The revolt of the Yale Law School elites

Whether American News changed its rankings in a way that elevated other law schools at the expense of the existing top 14 – and again, Dean Gerken’s proposed reforms, if implemented, would appear to elevate Yale even higher, maybe at number one with a bullet – Roberts (JD Harvard, magna cum laude, 1979) change his preferred source of employees? Of course not. True power does not bend to the whims of defunct weekly newspapers. Someone else would step in and invent a way to re-identify the top 14, perhaps by counting the number of Supreme Court internships each school’s graduates receive.

It is true that debt is a huge problem for lawyers. The way to solve this problem is not to tinker with the rankings. It reduces law school tuition. Yale can provide generous aid for low-income students. But it’s published list price of $96,681 per nine-month academic year for tuition, books, room and board helps establish the bargain that other less affluent law schools follow.

It may indeed take three years of careful thought in Cambridge or New Haven to adequately prepare for a lucrative career in managing corporate mergers and acquisitions – we’ll have to take them at their word – but most practicing lawyers have normal employment in criminal, civil, labor and family law. The idea that all lawyers need three years of extremely expensive training after earning a bachelor’s degree is a relatively new invention.

Nancy I. Romero