Political Lawyers: The Structure of a National Network

43 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010 Last revised: 5 Jun 2012

Anthony Paik

University of Iowa, Department of Sociology

John P. Heinz

American Bar Foundation; Northwestern University - Institute for Policy Research

Ann Southworth

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: July 26, 2010

Abstract

Some research on lawyers active in politics has found that the ties among them create networks in which a center or core of influential actors is surrounded by more peripheral participants. Other studies, however, found more segmented networks, sometimes lacking central players. This research examines the structure and determinants of political ties among 47 elite lawyers who served organizations prominent in fourteen national policy issues in 2004-2005. The analysis finds a network structure that resembles a rough circle with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other. Lawyers affiliated with organizations representing a broad constellation of interests are closer to the center of the network, while those working for specialized or narrow causes tend to be located in the periphery. Ties are more dense among conservatives than among liberals. Lawyers who work as organizational leaders or managers are more likely to be near the center than are litigators. Central actors contribute larger amounts to election campaigns. The organized bar, especially the American Bar Association, appears to provide links between liberals and conservatives in one segment of the network.

Suggested Citation

Paik, Anthony and Heinz, John P. and Southworth, Ann, Political Lawyers: The Structure of a National Network (July 26, 2010). UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-26; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 10-87. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694627 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694627

Anthony Paik

University of Iowa, Department of Sociology ( email )

140 Seashore Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1401
United States

John P. Heinz

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Northwestern University - Institute for Policy Research ( email )

2003 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60208-2600
United States
312-503-8473 (Phone)

Ann Southworth (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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