August 3, 2010

"So the best thing you can do for your career is to go to the crappiest law school you can get into and dominate your competition?"

"That sounds vaguely anti-intellectual. Shouldn’t students want to compete against the best, as opposed to dominate the weak? Sander and Yakowitz apparently believe that students shouldn’t 'trade-up' and transfer to better law schools if they have the opportunity."

Well, "crappiest" seems to be an exaggeration. It seems to argue for going to a law school where you will be in the high end of the LSAT/GPA numbers admitted. You don't have to be a big outlier, just nicely within the usual top end. Then work hard but comfortably and rank at the top of your class.

You know, some of us are — against our will — forced into essentially that strategy because our soft credentials suck. I know. I applied to law schools with a BFA degree, a painting major, 5 years of unimpressive day jobs, and the lack of savvy and sophistication to bullshit my way out of it in my personal statement.

Now, to look at another angle: Affirmative action pushes students into the opposite strategy. If Sander and Yakowitz are right, doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?

57 comments:

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

I recall some empirical studies done several years ago that demonstrated that negative effect of affirmative action.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes. This conclusion already has research backing it up.

tim maguire said...

That was the choice I faced--go to the best school I can, or go to a school I could stand out in. I went to the best school I could, which was the right choice in the hot market of that time. But when I graduated in the middle of my class, the market had tightened up a lot and my choice was looking wrong.

I would have been better off graduating in the top 10% of a mediocre school than the 50% of a top tier school. But it was too late to go back.

Paul said...

If Sander and Yakowitz are right, doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?

Thomas Sowell has been making this point for years: due to affirmative action pressures, minority students are going to always be accepted into colleges that they are not quite qualified for. A student that would have done extremely well at a good state university like UCONN will be snapped up by Yale, where he will struggle or be coddled along.

Does anyone listen? Of course not. It's the good intentions that matter to liberals, not the real-world results.

TMink said...

"doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?"

Why would subsidizing mediocrity reduce excellence?

Trey

rhhardin said...

I don't think I've ever seen myself as being in competition.

It must be competition blindness.

Plodding along works okay.

TMink said...

Paul, nobody on the left listens to Sowell because they cannot follow him (dude is WAY smart) and he does not fit the narrative. He is not a liberal house slave.

Trey

kathleen said...

No, because the affirmative action continues into the hiring process, and beyond. Minorities don't need good grades to get good jobs, only non-minorities do.

Freeman Hunt said...

A student that would have done extremely well at a good state university like UCONN will be snapped up by Yale, where he will struggle or be coddled along.

Exactly. Forget that it's affirmative action. Say that you took a group of white boys and always put them in situations where they were in over their heads, always struggling. Every boy had his own level of ability, but for every boy, you frustrated it by overwhelming him. Of course those boys wouldn't do as well as boys who were placed properly.

(Of course, there will be a few who are at the very top end academically so that they'll never be in over their heads, but those people are outliers and not who we're concerned with here.)

DADvocate said...

...doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?

Pretty much like all the liberal programs. Food stamps - obesity. Subsidized housing - subsidized ghettos. Affirmative action - set up to fail in school and on the job.

DADvocate said...

Welfare - broken families. Head Start - completely failed.

The Crack Emcee said...

Because of James Webb's recent article, I've changed my mind about affirmative action - it should be fixed, not eliminated - so I don't know, exactly, how to answer your question. Affirmative action got me out of my school in South Central, so I can't say it's bad, or not needed, but how we (both the recipients and those "giving" blacks the opportunity) regard it needs to examined more closely.

I got chosen to be bussed to the better ("white") school because my grades were good, so I can't see that it's wrong, and - if it was administered in the manner it was originally proposed - nobody ("white") got hurt. I'd even go out on a limb and say I think my ("white") friend, Pete, would say we're both better off for it because it's given us one of the closest friendships of our lives - a definite long-term benefit, for us and society, because we're both out there, daily, beating the drum for acceptance and understanding through the prism of American values.

Like I said, I've changed my mind, so I can't say for sure what I think, definitively, just yet.

Freeman Hunt said...

