Sunday, July 1, 2012
ABA Journal (July 2012): Cover Story: The Pedigree Problem: Are Law School Ties Choking the Profession?, by William Henderson (Indiana-Bloomington) & Rachel M. Zahorsky (ABA):
Decades after graduation, elite law school degrees continue to open doors closed to graduates of less-favored schools. Prestige drives a huge proportion of law firm hiring, judicial clerkships, and coveted positions at the U.S. Department of Justice and within the legal academy.
In contrast, law degrees from lower-ranked schools can create enormous uphill struggles for even the most talented and determined lawyers. A student from a nonelite law school may still get a foot in the door with high marks, but very few opportunities go to law students just because their schools more effectively develop core skills and knowledge or adopt innovative curricula or teaching methods. ...
Snobbism and elitism are the last socially acceptable prejudices. If law school rankings accurately foretold lawyer success, there’d be good reason for thousands of law graduates to be demoralized. But statistics have shown decidedly that they don’t. Instead, the preference toward the so-called elite is largely rooted in vanity and identity. ...
- ABA Journal Question of the Week: Do You Think Your Law School’s Name and Reputation Affected Your Career Path? For Better or Worse?
Update: Paul Horwitz (Alabama), Henderson and Zahorsky on the "Law School Pedigree Problem"