The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers

67 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2015 Last revised: 22 Sep 2015

See all articles by Adam Bonica

Adam Bonica

Stanford University

Adam Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Maya Sen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: August 26, 2015


The ideology of American lawyers has been a persistent source of discussion and debate. Two obstacles, however, have prevented this topic from being systematically studied: the sheer number of attorneys in the United States and the need for a methodology that makes comparing the ideology of specific individuals possible. In this paper, we present a comprehensive mapping of lawyers’ ideologies that has overcome these hurdles. We use a new dataset that links the largest database of political ideology with the largest database of lawyers’ identities to complete the most extensive analysis of the political ideology of American lawyers ever conducted.

Keywords: Ideology; Lawyers; Law School; Campaign Donations

Suggested Citation

Bonica, Adam and Chilton, Adam and Sen, Maya, The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers (August 26, 2015). The Journal of Legal Analysis, Forthcoming, University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 732, HKS Working Paper No. 15-049, Available at SSRN:

Adam Bonica

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Adam Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States


Maya Sen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States


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