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20 Syracuse J. Int'l L. & Com. 185 (1994)
The Rise of the Professional Jurist in the Thirteenth Century

handle is hein.journals/sjilc20 and id is 189 raw text is: THE RISE OF THE PROFESSIONAL JURIST IN THE
James A. Brundage
I will try to summarize a fairly complex argument very briefly. My
point of departure is this: in the early 1140s, a Bolognese law teacher
named Gratian was putting the finishing touches on a text book that
would soon become known as the Decretum. At that point, no one in
Western Europe could properly be described as a professional lawyer or
a professional canonist in anything like the modem sense of the term
professional. A hundred years later, trained lawyers seemed to have
taken over the Western church and clergymen at every level-from
country rectors, rural deans, cathedral canons, archdeacons, bishops,
archbishops, cardinals, even popes-belonged to their ranks.
The research I am reporting on here deals with the obvious ques-
tions that arise from that transformation. How did this happen? Why
did it happen? Did it occur suddenly or gradually? Did these trained
lawyers generate their own professional identity, as modem sociologists
think they should have done, or did church authorities impose a profes-
sional character upon them? That's a lot to discuss in this paper. Let me
make a stab at it.
First of all, the whole argument depends, of course, upon what I
mean by profession or professionals. I take the term profession or
professional to mean a highly skilled, terminal occupation that can only
be entered through some kind of formal admission. These practitioners
undertake to abide by a set of ethical standards, and enjoy in return a
publicly sanctioned monopoly on the practice of their trade and a mea-
sure of authority resulting from their peculiar skills, coupled with high
social status and esteem.1 In that sense of the term, lawyers became
professionals through a gradual process, which began in the late twelfth
century. It did not happen suddenly. Nor did it happen at some single
point in time. Rather, professionalization developed slowly and incre-
1. This definition depends on considerable part upon a large and sometimes disputatious
body of sociological speculation about professions. See, e.g., A.M. CARR-SANDERS AND P.A.
WILSON, THE PROFESSIONS 352-65, 460-67 (photo. reprint 1964) (1933); Roscoe Pound, hat is a
Profession? The Rise of the Legal Profession in Antiquity, 19 NOTRE DAME L. REv. 203-28
(1944); William J. Goode, Community within a Community: The Professions, 22 AM. Soc. REv.
194-200 (1957); J.A. Jackson, ed., Professions and Professionalization, 3 Soc. STUrD. 4-5, 69-77

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