So... you're saying that a Yale student is twice as likely to get SCOTUS as a Harvard student. I'm not sure why we're arguing. Harvard: where you're half as likely to get SCOTUS as Yale.
I'll bite on this one. I've already said, validly, that for clerkships they go deeper into the YLS class because the size of yls is so small. Again, this is not difficult to understand.
Furthermore, you cast the top 5% to 10% disparity in a negative light in YLS' favor. Top 5% at HLS is far more difficult than top 10% at yls will ever be, and therefore the top 5% at HLS are more distinguished. In addition top 5% at HLS still produces a greater number of clerkships in absolute terms than top 10% at yls. Hence, upon graduation, at HLS you'll be joining a larger alumni base of grads who received SCOTUS clerkships. Don't underestimate representation.
I hold a high degree of respect for YLS and rightfully so based on its placement, but it is really not any better than HLS.
You can laugh all you want. HLS and YLS are unequivocal equals. People who think otherwise are really just stroking their elitist egos. There are always arguments that could go in favor of either school.
And I think you are seriously biased since you go to YLS, just FYI.
And FYI I don't think anyone can dispute the fact that HLS magna bests YLS any day. But of course that's only about 55+ grads a year.
I just think it is funny, man. I don't really care which one is better. I don't care if they are equals. I have some close friends that go to YLS and some close friends at HLS. Every one of them is going to be successful. They would've been successful had they gone somewhere else, man. The thing that makes YLS and HLS great is the caliber of students. The number of books in the library, the number of clerks, the number of profs, the number of clinics - those are just details.
It isn't the schools that produce the clerks or kids bright enough to get V5 jobs. It is that students who are bright enough to begin with who select Harvard or Yale. Sure, having a H on a resume is going to open a lot of doors. Having Y on the resume is going to open a lot of doors. It only opens those doors because the name of the school says something about the student. It allows employers or judges to generalize pretty accurately about the strength or quality of the applicant.
Of course, in this narrow way, Yale is better than Harvard. The assumption is that if you got into Yale, you also got into Harvard. And for whatever reason, the perception exists that a kid at YLS is a slightly stronger student (at least ex ante) than at HLS. The perception probably exists as a result of Yale's ultra selective admissions.
But it is worth noting that almost every person that got into Yale also got into Harvard. It is also worth noting that almost all the individuals who get into both choose Yale. These aren't dumb people. They are choosing Yale because the perception in the legal community is that Yale is better. As a result of this perception, the opportunities and jobs come slightly easier to a kid at Yale than to a kid at Harvard.
I don't think anyone is arguing that Harvard as a legal institution is worse than Yale. In fact, as "schools" they are equal. It is just at one, the opportunities for graduates are more bountiful and easier to come by. Among schools that are "equals," that is the tie-breaker.
You can argue about clerk-placement and raw numbers v. per capita, but I think that the better test is just seeing which school people admitted to both choose. For bright kids to reject the natural "Harvard" allure, YLS must be a pretty special place.
I like the tone of your post a bit more and YLS really is a special place.
Law is a seriously over-elitist profession. It's not that I think the people that place YLS on a pedestal are stupid; it's just that they are a little delusional when they compare hls and yls. I don't think people choose yls only because they think yls is better; there are other factors too - no grades, smaller, new haven (kidding). Others may choose hls for the opposite reasons - perhaps they want the chance to compete for the magna status or perhaps they want to be part of a larger school that has a larger alumni base. Look, yls is more selective, but to an extent that is really moot. Are there a lot of hls folks who didn't get to yls? Yes, but that's because yls is a tiny school, not necessarily because it's actually more selective. Selectivity to me refers to caliber of students admitted. Look at HBS - it enrolls a whopping 900+ students a year. It does so to ensure a large presence in the real world and it has paid off. HLS has a similar mentality, but at the cost of taking a very, very slight hit in its gpa/lsat ranges relative to yls. Obviously, yls is serious competition.
It is a bit easier for yls students to get the top jobs, that's no secret. But is it enough of a reason, standing alone, to pick yls? I personally don't think so when there are so many other factors.