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Abstract

This Article addresses self-regulation in the legal industry. Lawyers have traditionally resisted the benefits of bureaucratic management. This Article highlights that many lawyers fear that centralized management controls with regard to regulation will undermine individual accountability. This article does not agree with that sentiment. This article uses data to suggest that centralized management, i.e. specialists in charge, may significantly improve individual accountability and compliance with professional rules. This article really reviews what it feels like are misconstrued assumptions about regulation at law firms. This Article argues that the nostalgia for an idealized collegial form has prevented legal scholars and regulators from coming to terms with the realities of practice in large law firms. The Article concludes with research questions to help reach a credible strategy for self-regulation in the large firm context.

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