I’ve addressed this in my blog, but I’ll just reiterate that we have the greatest access to clinics – which offer the most practical experience you can get – of any law school. This is because we open our clinics to 1Ls, and they can appear in court in their first year as well. So it is not unusual for a student to have had real courtroom experience by the end of their first year, which is not typical anywhere else. About 80% of our students participate in a clinic before they graduate, so the majority of Yale graduates have worked on real legal cases (as in drafting motions and briefs and arguing them themselves, not writing memos for other attorneys) in some capacity by the time they graduate, which again is pretty atypical.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
The political implications don’t stop there. An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.