Southside: I am a sports fan, but I had to see "1919 (say it ain't so, Joe): none1920-2004 (the loooong wait): none2005 (Ozzieball): NYU, Harvard, Columbia ($$$), Yale" a few times before I got, even though in hindsight it was fairly obvious. October 2005 seems so long ago now somehow. A redsox fan could do something similiar.
No one has dealt with my original question very substantively. Of course you will get better jobs more easily coming out of a top-tier law school as opposed to a lower tier one. This is also very true of college.The study I linked to in my original post, however, showed that over time, this initial advantage doesn't mean anything. In the end, the evidence is against the idea that where you went to college matters very much for your prospects in life. The study ingeniously corrects for selection bias by comparing students who got into the same schools but went to different ones.So the question is: does the same logic apply to law school? It seems fairly clear that initial prospects are better at some schools than others, but how true does this hold over time?If someone were to do the same study with law schools, and look at people who got into top schools but didn't go, compared with those who did go to the top schools, what would it reveal and why?If it matters which school you went to even long after you graduate, there can only be three explanations, as I see it. One, it could be that the law is just a more prestige-oriented profession than any other and therefore people will always judge you first by where you went to school, even if you have the same career accomplishments as someone else.Two, it could be that the quality of the education you get and the connections you make in the three years of law school is so important that it fundamentally changes your capacity to succeed in the legal profession. Three, it could be that your initial post-law school job is vitally important to your future career prospects. In other words, the legal career is like a race in which it a small head start at the beginning makes a huge difference.None of these reasons sounds super compelling for me, which is why I question how much it matters which school you go to in the first place.