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Specialization and Prestige in the Legal Profession: The Structure of Deference

  • Edward O. Laumann and John P. Heinz


The process of specialization is now well advanced within the legal profession, and the specialties have acquired clearly varying levels of prestige among the practicing bar. What are the characteristics of the specialties, or of the lawyers who practice in them, that might account for these variations in prestige? In describing the prestige differences and several of the variables that might be thought to account for them, the authors analyze the results of a survey of a large random sample of Chicago lawyers. Among the findings are a strong relationship between prestige within the legal profession and the type of clients that the specialty serves, a substantial correlation between prestige and the degree of intellectual challenge presented by the subject matter of the specialty, and the perhaps surprising result that prestige is not significantly associated with the income earned by lawyers practicing in the specialty. The authors conclude that legal specialties that regularly confront personal suffering lose social standing as a result, that prestige within the profession is directly proportional to the degree to which the specialty facilitates the conduct of corporate enterprise, and that the varying prestige of the specialties is likely to affect the political and professional power of the lawyers who practice in them and to influence the patterns of recruitment of lawyers into law practice.



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1. Richard F. Zehnle, Specialization in the Legal Profession: An Analysis of Current Proposals (Chicago: American Bar Foundation, 1975).

2. K. N. Llewellyn, The Bar Specializes-With What Results? 167 Annals 177 (1933).

3. Id. at 178.

4. Bette H. Sikes, Clara N. Carson, & Patricia Gorai, The 1971 Lawyer Statistical Report (Chicago: American Bar Foundation, 1972); Jack Ladinsky, The Impact of Social Backgrounds of Lawyers on Law Practice and the Law, 16 J. Legal Educ. 127, 139 (1963).

5. Sikes, Carson, & Gorai, supra note 4.

6. John P. Heinz, Edward O. Laumann, Charles L. Cappell, Terence C. Halliday, & Michael H. Schaalman, Diversity, Representation, and Leadership in an Urban Bar: A First Report on a Survey of the Chicago Bar, 1976 A.B.F. Res. J. 717.

7. Sikes, Carson, & Gorai, supra note 4. 1975 figure is ABA estimate.

8. Cf. Kingsley Davis & Wilbert E. Moore, Some Principles of Stratification, 10 Am. Soc. Rev. 242 (1945); Bernard Barber, Social Stratification: A Comparative Analysis of Structure and Process (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1957); Dennis H. Wrong, The Functional Theory of Stratification: Some Neglected Considerations, 24 Am. Soc. Rev. 772 (1959); Ralf Dahrendorf, On the Origin of Inequality Among. Men, in his Essays in the Theory of Society 151 (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1968); James C. Kimberly, The Emergence and Stabilization of Stratification in Simple and Complex Social Systems: Some Implications of Small Group Re-search, 40 Soc. Inquiry 73 (1970); Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966); Randall Collins, Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science (New York: Academic Press, 1975); Edward O. Laumann & Franz U. Pappi, Networks of Collective Action: A Perspective on Community Influence Systems (New York: Academic Press, 1976); Edward O. Laumann & Richard Senter, Subjective Social Distance, Occupational Stratification, and Forms of Status and Class Consciousness: A Cross-National Replication and Extension, 81 Am. J. Soc. 1304 (1976).

9. Cf. Albert J. Reiss, Jr., Occupations and Social Status (New York: Free Press, 1961); Robert W. Hodge, Paul M. Siegel, & Peter H. Rossi, Occupational Prestige in the United States: 1925-1963, in Reinhard Bendix & Seymour Martin Lipset, eds., Class, Status, and Power 322 (2d ed. New York: Free Press, 1966); Paul M. Siegel, Prestige and the American Occupational Structure (1971) (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Chicago).

10. Edward Shils, Deference, in J. A. Jackson, ed., Social Stratification 104 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968).

11. For an important exception see Allan M. Schwartzbaum, John H. McGrath, & Robert A. Rothman, The Perception of Prestige Differences Among Medical Subspecialties, 7 Soc. Sci. & Med. 365 (1973).

12. John H. Goldthorpe & K. Hope, Occupational Grading and Occupation Prestige, in Keith Hope, ed., The Analysis of Social Mobility: Methods and Approaches 19, 21 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972).

13. Id. at 25.

14. The form of such questions is illustrated by the question we posed to the sample of lawyers (see note (1) to table 1).

15. When we speak of the prestige standing of an occupation or specialty, let us be quite clear about what we mean. A lawyer active in divorce work may enjoy the highest personal esteem and regard of fellow attorneys familiar with his work and the competence, skill, and ethical sensitivity with which he performs his work tasks. This high esteem can exist in spite of the fact that lawyers generally tend to hold divorce work in low regard when compared with work in other specialties. Sociological usage restricts the term “prestige” to the evaluation of the standing of a general social position when compared with others (each of which has a number of incumbents). The esteem in which a given individual is held in the legal community is a combination of the prestige of the varied social positions that he simultaneously occupies (including his work specialties, ethnic group membership, seniority, etc.) and the social evaluation of the personal competence and skill with which he occupies them. We, of course, are concerned here only with the general social evaluation of legal specialties and not with the relative esteem or personal reputation of individual lawyers.

16. Cf. Shils, supra note 10.

17. Cf. Frank R. Westie, Social Distance Scales: A Tool for the Study of Stratification, 43 Soc. & Soc. Research 251 (1959); Edward O. Laumann, Prestige and Association in an Urban Community: An Analysis of an Urban Stratification System (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966); Laumann & Senter, supra note 8.

18. Cf. Richard F. Curtis, Differential Association and the Stratification of the Urban Community, 42 Soc. Forces 68 (1963); Morton B. King, Jr., Socioeconomic Status and Sociometric Choice, 39 Soc. Forces 199 (1961); Laumann, supra note 17; Lois M. Verbrugge, Adult Friendship Contact: Time Constraints and Status-Homogeneity Effects, Detroit and Julich, West Germany (1974) (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Michigan); Karl-Heinz Reuband, Differentielle Assoziation and Soziale Schichtung (1974) (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Hamburg).

19. Shils, supra note 10.

20. Davis & Moore, supra note 8.

21. Cf. Talcott Parsons, Equality and Inequality in Modern Society, or Social Stratification Revisited, in Edward O. Laumann, ed., Social Stratification: Research and Theory for the 1970s, at 13 (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970); Davis & Moore, supra note 8; Shils, supra note 10; Piotr Sztompka, System and Function: Toward a Theory of Society (New York: Academic Press, 1974).

22. E.g., Dahrendorf, supra note 8; Alvin W. Gouldner, The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology (New York: Basic Books, 1970); Collins, supra note 8.

23. Cf. Reiss, supra note 9; Goldthorpe & Hope, supra note 12; Paul M. Siegel, Occupational Prestige in the Negro Subculture, in Edward O. Laumann, ed., Social Stratification: Research and Theory for the 1970s, at 156 (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970); Siegel, supra note 9.

Of course, there is yet another important microstructural tradition growing most ‘recently out of Goffman's work (Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1959), and his Interaction Ritual: Essays in Face-to-Face Behavior (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967); Collins, supra note 8) that sensitively portrays the dynamic interplay between status display and deference-demanding or avoiding behavior in face-to-face interaction. Most useful as a source of rich qualitative description of ongoing status-linked behavior that can be used to gain insight on where to look for such behavior and the conditions under which it is elicited, this approach requires a radically different set of data-gathering and analytic techniques than those employed here. It is very much our impression, however, from our extended informal observations of lawyers with different practice characteristics, that the empirical results generated by the two approaches are broadly compatible and mutually reinforcing.

24. See Heinz et al., supra note 6, for a more comprehensive description of the objective of this larger study and some preliminary results.

