Skip to content

The Practice of Immigration and Nationality Law: Setting Boundaries of Specialization at the Margins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1531
Number of pages23
JournalOñati Socio-Legal Series
Issue number7
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Oct 2016
DatePublished (current) - 23 Oct 2017


Drawing on literature on professions and specialization, both within the legal profession and outside of it – in disciplines such as medicine, teaching, and scientific research – this paper looks at immigration law practice as a specialist area and the possible emergence of a new specialization of nationality law. It responds to the call for papers on authorized and non-authorized practice of law by examining how the authority of law is negotiated and contested at the margins of legal practice to create new specializations. Immigration law represents a low status area of legal practice that has its own disciplinary limits of specialization. Driven by external factors and internal motivations, the process of specialization operates to create niche areas of knowledge and expertise. We find that the process of specialization is both competitive as well as collaborative, thus providing insight into the pressures (such as legal aid cuts and frequent changes in applicable rules in the field) that operate on the legal profession.

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Ontario International Institute for the Sociology of Law at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 349 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups