This article examines the role of attorneys and other professionals in a highly structured and routine transaction-residential real estate conveyancing. The article explains how United States lawyers lost the monopoly they once enjoyed over residential real estate conveyancing and how structural change, whether economic, technological, or both, influences the demand for professional, including legal services. Part II of this article reviews the academic literature concerning the role of the lawyer in residential real estate transactions. Part III analyzes the structural changes that resulted in the marginalization of lawyers in the residential transaction and demonstrates how the change in structure of the residential transaction affected the demand for legal services. Part IV employs empirical data derived from surveys or real estate agents, lawyers and house purchasers to accurately portray the current role of lawyers and other real estate professionals in the residential transaction. Finally, Part V evaluates the assertions that lawyers make about the value and necessity of their services in light of the empirical data concerning what lawyers actually do. It concludes that these assertions typically are vague, trivial, or implausible.

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