chapter  7
20 Pages

Mobility

Progress i n one's career is an Amer i can ideal, but it is not typical for all people, nor is it c o m m o n i n many occupations. For individuals, the concept o f movement up a career ladder is l inked w i t h their community, ethnic background, and neighborhood (Will is , 1977). Furthermore, career progression is a fairly modern phenomenon, according to M o d e l l and his colleagues (1978). 4 6

Because it is a contemporary ideal and because career progression i n law is l inked to professionalization, not mov ing ahead puts one at risk o f being labeled deviant (Levin and Lev in , 1991: 662). O f course, not all, or even most, young lawyers succeed i n c l imbing the ladder and obtaining the brass r ing o f partnership, as it is called i n large corporate law firms (Epstein et al, 1995; Galanter and Palay, 1991; Smigel, 1964;Wilkins and Gulat i , 1996), but they are supposed to try to move upward, especially i n the areas o f law where the pattern o f mobi l i ty is most clearly defined.