My dissertation project is an inquiry into the changing class locations of lawyers, from national elites to precarious subjects, and the consequences of this shift on the practice of politics. In this workshop, I will present a chapter from my dissertation that traces the development of the roles of lawyers and lawyering practices in authoritarian contexts. Based on an 18-months court ethnography conducted in Egypt, I argue that the changing political contexts in the country have altered the roles and impacts of lawyering practices. Lawyering (and counter-lawyering), once a hallmark of the elites, has opened up a space for contention and claim-making in times when street politics is restricted. These developments, in turn, have brought precarious subjects to the forefront of politics and struggles for social change, and produced contestations within movements and the opposition. These contestations reverberate the question of the futility of seeking change through the law, the realm of the status quo.