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Monday, October 7 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Lawyering as Maintenance

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The lawyer of the popular imagination may not be a maintainer. But law is a service profession, and the role of many lawyers is to one of keeping trouble from happening rather than intervening after it does. Public defenders may examine the social and legal needs of their clients in order to limit the collateral consequences of criminal charges. In-house counsel might provide legal advice when developing a project to sidestep legal issues, rather than waiting for a lawsuit to drop. Maintenance is the everyday work of lawyers, whether they represent organizations or individuals. And lawyers whose work is preventing problems from happening have to focus on care-work and relationship-building rather than adversarial approaches. Unfortunately, these skills are rarely valued or brought into focus by the legal community, which valorizes the same high stakes proceedings as the popular media. Lawyering as Maintenance will explore how (some) lawyering is maintenance work, and how the carework that defines maintenance lawyering is undervalued by even those within the field. The panel will look at how care is coded by gender and race within the legal profession, and how established practices and hierarchies (such as the billable hour or the focus on appellate work) discourage maintenance. Rather than focusing on one area of law in particular, Lawyering as Maintenance will bring together diverse areas of practice. Public defenders, trademark practitioners, immigration attorneys will reflect upon what they maintain and how care work is integrated into their everyday practices.

Monday October 7, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm EDT