Law School Discussion

"There are 8 top 5 schools and 15 top 10 schools"

Re: "There are 8 top 5 schools and 15 top 10 schools"
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2005, 03:03:48 PM »
Also, Stanford cannot claim to be the best law school.  Most everyone acknoweldges that Yale is the best...and some people make the case for Harvard...but in reality, there are only two schools that can claim to be no. 1.  I think that line about three schools claiming to be no. 1 was made up by the Stanford dean.  You gotta give her credit, it's an inventive way of exaggerating how good they are.  But it's not intellectually honest.


Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here's a good description of why, arguably, Stanford can try to lay claim to that spot:

Essentially, Yale is good if you want to be an academic or non-practicing lawyer. Not to say that if you want to be the latter you can't; just saying it might not be the best school for that. Many complaints of too much theory. Harvard is probably the other extreme. Larger, more focused on private practice, etc.

Stanford is a nice compromise. You still get the small size of Yale, its proximity to Silicon valley ensures that they keep their head below the clouds, but we can hold our own in clerkships and (arguably) academia. Good place to go if you're simply not sure of what you want to do, and want to keep your options open.

Seeing as you're a self-described Stanford troll, I don't expect you to agree with me, but for the sake of argument ... :)

Sorry, I just don't buy that argument. According to Leiter, Stanford is 4th in terms of SCOTUS placement and 3rd for going into academia.  And as for firms, while the Stanford name may wow nearly everyone, I doubt that many lawyers outside of SF rank Stanford over Harvard/Yale. 

Also, Yale IS a good place to go if you want to go into private practice.  While its curriculum may stress theory, all of the T14's stress theory...and you don't really learn anything in law school that is directly applicable to private practice anyway.  The only thing about Yale is that it opens so many attractive academic, clerking, and government doors that people often skip out on BIGLAW.

In other words, few people doubt that Yale is the best school...and the only argument against that is that, in terms of sheer numbers, Harvard often places more grads in academica and the SCOTUS.  Stanford can't claim either a per-student or a numerical advantage in either of these measures of prestige (which I think are the most important arbiters among the T14), and so it really has no claim to being no. 1.

OK, it's obvious that Stanford's quality of life is much better than Yale or Harvard's, and this is a fine reason to go with Stanford over either of those schools.  But that quality of life advantage doesn't make it a better school professionally or academically.

Plus, if I remember correctly, Stanford lost to Duke in 2000 en route to our national championship.  See, the trees just can't win anywhere :)


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Re: "There are 8 top 5 schools and 15 top 10 schools"
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2005, 04:04:32 PM »
It says here that Cooley is in the top 5 with Stanford down at 112!
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Re: "There are 8 top 5 schools and 15 top 10 schools"
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2005, 07:14:47 PM »
I find myself in a strange position, as a Berkeley alum, in defending Stanford ...  :-[

Still, I stand by what I said. Stanford doesn't really "lean" one way or the other, so it gives its grads plenty of options. The only school that I arguably, maybe would have chosen over sls would have been yale ... but even then, not certain that I would have.