Depending on what state and part of the country that you are based, your perception on the very concept of unions is likely to be painted differently.
On one hand they are important bodies for blue collar workers who need a voice and representation when companies threaten to cut jobs and decrease wages across the board.
On the other hand, they can be viewed cynically as an attempt to garner power and influence with those who run the organization at the very top.
There is evidence on either side of the divide that would support those claims, but each rationale requires a strong degree of context.
So how does the idea of a union apply to attorneys? This is a practice that does not usually necessitate a debate for this group of professionals to be unionized. They generally have no trouble promoting themselves or putting food on the table, so why bother?
Well there is a discussion to be had that would merit lawyers becoming more unionized. Here we will outline the case in the affirmative.
While the perception of the average lawyer is an out of touch professional driving to work in a luxury can on a six or seven year annual salary, the reality can be quite different for a majority of operators. The whole intention of a union is to provide an ability for individual workers to bargain and negotiate with their bodies for a fair wage. The top end of town who are listed on high hourly wages or retainers won’t require the benefit of a union that collectively bargains on their behalf, but other representatives at a local level without the resources would benefit from being a certified union member.
Rules and Regulations
Externally the notion of lawyers bandied together to fight for their rights and wages might not be appealing, but there is one aspect that would work on behalf of the clients. Union members are stipulated to follow a set of rules and regulations in order to reap the rewards of their participation and although there are bodies of oversight in the legal profession, attorneys that sign up to a union would have to perform in accordance to these strict stipulations.
That would place increased pressure on operators who are ethically and morally challenged or cut corners when representing their clients. It would be another ways and means of ensuring a degree of regulation on a profession that does require some reigning in.