Description lawyers data Lazega
This data set comes from a network study of corporate law partnership that
was carried out
in a Northeastern US corporate law firm, referred to as SG&R,
1988-1991 in New England. It includes
(among others) measurements of networks among the 71
attorneys (partners and associates) of this firm, i.e. their
strong-coworker network, advice network, friendship network,
and indirect control networks. Various members' attributes are
also part of the dataset, including seniority, formal status,
office in which they work, gender, lawschool attended,
individual performance measurements (hours worked, fees
brought in), attitudes concerning various management policy
This dataset was used to identify social processes such as
bounded solidarity, lateral control, quality control, knowledge
sharing, balancing powers, regulation, etc. among peers.
The ethnography, organizational and network analyses of this
case are available in Lazega (2001).
Download the data set.
What do corporate lawyers do? Litigation and corporate work.
Division of work and interdependencies.
Three offices, no departments, built-in pressures to grow, intake
and assignment rules.
Partners and associates: hierarchy, up or out rule, billing targets.
Partnership agreement (sharing benefits equally, 90% exclusion
rule, governance structure, elusive committee system) and
incompleteness of the contracts.
Informal, unwritten rules (ex: no moonlighting, no investment in
buildings, no nepotism, no borrowing to pay partners, etc.).
Huge incentives to behave opportunistically ; thus the dataset is
appropriate for the study of social processes that make
cooperation among rival partners possible.
Sociometric name generators used
to elicit coworkers, advice, and 'friendship' ties at SG&R:
"Here is the list of all the members of your Firm."
Strong coworkers network:
"Because most firms like yours are also organized very informally,
it is difficult to get a clear idea of how the members really work together. Think back over the
past year, consider all the lawyers in your Firm. Would you go through this list and check the
names of those with whom you have worked with. [By "worked with" I mean that you have spent
time together on at least one case, that you have been assigned to the same case, that they read or
used your work product or that you have read or used their work product; this includes
professional work done within the Firm like Bar association work, administration, etc.]"
Basic advice network:
"Think back over the past year, consider all the lawyers in your Firm. To
whom did you go for basic professional advice? For instance, you want to make sure that you are
handling a case right, making a proper decision, and you want to consult someone whose
professional opinions are in general of great value to you. By advice I do not mean simply
"Would you go through this list, and check the names of those you
socialize with outside work. You know their family, they know yours, for instance. I do not mean
all the people you are simply on a friendly level with, or people you happen to meet at Firm
The three networks refer to cowork, friendship, and advice.
The first 36 respondents are the partners in the firm.
The attribute variables in the file
For the rest, the file names are self-explanatory. The number 36 in the file name
indicates that this file contains data for the 36 partners only.
- status (1=partner; 2=associate)
- gender (1=man; 2=woman)
- office (1=Boston; 2=Hartford; 3=Providence)
- years with the firm
- practice (1=litigation; 2=corporate)
- law school (1: harvard, yale; 2: ucon; 3: other)
The Collegial Phenomenon:
The Social Mechanisms of Cooperation Among Peers in a Corporate Law Partnership,
Oxford University Press (2001).
This data set is used in
Tom A.B. Snijders, Philippa E. Pattison,
Garry L. Robins, and Mark S. Handcock.
New specifications for exponential random graph models.
Sociological Methodology (2006), 99-153.
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