Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

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icpb
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Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby icpb » Sun May 20, 2012 2:09 pm

How come Harvard Law is so dominant on the Supreme Court? Most of the Justices went there. This is not the case for business and medicine. Only 8 of the Fortune 100 CEOs went to HBS, and Harvard Medical School didn't educate most of the top notch medical professionals (it's fairly even among HMS, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, etc.)

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby RedBirds2011 » Sun May 20, 2012 2:15 pm

icpb wrote:How come Harvard Law is so dominant on the Supreme Court? Most of the Justices went there. This is not the case for business and medicine. Only 8 of the Fortune 100 CEOs went to HBS, and Harvard Medical School didn't educate most of the top notch medical professionals (it's fairly even among HMS, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, etc.)


Business and medicine aren't nearly as prestige whorish as law is so you can't really compare them. Legal hiring isn't very rational, but there is really no other way to do it.

Now as to why there are more Harvards than Yalies, etc or whatever on the supreme court idk.

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20121109
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 20, 2012 2:19 pm

Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

11-5000
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 11-5000 » Sun May 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Ib4slsorhls

1988AndX
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 1988AndX » Sun May 20, 2012 2:56 pm

Prestige (and pedigree) matters more in law than in business and medicine.

Napt
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby Napt » Sun May 20, 2012 3:26 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

That doesn't explain why HLS has 18 Justices but SLS has two and UChi has zero.

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alawstudentsometime
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby alawstudentsometime » Sun May 20, 2012 3:29 pm

UVA has very few also. Let's talk to UMich about this, shall we?

duckmoney
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby duckmoney » Sun May 20, 2012 3:56 pm

Back in the day (before about 10 years ago) law school admissions were not nearly as competitive as they are now, and merit scholarships used to buy top students was not really a thing. So pretty much everyone who was anyone in the law went to Harvard, and they all ended up on the Supreme Court.

These days, there is a much smaller difference between Harvard grads and CCN grads or even T14 grads generally, especially when you consider people who take scholarships over higher ranked schools. I predict that our generation will see a much larger variety of schools represented on the Supreme Court.

Also there are few Yale grads there because Yale grads become academics incapable of the political connections needed to get on SCOTUS.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby Tom Joad » Sun May 20, 2012 4:02 pm

duckmoney wrote:Back in the day (before about 10 years ago) law school admissions were not nearly as competitive as they are now, and merit scholarships used to buy top students was not really a thing. So pretty much everyone who was anyone in the law went to Harvard, and they all ended up on the Supreme Court.

These days, there is a much smaller difference between Harvard grads and CCN grads or even T14 grads generally, especially when you consider people who take scholarships over higher ranked schools. I predict that our generation will see a much larger variety of schools represented on the Supreme Court.

Also there are few Yale grads there because Yale grads become academics incapable of the political connections needed to get on SCOTUS.

I disagree that there will be more T10 grads on the Supreme Court in the future. Justices hold political positions that must be picked by the president, approved by the Senate, and respected by the public. Yale and Harvard are really the only schools that are proxies for excellence to lay people and impressing lay people is essential to joining the SC.

1988AndX
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 1988AndX » Sun May 20, 2012 4:32 pm

duckmoney wrote:Back in the day (before about 10 years ago) law school admissions were not nearly as competitive as they are now, and merit scholarships used to buy top students was not really a thing. So pretty much everyone who was anyone in the law went to Harvard, and they all ended up on the Supreme Court.

These days, there is a much smaller difference between Harvard grads and CCN grads or even T14 grads generally, especially when you consider people who take scholarships over higher ranked schools. I predict that our generation will see a much larger variety of schools represented on the Supreme Court.

Also there are few Yale grads there because Yale grads become academics incapable of the political connections needed to get on SCOTUS.


This doesn't make sense because the dominance of Harvard Law (and Yale) is a recent phenomenon. Prior to 1950, there is usually just 2 combined from Harvard/Yale. Now all the Justices have attended either Harvard or Yale.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/ ... eme-court/

delusional
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby delusional » Sun May 20, 2012 4:36 pm

icpb wrote:How come Harvard Law is so dominant on the Supreme Court? Most of the Justices went there. This is not the case for business and medicine. Only 8 of the Fortune 100 CEOs went to HBS, and Harvard Medical School didn't educate most of the top notch medical professionals (it's fairly even among HMS, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, etc.)

The really relevant question is whether the most prestigious dentists went to schools other than Harvard Dental School.

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20121109
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:49 pm

Napt wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

That doesn't explain why HLS has 18 Justices but SLS has two and UChi has zero.


I'm sorry let me be clear:

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby RedBirds2011 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:53 pm

delusional wrote:
icpb wrote:How come Harvard Law is so dominant on the Supreme Court? Most of the Justices went there. This is not the case for business and medicine. Only 8 of the Fortune 100 CEOs went to HBS, and Harvard Medical School didn't educate most of the top notch medical professionals (it's fairly even among HMS, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, etc.)

The really relevant question is whether the most prestigious dentists went to schools other than Harvard Dental School.


Lol

Napt
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby Napt » Sun May 20, 2012 4:57 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

That doesn't explain why HLS has 18 Justices but SLS has two and UChi has zero.


I'm sorry let me be clear:

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby FantasticMrFox » Sun May 20, 2012 6:01 pm

Napt wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

That doesn't explain why HLS has 18 Justices but SLS has two and UChi has zero.


I'm sorry let me be clear:

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Prolly number of HLS grads > number of YLS, SLS, UChi grads etc. might have something to do with it.

lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.

... :|

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20121109
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 20, 2012 6:02 pm

Napt wrote:lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.


I dk...having a lot more HLS grads out in the world compared to say YLS grads should have something to do with it. I don't see how you can rule it out entirely.

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ben4847
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby ben4847 » Sun May 20, 2012 6:26 pm

Probably because the presidents also go to HLS, and they appoint them.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby FantasticMrFox » Sun May 20, 2012 6:27 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.


I dk...having a lot more HLS grads out in the world compared to say YLS grads should have something to do with it. I don't see how you can rule it out entirely.

He can't; he doesn't understand numbers/probability

Napt
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby Napt » Sun May 20, 2012 7:34 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.


I dk...having a lot more HLS grads out in the world compared to say YLS grads should have something to do with it. I don't see how you can rule it out entirely.

Notice my post said nothing of YLS.

Napt
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby Napt » Sun May 20, 2012 7:35 pm

FantasticMrFox wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.


I dk...having a lot more HLS grads out in the world compared to say YLS grads should have something to do with it. I don't see how you can rule it out entirely.

He can't; he doesn't understand numbers/probability

Lol how mad are you? Please EXPLAIN why Stanford and UChi both get pwned (2 and 0) compared to Harvard (18). It must be that Harvard has 9x as many grads as Stanford and UChi, right?

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20121109
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 pm

Napt wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Napt wrote:lol. The numbers don't seem to have anything to do with it, that's my point. Thanks for the bold though, I didn't catch those words the first time.


I dk...having a lot more HLS grads out in the world compared to say YLS grads should have something to do with it. I don't see how you can rule it out entirely.

Notice my post said nothing of YLS.


Wouldn't YLS be the better comparison, though? Both YLS and HLS have the highest numbers on the Supreme Court. Saying you didn't mention YLS doesn't frustrate my main point.
Napt wrote:Lol how mad are you? Please EXPLAIN why Stanford and UChi both get pwned (2 and 0) compared to Harvard (18). It must be that Harvard has 9x as many grads as Stanford and UChi, right?


What? It obviously doesn't explain the discrepancy entirely, but it could easily be a contributing factor. FMF is right when he says its a matter of numbers and probability. What is so hard to understand?

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2014
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby 2014 » Tue May 22, 2012 3:58 am

Well there have been 8 US presidents who attended Harvard at some point and given that they are the ones who choose SCOTUS members, one could probably assume that they might favor qualified candidates from their alma mater.

As a comparison, the president breakdown for the rest of the T10 is:
Yale - 5
Stanford - 0
Columbia - 1
NYU - 0
Chicago - 0 (Obama taught there if you want to count that)
Penn - 1
UVA - 1 (3 including Madison and Jefferson who administrated but didn't attend)
Berkeley - 0
Michigan - 1

So if the above schools are where the vast majority of justices do come from, you are most likely to see presidents who put personal weight behind the Harvard name given that there are almost as many Harvard affiliated presidents as the rest of the T10 combined..

The class size thing probably explains Harvard dominating Yale as well.

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rftdd888
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Re: Harvard Law and the Supreme Court

Postby rftdd888 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:44 pm

First, it has nothing to do with POTUS' alma mater, lol. That's not how SCOTUS justices are selected at all. In fact, the "short list" for candidates is usually whittled down to one by eliminating potential justices who have a blemish on their record that could prevent smooth confirmation, such as an extreme opinion or a controversial personal issue. Not "oh, he didn't go to my school."

Only the best get to be SCOTUS justices, and the best usually go to Yale or Harvard. Shouldn't be much more complicated than that, imo. Also, students who attend Yale and Harvard usually have a better opportunity to get the most prestigious A3 clerkships with feeder judges on important courts such as the D.C. circuit. It's harder to get that at Duke.

Also, the only reason there weren't tons of Harvard/Yale justices on the court in the first half of the 20th century is because legal education was a completely different animal a century ago and very few of even the most distinguished jurists actually went to a real law school like Harvard or Yale.




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