On Making Legal Emergency: Law Office at its Most Expeditious

Alexander Kozin


This essay examines manufacture of a legally-relevant symbolic object, "emergency." The examination is carried out in the phenomenological key. For the initial theoretical orientation I take HUSSERL's critique of mathematization of the life-world. Thereby I show that emergency can be conceived of as a temporal mode of constitution. With the help of workplace studies, I export phenomenological insights into a social scientific sphere. From this perspective, legal emergency comes about as a vehicle that assists in minimizing, mechanizing, transforming and reconstituting a life-world original (client's narrative) into a law-specific temporal event grounded in legal discourse and its materialities. Thus understood, the law office becomes comparable to a laboratory whose business is epistemic enculturation. In my analysis of the legal emergency as "becoming," I employ data-based materials collected during extensive fieldwork in a law firm in the United States. I conclude by further theorizing social consequences of legal emergency with Gilles DELEUZE, who locates law at the juncture of materials (discourse) and forces (actions).
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0701129


law office; emergency; temporality; technology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-8.1.202

Copyright (c) 2007 Alexander Kozin

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