Choosing the Right Law School / Re: gotten into great schools....but still disappointed. any thoughts?« on: February 11, 2007, 12:29:53 PM »
Idealistic belief in the power and importance of public education. Other than that, my Dad is a teacher's union activist and I was brought up with that influence. I believe strongly in the duty of a just society to assure opportunity, and as a (relatively) talented person, I think it's goood for talented people to patronize the system. If everyone smart is "sorted" out of public education and cherry-picked into private institutions, it dilutes the quality of the public education's student body and thus the strength and viability of the programs.
That said, I'm no saint, and this is by no means an OVERRIDING need. I applied to some private schools, as well, just in case... but a law school's public status earns it a lot of points with me. (Yes, I realize how strange that is.) That's just my preferred result.
Please forgive the naive question, but why is it important for "smart" students to remain at a public institution? I'm not quite sure I see how their absence would harm the strength/viability of the programs. It seems to me that the strength of a school comes from its abilities to produce excellent graduates far more so than it comes from attracting excellent applicants.
His argument makes sense if you buy the idea that a class that has smart students will be a better learning experience because they will help facilitate and improve the discussion. Especially in a place like law school you learn just as much from your peers as you do from the professor.
Top schools like Mich/UVA/Berkeley have no problem attracting top students. Not sure that the departure of some applicants to other top schools hurts those top publics very much at all. I can see this making more sense for other publics, but not those three (plus UT, UCLA, etc).
I was just making the argument for public schools in general. Personally, I think its more applicable for high school than for higher education.