The so-called 'upper branch' of English lawyers has traditionally been associated with a highly ritualised collective life, locared in their inns, messes and courtrooms, and expressed in elaborate rituals and distinctive conventions of dress. Indeed, counsellors and judges may be unique among the lay professions for their lengthy history of participatory ceremonial. This essay suggests that changes in the lawyers' collective life between the sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries may illuminate decisive developments in the structure and culture of the legal profession and its connections with the state and English people. The final sections of the paper discuss the rather fragmented forms of collective life which characterised barristers and judges in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Lawyers and Vampires: Cultural Histories of Legal Professions p. 25-63