BookPDF Available

Parmentier, S., Ponsaers, P. (eds.) (2008). De Vlaamse advocaat – Wie, wat, hoe?, Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers, Reeks Het groene gras, pp. 213.

A preview of the PDF is not available
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
In 1974, Marc Galanter published an article in Law and Society Review that has become a classic in the sociology of law. Entitled "Why the 'Haves' Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change," it sought to empirically show how the societal haves, those "dominants" endowed with different types of capital, were treated better in America's courts than the have-nots, society's "dominated" members. This article has become an inescapable reference and the object of a robust literature. Subsequent studies have tried to comment upon, complete, and confirm its pertinence over longer or more recent durations of time and in other countries. Subject of numerous translations, Droit et Société brings the article to a Francophone audience for the first time.
This article examines whether the legal profession should use quotas and decision-making preferences in recruitment and promotion in favour of women, ethnic minorities, and those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. It argues that this is necessary to eradicate current patterns of discrimination and disadvantage. It also argues that quotas and decision-making preferences do not necessarily conflict with appointment or promotion on merit, and hence that consequent unfairness to other applicants is more apparent than real. Moreover, any potential stigmatization of the beneficiaries of affirmative action is outweighed by the advantages in reversing the under-representation of women, ethnic minorities, and those from socially disadvantaged background, thereby challenging perceptions of their inferior qualities as lawyers. Finally, practical problems in the implementation of affirmative action are considered and argued to be insufficiently serious to stand in the way of its introduction.
It is an intriguing puzzle that women lawyers, despite less desirable working conditions and blocked career advancement, report similar satisfaction as men lawyers with their legal careers. The paradoxical work satisfaction reported by women and men lawyers obscures a more notable difference in their depressed or despondent feelings. Using a panel study of women and men lawyers practicing in Toronto since the mid-1980s, we find at least three causal pathways through which gender indirectly is connected to job dissatisfaction and feelings of despondency. The first path is through gender differences in occupational power, which lead to differential despondency. The second path is through differences in perceived powerlessness, which directly influence job dissatisfaction. The third path is through feelings of despondency that result from concerns about the career consequences of having children. The combined picture that results illustrates the necessity to include measures of depressed affect in studies of dissatisfaction with legal practice. Explicit measurement and modeling of concerns about the consequences of having children and depressed feelings reveal a highly gendered response of women to legal practice that is otherwise much less apparent. Women are more likely to respond to their professional grievances with internalized feelings of despondency than with externalized expressions of job dissatisfaction. That is, they are more likely to privatize than publicize their professional troubles.