25. The population universe was defined to include all lawyers who had office addresses within the city limits of Chicago, as listed in either Sullivan's Law Directory for the State of Illinois, 1974-75 or Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, 1974. We used two directories to insure complete coverage and to avoid any biases of either directory in their listing rules. (Of course, these procedures could not eliminate biases that both directories share.) Our 777 completed interviews represent 82.1 percent of' out original target sample. Only 8.4 percent explicitly refused to grant us an interview, while the remaining 9.5 percent were missed due to the subject's illness, time constraints, and the'like. An examination of the known characteristics of those lawyers whom we failed to include, for whatever reasons, reveals that we have probably slightly underenumerated nonmembers of the Chicago Bar Association, the principal bar association in the city, and those engaged in solo practice, especially those who maintain only accommodation addresses in the city. This underenumeration, however, is sufficiently small that we can, for most purposes, treat the completed sample as representative of the defined population universe.

26. Though concentration in one field may be regarded as “true” specialization, the work type categories that we use vary considerably in the degree to which they possess this attribute (see table 2, column 14).

27. Zehnle, supra note 1.

28. See ABA Code of Professional Responsibility (1975) DR 2-105(A)(1), “Limitation of Practice.” In addition to the fields mentioned in the text, this rule also permits the relatively small number of lawyers engaged in trademark law to mention that field on their letterheads and office signs.

29. Jerome E. Carlin, Lawyers on Their Own: A Study of Individual Practitioners in Chicago (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1962).

30. Cf. National Opinion Research Center, Jobs and Occupations: A Popular Evaluation, in Reinhard Bendix & S. M. Upset, eds., Class, Status & Power: A Reader in Social Stratification 411 (New York: Free Press, 1953); Hodge, Siegel, & Rossi, supra note 9.

31. See note (1) to table 1.

32. The degree of consistency among the respondent-judges in their prestige evaluations, especially with respect to the impact of their own specializations on their allocations of prestige, is a matter of considerable theoretical import. If lawyers active in the specialties that rank low in the overall prestige standing tend to invert the order of prestige of the specialties, or if the higher prestige specialists tend to inflate the prestige of their own specialties to an exaggerated degree, then a key assumption of the analysis–namely, that deferent behavior requires the voluntary complicity of the subordinate member of the transactional exchange–is cast into serious doubt.

We have examined the data in a number of ways to determine the degree of interjudge agreement on prestige evaluations and the extent to which there are systematic departures in prestige evaluations as functions of the judges' own specialty status and personal values. E.g., lawyers espousing strong civil libertarian and social welfare values might accord higher prestige to specialties serving these values, while lawyers holding strong pro-business values might accord inordinate prestige to specialties serving business interests and lower the standing of more welfare-oriented specialties. In order not to overburden this already lengthy paper with an extended discussion of the details of our analytic procedures and results, we shall only report here the overall conclusions to be drawn from these serveral analyses. In general, there are comfortingly high rank-order correlations between the mean evaluations of judges located, on the basis of their specialties, in one of three broad prestige levels–high, middle, or low–and the overall mean evaluation of the sample of judges as a whole. (These correlations range between.85 and.97.) But there are some statistically significant differences between the judges in high-ranked and in low-ranked specialties with respect to evaluations of particular specialties. Moreover, there is a discernible pattern of these differences, low-ranked judges tending to assign higher prestige to low-ranked specialties and, conversely, high-ranked judges assigning higher prestige scores to high-ranked specialties (cf. Laumann, supra note 17, at 41-53, for parallel results obtained for subjective social distance judgments of broadly dispersed occupations in the socioeconomic status hierarchy by a general sample of men active in the labor force). While such systematic departures can be detected in the data, their magnitude or importance should not be exaggerated. The overwhelming tendency is for judges at all prestige levels to concur on the general prestige rank order of the specialties-providing strong evidence for the general complicity of the lower status lawyers in according higher prestige to their “betters.”

