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Pride Versus PrejudiceJewish Doctors and Lawyers in England, 1890-1990$
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John Cooper

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774877

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774877.001.0001

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Jews at the Bar from 1918 Until the End of the Second World War

Jews at the Bar from 1918 Until the End of the Second World War

(p.112) Five Jews at the Bar from 1918 Until the End of the Second World War
Pride Versus Prejudice

John Cooper

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses whether the lack of Jews in the higher echelons of the legal profession had exclusively domestic causes or was connected with the rising tide of antisemitism in Europe. If the number of Jews practising at the Bar increased in the years 1918 to 1939, very few of these new barristers came from east European Jewish families, and the chapter explains why this was the case. In England, between the world wars, the legal professions were ‘the exclusive spheres of the aristocracy and plutocracy’. There was a reluctance among solicitors and their clients to entrust their private and confidential business to a Jew, especially one from an east European immigrant background, who was regarded as a foreigner. Thus, unless the aspiring barrister was a member of the Anglo-Jewish elite and sufficiently Anglicized, he would not have the manners or the social skills to win the confidence of instructing solicitors and their clients.

Keywords:   Jews, Jewish barristers, legal profession, antisemitism, east European Jews, east European immigrants, Jewish immigrants, Anglo-Jewish elite

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