The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity

61 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2017 Last revised: 27 Apr 2017

Adam Bonica

Stanford University Department of Political Science

Adam S. Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Kyle Rozema

University of Chicago - Law School

Maya Sen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: April 17, 2017

Abstract

We compare the ideological balance of the legal academy to the ideological balance of the legal profession. To do so, we match professors listed in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers and lawyers listed in the Martindale-Hubbell directory to a measure of political ideology based on political donations. We find that 15% of law professors, compared to 35% of lawyers, are conservative. After controlling for individual characteristics, however, this 20 percentage point ideological gap narrows to around 13 percentage points. We argue that this ideological uniformity marginalizes law professors, but that it may not be possible to improve the ideological balance of the legal academy without sacrificing other values.

Keywords: Law Professors, Political Ideologies, Legal Profession

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Bonica, Adam and Chilton, Adam S. and Rozema, Kyle and Sen, Maya, The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity (April 17, 2017). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 17-12; University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 806. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953087

Adam Bonica

Stanford University Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Adam S. Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

Kyle Rozema

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

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

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

Maya Sen

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

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

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/msen

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