ERIC Number: ED332083
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-12
Legal Employment at Midcareer: The Influence of Social and Academic Origins.
Lena, Hugh F.; And Others
This study analyzed the relative influence of individual social origins and academic achievement in organizational recruitment and practice outcomes for legal careers. It investigated the effects of background characteristics and academic performance measures for a national sample of college seniors on types of legal practices 25 years after graduation. The data for the study were derived from a 1961 national survey of over 33,000 graduating college seniors, 1,120 of whom continued post-baccalaureate studies in law and 60% of whom were listed in the 1985 edition of a national directory of practicing lawyers. Academic achievement in college and religion predicted the quality of the law school attended; in combination with occupational inheritance, these variables were found to influence allocation of lawyers to solo or firm practice. While family background characteristics were less important in determining outcomes than educational attainment, the latter explained only a small portion of the variation in legal practices. An important contextual feature structuring legal careers was the population size of the location of the practice. As the bar grows in size and diversity, it is expected that additional axes of differentiation within the profession will be located and status attainment models will have to accommodate the complex mix of individual, social, and contextual factors which structure professional careers. (51 references) (LLL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Contains small print which may not reproduce well. Paper presented at the Eastern Sociological Society (61st, Providence, RI, April 12-14, 1991).