The market for lawyers: The value of information on the quality of legal services

We study the value of information on the quality of legal services by analyzing the incentives of litigants to hire high-quality lawyers and the effect of legal representation on the decision-making behaviour of adjudicators.In a setting where adjudicators have reputational concerns and where the quality of lawyers is reflected in their knowledge of legal principles, we show that better information over the quality of legal representation generates a trade-off. It allows for a better match between the value of a legal dispute and the quality of the legal representation. But it induces a bias in the decisions of adjudicators in favour of the litigant with the highest-quality lawyer. For a given distribution of the quality of lawyers, the social value of public information on the quality of lawyers may then be negative.We discuss the implications of these effects on the desirability of quality certification system (such as the Queen's Counselor system) in the market for the legal professions. Certification also has the effect of increasing the incentives of lawyers to invest in quality-enhancing training. We show that free certification leads to excessive supply of certified lawyers. We also show that the main insights are robust to the accounting for proof-taking activities by lawyers.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,488
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Luuk Matthijssen (1998). A Task-Based Interface to Legal Databases. Artificial Intelligence and Law 6 (1):81-103.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

2 ( #732,594 of 1,925,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.