Monday, August 31, 2015

That's Entertainment Law!

While its practitioners are unusual amongst business and corporate lawyers, they are comfy with the left-leaning ideologues common in the legal profession. That is, according to some clever statistical analysis by scholars Adam Bonica, Adam S. Chilton and Maya Sen, in their paper The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers.
The practice that predicts the most liberal CFscore is entertainment law.
CFscores are measures of political campaign contributions. Bonica et al. have combined those scores with a data base from Stanford University; Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections (DIME). In their section on Ideology of Lawyers by Practice Area they break down where the areas are most ideological. Entertainment is even more left-ish than Civil Rights--Oil and Gas practice being the most conservative.

What HSIB finds to be particularly disturbing is that the legal profession as a whole is so unlike the rest of the population. Especially noteworthy is the data on the elite law schools' graduates.
The most striking result ... is that all 14 top law schools have distributions that lean to the left. That is, there are more liberal alumni from those schools than there are conservative alumni. Not only do all of the schools lean to the left, the skew is fairly extreme in several schools. ...University of California, Berkeley has the most liberal leaning distribution of alumni of all the elite law schools. .... all of the top six law schools--Yale, Harvard...Columbia...--have a relatively small number of graduates with conservative CFscores.
We bolded above the three law schools from which all nine current Supreme Court Justices have their degrees (and elided Stanford, Chicago and NYU). It's hardly surprising that a character like Donald Trump might find his opinions resonating with the broader American public, when they consistently see public policy reflecting not their preferences, but (in Thomas Sowell's famous formulation) the rampaging presumptions of their betters from the nation's elite law schools.

The Bonica et al. paper deserves a wide readership. Wider than it will probably get...unless Rush Limbaugh catches it, that is.

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