Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago), Kyle Rozema (Northwestern) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity:
We compare the ideological balance of the legal academy to the ideological balance of the legal profession. To do so, we match professors listed in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers and lawyers listed in the Martindale-Hubbell directory to a measure of political ideology based on political donations. We find that 15% of law professors, compared to 35% of lawyers, are conservative. After controlling for individual characteristics, however, this 20 percentage point ideological gap narrows to around 13 percentage points. We argue that this ideological uniformity marginalizes law professors, but that it may not be possible to improve the ideological balance of the legal academy without sacrificing other values.
The Volokh Conspiracy: How ‘Ideologically Uniform’ Is the Legal Academy?, by Jonathan H. Adler (Case Western):
[The authors] find that law professors are significantly more liberal than lawyers generally. Does this matter? I’ve certainly argued that the ideological uniformity of legal academia affects teaching and scholarship (most recently here). The authors of this study suggest that it could also affect the political relevance and influence of law professors. ...
One could extend this analysis to current controversies at state universities, such as proposed measures to curtail tenure or limit the activities of legal clinics and academic centers at state universities. Appeals to “academic freedom” are less convincing when the only ones in a position to benefit from such principles sit on one side of the aisle. ...
In my opinion, the way forward begins with efforts to cultivate an appreciation of the value of differing perspectives and viewpoints and a broader recognition that ideological uniformity undermines effective legal education. The first step toward a solution is recognizing there’s a problem.
Daily Caller, Study: More Than 90 Percent Of Top 50 Law Schools Are Liberal