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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Rechtsberater in staatssozialistischen und post-sozialistischen Gesellschaften. Ein Vergleich zwischen Polen, der Sowjetunion und dem post-kommunistischen Russland

P. 133-166.
Mrowczynski R.

The paper analyzes how the occupational group of in-house lawyers developed in Poland and Russia during the state-socialist and post-socialist period. These two countries constitute the most contrasting cases of socialist transformation in the region in terms of legal traditions and of the broader socio-political context. The comparative analysis uses the conceptual framework of the sociology of professions. In particular, the modified “actor-based framework for the study of the professions” proposed by Burrage, Jarausch and Siegrist (1990) is used as the main heuristic tool. The analysis summarized in the paper shows that (1) there had been significant discrepancies between the status of the in-house-lawyer occupation in both countries despite the seemingly similar political framework of the state-socialist regime; (2) Polish in-house lawyers were able to establish an integrated system of professional associations as early as at the beginning of the 1980s (3) and to transform it into a full-fledged professional self-regulation system very soon after the collapse of the state socialism; (4) Soviet and later Russian in-house lawyers have remained atomized and never made any serious attempt to create a self-regulating organization; (5) there was a process of partial “advocatization” of legal professionals who practiced in-house during the state-socialist period. The term “advocatization” means a change in the form of professional practice from employment relationship to service-for-fee practice. This process could be observed in both countries, but it took very different forms due to the differences in institutional changes which were described above. The “advocatization” of Polish in-house lawyers took place within the self-regulatory institutions. In the Russian case, it happened in form of individual migrations of practitioners into the Bar which lost control over admission at that time.

In book

Edited by: D. Mueller, H. Siegrist. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2014.