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You might not have expected the legal profession to lean to the left, but in this year’s US presidential election lawyers donated more than twice as much to Democrat - and incumbent - Barack Obama than to his Republican rival Mitt Romney.
Perhaps it’s because lawyers recognised so much of themselves in Obama. After all, the US President did study law, serve as president of the Harvard Law Review, practise as a civil rights attorney and teach constitutional law in Chicago.
Romney, meanwhile, graduated with a joint juris doctor and master of business administration degree, which is only slightly better than having no law degree at all. On the other hand, Romney did help found private equity investment firm Bain Capital, and private equity sorts usually make lawyers go weak at the knees.
A brief scan of contributions to previous US presidential campaigns shows that it might not have anything to do with Romney or Obama at all, though. In every election since 1990, which is as far back as records at the Center for Responsive Politics go, lawyers and lobbyists as a group have donated more to Democrats than to Republicans. In 2008 it was $79m compared with $22m.
It looks like those staid suits can be misleading. And if you think that’s an unfair generalisation, try Googling ‘staid’ - the top result gives law firms as an example in its definition.