As a more concrete illustration of this general tendency, consider the fact that the six specialties rated highest in prestige by practitioners of the top five specialties in overall prestige were (in order of declining prestige) securities, antitrust defense, tax, general corporate, banking, and antitrust plaintiffs' work; while the top six as rated by practitioners of the five specialties rated lowest in overall prestige were securities, tax, probate, civil litigation, antitrust defense, and banking. Similarly, practitioners of the five highest prestige specialties assigned the six lowest places on the prestige scale to consumer (buyer), landlord-tenant, condemnations, family (poverty), personal injury plaintiffs' work, and divorce (again in declining order of prestige); while practitioners in the five lowest prestige specialties chose for those same positions personal injury plaintiffs' work, condemnations, family (poverty), landlord-tenant, consumer (seller), and consumer (buyer). Thus, even raters who practice at the respective extremes of the prestige order display a high degree of similarity in their prestige ratings.

33. An alternative research strategy would have been to have the same practitioner judges who rated prestige also rate these characteristics, thus permitting us to compare their prestige judgments to their ratings of the individual characteristics. To have done so would have greatly extended already crowded interviews, however, and it was. thus not practical to pursue this strategy. We do not regard this as a great loss. We are not so much interested in analyzing the interrelationships among various sorts of evaluations by the individual rater-i.e., among the individual's ratings of specialty prestige and his ratings of the specialties on other sorts of evaluative dimensions. Rather, we were concerned to examine whether some “real” objective properties of the types of work might be discovered that would help account for the differences among specialty prestige at the aggregate level. Thus, we used independent experts to judge the presence or absence of these properties.

34. Harold D. Lasswell & Abraham Kaplan, Power and Society: A Framework for Political Inquiry (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1950).

35. Ernest Greenwood, Attributes of a Profession, Soc. Work, July 1957, at 45; Richard H. Hall, Occupations and the Social Structure (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969).

36. Cf. Davis & Moore, supra note 8; James D. Thompson, Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967).

37. Shils, supra note 10; Goldthorpe & Hope, supra note 12.

38. Note that the question on which the pro bono dimension is based did not ask for an assessment of the “social worth” or “contribution to the public good” of each of the specialties. Such a question would be even more difficult to answer than the one that we did, in fact, pose. Rather, our question asked the panel of scholars to judge the extent to which practitioners in each specialty were likely to undertake the work because of the money to be made in it, rather than because of “altruistic” or “reformist” motives. Thus, the distinction is whether the work of the specialty is more often motivated by the practitioner's desire for profit or by ideological motives-e.g., those addressed to “law reform,” to more general social or political reforms, or to “service” apart from personal gain. We recognize (and think it safe to assume that our panel of scholars did, as well) that the choices open to any lawyer may well be limited both by opportunity and by personal circumstances. Some lawyers may take relatively low-paying work-criminal prosecution or real estate title searches, for example-because it is the only type of work open to them. Nonetheless, some lawyers no doubt choose to take the types of cases that will earn them only small fees (or a small salary) or no fee at all. And it may well be, to pursue our examples, that decisions to undertake criminal prosecution are more likely to reflect such a choice than are decisions to do real estate title searches. Our panel of scholars thought that such altruistic or reformist motivations were even more common in civil rights work and in poverty law, and this makes sense to us.

39. Edwin M. Lemert, Human Deviance, Social Problems, and Social Control 40-64 (Engle-wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967), on “secondary deviation.”

40. Cf. Benjamin S. DuVal, Jr., The Class Action as an Antitrust Enforcement Device: The Chicago Experience (I), 1976 A.B.F. Res. J. 1021, 1032.

