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Reproduction of Hierarchy? A Social Network Analysis of the American Law Professoriate

Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 61, No. 1, August 2011

CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

28 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2009 Last revised: 26 May 2011

Daniel Martin Katz

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law

Joshua R. Gubler

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science

Jon Zelner

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Center for Study of Complex Systems

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC; Bommarito Consulting, LLC; Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology; Michigan State College of Law

Eric A. Provins

University of Michigan - Department of Political Science

Eitan M. Ingall

Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia

Date Written: March 3, 2009

Abstract

As its structure offers one causal mechanism for the emergence of and convergence upon a collective conception of what constitutes a sound legal rule, we believe the social structure of the American law professoriate is an important piece of a broader model of American common law development. Leveraging advances in network science and drawing from available information on the more 7,200 tenure-track professor employed by an ABA accredited institution, we explore the topology of the legal academy including the relative distribution of authority among its institutions. Drawing from social epidemiology literature, we provide a computational model for diffusion on our network. The model provides a parsimonious display of the trade off between "idea infectiousness" and structural position. While our model is undoubtedly simple, our initial foray into computational legal studies should, at a minimum, motivate future scholarship.

Keywords: Social Network Analysis, American Common Law, Complexity, Public Law, Sociology of Law, Power Law, Peer Effects, Doctrinal Phase Transition, Legal Academy, Organizational Studies, Computational Legal Studies, Law as a Complex System

JEL Classification: C63, D70, K40

Suggested Citation

Katz, Daniel Martin and Gubler, Joshua R. and Zelner, Jon and Bommarito, Michael James and Provins, Eric A. and Ingall, Eitan M., Reproduction of Hierarchy? A Social Network Analysis of the American Law Professoriate (March 3, 2009). Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 61, No. 1, August 2011 ; CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1352656

Daniel Martin Katz (Contact Author)

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danielmartinkatz.com/

Joshua R. Gubler

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science ( email )

764 Kimball Tower
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-2829 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.byu.edu/jgubler

Jon Zelner

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Center for Study of Complex Systems ( email )

321A West Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC ( email )

MI
United States

HOME PAGE: http://lexpredict.com

Bommarito Consulting, LLC ( email )

MI 48098
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bommaritollc.com

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

Michigan State College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Eric A. Provins

University of Michigan - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Eitan M. Ingall

Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia ( email )

3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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