The growth of corporate law firms in emerging markets is mainly followed by practitioner journals reporting new offices and mergers, the openness of markets to non-national lawyers, and various rankings of local and transnational law firms. There is a small but growing academic literature that, for the most part, relies on US theoretical models, asking whether the corporate law firms are converging toward a global standard or what form of global/local hybrid is taking root. This literature fits well with the practical concerns about the specific spread of corporate lawyers. A complementary approach looks more into the global processes that produce the expectation that corporate lawyers will evolve into some modern model resembling the US corporate lawyer. For this more general line of research the position of corporate lawyers in relation to the state becomes more important, as do the hierarchical and imperial relationships that are manifested in different roles and statuses for those from the core and those from the periphery.


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