Posts Tagged ‘lawyers’

New survey of lawyers’ ideological views

Paul Caron at TaxProf summarizes (with table) a landmark survey of “The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers” [SSRN] by Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Maya Sen (Harvard).

The study has a wealth of findings regarding lawyers’ ideological leanings by state, by practice area (energy, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation defense are relatively conservative; civil rights, employment, and personal injury are relatively liberal, as one might predict, but are outflanked on the left by entertainment law). Grads of all top law schools lean left, but those of Berkeley, Stanford, and Chicago more so than Yale, Harvard, and Columbia.

Some of Tyler Cowen’s observations from the survey:

We learn also that female attorneys are considerably more liberal than male attorneys, but the number of years of work predicts a conservative pull. Being a law firm partner also predicts views which are more conservative than average. If you consider “Big Law” attorneys, while they are overall to the Left, they are more conservative on average than the cities they live in, such as NYC or Los Angeles. Lawyers in Washington, D.C. are especially left-leaning. … Public defenders are far more left-leaning than prosecutors, though prosecutors are still more left-leaning than lawyers as a whole.

And Ira Stoll:

The authors point out that lawyers not only control the judicial branch of government, but that they are also overrepresented in Congress and among the presidents. The leftward tilt among the press and academia is a common complaint among conservatives. Conservatives sometimes complain about trial lawyers or the tort bar, too. But one doesn’t often hear talk about the overall leftward tilt of the legal profession, a trend highlighted by this paper.

Meanwhile, the practice area that exceeds all others in its leftward lean? Legal academics. (More on that in my recent book Schools for Misrule.) Related to which, Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz writes of being one of three openly right-of-center members on the 120-member Georgetown Law faculty: “The consensus seems to be that three is plenty — and perhaps even one or two too many.” [“Intellectual Diversity in the Legal Academy,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy last year, via Scott Douglas Gerber, Chronicle of Higher Education]

“Legal profession admits undocumented immigrants”

At least in New York and California, if not every state. [John Steele, Legal Ethics Forum] Curiously uncontroversial, no? In 2012 we noted: “Among the trip-ups are that lawyers are sworn by oath to uphold the laws of the land; that federal law bars the granting of state professional licenses to illegals; that federal law makes it unlawful to offer employment to them; and that clients might find themselves in a pickle were their attorneys whisked away on zero notice to face deporation.” More: Scott Greenfield.

“Report: DOJ is investigating mental-health screening of bar applicants by Florida’s top court”

Lawyers wield an array of coercive powers against third parties, as well as looking after the entrusted interests of often unsophisticated parties and clients. And the goal of accommodating lawyers and aspiring lawyers who suffer from mental illness must be balanced against the “threat” their condition will sometimes pose to clients and the public — at least that’s what the president of the Florida Bar says. With language like that, it’s no surprise his bar appears to be on a collision course with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) enforcement efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice. [ABA Journal]

More: Scott Greenfield wonders who’s looking out for clients’ interests.

Boutique law firm…

or spa law firm? “We understand that dealing with legal matters can be very stressful, so we try to tend to our clients’ every need to make their experience as stress-free and accommodating as possible. When you come into the firm you will be pampered from the moment you step in the door. You will be provided with a cool or warm towel depending on the temperature outside. The Towel will be followed by a glass of cool coconut milk, which is not only refreshing, but is full of healthy antioxidants. During your consult there is always ice cold water and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. We look forward to seeing you soon!”

Powhatan’s zingers in FERC case

We’ve noted (here and here) the battle between Powhatan Energy Fund and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over a FERC investigation of Powhatan for vaguely defined “market manipulation.” A filing earlier this month by Powhatan in FERC proceedings (represented by Drinker Biddle) has some subheads taking a not-exactly-respectful tone seldom met with in high-stakes administrative proceedings (Response in Opposition To Order To Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, PDF):

  1. “Dr. Chen’s ‘Home Run’ Trading Strategy Is Not A ‘Post Hoc Invention’ Because, Among Other Things, 35 Is Less Than 50”
  2. “Dr. Chen’s Trades Were Not ‘Wash-like’ Or ‘Wash-type’ – Whatever The Heck That Means”
  3. “The Staff’s Stubborn Reliance On The Unpublished, NonPrecedential Amanat Case Is Just Lame”
  4. “Uttering the Phrase ‘Enron’ Or ‘Death Star’ Does Not Magically Transform The Staff’s Investigation”

The full document is here.