Lawyers of the Right: Networks and Organization
53 Pages Posted: 19 May 2006 Last revised: 5 Jun 2012
Date Written: May 1, 2006
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: Suggested Citation