Henderson Interviewed on How Lawyer CEOs Differ From Nonlawyer CEOs

Do Lawyers Make Better CEOs? Yes! Er, Maybe.

Q: Why did you and your colleagues want to study how lawyer CEOs differ from nonlawyer CEOs?

A: There’s a large amount of literature about the personal characteristics of CEOs and whether they matter or not. People in the finance literature mostly have looked at a whole range of issues having to do with gender, age, experience, military training, height, attitudinal characteristics. I’ve seen my classmates, and as a professor for a decade, a lot of our graduates go into the business world. It sparked the question: Are they different or not?

Q: What impact did a lawyer CEO have on the amount of litigation filed against his or her company?

A: The data was broken down into the types of claims. It depended on the category. But pretty much, across the board, there were fewer suits. CEOs with legal training—their companies are sued far less.

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