Assessing the Potential for Renegades Among Russian Millennial Lawyers
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2020
- pp. 143-175
- View Citation
- Additional Information
For the most part, Russian lawyers have been notable for their passivity. With the exception of a handful of public interest lawyers who have zealously defended human rights activists and others in the Russian domestic courts and in Strasbourg, Russian lawyers have contented themselves with handling routine legal problems for their clients. This article explores whether the generation of Russian lawyers who have recently joined the profession might be different. The analysis is grounded in a nationwide survey of Russian law students who graduated in 2016. It focuses more specifically on those who disapproved of the verdicts in the Pussy Riot case. This subgroup of renegade lawyers is united by a strong belief in democratic values and an equally strong skepticism of the capacity of the Putin regime to move forward on these values, especially in the case of the rule of law.