05:52 AM

The Lawyers Are Taking Over... As CEOs

We can expect more lawyers in the CEO job, reports ABAJournal in its cover story by Mark Curriden: CEO, Esq. - Magazine - ABA Journal

"The law degree is today's renaissance degree," says James Bradford, dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Bradford is also a former practicing lawyer and ex-CEO of United Glass Corp. and AFG Industries Inc., two large glass companies.

The trend is encouraged by an increase in the number of government regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

"For many years, lawyers were overlooked for the chief executive spot because they were viewed as being too risk averse," says E. Allan Lind, an expert on management leadership at Duke Uni versity's Fuqua School of Business. "But now risk management is highly valued. So there's a thinking that what we tried before--namely people with a finance background--didn't work, so we need to try something else."

There are nine lawyers turned CEOs at Fortune 50 companies, up from three ten years ago.

Most of my lawyer friends don't like being lawyers. I guess they now have an alternate career path.