BioEBear2010 wrote: Yes, Stanford is very strong in technology; however, there aren't all that many students interested in technology law. Many of the Y/S cross-admits that do end up choosing Stanford happen to be interested in IP, though.
If I were to venture a guess, I would say Yale and Harvard (aside from being arguably more prestigious) have larger niches for most law students than Stanford. Many Harvard students want to practice biglaw or enter politics, and many Yale students want to clerk, go into academia, or do government work. Stanford, however, seems to have a relative advantage in a smaller number of areas, most notably IP and immigration (I'm not even sure about this). The fact that Y/H place very well in California removes some of Stanford's West Coast appeal, as well.
Seems to me that when I look at the programs there really isn't much of a substantive difference in the curriculum between Stanford, Harvard, and Yale and the difference in placement also seems to be marginal-at-best.
I'd venture to guess that most of the yield difference can be explained by East Coast bias and people chasing the "Ivy" prestige.
It would be fascinating to see what the yield rates for each of these schools is from students who live on the West Coast, where Stanford is held-up as at least the equal and often the better school of the three.
Just because the curricula and placement numbers are very similar does not mean that the schools have not created niches. Stanford, as a result of its location within the silicon valley and the strength of its engineering and entrepreneurship, will attract more students interested in technology law.
Also, the size of each law school is worth mentioning. Harvard is enormous, with far more resources and professors (and students) than Yale or Stanford. That will attract a certain type of student -- if someone wants access to more professors, or if he/she wants to network with more people, then it would make sense to choose H over Y/S.
Yale and Stanford are more similar to one another than either is to Harvard. Or at least this is how it appears to me, and to many prospective law students with whom I have spoken. It sort of makes sense, then, that a student will either desire (a), (b), and (c) in a law school, and thus prefer Yale/Stanford, or prefer (d), (e), and (f) in a law school, and thus prefer Harvard. And the large majority of Y/S cross-admits will choose Yale, for whatever reason (prestige, fit, location, etc -- I'm not going to dive into the specifics, because I don't know which one I prefer). Hence Y/H's higher yields than S's (talking out of my ass