lawyers with new issues and burdens with the alteration of their resources as well as their normal strategic options. As a result lawyers are facing several challenges and opportunities because the new structures are fundamentally different from the old structures. The investigation on how lawyers have responded to the globalization process has been used to compare with other research on legal professions to arrive at a sound conclusion on effects of globalization of legal profession (Sarat & Scheingold, 2001).
It cannot be denied that globalization changes the entire society and countries have no choice but to adjust its constitution, justice system as well as the way of practicing law. The global products and services are dynamic calling for a legal system that recognizes the dynamism and protects the property rights. The emerging markets require standardized legal services because a lot of partnerships as well as ventures require that the parties involved use legal structures to carry out their businesses. The individual country’s legal structures may have to be adjusted to pave way for the internationally accepted legal practices (Drolshammer & Pfeifer, 2001). The legal compliance with the international law will ensure that the product or service of a particular country can penetrate into other countries and create new markets.
The globalization is directly affecting the knowledge and training of lawyers with the American legal system being among the most influential (Langer, 2004). The legal education in the United States is being propagated across the world courtesy of globalization and acceptance by foreign lawyers to learn foreign legal system and practice their legal systems using the same. This is shown by the extent to which international business law has utilized American legal concepts though training and education. Moreover, the western legal traditions have been passed through globalization and accepted through education (Therborn & Khondker, 2006). Therefore there is a strong relationship between the knowledge of the lawyers and the changes in the global legal structures.
The globalization is sweeping through the entire globe and as such no country would desire to be left out of the growing benefits. Therefore it can only be possible that its effects in the legal profession are being experienced in the entire globe. However, there has been opposition to the fact that globalization can affect the legal system. This is because the legal profession has refused to accept that factors that go beyond the national community may influence the national legal system. Moreover, there are different legal structures out of segmented global law into criminal law, commercial law, contract law and so on which makes it difficult to monitor the changes (Eaton, 2006). Therefore considering all the literature that has been written on the subject, they indicate that the globalization has actually been transforming the legal profession over time. In fact the globalization forces led to emergence of partnership law projects between Europe and United States thus influencing the legal profession (Vermeulen, 2003).
The study is conducted through a survey of legal professionals in relation to the globalization process. The data collected will be used to make conclusion on the effects of globalization on legal profession.
Population and Sampling
The population of this study is defined as all lawyers who are practicing during the sampling time frame. The sample of twenty lawyers will be taken from twenty cities across the United States so that their perception of globalization effects on legal profession is analyzed. The sample of four hundred lawyers is well versed enough to represent the population of lawyers in America which is a strong community contributing to globalization.
The method of collecting data will be through primary direct interview of the sample population as well as secondary data through written materials. The questionnaires will be filled during the process of the interview.
Procedure and Time Frame
The interviewers will be appointed and trained on how to select a sampling population. The procedure will involve the trained interviewers going out and collecting data from sample population and presentation of data for analysis. The time frame of the study is as follows;
Hiring and training of data collectors 2 months
Selection of sampling position 2 weeks
Collection of data 1 month
Compilation and analysis of collected data 2 weeks
Verification of analyzed data and presentation 1 month
Validity and Reliability
We shall design our own survey and as such it will be valid and reliable. The team that we are assembling for this study is made up of technocrats in legal matters who are well versed in conducting surveys. The study is valid because the measurements that we will design will be accurate as possible.
We shall assume that the sample will be a good representation of the population and that instruments we shall use are valid to measure the desired parameters accurately. Moreover, we will assume that the response given by sample will be truthful.
Scope and Limitations
The study is an expensive process and as such is a limiting factor to a successful data collection and analysis. Thus the budget is a limiting factor coupled with short time available for the survey. However, despite the limitations we will be able to collect and analyze and come up with the conclusions which will be valid and reliable.
Bradlow, D. D. (n. d.). The Changing International Business Context and the Challenge It Poses for the Education of International Business Lawyers. Retrieved from: www.ialsnet.org/meetings/business/BradlowDaniel-USA.pdf
Drolshammer, J. I. & Pfeifer, M. (2001). The internationalization of the practice of law. Boston, MA: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Eaton, D. J. (2006). The end of sovereignty?: a transatlantic perspective. London, UK: LIT Verlag Münster.
Klabbers, J. & Sellers, M. N. S. (2008). The internationalization of law and legal education. Retrieved from: http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=tlFBaKi5c38C&pg=PA21&dq=globalization+and+legal+education&hl=en&ei=xWN-TI6xCMvEswaqxqyWCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=globalization%20and%20legal%20education&f=false
Langer, M. (2004). From Legal Transplants to Legal Translations: The Globalization of Plea Bargaining and the Americanization Thesis in Criminal Procedure. Retrieved from: www.harvardilj.org/attach.php?id=18
Sarat, A. & Scheingold, S. A. (2001). Cause lawyering and the state in a global era. New York, NY: Oxford University Press US.
The Center for Law, Society, and Culture (2006). The Globalization of the Legal Profession. Retrieved: www.bmacewen.com/blog/pdf/Globalization_prospectus.pdf
Therborn, G. & Khondker, H. H. (2006). Asia and Europe in globalization: continents, regions and nations. New York, NY: Brill.
Vermeulen, E. M. (2003). The evolution of legal business forms in Europe and the United States: venture capital, joint venture and partnership structures. New York, NY: Kluwer Law International.
Winter, G. S. & May, D. L. (2007). Globalization: Its Effects. Retrieved from: www.cluteinstitute-onlinejournals.com/PDFs/200786.pdf