I got chosen to be bussed to the better ("white") school because my grades were good,

I don't see anything wrong with something like that. That sounds like accurate placement based on merit.

Flexo said...

Since the profession (and society at large) are infested with elitist attitudes, the BEST thing that one can do is to get into the school with the most "prestige" and then it doesn't matter how much you actually suck with your grades.

Just getting that degree from one of those schools assures that you will get hired no matter how much of a moron you are (like many of the Georgetown and U.Va. law grads I've known).

On the other hand, many of the most brilliant people from no-name schools will have to scratch and claw to get the career that is merely handed to the elites. Their merit will often get them there, but it will be a lot harder to do.

former law student said...

I would have been better off graduating in the top 10% of a mediocre school than the 50% of a top tier school.

Man proposes, God disposes.

I met a guy who was an electrical engineer whose company had looked to be tanking. So in late February/March he started applying to law schools, to make the big bucks as a patent attorney. Boston College put him on their waitlist, while St. John's admitted him with a nice scholarship. The only requirement to keep it was to be in the upper half of the class after 1L.

Having done well in school all his life, he thought rather than try applying again in the fall, he would accept the scholarship and go to the no-name LI school. If Boston College was ready to accept him (had he not applied so late in the admissions cycle), excelling at St. John's would have been a slam dunk, right?

Well, you can guess the outcome. Not only did this fellow not place in the upper 10%, he was somewhere in the lower 40%. Luckily he was not washed out. But he was stuck in a crappy school with crappy grades during the fall interview cycle. Worse yet, he had to pay the full freight for the remaining two years.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman,

"Forget that it's affirmative action. Say that you took a group of white boys and always put them in situations where they were in over their heads, always struggling. Every boy had his own level of ability, but for every boy, you frustrated it by overwhelming him. Of course those boys wouldn't do as well as boys who were placed properly."

My problems with it were two-fold - and, remarkably, the same problems I find myself in, now:

1) I didn't have the money (not the brains) to compete with those around me, which made all kinds of problems, especially socially.

2) Going back to the ghetto each night - and being targeted as different for my evolving tastes and experiences - as well as my acceptance by some whites, while my black colleagues insisted on defining themselves by their race, could be a real trial that no one (teachers, counselors, foster parents, and me) had, at the time, no answers for.

I think, today, we do have the experience to deal with some of the issues I faced, but back then it could be hell.

Freeman Hunt said...

FLS makes a good point. Things don't always go so easily. And the high graduation rates you see at the very top schools aren't entirely due to committed students. You get a lot more coddling at many of the highest ranked places and not necessarily a better education.

former law student said...

A student that would have done extremely well at a good state university like UCONN will be snapped up by Yale

I doubt this. I transferred from a second tier undergrad to a top tier school, where getting good grades was considerably easier. Better profs and smarter classmates really helped me understand the material.

Freeman Hunt said...

I didn't notice better or worse profs anywhere I went. They all seemed to run the gamut.

Kurt said...

I think this is always an interesting dilemma in any sort of graduate education.

Although I chose to attend a graduate program (in the humanities) that was somewhat more elite than the graduate program which had made me a better offer up front, I have often wondered if it was the right choice. At the slightly less elite (but still very well-regarded) program, the faculty made it clear that they wanted me to attend; at the program I attended, by and large the faculty was indifferent. I got through the program with no difficulty, but no one was especially helpful when I faced my job search. I eventually left the field completely. Whether or not that would have happened had I attended the less elite program, I cannot say, but sometimes I think the results might have been different.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm skeptical of their conclusion that being in the top of a mediocre school is better, at least in the current economy.* Now, it's about two things: connections and luck. You're (probably) more likely to get the connections at a prestigious school, and luck's luck. So, unless you can go somewhere you already have some connections to build on, I'd choose the prestigious school.

* Top 10% of my class at a mid-level school (probably one of the best that I could have gotten into). Clerkship. No bad experiences that I'm aware of. Still only got an independant contractor gig with a buddy of mine who has his own firm. It's a jungle out there.

********

Also, as FLS indicated, I doubt many people are good at guessing where they'll be in Law School. I assumed that, although I'd always done well in school, I'd never really dominated and I'd be up against a much stronger competition and should fair near the middle. I was off by a long shot (pleasantly so). I think a lot of my classmates had the opposite, less pleasant, experience.

- Lyssa

AllenS said...

The problem with Affirmative Action? Let's say that you need a lawyer, and you're facing serious jail time, or a threat to your wealth, or livelihood. You go to a law office, and the secretary says: "see Mr. Jones in room 4" and you go and there is a black person. The first thing that would go through my mind, was, did he get here only because he was affirmative actioned to this position?

Shorter version--

The problem with Affirmative Action? Obama.

The Crack Emcee said...

AllenS,

"The problem with Affirmative Action? Obama."

That's why I said our attitudes need to be examined:

Obama's always thought he was "getting over on the white man".

Maguro said...

The study on the effect of law school affirmative action, conducted by UCLA professor Richard Sander can be found here.

Summary, per WSJ:

"The study found a stark achievement gap between blacks and whites throughout the nation's law schools. Close to half of the black law students ended up in the bottom tenth of their class. African-Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to drop out -- and more than six times as likely to fail state bar exams after multiple tries.

"Prof. Sander argues that the reason for this outcome stems from a 'mismatch' between the credentials of the black students and the institutions they attend. Because they have weaker credentials, he says, the students achieve lower grades. And since grades are strongly correlated to success on the bar exam, he argues, these students failed the bar in higher numbers.

"He argues that students who perform at the bottom of their classes at more selective colleges often are confused by tougher material taught at speeds that challenge higher-achieving classmates. At less selective colleges, the material tends to be simpler, so these students can pull into the middle of their class and pick up the baseline information needed to pass the bar exam. And he says there is a 'cascade effect' on every tier of law school, from Harvard and Yale down the ranks, ensuring that, at each level, blacks perform worse and are less likely to become lawyers
."

So, yeah, affirmative action doesn't do much for black people. It mostly helps white liberals feel good about themselves.

EDH said...

I probably could have been admitted to at least one top-tier school (my undergrad) because of my soft credentials.

But I was entering law school at 34, and looking more at career enhancement rather than career change into big firm practice.

I thought the 4-year “night” route would allow me to meet my existing obligations while somewhat enjoying the law school experience.

But no top-tiers in Boston have a four-year program, a fact humorously portrayed in the movie The Departed.

For me, I think worked out. I had time to study. The class was full of people with real world experience under their belts, including natural sciences and engineering. I graduated top 5%. One of the top younger students who did quit her day job to transfer out to a top-tier school said the work was no more competitive and she graduated top of her class there.

I think there is something to what Sander and Yakowitz say about “a level of confidence you gain from doing well that serves you well not only in school but afterward.”

Too many kids go to law school straight from undergraduate without a clear notion of who they really are and little experience in how the world works.

Kirstin said...

The law students who make a strategic decision to go to a crappy law school in order to dominate the competition will come up against other bright students who are there because they did not want to move or have a long commute to a superior law school.

If you want to be a public defender or an assistant DA, your law school may not matter so much. If you want to work for a big firm, it probably will matter.

Maguro said...

Busted link. Sander study found here.

AllenS said...

My attitude needs no examination. I'm wary. I have every reason to be concerned that the person of color not only didn't study, get good grades, wouldn't have graduated had he not been an AA recipient, that I will not take a chance.

Have you ever seen Obama's grades? Why do you think that is?

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder if higher education in general would be better off if everyone waited at least two years or so before pursuing it. You can't do that with a lot of the big scholarships, but maybe that should be changed. For now, we have, mostly, all of these young people with almost no life experience who are supposed to be learning all about the world. I don't think that's very effective without at least some experiential reference. Doesn't it seem a bit absurd, for example, to see eighteen year olds, most of whom have never had more than part time jobs and who have never even had to be responsible for providing for themselves, out studying economics or politics?

Maguro said...

If Sander and Yakowitz are right, doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?

Ha, didn't even notice that Sander was the same guy who did the affirmative action study. Clearly, he agrees that it harms more than helps.

XWL said...

"doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?"

Generalized rule of government progams:

(program X) harms those it means to help, once it becomes an entrenched bureaucratic institution more interested in self perpetuation rather than addressing any on-going real world harm.

