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LAW SOCIAL SCIENCE LITERATURE LAW SCHOOL AND PERSONAL STATEMENTSLaw School Admissions Why BotherStately and plump Harvard Law School admits just 850 to yield a class of550 for Yale fewer than 400 admitted brings a svelte class of 170 Ever battlingits late entry and the suspectness of a West Coast address -- newness coupledwith the perception that sunshine vitiates seriousness -- Stanford Law Schooladmitted 435 to make a class of 180 for the class of 1998 For the most partstudents admitted to Stanford either go to Stanford go to Harvard go to Yale ordon t go to law school Five-hundred fifty plus 150 plus 180 equals 880 Eight-hundred eighty isjust 30 more than 850 which implies that Harvard which was first still is firstwhen it comes to circumscribing the legal elite In other words if Harvardeffectively locates the 850 students who will be divided among itself Stanfordand Yale why bother worrying about what Stanford does who it admits As thisreasoning goes Harvard has taken care of things Harvard defines the 850students implying that the admissions procedures of the latter two aresuperfluous -- like so much parasitic on Harvard Not so First it matters year to year for as long as Stanford s and Yale sclasses are small and Harvard s is big who Stanford and Yale reject Stanfordrejects contribute importantly to the School s reputation Stanford admits 400compared to Harvard s 800 Assuming considerable overlap in applicationpatterns many of Harvard s last 400 admitees were likely rejected by StanfordThe perception widely held that attendance at Harvard means one could havegone anywhere is false rejection by Stanford serves as a reminder of theproposition s falseness The presence of Stanford rejects at Harvard is anotherway of saying Stanford is good because as everyone knows Harvard is good More broadly it is possible to play renegade in this game as Stanfordapparently did several years ago by admitting older students and reachingoutside the 850 Thus it does or can matter
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