41. See notes (c), (d), and (e) to table 2.

42. See Heinz et al., supra note 6.

43. All respondents were asked their religious preferences and their ethnic or national origins. Only the percentage of Jewish practitioners in each specialty is reported here because the “percent Jewish” had a stronger negative correlation with prestige than did any of the other religious and ethnic categories, and it is, in our opinion, the most interesting and important of those variables. “Percent Catholic” was also negatively correlated with prestige, though not to a statistically significant degree, and “percent Protestant” had a strong positive correlation with specialty prestige (.67, even stronger than the negative correlation of percent Jewish).

44. Cf. Nathan Glazer & Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians and Irish of New York City (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1963); Edward O. Laumann, Bonds of Pluralism: The Form and Substance of Urban Social Networks (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1973); Heinz et al., supra note 6.

45. E. Digby Baltzell, Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1958).

46. The six “elite” schools are Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, and Yale. These six were ranked among the “top five” law schools substantially more often than were any other schools by the 104 law school deans responding to the survey conducted by Peter M. Blau & Rebecca Zames Margulies, A Research Replication: The Reputations of American Professional Schools, 6 Change, Winter 1974-75, at 44. Though their survey is unsatisfactory in many respects, it seems adequate for our purposes here. The lowest ranked of these six schools, Stanford, was rated in the top five by 45 of the 104 deans. The next closest school received only 19 such ratings.

47. The other three client-type categories that we analyzed and their correlations with prestige are “mean percentage of law practice income derived from personal (versus ‘business') clients” (-.71); “mean percentage of personal clients who have professional, technical, or managerial occupations” (.79); and “mean percentage of income from business clients that is derived from ‘small businesses' (e.g., neighborhood stores, local restaurants, local real estate brokers, etc.-less than $250,000 in sales per year)” (-.71).

48. Because an individual's income tends to increase with age and higher prestige specialties tend to have disproportionately younger lawyers, we were concerned to eliminate the confounding influence of age on income and prestige of specialties. To do so, we projected incomes of persons active in a particular specialty as if all the specialties had the same age distribution. When the income distribution is thus standardized by age, its correlation with specialty prestige (.40) just fails to achieve statistical significance.

49. See our Technical Appendix at table 6, infra.

50. See Schwartzbaum, McGrath, & Rothman, supra note 11, at 370.

51. Put most crudely, this coefficient measures the degree to which two variables co-vary in a linear fashion. Another way of putting it is to say that the coefficient tells us how well we can predict the value of one variable from knowing the value of another. That is, the higher the positive coefficient, the more strictly or closely an increase in the value of one variable is associated with an increase in the value of the other. Conversely, the larger the negative correlation, the more closely an increase in the value of one variable is associated with a decrease in the other. The absence of a linear association between the two variables is indicated by a coefficient of zero. More formally, we can say that a product-moment correlation coefficient is the ratio of the covariation of the two variables to the square root of the product of the variation in the first variable and the variation in the second (cf. Hubert M. Blalock, Jr., Social Statistics 285-92 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1960)). This coefficient can only have numerical values between plus or minus 1.0.

52. Peter Rossi has kindly brought to our attention that interpretations of correlation coefficients of this nature are somewhat ambiguous. If, on the one hand, all the judges agreed on their prestige-evaluations of the specialties, there could only be small correlations between judgments across specialties. This is so because correlation is based on covariation and, in this case, covariation would be minimal. Such small correlations among the prestige evaluations of a cross section of occupations in the labor force are, in fact, typically observed. On the other hand, when judges are in agreement concerning the attributes on which they evaluate specialties (e.g., type of client) but disagree in the evaluations they make on the basis of these attributes, substantial correlations of the sort observed in our study are the result. Other analyses we have done support this speculation. E.g., in examining the data using analysis of variance techniques, we found that characteristics of the judges themselves, including such things as their type of specialty, law school, and value orientations, were related to systematic differences in their prestige judgments. See Charles Cappell, Differential Evaluations of the Status of Legal Specialties: A Detailed Analysis with Theoretical Implications (1977) (unpublished paper, American Bar Foundation).

