This paper revives the notion that professionalism and the legal profession can serve as a mechanism for immigrants and those who are not born into wealth or privilege to achieve status. I draw on the example of Cohen, a Jewish lawyer who achieved a great deal of success within the profession in the early 20th Century, to argue that the rhetoric surrounding the professions allows immigrants and others to use professional success to find their way to full inclusion and citizenship. While acknowledging the merits of the critiques of the professions as rent-seeking cartels, I argue that professionalism is an elastic concept that has allowed many uses, some of which have been useful and beneficial in the past.
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 40, Issue 1 (November 2012), pp. 33-74