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William P. Alford, Tasselled Loafers for Barefoot Lawyers: Transformation and Tension in the World of Chinese Legal Workers, 1995 China Q. 22.

Abstract: A prevalent image of China, both historically and in recent times, has been that of a civilization spared the malady of too many lawyers that is said to beset the United States and growing numbers of other nations. For better or worse, so such thinking goes, China has sought to address its problems primarily through reliance upon morality, custom, kinship or politics, rather than formal legality, with the result that there has been relatively little need for individuals whose work lies in the law. No wonder that it was Shakespeare, rather than a Chinese author, who gave voice to the much-cited, if arguably misunderstood, call to “kill all the lawyers first.”