Laurel S. Terry


This Article addresses the topic of global legal profession networks. The thesis of this article is that lawyers’ connection to global legal profession networks - meaning the relationships that lawyers and their employers form with individuals and institutions in other countries - is valuable for both the lawyers themselves, and for their clients. Although scholars have written about different kinds of legal profession-networks, this is the first article I am aware of that focuses on the topic of global legal profession networks and seeks to identify the various opportunities that lawyers and their employers have to participate in these kinds of networks. Even lawyers who do not handle global matters on a regular basis should expect to periodically encounter situations in which their clients are involved in matters that have a global connection. Global networks can help these lawyers and their clients recognize and navigate these situations, even if the lawyers do not fully handle the global matters themselves. Section I of this Article provides information about our global economy and society that helps explain why global legal profession networks are valuable for clients, lawyers, and other legal services stakeholders. Section II begins by introducing some of the scientific literature about networks in general and legal profession networks specifically. It continues by identifying different ways in which lawyers can participate in global legal profession networks. This section of the Article identifies global network opportunities for law firms as well as global network opportunities for individual lawyers. This section also addresses the growth prospects for global legal profession networks and concludes that these kinds of networks already are important and are likely to grow in importance.

The final section of this Article urges individual lawyers and the organizations for which they work to recognize the global networks to which they already are connected and to consider joining additional global networks. It also explains why the “take-aways” from this Article apply to lawyers and organizations outside of the United States as well as lawyers and organizations within the United States.