Negative Attitudes of Law Students: A Replication of the Alienation and Dissatisfaction Factors

In 1976 we conducted a survey of law students at The University of Michigan. Demographic information; personal goals and values; and attitudes toward the law school, the faculty, and fellow students were surveyed. We factor-analyzed the items relating to attitudes, personal goals, and values. Three major factors were identified and labeled as alienation, dissatisfaction, and sociability. We have recently described the alienation factor extensively and outlined the dissatisfaction and sociability factors. In March 1977, we conducted a second survey designed to replicate the earlier study. Despite the addition of a few new items, the questionnaire was essentially unchanged. The new study group consisted of 165 first-year students and 38 second- or third-year students. We randomly selected the first-year students from the class entering in 1976. The advanced students were enrolled in a course on evidence. We used the same procedure as in the first study to factor-analyze the data. The first two rotated factors-alienation and dissatisfaction-were quite comparable to those in the earlier study. The third factor, sociability, did not replicate, and it seems advisable to discard it as a central construct in studies of the professional socialization of law students.