53. Because of the relative crudeness with which we have measured prestige differences among the specialties, we certainly do not want to assume that our prestige scale is as precise, valid, and invariant a measuring device as the use of a yardstick would be in measuring physical distances between pairs of points in physical space. While we are prepared to assume that the specialties can generally be reliably arranged in a rank order from high to low prestige standing, we are not prepared to say that the interval separating the top-ranked and second-ranked specialties is equal to the interval between the third- and fourth-ranked or the twenty-ninth- and thirtieth-ranked specialties, or that specialty X has twice the prestige that specialty Y has. This, among other things, is what is meant when we say that we can treat the prestige scale used to rank specialties as meeting the ordinal or ranking assumption about scale measurement but that it fails to meet the much more restrictive assumptions of ratio (e.g., a yardstick) or interval (e.g., a thermometer) scales. Although frequently violated in practice, factor analysis ideally requires scale measurement at the level of interval scales.

54. Cf. Louis Guttman, A General Nonmetric Technique for Finding the Smallest Coordinate Space for a Configuration of Points, 33 Psychometrika 469 (1968); David D. McFarland & Daniel J. Brown, Social Distance as a Metric: A Systematic Introduction to Smallest Space Analysis, in Edward O. Laumann, Bonds of Pluralism: The Form and Substance of Urban Social Networks 213 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1973); James C. Lingoes, The Guttman-Lingoes Nonmetric Program Series (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Mathesis Press, 1973).

55. In principle, one can always represent exactly the interpoint distances among n points in n1 dimensions in a Euclidean space. Of course, since we cannot physically represent a space having more than three dimensions, we are usually interested in seeing if it is possible to sacrifice some accuracy of representation for a minimum number of dimensions, ideally three or fewer, consistent with an acceptable level of distortion between the “real world” distances and those represented in the smallest space model of the real world. Two-dimensional world maps are examples of representing a three-dimensional object, the earth, in a more convenient and easily comprehended graphic form. Note, however, the distortions necessitated by adopting such an expedient. Similarly, smallest space analysis tells us whether we have found an acceptable goodness of fit between the original matrix of proximity estimates, treated here as providing information only about the rank order of the distances among the points, and the calculated Euclidean distances between the points of a particular smallest space solution (cf. Peter V. Marsden & Edward O. Laumann, The Social Structure of Religious Groups: A Replication and Methodological Critique, to appear in Samuel Shye, ed., Festschrift (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press, forthcoming)). When the coefficient of alienation, the measure of goodness of fit, is zero, it indicates a perfect congruence between the real world proximities and the distances portrayed in the smallest space solution. As the coefficient increases in value, it indicates growing distortions or discrepancies between the real world data and the smallest space solution. Experience has shown that a coefficient of alienation <.15 indicates a satisfactory or acceptable smallest space solution.

56. See discussion of SSA-1 in Lingoes, supra note 54.

57. Cf. Shils, supra note 10.

58. Of course, because the data used to construct the standard prestige scores are the same as those used to calculate the original matrix of correlation coefficients, there is a sense in which the two are not strictly independent, despite the very different manipulations of the data involved in the two procedures. Lacking any independent fine-grained estimates of the prestige order of the specialties, we must run the risk of some circularity in our reasoning on this point. In our defense, however, we should stress the high face validity of the prestige order and its congruence with orderings used by other researchers (e.g., Carlin, supra note 29; Richard A. Watson & Rondal G. Downing, The Politics of the Bench and the Bar: Judicial Selection under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1969); Erwin O. Smigel, The Wall Street Lawyer: Professional Organization Man? (New York: Free Press, 1964)) and also point out that the high correlation between the first axis and the standard scores–whether or not it is, in part, artifactual–is not crucial to our subsequent analysis.

