Research Case Study: Professional Lives and Culture of Self-Employed Barristers

Aralanta Goulandris

Atalanta Goulandris is a PhD student at City University London

Her inter-disciplinary research topic is: Continuity and Change: The Professional Lives and Culture of Self-Employed Barristers in England & Wales, Socio-Legal (Department of Sociology, supervision from Sociology and Law) 4th year

Atalanta is on Twitter https://twitter.com/greekie50

Atalanta has recently had an article published:  Reshaping professionalism: branding, marketing and the new entrepreneurial barrister (2015) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09695958.2015.1093940

City University London Library

The City University London Library  has many Sociology and Law resources.  There are useful subject guides prepared by Library staff and a comprehensive researcher guide.   There is a Sociology guide and guides for Law and professional Law studies. These guides are a useful starting point for doing research and highlight useful electronic resources such as Westlaw and Lexis Library. There is a list of some of the Law databases.

Some search terms that Atalanta has used for literature searching are: professionalism, organisation studies, the legal profession, professional identity formation, professional culture.

Atalanta has found City Library’s Read for Research  scheme very useful  for ordering research books to be added to the  library’s collection.  Here is a selection of titles ordered by City’s research students.

Other libraries

Students doing research should join the SCONUL Access scheme. This allows staff and students to use University libraries in London and throughout the country. A useful Library for Law research students and staff is the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Research students and staff should definitely join the British Library at St Pancras. The British Library is the national library and has extensive collections and some electronic resources that can be used in the reading rooms.

Data analysis

 Atalanta has used MaxQDA for qualitative data analysis.

Social media resources

 Twitter is useful to keep up to date with legal news, legal journalists, lawyers’ tweets and blogs and for accessing documents and reports.

@lawbore is a useful Twitter feed and the Lawbore website has many tutorials, resources and the Future Lawyer blog.

Advice to new researchers

Atalanta co-founded the Sociology Anonymous Seminar Series with Jon Eilenberg, with a view to creating a PhD Sociology community. “One year on, it has definitely created a core group of regulars who now not only meet every fortnight to listen to a presentation from one member, but also convene at other times, often informally. This is a very good way of getting experience presenting your work but also allows you to meet and exchange ideas with peers. We now often link each other up with relevant things we have spotted on Twitter or blogs etc. My other advice is to keep reading right the way through. There is a temptation to focus on fieldwork after your upgrade, but much of my really material reading happened after that. I love the Read for Research library scheme at City University London Library and have used it extensively.”