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In discussing the legal status of the psychologist in the courtroom, the more important but hidden issue of the social status of the psychologist must also be explored. Thus, although psychologists now routinely testify as expert witnesses on a whole range of issues in criminal and civil matters, a perception lingers in the minds of judges and jurors that the psychologist is a "second-rate" expert compared to the forensic psychiatrist. The roots of this assumption are examined, and it is suggested that psychologists themselves have helped perpetuate this myth. On the other hand, psychologists clearly do have special skills and techniques uniquely preparing them for certain courtroom work; in addition, participation in the judicial process enables psychologists to serve as advocates for social change. Psychologists must thus confront the background of the anticourtroom bias and educate all participants in the litigation process as to the need for appropriate psychological testimony. In the practice of law, just as in the practice of any other profession, trade, vocation or avocation, it is often the folkways, mores and customs that deserve the attention usually paid to the written rules of substance and procedure. Although thousands of words are written, for instance, about the subtle points of a significant court decision or statutory revision, usually limited analysis is given to what