Kathryn Hendley, Nature versus Nurture: A Comparison of Russian Law Graduates Destined for State Service and for Private Practice, 41 L. & Pol'y 147 (2019).
This article explores the mind-set of Russian law students on the cusp of graduation. Drawing
on a 2016 survey, the analysis finds that, despite having taken different paths to their degrees,
the respondents share a confidence in the Russian courts that distinguishes them from Russians
without legal education. Within the sample, a natural division is evident between those who plan
to go into state service and those who plan to go into private practice. Aspiring state lawyers
are more likely to support the policies of the Putin regime, even when they preference politics
over the letter of the law. This strongly suggests that the tendency of judges and state lawyers
within the criminal justice system to work as a team to ensure convictions is not solely the result
of workplace incentives, as had previously been assumed, but is an element of a worldview that
these lawyers share that predates their legal education. Aspiring private lawyers, by contrast,
are consistently more skeptical of the state. To the extent that they are later coopted by the
state, as studies of criminal defense lawyers suggest, such behavior would likely be the result of
a desire to endear themselves to investigators and prosecutors in order to ensure further
appointments to represent indigent clients.
Kathryn Hendley, Mapping the Career Preferences of Russian Law Graduates, 25 Int'l J. Legal Prof. 261 (2018).
Interest in studying law has grown dramatically in Russia in the post-Soviet era. We know little about how law graduates distribute themselves among the available legal specialties. This paper begins to fill that gap by analyzing the results of an original survey of 2016 Russian law graduates. The sample is divided between full-time and correspondence students. Respondents were offered ten possible career paths, as well as options for uncertainty and plans to pursue non-law-related jobs. The results show an intriguing distribution and highlight the influence of respondents’ educational choices and their attitudes towards the Russian legal system in their career choices.
Conflicts about the independence of executive branch officials are brewing across the states. Governors vie with separately elected executive officials for policy control; attorneys general and governors spar over who speaks for the state in litigation; and legislatures seek to alter governors' influence over independent state commissions. These disputes over intrastate authority have weighty policy implications both within states and beyond them, on topics from election administration and energy markets to healthcare and welfare. The disputes also reveal a blind spot. At the federal level, scholars have long analyzed the meaning and effects of agency independence-a dialogue that has deepened under the Trump Administration. In contrast, there is virtually no systematic scholarly attention to the theory or practice of agency independence
in the states.
This Article begins that study. Surveying historical developments, judicial decisions, and legislative enactments across the country, it shows that state agency independence is an inexact, unstable, and variegated concept. Whereas federal courts treat independent agencies as a distinct legal category, state courts tend to eschew categorization in favor of contextual holdings. Moreover, despite the common notion that states' plural-executive structure cements independence, these rulings just as frequently undermine it. State legislatures, for their part, revisit independence frequently, often in the wake of partisan realignments. And their creations are diverse, combining a range of vectors of insulation in different arrangements. The result is that there is no single meaning of state agency independence even within a state, and rarely a strong norm surrounding it.
States' legislatively driven, bespoke approach to independence offers insights for scholars of both state and federal institutional design. The state approach may yield better-tailored and more democratic arrangements. But it also displays raw partisanship, and the combination of weak norms with strong governors may stack the deck against independence. The state approach also raises deeper questionsfor public law: What are the costs and benefits of allowing the rules of the game to be consistently up for grabs? There is no formula for weighing these considerations beyond the context of any individual dispute, but this Article provides a launching pad for their sustained exploration.