Aristocratic history of law department management ignores the democratic staff

In The Future of History (Yale 2011), John Lukacs traces the shift in historical scholarship over the past 250 years from aristocratic history – great men fighting great battles for great politics – to social history – a profoundly more democratic study of people of all walks and circumstances of life.

What gets written about law departments still concentrates narrowly on the top legal officer (the Kings and Queens) and their struggles with foes like costs and workload and technology (battles) amidst grand issues of scope and expectations and roles (politics). Rarely do we read anything but passing references to paralegals in-house, let alone secretaries. The foot soldiers of legal departments, the serfs and peasants it would seem to some that constitute half the population and keep the files tended and the documents supplied, figure not at all. We accept the aristocratic slit, uninterested in the wider window to the rest.

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