Examples: see, Affirmative Action, Title IX, Social Security, Long Term Unemployment Benefits, Open Border Policies, No Child Left Behind, Pell Grants, Cash for Clunkers, Transportation Security Agency, and more too numerous to mention.

When government tries to ensure equality of results rather than equality of opportunities, that's when it screws everyone.

Skyler said...

Crack, I'd say that you were helped but the proper solution would have been to fix the schools who were wasting our money.

Freeman, you're close, but the real truth is that the education is pretty much the same at every law school, they all have good and bad professors. The difference is that the lower schools have more that aren't as smart, but all the schools have students at the top that are about the same in intelligence and ability to work.

The real difference is perception and reputation. There's probaby not a way to get around the silly perception and reputation dominance of the top law schools, it's a human thing. But no one should fool themselves that they are really better because they went to Harvard instead of Notre Dame or even Texas. The variation of individuals is too great and the difference in the curricula is too little.

30yearProf said...

All of life is a crap shoot.

I went to the BEST law school that I could get into (one of the Top Ten). I was the median student (LSAT/GPA) in the entering class.

I worked harder than I have ever done (before or after) and graduated as number two in class rank. THAT performance gave me access to a new world. A n-i-c-e new world.

Don't sell yourself short.

virgil xenophon said...

Without disagreeing with much of what is being said here, a lot depends on one's goals and opportunities. A Columbia Law School Grad from Denver that I used to play tennis with in the late 60s at the Denver Tennis Club told me that if he'd of known he was coming back to Colo. instead of going to Wall Street or D.C and Govt he'd have gone to law school in Colo. as all one's contacts are made in law school and he was about 5-10 years behind his contemporaries in Denver as a result. (He ended up a Federal judge in Denver scheduling his cases around his tennis matches lol.)

Likewise one of my college roommates ended up going to Loyola, N.O. Law School at night while he worked at a bank's computer dept by day. He joined a mid-sized (then) firm that is now New Orleans largest and most prominent (Adams & Reese) specializing in Admiralty Law where he is now a Sr. Managing partner.

Moral? The creme usually eventually rises to the top (but unfortunately all too often so does the scum--POTUS anyone?)

Hey said...

Sure you can get into the white shoe firm from hahvahd, but you quickly get out. And the world as a washout from Cravath's ain't very sweet.

Meanwhile those who got top 5% further down the list will get good clerkships and other positions, make connections/gain experience and set themselves up quite well. John Edwards went to UNCL, definitely not elite, and made massive amounts of money. Much of the plaintiff bar comes from similar backgrounds, and they really drag the average up. Elite schools don't have many super high earning alumni, Boies being a big exception, while many do government service (dragging down the average) or exit law to make money (Jim Cramer, Elliot Spitzer...).

If you want to be on the Supreme Court, teach law, or work at a whiteshoe firm, go to havahd. If you want to make bank, go where you will excel.

Zach said...

You know, it cheers me up a little to see a study showing academic merit actually mattering in law school. I'm not a lawyer, and this mindset that your career follows a predetermined path after you enroll at the very best school that will have you strikes me as a bizarre variety of lawyer fantasy.

Science is pretty elitist, too, but there's a very clear ordering to the things people are elitist about:
1) Prestige of current job and recent papers
2) Prestige of past jobs and past papers
3) Grad school advisor
4) Grad school attended

I don't even know where most of my scientist friends went to undergrad, unless it comes up during March Madness.

So the best thing you can do for your career is to go to the crappiest law school you can get into and dominate your competition? That sounds vaguely anti-intellectual. Shouldn’t students want to compete against the best, as opposed to dominate the weak?

Dominating "weak" competition still sounds like dominating. "Competing against the best" sounds like mediocrity in expensive buildings.

Zach said...

I'm reminded of the baseball draft.

If you take the best players at age 21, you're looking at college players taken in the first couple of rounds. There are some great players, but a surprisingly large number of washouts.

If you take the best players at age 24, nearly all of them are impact major leaguers. Three years of development tells you a lot!

Bruce Hayden said...

