Where is the "Quality Movement" in Law Practice?

William H. Simon, Columbia Law School


The "Quality Movement" that originated in industrial production and has since influenced the professions prescribes standardized work, root cause analysis of errors, peer review, and performance measurement. While these reforms have transformed medicine and some other professions, their influence has lagged in the legal profession. This Essay reviews the limited progress of the reforms in law and assesses the cultural, institutional, and doctrinal obstacles they face.