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Study Finds Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservative

Study Finds Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservative

“with 77.9 percent identifying as liberal”

There is no political balance in higher education, even in the study of law.

The College Fix reports:

Only 9 percent of law professors are conservative, study finds

Only nine percent of law school professors identify as conservative, according to a recent study by Georgetown University’s Kevin Tobia and MIT’s Eric Martinez.

The study, which aimed to investigate law professors’ beliefs surrounding the legal system, included questions regarding participants’ demographics, beliefs about central issues of the law and views concerning specific legal theory issues.

Roughly 555 professors were recruited by email from the top 50 law schools, with an additional 112 partaking in a public version of the survey accessible through an online link. Of the sample of professors, however, only 9.1 percent identified as conservative, with 77.9 percent identifying as liberal.

The results of this paper are similar to those of a 2017 study that concluded 15 percent of law school professors were conservative.

The College Fix contacted Tobia and Martinez twice by email in the past week and a half to ask how they believe schools can make use of the study’s findings, whether they personally believe the low number of conservative law professors is problematic and if schools should adopt hiring practices to better represent conservatives on their staff. Neither responded.

Two law professors commented on the study to The Fix.

According to Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the lack of conservative professors at law schools.

Turley told The Fix that faculty can reach a tipping point where there is such an imbalance of liberals to conservatives and libertarians that it is hard to reverse the trend.

“For decades, faculties have gradually reduced the number of conservatives and libertarians through attrition and hiring practices,” Turley wrote in an email to The Fix. “Once these faculties hit an ideological critical mass, faculties have served to replicate their ideological views.”

He also said there is a “strifling atmosphere of intolerance and recrimination” that conservatives face at many schools, which he believes “makes faculty even less likely to self identify as conservative.”


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The Gentle Grizzly | September 2, 2022 at 11:35 am

How many would identify as conservatives if their jobs and reputations weren’t under threat?

“He also said there is a ‘strifling atmosphere of intolerance and recrimination’ that conservatives face at many schools,”
I’m having difficulty finding the word “strifling” and its meaning
I’d appreciate some help