Also, as FLS indicated, I doubt many people are good at guessing where they'll be in Law School. I assumed that, although I'd always done well in school, I'd never really dominated and I'd be up against a much stronger competition and should fair near the middle. I was off by a long shot (pleasantly so). I think a lot of my classmates had the opposite, less pleasant, experience.

I hate it when I have to agree with FLS, but I do here. You just don't know how well you are going to do in law school.

Part of it is pure luck. I had LSATs higher than the median at any school in the country, but went to a not so good school. And my 1L contracts and torts classes killed me. Not because I didn't learn the material, but because they weren't graded well.

For example, the contracts prof gave three points for every cite you put into your answers, one for the name, one for the year, and one for the court. Never mind that this encouraged behavior, citing essentially irrelevant cases, that would get you sanctioned by almost any court in the country. It was pure memorization, and the guy who got the high grade the year before admitted to a photographic memory.

I was able to recover after that, with almost all A's after that, even Am Juring twice, but the damage was already done.

And I was not alone - my brother had similar problems in contracts a couple years later at the same school. If he had been in one of the other sections, he probably would have had one of the highest grades. But because of the way the prof graded, he got hosed.

I, too, along with a previous poster, found that going to a T1 school made no sense to where I was in life - married, with a career, etc.

And, so, despite all that, I was happy with where I got my law degree, despite its less than top ranking. One thing that I was able to do was to hook up with the computer law prof. I took a lot of classes with him, and have stayed reasonably close to him since then. His kids and mine have grown up together. I somehow suspect that I would not have had that sort of opportunity if I had gone to a top school.

Kurt said...

I think that virgil xenophon makes an excellent point here. It really depends what it is you want to do after law school and where you see yourself going. Now while some like 30yearprof might go to a good school and excel and find many unimagined opportunities as a result, the case of the Denver lawyer v.x. refers to may be more typical for many.

When I consider the lawyers who are most influential and most successful in the state where I now live, very few of them went to top tier law schools. The most successful seem to have found their success on the strength of their previous connections, their personalities, their business acumen, or all of the above. If one doesn't intend to practice law at a large law firm in "blue" state or to become a law professor, then the selectivity of the law school really seems to matter less than other factors (which is pretty much what the study documented).

Jim said...

freeman -

I agree with you that we, as a society, would be best served if EVERYONE took 2 years out of high school before being allowed to enroll at a college/university.

But here's why it will never happen:

1) Because so many would choose to never enter at all. That would reduce enrollments, professor salaries, etc. Academia will never allow that to happen.
2) Related to #1, many get into being professors so they can "mold the minds" of the young and impressionable. They have sold the lie that college is necessary so that they can indoctrinate as many as possible with their Leftist politics. They will never willingly give that up.
3) Giving students a chance to gain real-world experience would give them life experiences which might allow them to challenge the Leftist drivel which only someone who has never lived outside the ivory tower could believe.

Bruce Hayden said...

One big problem in law is that the incomes have become "bimodal". You have most lawyers, and then you have the big firms. The starting salaries of the top firms are better than double that of the new lawyers that don't make the cut. And if they can hack it, and can stick it out, their incomes continue to stay way up there (now being able to stick it out through until partnership is ever more problematic though, given how highly leveraged these firms are).

Getting those plum starting jobs though is very, very competitive, and traditionally, one of the best ways to do so has been to graduate decently at a very top school. The better the school, of course, the easier it is. And, as we see with Lyssa here, even graduating high in her class, with a nice clerkship under her belt, it is still very very hard.

I think the other thing that you need to keep in mind is that after you have been out for awhile, no one knows your class rank, unless you were in the top 10% of your class (and you can put something indicating that on your resume). But Harvard or Yale stay with you, even if you graduated at the bottom of your class.

mariner said...

If Sander and Yakowitz are right, doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?

I thought that was widely known, just not officially acknowledged.

raf said...

What was it my business law "professor" said about law students? "A-students make Law Professors, B-students make Judges, C-students make money." I think he was a self-professed C-student. He did not mentioned quality of school as a determining factor.

