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LAW SOCIAL SCIENCE LITERATURE LAW SCHOOL AND PERSONAL STATEMENTS Law School Admissions Why Bother Stately and plump Harvard Law School admits just 850 to yield a class of 550 for Yale fewer than 400 admitted brings a svelte class of 170 Ever battling its late entry and the suspectness of a West Coast address -- newness coupled with the perception that sunshine vitiates seriousness -- Stanford Law School admitted 435 to make a class of 180 for the class of 1998 For the most part students admitted to Stanford either go to Stanford go to Harvard go to Yale or dont go to law school Five-hundred fifty plus 150 plus 180 equals 880 Eight-hundred eighty is just 30 more than 850 which implies that Harvard which was first still is first when it comes to circumscribing the legal elite In other words if Harvard effectively locates the 850 students who will be divided among itself Stanford and Yale why bother worrying about what Stanford does who it admits As this reasoning goes Harvard has taken care of things Harvard defines the 850 students implying that the admissions procedures of the latter two are superfluous -- like so much parasitic on Harvard Not so First it matters year to year for as long as Stanfords and Yales classes are small and Harvards is big who Stanford and Yale reject Stanford rejects contribute importantly to the Schools reputation Stanford admits 400 compared to Harvards 800 Assuming considerable overlap in application patterns many of Harvards last 400 admitees were likely rejected by Stanford The perception widely held that attendance at Harvard means one could have gone anywhere is false rejection by Stanford serves as a reminder of the propositions falseness The presence of Stanford rejects at Harvard is another way of saying Stanford is good because as everyone knows Harvard is good More broadly it is possible to play renegade in this game as Stanford apparently did several
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