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CSLS Speaker Series – ADAM BADAWI

Monday, October 9, 2017 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society 
is pleased to announce the next talk in the Fall 2017 CSLS Speaker Series,

Adam Badawi is Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law. 

He will be speaking on his paper
“Lawyers, Law Firms, and the Production of Legal Information”

Legal language is a prominent constraint on firm behavior. While some of this language is statutory or regulatory in origin, much of it is produced by the lawyers and law firms that draft the contracts that firms enter into and the public documents that they file. Despite the importance of this lever of corporate governance, there has been relatively little research on the role that lawyers and law firms play in the generation and evolution of this language. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by conducting a large scale word content analysis of fifteen years worth of offering prospectuses filed with the SEC by firms that seek to make an initial or seasoned public offering. Extracting the names of the lawyers and law firms that produce these documents allows for an analysis of the similarity of documents produced by the same lawyers, the same law firms, the same industries, and by proximate law firms. By identifying lawyers that switch law firms, the analysis can assess the amount of similarity that is attributable to the lawyers themselves and how much is associated with the lawyers working at a specific law firms. The law firm effect is larger than the lawyer effect across multiple specifications of the model. This result suggests that if lawyers leave their law firms, the subsequent work product of those lawyers will look quite different. This effect implies that there are important organizational effects associated with the production of this sort of legal language. In addition to this result, the analysis also shows substantial similarity effects associated with issuer industry, law firm proximity, and documents drafted after a law firm has merged.

Please join us on Monday, October 9 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave.

Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”

Professor Badawi’s paper is available online on our website and available in hard copy at the Center.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Jonathan Simon, Faculty Director
Rosann Greenspan, Executive Director


Monday, October 9, 2017
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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