59. The coordinates of the smallest space solution are themselves completely arbitrary and can be rotated to any other orientation without changing the order of the Euclidean interpoint distances–a feature that facilitates interpreting the generating principles organizing the space (cf. Laumann & Pappi, supra note 8, at 6-9). Being arbitrary, the coordinates are not always substantively interpretable (although, for the case in hand, the first axis of the solution happened to be substantively interpretable in terms of a general prestige rank order).

60. Cf. Edward O. Laumann & Franz Urban Pappi, New Directions in the Study of Community Elites, 38 Am. Soc. Rev. 212, 221-23 (1973).

61. The centroid is the center of the smallest space solution. A physical analogy gives an intuitive sense of its meaning: if all points in a two-dimensional smallest space solution were a set of equal weights resting on a weightless plane, the centroid would be that point on which the plane would balance. For a technical discussion, see E. Roskam & J. C. Lingoes, A Mathematical and Empirical Study of Two Multidimensional Scaling Algorithms, 1 Mich. Mathematical Psych. Program 1 (1971).

62. Cf. Laumann & Pappi, supra note 60, at 221-23.

63. Cf. Stephen C. Johnson, Hierarchical Clustering Schemes, 32 Psychometrika 241 (1967); Kenneth D. Bailey, Cluster Analysis, in David R. Heise, ed., Sociological Methodology 1975, at 59 (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974); Ronald Burt, Positions in Networks, 55 Soc. Forces, in press.

64. For a good, brief introduction to this mode of statistical analysis, see Blalock, supra note 51, at 326-58.

65. The reason why we think this unlikely is presented in note 66 infra.

66. The differences between the intellectual challenge scores of each of these pairs are, in fact, very small, ranging from zero to three points. In the five comparisons in which there is a difference in the intellectual challenge scores of the two sides of the case (in environmental law, the scores are identical: 61), however, the difference is always in the same direction—the higher score is given to the “nonestablishment” side of the specialty. Thus, the direction of the differences suggests that the scholars who served as our judges of intellectual challenge did not share any possible status bias or proestablishment view of those who assessed prestige, but may instead have been somewhat biased in the other direction.

67. Llewellyn, supra note 2, at 177.

68. Cf. Francis X. Sutton et al., The American Business Creed (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956).

69. C. Wright Mills, White Collar: The American Middle Classes 121 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1951).

70. Cf. Robert E. Blauner, Alienation and Freedom: The Factory Worker and His Industry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).

71. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in American (Henry Reeve, trans. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947); James Bryce, The American Commonwealth (rev. ed. New York: Macmillan, 1911); Heinz Eulau & John D. Sprague, Lawyers in Politics: A Study in Professional Convergence (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964).

72. Barlow F. Christensen, Lawyers for People of Moderate Means: Some Problems of Availability of Legal Services 92-97 (Chicago: American Bar Foundation, 1970).

73. Cf. Heinz et al., supra note 6. These “local” schools are DePaul, IIT-Chicago Kent, Loyola, and John Marshall, all located in Chicago.

74. Charles D. Kelso, Adding Up the Law Schools, Learning & L., Summer 1975, at 38.

75. Shils, supra note 10.

76. Cf. Laumann, supra note 17; Laumann, supra note 44; Collins, supra note 8.

77. If an unstandardized coefficient is less than twice its standard error, one cannot assume that it departs significantly from zero (or no association between the independent and dependent variables, net of the effects of all the other variables in the model) with a probability less than.05. Such a test is ultimately equivalent, however, to the partial F test in the third column.

78. The following detailed statistical analysis of aggregation and multicollinearity effects was prepared by our research assistant, Charles Cappell:

“The linear models in table 6 were inspected for redundancy among the independent variables. Eigenroots and eigenvectors were extracted from the intercorrelation matrices of the two sets of independent variables in Models I and II. The ratio of the first eigenroot to the sum of all the eigenroots was obtained for each solution. For Model I, this value was.3454; for Model II,.5212. This comparison indicates a greater degree of redundancy among the independent variables of Model II than among those in Model I. An inspection of the sixth eigenroot indicated that the matrices were of full rank.

