Law as a Force for Social Progress, 18 CONN. L. REV. 1 (1985)
In the study and practice of law there is one basic tension that
constantly recurs. That is the tension between law as an occupation and
law as a mission. This tension makes itself felt in law school, permeates
the scene in private practice, dominates the legal academic world, and
is central to any career in government legal service. Law as an occupation
involves the use of law as an instrument for carrying on the social
order in its current form. Law as a mission seeks to utilize the concept
of law and legal institutions as a means of achieving new social goals.
Many lawyers, perhaps most, engage in both forms of legal activity.
Nevertheless, the underlying tension remains and, especially at this
stage in your legal life, forces itself upon your attention.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Emerson, Thomas I., "Law as a Force for Social Progress" (1985). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2773.