PMan99 wrote:lessthanjake wrote:
Also, why is there such a difference in Harvard's clerkship numbers compared to the other two?
Because OP picked Stanford's best year for clerkships? In 2 of the 3 years that there's data for on the schools' websites, Stanford is closer to Harvard than Yale.
Also I don't think it's controversial to say that clerking for the top courts in CA or NY is a better for most people than clerking for the District of South Dakota. Since you're talking about a miniscule number of students clerking at state/local from Yale, this has to be taken into consideration before trying to pretend that Stanford is equal.
Well, there's no indication that the quality of SLS graduates' clerkships are any less stellar than YLS graduates'.
I think the real reason here why SLS significantly outperforms HLS for something like clerkships is pretty clear to anyone who's been through the clerkship application process. First, recommendations count at least as much as grades, and second, few judges have any good sense of who falls in the top 10% or 20% of these schools with all of the Hs and Ps. I doubt most judges could readily differentiate a student who was right at the 10th percentile at HLS from a student who was right at the 20th percentile at SLS (or vice versa). I think most judges could tell that the HLS student was doing somewhat better, but few could accurately estimate *how* much better. A call from a professor is going to make far more of a difference in this hypothetical than the students' respective grades. And SLS has a huge edge in this area given its size. It also helps that SLS students will, for the most part, not be competing against their classmates for the same spots; a SLS student in the 20th percentile could well be the best SLS student that a given judge sees, while an HLS student in the 20th percentile may have to compete against 2-3 HLS students who are more highly ranked. Because judges can compare HLS-HLS transcripts far more likely than SLS-SLS transcripts, this disadvantages the 20th percentile HLS student relative to the 20th percentile SLS student not merely because many judges like to have a number of different top schools represented among their clerks, but because a judge seeing only 20th percentile and below SLS students is likely to err on the side of thinking that the 20th percentile SLS candidate is ranked more highly at SLS--and that sort of error doesn't happen for HLS candidates nearly as often given the relatively huge number of HLS applicants on the clerkship market.