The effects of socialization of law school : attitudes toward the law
The influence of the socialization processes of law school is examined using questionnaire data gathered from a hierarchic, cross-sectional sample of 102 law students currently enrolled at a small, midwestern law school. It is hypothesized that a negative (inverse) relationship exists between the amount of time one has spent in a legal educational setting and the degree to which one has idealistic attitudes toward the law. The student's educational standing, amount of interaction with faculty members, fellow law students, and practicing attorneys, especially from within one's own family, are proposed as possible explanatory variables in understanding the developmental process leading to decreased idealistic attitudes toward the law. Data are provided which will shed some light on the proposed hypothesis, as well as on the "theory" that a complex social network of variables, centering around interaction within a legal setting, and the consequential changes in one's self- concept, has a significant impact on one's attitudes toward the law.