chapter  3
10 Pages

Time and the Practices and Rituals of the Legal Profession

Society's views about the meaning o f t ime-an important factor i n the organization o f personal and social l i fe-form the backdrop to this study o f parttime work i n law.The legal profession, like other social groups, places values on the use o f time, and lawyers have feelings about time that are socially patterned. As Lewis and Rose Laub Coser have wri t ten:

Not only time reckoning, but also the way group members relate themselves to the past and future, i.e. their time perspective, is to a large extent dependent upon the group's structure and functions. Time perspective is an integral part of a society's values, and individuals orient their actions in the present and toward the future with reference to the groups whose values they share. (Coser and Coser, 1963:639)

" T h e concept o f . . . [time is] o f special importance i n the study o f processes o f social change. . . as an important variable i n interpersonal relations and culturally patterned conduct" (647), the Cosers observed. This turns out to be particularly salient i n our study o f work schedules and the legal profession.