“The effects of this redundancy can be observed in the size of the standard errors of the betas in the models. The effects are more pronounced, as they would have to be, for the standard errors in Model II. We can be reasonably certain (statistically) about the direction of effects only for the characteristics of percent blue collar clientele and percent Jewish.

“The original data used in Model I consisted of 19 observations on six attributes for the 23 specialties. The results of a two-way analysis of variance indicated the absence of an interaction effect; and a measure of the profile similarity of the judges, R= 57, indicated a moderate degree of similarity in the judges' reponses (see Ernest A Haggard, Intraclass Correlation and the Analysis of Variance, chs. 5, 7 (New York: Dryden Press, 1958)). In regression Model I, the mean observation across judges was used as the value for the attribute on a given specialty. This linear function relates a set of experts' mean judgments on six attributes for 23 specialties to the mean specialty prestige score obtained from a larger sample of lawyers. In this case, inferences regarding the size of the relationship can be extended to the individual level. Evidence suggests that the relationship for individuals would not be as large and that the inflation in the aggregate R 2 is substantial even when the intercorrelations among the independent variables is moderate (see Yehuda Grunfeld & Zvi Griliches, Is Aggregation Necessarily Bad? 42 Rev. Econ. & Statistics 1 (1960), especially sec. 1).

“In Model II a slightly more complicated problem arises. Here the measures on the independent variables were obtained by grouping and then finding the mean of the independent observations. (Individual lawyers were conceptualized as observations on specialties.) The grouping criterion was the amount of time the lawyer spent on the given specialty. Previous observations on the effects of redundancy and aggregation apply to this model also, but further complications arise if the grouping criterion is not random with respect to the independent variables. See Hubert M. Blalock, Jr., Causal Inferences in Non-experimental Research 97-125 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964); Grunfeld & Griliches, supra; Michael T. Hannan, Problems of Aggregation, in H. M. Blalock, Jr., ed., Causal Models in the Social Sciences 473 (Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1971). An extended multivariate analysis was not warranted; instead the extent of grouping effects was determined by inspecting the analysis of variance results obtained during the grouping operation. Intraclass correlation coefficients indicate the effect grouping had on the variance of the attribute for the grouped specialists compared with the variance of the attribute for the sample. In only a few instances did the intraclass correlation exceed.10. This indicates that, for the most part, the assumption of random grouping with respect to the independent variables seems reasonable. Extrapolating the findings to the individual level, one can infer that the relative strength of the betas would be maintained.

“However, a subtle substantive difference results from shifting levels of analysis in Model II. In this model at the grouped level, the mean of an attribute for a group of specialists, not judges, is related to the mean specialty prestige score. This implies, at the individual level, that an individual, in allocating prestige to a specialty, may be doing so on the basis of a vector of attribute means for each of the specialties. He must, therefore, be aware of the central tendency of each of the attributes for each of the specialties. Given the highly indirect nature of this allocation process (and the degree of redundancy among the attributes), the ability of Model II to fit the prestige scores is surprising.”

79. Cf. Ladinsky, supra note 4.

80. Cf. Paul M. Siegel & Robert W. Hodge, A Causal Approach to the Study of Measurement Error, in Hubert M. Blalock, Jr., & Ann B. Blalock, eds., Methodology in Social Research 28 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968); Robert A. Gordon, Issues in Multiple Regression, 73 Am. J. Soc. 592 (1968).

This study has been conducted under the sponsorship of the American Bar Foundation, with funding provided by the American Bar Endowment and by the Russell Sage Foundation. The researchers have received valuable advice from more than a score of members of the Chicago bar, as well as from their colleagues at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, most notably Edward Shils, Morris Janowitz, and Spencer Kimball. Especially helpful in the technical aspects of executing the data analysis were our research assistants, Charles Cappell, Peter Marsden, and Scott Marden. The authors wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, their considerable debts to all of these persons and institutions.


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