On Making Legal Emergency: Law Office at its Most Expeditious


  • Alexander Kozin Freie Universität Berlin




law office, emergency, temporality, technology


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


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Author Biography

Alexander Kozin, Freie Universität Berlin

Alexander KOZIN is (Ph.D. in Speech Communication) is a Research Fellow at Freie Universitaet Berlin, where he participates in the international project "Comparative Microsociology of Criminal Defense Proceedings." His areas of specialization include phenomenology, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, semiotics, and discourse analysis. He published in Semiotica, International Journal of Communication, Semiotic Sign Systems, International Journal of Translation and other academic journals. Currently, he is working on a book project, "Case-Making Bob Travercy."




How to Cite

Kozin, A. (2007). On Making Legal Emergency: Law Office at its Most Expeditious. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-8.1.202



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