Lawyers of the Right: Networks and Organization
36 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009
Date Written: September 1, 2007
Lawyers for conservative and libertarian causes are active in organizing and mobilizing interest groups within the conservative coalition, and networks of relationships among those lawyers help to maintain and shape the coalition. Using data gathered in interviews with seventy-two such lawyers, this article analyzes characteristics of the lawyers and the structure of their networks. The findings suggest that the networks are divided into segments or blocks that are identified with particular constituencies, but that a distinct set of actors with extensive relationships serves to bridge the constituencies. Measures of centrality and brokerage confirm the structural importance of these actors in the network, and a search of references in news media confirms their prominence or prestige. This "core" set of actors occupies the "structural hole" in the network that separates the business constituency from religious conservatives. Libertarians, located near the core of the network, also occupy an intermediate position. Regression analysis of ties within the network suggests that the Federalist Society plays an important role in bringing the lawyers together.
Keywords: conservative coalition, libertarian causes, lawyer networks, centrality and brokerage, structural hole, Federalist Society
JEL Classification: K19, K3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation