HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

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of Benito Cereno
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HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon May 10, 2010 5:50 pm

What do you think of my reasoning?
I was confused by how many more top federal and scotus clerkships go to harvard than columbia or chicago students. It seemed weird to me because even if Harvard is conssitenly hiugher ranked with students with better numbers the difference didn't seem enough to explain the huge difference. Both schools are mostly filled with top10 UG alums with lsats between 172-176, main difference is that harvard students have slightly higher gaps (3.8-40 vs 3.6-38). Given that CLS is filled with students who just barely missed out on Harvard due to a few B+s as undergrads and given that cls is still an ivy league school consistently ranked #4 it seemed frustrating to me that there seemed to be such a huge drop off between hls and cls. On the one hand I thought it might be explained by a certain entrenched reputation and institutional access of hls/yls over other schools, that is to say, reputation and self-perpetuating tradition. However, its just occurred to me that why harvard and columbia perform similarly in biglaw (and even v10) placement but not elite clerkships: your average columbia and harvard law students are pretty similar in profile but the real top of harvards class is in something of a different class than really any ccn students. the top 10% at harvard (where students are who place into federal appellate courts) is mostly former rhodes/marshall scholars or students who had 4.0/175+ type profiles. There probably isn't much difference between the students harvard and columbia send to wachtell or davis polk but the students at the very top of harvard's class are unique to HYS. When we look at data on clerkships and academic placement we must realize we are looking at the quality of a schools top 5 or 10 %. Even if CNN and HLS students bodies on the whole are not too different there is a pretty big gap between CCN students and the top 50 or so Harvard kids. Median at CLS and median at HLS are much more similar than top 10% and CLS and HLS. What to y'all think?


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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby adameus » Mon May 10, 2010 6:02 pm

I get your reasoning on how top 10% of Harvard is better than top 10% of Columbia, but why is it better than top 10% of Y or S?

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon May 10, 2010 6:26 pm

adameus wrote:I get your reasoning on how top 10% of Harvard is better than top 10% of Columbia, but why is it better than top 10% of Y or S?

It's not better than yale's and that's Yale performs better in elite placements. For scotus at least hls is better than stanford slightly but I guess that has to do with west coast vs east coast issues and the fact that at the end of the day harvard does have a stronger student body (quite evident in its numbers) than stanford. I'd say stanfords top 10 is between hls and cls.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Tautology » Mon May 10, 2010 6:34 pm

Stanford has about 1/3 of the students as Harvard and sends about 1/3 of the students to Supreme Court clerkships. I don't think that's strong evidence of it lagging behind Harvard. Both lag significantly behind Yale on a percentage basis.
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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Na_Swatch » Mon May 10, 2010 6:37 pm

I'm just wondering how being a Marshall/Rhodes scholar translates into being top 10% grade wise at HLS??

Seems like thats the flaw in ur reasoning to me.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby GeePee » Mon May 10, 2010 6:42 pm

Tautology wrote:Stanford has about 1/3 of the students as Harvard and sends about 1/3 of the students to Supreme Court clerkships. I don't think that's strong evidence of it lagging behind Harvard. Both lag significantly behind Yale on a percentage basis.

lol

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Mon May 10, 2010 6:47 pm

GeePee wrote:
Tautology wrote:Stanford has about 1/3 of the students as Harvard and sends about 1/3 of the students to Supreme Court clerkships. I don't think that's strong evidence of it lagging behind Harvard. Both lag significantly behind Yale on a percentage basis.

lol


i'm guessing that's in terms of total number of students sent, not % of the class.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Mon May 10, 2010 6:50 pm

anyways, what do you think of my general interpretation? is it not that hls is such a leaps and bounds better school than cls overall but just home to a small number of really outstanding students at the top of its class that make up a large percentage (with yale) of real big name placements?

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby blue5385 » Mon May 10, 2010 6:59 pm

Na_Swatch wrote:I'm just wondering how being a Marshall/Rhodes scholar translates into being top 10% grade wise at HLS??

Seems like thats the flaw in ur reasoning to me.


yeah...I know at least one person with one of those two scholarships who wasn't anything spectacular in terms of grades (she didn't make cum laude at our university, which for our class required a GPA of ~3.8 or slightly higher). However, she had outstanding recommendations, an extremely strong resume in terms of research and soft factors relevant to her graduate field, and strong interpersonal skills. FWIW, her LSAT score was in the low-170s.

I didn't apply for prestigious fellowships, but the impression I got from friends who did was that it was an extremely thorough and time-consuming process that took panel interviews, essays, etc. into account as well as one's grades and resume. Although Rhodes/Marshall scholars are brilliant people, I don't think that necessarily translates into top 10% at somewhere like HLS/YLS (especially the latter).

edit: Also, in regard to OP's general theory, I think one more thing to take into consideration is that CLS students may tend to self-select into biglaw and other non-academic, non-clerkship positions at greater rates than HLS/YLS students, who self-select into prestigious clerkships and academia more than CLS people.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Tue May 11, 2010 4:28 am

blue5385 wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:I'm just wondering how being a Marshall/Rhodes scholar translates into being top 10% grade wise at HLS??

Seems like thats the flaw in ur reasoning to me.


yeah...I know at least one person with one of those two scholarships who wasn't anything spectacular in terms of grades (she didn't make cum laude at our university, which for our class required a GPA of ~3.8 or slightly higher). However, she had outstanding recommendations, an extremely strong resume in terms of research and soft factors relevant to her graduate field, and strong interpersonal skills. FWIW, her LSAT score was in the low-170s.

I didn't apply for prestigious fellowships, but the impression I got from friends who did was that it was an extremely thorough and time-consuming process that took panel interviews, essays, etc. into account as well as one's grades and resume. Although Rhodes/Marshall scholars are brilliant people, I don't think that necessarily translates into top 10% at somewhere like HLS/YLS (especially the latter).

edit: Also, in regard to OP's general theory, I think one more thing to take into consideration is that CLS students may tend to self-select into biglaw and other non-academic, non-clerkship positions at greater rates than HLS/YLS students, who self-select into prestigious clerkships and academia more than CLS people.

I really just don't buy it. Its not like CLS students are a different breed than HLS students who choose CLS because they want biglaw and biglaw only; they are mostly students who wanted and barely missed HLS for gpa reasons. The difference between CLS and Harvard in academic and top federal appellate clerkship is too big to just be self-selection. Self-selection might explain the sort of small differences one finds between hls and cls or maybe cls and uchicago, but the difference between cls and hls is one of like 300 or 400%. That really suggests that Harvard is seen as being in a different league at the real top of the legal world or that the top harvard students are really in a different league than top columbia students. Sure Harvard students might tend to have some more political etc ambitions but I think thats really mostly just because they go into law school knowing that supreme court clerkships etc are real options for them. Take a look at the make up of the supreme court and top federal judges and their clerks and the professors and top law schools. You'll see almost no columbia grads and more than 50% harvard grads. I'm going to CLS but I just have to admit to myself that something more is going on that self-selection. Somewhere between 2 and 4 a big drop off takes place.
CCCCCCCCCCHHHHCCHHHCCHHHCHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHH
that's my little graph of columbia and harvard students. they aren't different species, many columbia grads just missed harvard and some were even admitted. Still as you get to the top end of the harvard class there a big distance from the body of the cls class. A big percentage of the harvard class is basically identical to the cls class, elite ug 99% lsat etc. However, the top 10% of harvard's income class (let's say in terms of JR's enthusiasm) is really in a class above any cls student. we're talking students with profiles like your average scotus clerk and future scotus judge: harvard UG pbk and summa cum laude with 3.9 gpa and 176 lsat and maybe an mphil from oxbridge (marshall, rhodes etc). I have a bunch of friends and harvard law and columbia and they are mostly identical, 174ish lsats and gaps between 3.6 and 3.9 from ivy league or other elite UGs; however, I also have friends at 4 YLS and 2 who have been on the harvard law review in the past two years and they all have really unbelievable CVS: all 6 went to ivy league schools (and 4 to Harvard) all were PBK and summa, 4 had major post-BA fellowships (1 had a marshall and 1 had a rhodes), several had ridiculous internships and jobs as UGs and two have publication records that would make most 45 year old academics and journalists jealous. My three friends who are just finishing up their 1L year at harvard are in the part of the hls class that overlaps with cls but my other friends make me aware of an element of hys students that is above and beyond ccn.

As always, please forgive my typos. I must have the worst spelling, grammatical, and typo record on tis... I've been working with my right hand in a cast for two months...
Last edited by of Benito Cereno on Tue May 11, 2010 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby tadams86 » Tue May 11, 2010 4:42 am

Would you consider the prestige factor into your argument? I mean HLS>>>>>>CLS in terms of prestige. Historically most of the people holding high offices (president and scotus type) come from H and Y, and beyond the self selection, there is the idea that HLS is just that much better. Whether the students are of different caliber might be irrelevant here because in all actuality they really aren't. I mean who is to say that someone with a 3.9 gpa and 3.79 gpa with identical LSAT scores are that much different intelligence wise? While your argument is very interesting, I think this is what you missed. The options you have from HLS are far superior to CLS (I mean in terms of what you yourself would be able to dictate as far as job placement/clerkship).

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Tofu » Tue May 11, 2010 5:30 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:That really suggests that Harvard (and YLS/SLS) is seen as being in a different league at the real top of the legal world or that the top harvard students are really in a different league than top columbia students.


there may not be an actual difference in quality among the top HLS/CLS students. i'd say that the difference in prestige is greater than the difference of quality.

if you were a prestigious CoA judge and were hiring clerks, you'd probably get a bunch of applicants from top schools who are pretty similar in terms of grades/LR/etc. i wouldn't be surprised if some judges just cut out the applicants who are from the less prestigious schools, considering there could be a large number of very similar applicants from, for instance, HLS and CLS.

the clerks that scotus feeder judges hire tend to be top applicants from HYS, and this results in most of the scotus clerks having an HYS background. it all seems more like a difference in prestige than in actual quality to me, but i could be wrong.


those are just my thoughts. you could be right with your hypothesis.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Tue May 11, 2010 5:47 am

tadams86 wrote:Would you consider the prestige factor into your argument? I mean HLS>>>>>>CLS in terms of prestige. Historically most of the people holding high offices (president and scotus type) come from H and Y, and beyond the self selection, there is the idea that HLS is just that much better. Whether the students are of different caliber might be irrelevant here because in all actuality they really aren't. I mean who is to say that someone with a 3.9 gpa and 3.79 gpa with identical LSAT scores are that much different intelligence wise? While your argument is very interesting, I think this is what you missed. The options you have from HLS are far superior to CLS (I mean in terms of what you yourself would be able to dictate as far as job placement/clerkship).

Well, assessment scores suggest that within the legal community CLS does have an extremely high amount of prestige behind Harvard clearly but not by a very signigant degree. Still clearly Harvard's name carries a lot more weight than Columbia's in the wider world... I'm sure that's also true with top federal judges but I think their perspective isn't the same as your average Legally Blonde fan. I don't think the prestige difference is enough to account for the enormous difference. The main reason for this is that outside of the most tiny bracket of ultra-elite jobs (best appellate circuits and scotus) harvard and columbia basically place identically. Clerkships aside, Harvard and Columbia place at basically identical rates in the most prestigious law firms (see Leiter's analysis). At V10 firms Harvard and Columbia are basically equal in their ability to place students. Its just false that HLS options overall are far superior to CLS (really just patently false). Harvard students really just do not in any sense of the word have the ability to dictate as far as job placement/clerkship. The difference between the two schools is that the top 10% and Harvard seems to have a much better shot at the most elite clerkships than the top of cls. However, the overall opportunities for cls and hls grads are similar. The vast majority of harvard grads are not cakewalking into whatever job they want. The difference between Harvard and Columbia seems to be that for the most elite jobs Harvard has a seeming two-fold advantage. 1. the top 10% at Harvard is just really special and stands above CCN. 2. The fact that Harvard has produced so many top federal judges/legal scholars and the extreme quality of its top students gives HLS a reputation for having always a SMALL BATCH of brilliant graduates. That is to say, I don't think judges really think that the overall harvard class is signigantly superior to the overall columbia class, they just come in expecting Harvard's class to contain a small number of really outstanding graduates (that is to say, future federal judges and famous legal scholars). Columbia and Harvard grads likely have relatively equal shots at Wachtell, Cravath, Skadden, and Davis Polk because this later sort of reputation is kinda irrelevant for v10 firm hiring. However, the expectation that the top 10% at harvard is made up of some really particular special and unique students inevitably does effect clerkship hiring (even if the expectation is relatively reasonable). I'm sure judges don't think the average columbia and harvard student are very different (they aren't and that's why most harvard grads can't dictate to employers) but they do have the expectation that harvard's class contains gems.

Why? Because it does. HLS overall is quite similar to CLS but HLS contains gems that CLS very rarely has. The Harvard College alum, PBK and Summa with a 176/4.0 and Rhodes... that's a profile unique to H/Y. Those kids might only make up a very small percentage at hls but its that percentage that concerns feeder judges.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Rand M. » Tue May 11, 2010 6:54 am

If we buy into your premise, why is it that Chicago, on a per capita basis, places slightly better than Stanford and just about identically to Harvard? If we are just talking about SCOTUS clerks, then it is a mistake to lump CCN together because Chicago is placing at three times the other two. For these clerkships it is undeniably Y--HSC--CNVB.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Tue May 11, 2010 7:10 am

Rand M. wrote:If we buy into your premise, why is it that Chicago, on a per capita basis, places slightly better than Stanford and just about identically to Harvard? If we are just talking about SCOTUS clerks, then it is a mistake to lump CCN together because Chicago is placing at three times the other two. For these clerkships it is undeniably Y--HSC--CNVB.

this is true (though Chicago has really kinda sucked lately in federal clerkship placement). Also, I think Chicag's placement rate for SCOTUS has gone down lately as it is seen as less of a feeder pool for conservative judges.
I think chicago's difference vs chicago can be explained pretty easily though.
1. historical reputation as home to smartest conservative students (and thus traditional feeder to conservative judges... esp Scalia, who taught there). 2. very small school in boring area (thus allowing students fantastic access to professors, many of whom are themselves federal judges, which is key to getting the sort of recommendations and research experience key to clerkship placement... in addition to the fact that Chicago probably can place a dozen student into appellate clerkships every year with its own faculty. 3. As suggested in point 2, Chicago has a pretty big lock on the 7th(? too lazy to check wikipedia) circuit, whereas Columbia grads compete with NYU, Harvard, and Yale for 2nd circuit placements. 4. Chicago due to reputation, internal culture, and size draws and produces students interested in intellectual side of law, thus students most likely to want to clerk, work closely with professors, publish etc... that is to say, chicago's culture is good for training clerkship candidates. 5. as point 4 suggests, chicago students at the top of the class are more likely to self-select for clerkships (I think self-selection is usually a dubious argument, however I do think the appeal of jobs at Wachtell and Cravath for CLS students and their less "intellectually" and theoretical education means clerkships have less appeal to top Columbia grads... also, I think CLS grads likely don't apply as often for clerkships because they don't see it as an option as often. At Chicago when you're at a tiny school working closely with professors and judges and seeing many alums go into clerkships you always must assume its an option).

These points all go to reasons why Chicago is a substantively different school than Columbia. They draw students of very similar quality but often different types of students and train them in very different environments.
Harvard on the other hand is totally different. Why? Because Harvard is not a substantively different school than Columbia. For Harvard, these sorts of reasons apply much less.

I bet that like 75% of Scotus clerks were admitted to Harvard and 90% were at least waitlisted.
I'd imagine that many of the SLS, CLS, and Michigan clerks were admitted to Harvard (CLS and UofM clerks often have Hamiltons/Butlers or Darrows I bet).
Why? Becuase I just don't think students change their academic performance too much. I imagine its fairly easy to predict the top 10% of Columbia or Michigan by looking at incoming student's applications. I know LSATS are supposed to predict law school performance, but at CLS where everyone who isn't a URM has 170-180s the lsat loses its predictive ability (I don't think a 172vs176 is meaningful as a predictive tool). However, the student with a 172 at CLS likely has a 3.8 while the 176 a 3.5/3.6. I'd be willing to bet the 172 kids almost always do better.
In fact, I'd place 50 bucks on the 50th-25th lsat bracket (between 174 and 170) at CLS making up 75% of the top 10%.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby 270910 » Tue May 11, 2010 9:13 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:I bet that like 75% of Scotus clerks were admitted to Harvard and 90% were at least waitlisted.
I'd imagine that many of the SLS, CLS, and Michigan clerks were admitted to Harvard (CLS and UofM clerks often have Hamiltons/Butlers or Darrows I bet).
Why? Becuase I just don't think students change their academic performance too much. I imagine its fairly easy to predict the top 10% of Columbia or Michigan by looking at incoming student's applications.


Witnessing your stupidity and short-sightedness is painful enough before it's compounded by your naked ambition : (

This is literally the third time I've entered this thread and cringed. The first two times I succeeded in just walking away.

Look: You are about to go to law school, so the LSAT and GPA matter a WHOLE LOT to you. They define your world. But once you get into law school - *poof*. It's extraordinarily difficult to predict LS success based on incoming credentials. The broad generalizations break down when you realize the narrow band into which most students at top schools fall. And the things that are measured by uGPA and LSAT are necessary but laughably short of sufficient for performance in law school.

When it comes to placement, it's all about prestige and personal connections. Harvard students are, by and large, indistinguishable from Cornell students, Penn students, hell probably even most UCLA students. They aren't endowed by their creator with brilliant legal accumulate, those two LSAT points they have over the rejects at NYU don't allow them to be successful advocates from day one.

Harvard just has a better reputation. That's it. There's no mystery; there's nothing to see here. There are WAY fewer SCOTUS clerkships, CoA clerkships, or even federal district clerkship positions than there are highly qualified law students. And they are extremely individualized hiring decisions. Judges have their pick of the litter, so they get to grab 2 HYS students and 2 T14 students. Often because they came from Harvard. It's all signaling, it's all inertia. Iterated over the federal judiciary, the connection + reputation of HYS serve to bolster placement numbers.

That's it. That's all. Nothing more to it.

And it is NOT the Rhodes Scholars who claw to the top of their HYS classes. The top of the HYS classes don't represent this uber-breed of human that had intellects so large they could be seen from space even before they got to law school. They just took exams better. Every year some people who got into a school by the skin of their teeth pick up on that skill and destroy the competition. Every year some people with entering credentials objectively far above those of their peers work diligently and wind up median or below. Exams test a very specific skill, NOT pure intelligence or work ethic. You can't tell "Oh, that's SCOTUS clerk material" based on an application to law school. You can't even tell based on how hard people work during the semester or what they sound like in class.

Which - I must stress - doesn't mean grades are random. But law school performance is almost completely decoupled from pre-law school accomplishment once you consider the minimum threshold of lifetime academic achievement required for getting into a T14 law school. So for the real world, employment placement differences are due to reputation of the school and not the fact that MVPB students can't stop drooling and coloring all over themselves while the HYS kids publish treatises on the development of output/requirement contract law in feudal England that shed light on modern poverty in Africa from day one.

Reputation is a crude proxy that finds itself sustained through force of nepotism far more often than through force of ability to predict individual success or prowess.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Tue May 11, 2010 10:38 am

This is more than a little ridiculous. Firstly, there is a huge difference between the sort of kids at cornell and harvard or yale. Maybe you don't know a lot of people going to these schools, but I do. The kids at H/Y are for the most part incredbly high acheiving and hard working students who have succeeded academically their whole lives. The went to top10 colleges, got 3.9s, scored 175 on their lsat, and have some serious other intellectual accomplishments. The people I know at Cornell, Michigan, and Duke... yea, they are mostly pretty bright, went to ok schools like tufts, wisconsin, colby, and colgate, got pretty good grades in college and got 170s on their lsat. most are just total average upper middle class kids, nothing spectacular. the reason one student is at yale and another cornell is not pure chance or arbitrary circumstance. There are real differences in drive, ambition, intelligence, accomplishment, and intellectualism. I'm not tooting my own horn here. I did not get into harvard and yale. Do I think I'm smarter and perhaps a better thinker than some friends at these schools? Yes. Do I recognize that there are damn good reasons they got in over me? Hell yes. There is a huge difference between their 3.9 and my 3.6? The fact that my friends consistently got As at excellent colleges every single semester really does say something about their discipline and work ethic, not to mention intelligence. I'm not arguing that two points on the lsat is really indicative a a major gap in ability and intelligence. That' why there is NOT much difference between the average student at harvard and columbia or chicago and penn... but what separates harvard and cornell or harvard and duke students is a whole lot more than a few lsat points. take a look at their class profiles, take a look at the number of rhoes/marshalls at harvard and yale, take a look at the % coming from top10 UGs, take a look at the accomplishments of incoming students, take a look at their gpas, take a look at how many students have graduate degrees... there are serious differences.
Also, when I argued about which incoming columbia students would do well I was arguing against myself. I'm a 178/3.6 and I think I'll do poorly against 172/3.8 students. I think its pretty fair to say that there is much less difference between a 178 and 172 than between a 3.6 and 3.8. I'm not claiming that the students with higher numbers within a given school are all way smarter, I'm arguing that for a school like columbia that has a whole bunch of high lsat splitters who clearly are not the hardest workers/disciplined students its perhaps advantageous to be one of the students screwed out of hys by a couple of lsat points.
To be clear, nothing I've said in this thread is self-serving. I'm arguing that the low clerkship numbers of the school I will attend is about more than self-selection, I'm arguing that harvard and yale do often have students who are just clearly better than students at the school I will attend, I'm arguing that students with numbers like mine will often underperform in law school (even though that last point was just a bit of curious musing that I'm not really invested in at all).

At the end of the day, it may be comforting to say that the kids at the best school are really no better than any of us (or anyone) and that their accomplishments are easily dismissed/relativized but thats complete BS. Its also easy to say that the accomplishments of students coming out of these schools is due to unfair prestige worship and nepotism, but just because it feels good doesn't make it true. Sure there is no simple formula that translates ug gpa/lsat to law school and law success. However, the qualities that got someone into Harvard college and then got them a 3.95 a 175, departmental honors, and a truman or marshall... those qualities most likely will contribute to success in most any endeavor. The same people tend to succeed all throughout life. If you told me 10 years ago where any of the two or three dozen law school students or alums I knew then (as teenagers) and know now would study law only one of them would have surprised me (kids fucked around in high school but ended up getting into Stanford). The rest, completely predictable. The yale students I know are just clearly better in almost every respect to the cornell students.

Once again, forgive the typos and grammar errors but I'm typing with as cast here so I'm not really concentrating too much on composition perfection.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby miamiman » Tue May 11, 2010 10:45 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:This is more than a little ridiculous. Firstly, there is a huge difference between the sort of kids at cornell and harvard or yale. Maybe you don't know a lot of people going to these schools, but I do. The kids at H/Y are for the most part incredbly high acheiving and hard working students who have succeeded academically their whole lives. The went to top10 colleges, got 3.9s, scored 175 on their lsat, and have some serious other intellectual accomplishments. The people I know at Cornell, Michigan, and Duke... yea, they are mostly pretty bright, went to ok schools like tufts, wisconsin, colby, and colgate, got pretty good grades in college and got 170s on their lsat. most are just total average upper middle class kids, nothing spectacular. the reason one student is at yale and another cornell is not pure chance or arbitrary circumstance. There are real differences in drive, ambition, intelligence, accomplishment, and intellectualism. I'm not tooting my own horn here. I did not get into harvard and yale. Do I think I'm smarter and perhaps a better thinker than some friends at these schools? Yes. Do I recognize that there are damn good reasons they got in over me? Hell yes. There is a huge difference between their 3.9 and my 3.6? The fact that my friends consistently got As at excellent colleges every single semester really does say something about their discipline and work ethic, not to mention intelligence. I'm not arguing that two points on the lsat is really indicative a a major gap in ability and intelligence. That' why there is NOT much difference between the average student at harvard and columbia or chicago and penn... but what separates harvard and cornell or harvard and duke students is a whole lot more than a few lsat points. take a look at their class profiles, take a look at the number of rhoes/marshalls at harvard and yale, take a look at the % coming from top10 UGs, take a look at the accomplishments of incoming students, take a look at their gpas, take a look at how many students have graduate degrees... there are serious differences.
Also, when I argued about which incoming columbia students would do well I was arguing against myself. I'm a 178/3.6 and I think I'll do poorly against 172/3.8 students. I think its pretty fair to say that there is much less difference between a 178 and 172 than between a 3.6 and 3.8. I'm not claiming that the students with higher numbers within a given school are all way smarter, I'm arguing that for a school like columbia that has a whole bunch of high lsat splitters who clearly are not the hardest workers/disciplined students its perhaps advantageous to be one of the students screwed out of hys by a couple of lsat points.
To be clear, nothing I've said in this thread is self-serving. I'm arguing that the low clerkship numbers of the school I will attend is about more than self-selection, I'm arguing that harvard and yale do often have students who are just clearly better than students at the school I will attend, I'm arguing that students with numbers like mine will often underperform in law school (even though that last point was just a bit of curious musing that I'm not really invested in at all).

At the end of the day, it may be comforting to say that the kids at the best school are really no better than any of us (or anyone) and that their accomplishments are easily dismissed/relativized but thats complete BS. Its also easy to say that the accomplishments of students coming out of these schools is due to unfair prestige worship and nepotism, but just because it feels good doesn't make it true. Sure there is no simple formula that translates ug gpa/lsat to law school and law success. However, the qualities that got someone into Harvard college and then got them a 3.95 a 175, departmental honors, and a truman or marshall... those qualities most likely will contribute to success in most any endeavor. The same people tend to succeed all throughout life. If you told me 10 years ago where any of the two or three dozen law school students or alums I knew then (as teenagers) and know now would study law only one of them would have surprised me (kids fucked around in high school but ended up getting into Stanford). The rest, completely predictable. The yale students I know are just clearly better in almost every respect to the cornell students.

Once again, forgive the typos and grammar errors but I'm typing with as cast here so I'm not really concentrating too much on composition perfection.


I don't get it: are you trying to convince yourself or us? Disco et. al. are telling you the facts on the ground, facts which you apparently a) don't understand or b) choose not to understand because they clash with your utopian view of law school success as predicated upon LSAT/UGPA/HYPS affiliation.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby 270910 » Tue May 11, 2010 10:55 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:I'm arguing that the low clerkship numbers of the school I will attend is about more than self-selection, I'm arguing that harvard and yale do often have students who are just clearly better than students at the school I will attend, I'm arguing that students with numbers like mine will often underperform in law school (even though that last point was just a bit of curious musing that I'm not really invested in at all).


Quoted for glaring, painful wrongness.

Nothing more I can do here. We'll talk past each other. You'll go to law school. Do great or poorly, change your views or not. *shrug*

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby Illijah » Tue May 11, 2010 11:00 am

Am I the only one that read "scrotus clerks" and then laughed to themselves like a 13 yr old boy?

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue May 11, 2010 11:07 am

Illijah wrote:Am I the only one that read "scrotus clerks" and then laughed to themselves like a 13 yr old boy?

heeheehee
no, you're not.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue May 11, 2010 11:08 am

miamiman wrote:I don't get it: are you trying to convince yourself or us? Disco et. al. are telling you the facts on the ground, facts which you apparently a) don't understand or b) choose not to understand because they clash with your utopian view of law school success as predicated upon LSAT/UGPA/HYPS affiliation.


I think it's one of those things that must be learned by experience or never at all.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby of Benito Cereno » Tue May 11, 2010 11:23 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
miamiman wrote:I don't get it: are you trying to convince yourself or us? Disco et. al. are telling you the facts on the ground, facts which you apparently a) don't understand or b) choose not to understand because they clash with your utopian view of law school success as predicated upon LSAT/UGPA/HYPS affiliation.


I think it's one of those things that must be learned by experience or never at all.

I really don't have that expectation at all. I do think that the students at harvard and yale are overall qualitatively different than students at lower top14s. I also think that a fraction of the students at HLS are qualitatively different than cls students. This guy didn't contradict me with "facts" so much as "I'm in law school already so listen to this egalitarian fantasy just because." I never claimed that everyone who succeeds deserves to or that there is a really neat correlation between lsat/uggpa and law school grades. I only claimed that students with 3.8s probably have better work habits than students with 3.55s. Which is really pretty damn reasonable.


And for anyone curious, take a look at the clerks Harvard sends to the supreme court. they didn't just do well in law school. they all have ridiculous CVs.


And yes, I typed scrotus. my hand is in plaster.

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Re: HLS appellate and scotus clerks vs cls

Postby jnorsky » Tue May 11, 2010 11:30 am

of Benito Cereno wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
miamiman wrote:I don't get it: are you trying to convince yourself or us? Disco et. al. are telling you the facts on the ground, facts which you apparently a) don't understand or b) choose not to understand because they clash with your utopian view of law school success as predicated upon LSAT/UGPA/HYPS affiliation.


I think it's one of those things that must be learned by experience or never at all.

I really don't have that expectation at all. I do think that the students at harvard and yale are overall qualitatively different than students at lower top14s. I also think that a fraction of the students at HLS are qualitatively different than cls students. This guy didn't contradict me with "facts" so much as "I'm in law school already so listen to this egalitarian fantasy just because." I never claimed that everyone who succeeds deserves to or that there is a really neat correlation between lsat/uggpa and law school grades. I only claimed that students with 3.8s probably have better work habits than students with 3.55s. Which is really pretty damn reasonable.


And for anyone curious, take a look at the clerks Harvard sends to the supreme court. they didn't just do well in law school. they all have ridiculous CVs.


And yes, I typed scrotus. my hand is in plaster.



Dude, anyone from anywhere that clerks for SCOTUS has a ridiculous resume.




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