Chicago Lawyers Survey, 1975 (ICPSR 8218)

Principal Investigator(s): Heinz, John P., American Bar Foundation, and Northwestern University; Laumann, Edward O., University of Chicago


This data collection contains information gathered in 1975 on attorneys in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of this data collection was to describe and analyze the social organization of the legal profession in Chicago. Several major aspects of the legal profession were investigated: the organization of lawyers' work, the social stratification within the Chicago Bar Association, prestige within the profession, lawyers' personal values, career patterns and mobility, networks of association, and the "elites" within the profession. Specific questions elicited information on areas of law in which the respondents spent most of their time practicing, and the ethnicities, educational background, religion, political affiliation, bar association memberships, and sex of respondents' friends and colleagues. Other variables probe respondents' backgrounds, such as father's occupation, home town, law school from which the respondent graduated, religious and political affiliations, ethnicity, sex, and income.

Series: Chicago Lawyers Survey Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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    This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.


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Study Description


Heinz, John P., and Edward O. Laumann. CHICAGO LAWYERS SURVEY, 1975. ICPSR08218-v2. Chicago, IL: John P. Heinz and Edward O. Laumann [producer], 1975. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-06.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SOC-77-24699)
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Russell Sage Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attorneys, career expectations, career history, memberships, occupational mobility, organizational behavior, organizational elites, professional associations, professional ethics, professionalism, social status, social stratification, values

Geographic Coverage:    Chicago, Illinois, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1975

Date of Collection:   

  • 1975-04--1975-08

Universe:    A total of 13,823 attorneys in Chicago, Illinois, had law offices, were not retired, had graduated from law school more than one year previous to the study, and were listed in SULLIVAN'S LAW DICTIONARY FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, 1974-1975, and/or the MARTINDALE-HUBBELL LAW DICTIONARY.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Variables 343 (Law School Attended), 349 (Religious Preference), 352 (Respondents Nationality), and 353 (Spouses Nationality) were recoded due to confidentiality concerns. Values with counts less than 5 were collapsed into a "Recoded Other" (100) value. (2) ICPSR has assigned missing value designations according to the available documentation for this study. However, some continuous variables have high and low values that may fall out of a valid range. Users of the data should be aware of the possibility that these values may not be valid.


Sample:    A stratified probability sample with simple random selection of elements within strata resulted in 1,024 attorneys.

Mode of Data Collection:    personal interview

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-01-11

Version History:

  • 2006-01-06 ICPSR created SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files, a SAS transport file, an SPSS portable file, and a Stata system file containing variable locations, variable labels, and missing value specifications. The data were transformed from card image to LRECL format and the cases were ordered by sequence number. Variables 343 (Law School Attended), 349 (Religious Preference), 352 (Respondents Nationality), and 353 (Spouses Nationality) were recoded due to confidentiality concerns. Previously unreleased hardcopy documentation has been scanned and included with the codebook.

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