Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1079121
 
 

Citations (2)



 
 

Footnotes (229)



 


 



Law as Symbol: Appearances in the Regulation of Investment Advisers and Attorneys


Larry D. Barnett


Widener University - School of Law


Cleveland State Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2007
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-01

Abstract:     
From a macrosociological perspective, law is an institution of society, is shaped by conditions in society, and facilitates social life by inter alia producing symbols. Law accordingly adopts concepts and principles that focus on the appearance to society of certain phenomena and that are symbols when the phenomena are socially significant. To illustrate symbols in law, the article examines (i) the "hold oneself out" standard in defining an investment adviser under the federal Investment Advisers Act and (ii) the standard for ethical conduct that requires attorneys to avoid appearances of impropriety. If symbolic concepts and principles are tied to the properties of society, the acceptance of the appearance-of-impropriety standard by a state will be related to one or more system-level properties. In an analysis of data with logistic regression, differences between states in whether the standard was in use as of 2005 were found to be associated with differences between states in the levels in 1980 of two such properties: cultural heterogeneity, which was measured by the percentage of state inhabitants who had been born outside the United States; and social system rationality, which was measured by the percentage of adults in the state who were enrolled in college. Specifically, the odds that a state was using the standard were appreciably raised by each increase in level of cultural heterogeneity and were lowered by each increase in level of social system rationality. Because the appearance-of-impropriety standard for attorneys is symbolic, the two properties affected whether symbolism developed in law. The findings also suggest that information on societal properties and the forces behind them can be used to predict, albeit imperfectly, the symbolic concepts and principles of law that will exist at future points in time.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: sociology of law, symbol, investment advisers, lawyers, ethics

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K39, K40

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: December 30, 2007 ; Last revised: February 15, 2008

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Larry D., Law as Symbol: Appearances in the Regulation of Investment Advisers and Attorneys. Cleveland State Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2007; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-01. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1079121

Contact Information

Larry D. Barnett (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7474
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
302-477-2134 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 895
Downloads: 76
Download Rank: 185,288
Citations:  2
Footnotes:  229

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.266 seconds