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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Stanford Symposium: Lawyers And Leadership

Stanford 2

Symposium, Raising the Bar: Lawyers and Leadership, 69 Stan. L. Rev. 1593-1853 (2017):

Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink


I took a few minutes and looked up the featured speakers for this symposium on lawyers and leadership. Here’s where they went to school:

Hastings Law
UC Davis Law
Harvard Law
Stanford Law
Yale Law
Dartmouth, GW Law
Double Penn
Columbia Law
Yale, UVA Law
Michigan, Michigan Law
Harvard, Yale Law
Triple Stanford
Harvard, HLS
Dartmouth, Harvard Law
Yale, Columbia Law
Dartmouth, NYU Law

Geez, what’s the common thread here? Very little about law school or a bar license makes you a leader; it’s about how being a graduate of an elite law school (or undergrad, MBA, etc) can place you in the leadership caste. There are a few handfuls of colleges and universities that produce an extraordinarily disproportionate percentage of our leaders, whether we are talking about CEOs, presidents, Supreme Court justices, college presidents, lobbyists, law firm equity partners, management consultants, etc. This is no secret. Kellogg prof Lauren Rivera wrote a great book about this called Pedigree a few years ago; it has won book awards from business and sociological associations alike. To quote a bit of the synopsis, “Challenging our most cherished beliefs about college as a great equalizer and the job market as a level playing field, Pedigree exposes the class biases built into American notions about the best and the brightest, and shows how social status plays a significant role in determining who reaches the top of the economic ladder.”

Along these lines, it would be interesting to run an analysis of the socioeconomic backgrounds of most of these folk, too. It’s amazing how much agency one has to become a leader when they can live off a family trust and not have to worry about bills.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Oct 11, 2017 1:26:21 PM