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Lawyers of the Right: Networks and Organization

53 Pages Posted: 19 May 2006 Last revised: 5 Jun 2012

Anthony Paik

University of Iowa, Department of Sociology

Ann Southworth

University of California, Irvine School of Law

John P. Heinz

American Bar Foundation; Northwestern University - Institute for Policy Research

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Date Written: May 1, 2006

Abstract

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 72 such lawyers, the 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 an extensive range of 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. Causal analysis of the formation of ties within the network suggests that the Federalist Society has played an important role in bringing the lawyers together.

Keywords: Federalist Society, Conservative, Libertarian, Networks, Social Structure, Organization Structure

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Paik, Anthony and Southworth, Ann and Heinz, John P., Lawyers of the Right: Networks and Organization (May 1, 2006). Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-10; 1st Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 903326; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2009-6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=903326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.903326

Anthony Paik

University of Iowa, Department of Sociology ( email )

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

Ann Southworth (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

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

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