TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Most Liberal (Entertainment, Civil Rights, Personal Injury) And Conservative (Oil & Gas, M&A, Energy) Lawyers By Practice Area; Law Professors Are The Most Liberal Among 61 Groups

Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers:

The ideology of American lawyers has been a persistent source of discussion and debate. Two obstacles, however, have prevented this topic from being systematically studied: the sheer number of attorneys in the United States and the need for a methodology that makes comparing the ideology of specific individuals possible. In this paper, we present a comprehensive mapping of lawyers’ ideologies that has overcome these hurdles. We use a new dataset that links the largest database of political ideology with the largest database of lawyers’ identities to complete the most extensive analysis of the political ideology of American lawyers ever conducted.

Here is the breakdown by practice area:

Chart

 

Tax is the 15th most conservative practice area. Law Professors are the most liberal of the 61 groups measured.  (Hat Tip: Rob Anderson).

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/08/the-most-liberal-entertainment-civil-rights-personal-injury-and-conservative-oil-gas-ma-energy-lawye.html

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Comments

Another reason to abolish law schools. We should adopt the old Indiana Constitution rule for the admission of lawyers (any citizen of good character) into practice, abolish unauthorized practice rules for anything other than courtroom appearances, and teach an introduction to legal practice as a community college course, like useful stuff such as HVAC and plumbing.

Tocqueville thought that lawyers were a conservative influence. The law schools were part of the progressive project to turn them into agents of the leviathan welfare state. Get rid of law schools.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Aug 30, 2015 2:29:16 PM

What is the area of specialty that is first in the list, "Constant"?

Posted by: Tally | Aug 30, 2015 2:59:22 PM

"Law Professors are the most liberal among 61 groups", and then there's this guy:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/29/west-point-professor-target-legal-critics-war-on-terror?CMP=edit_2221

Posted by: AnonPhenom | Aug 30, 2015 3:32:07 PM

They also seem to be one of the least diverse groups, if that's what the horizontal bars mean--- and class action defense lawyers are the most diverse.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Aug 30, 2015 4:26:01 PM

And there's very little overlap in ideology between law professors and *any* other type of lawyer except public defenders and entertainment law specialists and maybe civil rights law.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Aug 30, 2015 4:28:20 PM

Tax Lawyers are supposed to be Conservative, eh? Oops! I didn't get the memo...

Posted by: Tom Groth | Sep 3, 2015 7:21:18 AM