MoreLikeCarbozo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"You know, some of us are — against our will — forced into essentially that strategy because our soft credentials suck. I know. I applied to law schools with a BFA degree, a painting major, 5 years of unimpressive day jobs, and the lack of savvy and sophistication to bullshit my way out of it in my personal statement."

This means my youngest kid can still go to law school! (Hold not thy breath.)

former law student said...

You go to a law office, and the secretary says: "see Mr. Jones in room 4" and you go and there is a black person.

The lawyer-client relationship is not based on buying a pig in a poke. Lawyers are not supposed to be fungible. If you want Johnnie Cochran (RIP) you hire Johnnie Cochran. You know up front you are getting a black person.

One of the Supreme Court cases cited in every Criminal Law class, Robinson v. California was argued and won by a black man, a solo practitioner defending a client on a charge of being a drug addict. (A person's status cannot be a crime, only his acts.)

former law student said...

Between prep courses that can boost LSAT scores by ten points or more, and helicopter parents who can successfully pressure even college professors to boost their kids' graves, the playing field for law school admissions is hardly level these days.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Bruce said: For example, the contracts prof gave three points for every cite you put into your answers, one for the name, one for the year, and one for the court.

Wow. Just terrible. Either your professor was an idiot, or he just didn't give a flip.

Every time I hear a story like that, I'm grateful that I went to the school I did (U. Tenn.). Very practical focus. We issue spotted and made every argument, but it was almost always put in a "what would you say if you were arguing for party X."

(Also, if I had gone somewhere else, I probably wouldn't have met Professor Reynolds, started reading Instapundit, and started hanging out in Althouse-land. . . . Of course, if that were the case, I'd probably be more productive.)

bagoh20 said...

Most strategies can work if sufficiently worked.

I consider "anti-intellectual" to be an appeal to wisdom. It wasn't always that way, but education has "evolved."

bagoh20 said...

I succeeded by by going to the crappiest school and completely refusing to compete. Now, that's anti-intellectual!

bagoh20 said...

"If Sander and Yakowitz are right, doesn't it mean that affirmative action harms those it means to help?"
~~~
"I thought that was widely known, just not officially acknowledged."


Give her a break. Meade has only had a year to fix this stuff. The man has his hands full.

SteveOrr said...

Crack, I'd say that you were helped but the proper solution would have been to fix the schools who were wasting our money.

That sounds great, but what should students do in the meantime? What about the few who want an education? I have no time for the teachers who resist all efforts to reform failing schools. But the ugly truth is that these teachers use students as hostages. They sit on their dead asses & demand more money. The voting public always caves because “it’s for the children!”

In fairness to the lazy teachers, their apathy often reflected a lack of support from parents. I grew up in one of those ghetto schools. I’ve seen parents threaten to murder my teacher. Bad times.

So I’m an advocate of Open Enrollment in K-12. Students can go to any school they choose, so long as they provide their own transportation. This allows conscientious families to flee the failing schools. Of course the “best” schools fill up quickly. But in K-12, there’s really not much difference between top tier schools & middle tier schools. Both are head & shoulders above the school with a 25% graduation rate.

The problem is bottom tier schools. Kids there are being condemned to a miserable lifestyle. We need to find a way to drain those swamps. Forced bussing obviously won’t work. Crack’s right that Academic Screening could help. But I think a more organic method like Open Enrollment would be less vulnerable to politicization.

c3 said...

That sounds vaguely anti-intellectual

but hey we ARE talking about law school.


(Sorry, as a physician I am professionally obligated to make fun of lawyers)

former law student said...

A good critique of Sander's AA study, also published in the Stanford Law Review, can be found here.

http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/sanders_rebuttal_final.pdf

The fundamental flaw with publishing empirical work in law reviews I've mentioned before: the law students who select and edit such works would only by chance be able to assess the underlying statistical work. Scientific papers must undergo peer review.

This reminded me at the time of the papers that Dr. Kellerman of the CDC published in the New England Journal of Medicine purporting to show that gun owners would be more likely to die than non-gun owners, as if the act of purchasing a gun made you less safe, implying that they were killed with their own guns. Physicians know zip squat about criminology, and were easily impressed inough by the bullet as microbe metaphor to publish the work in the leading US medical journal.

But applying the epidemiological model that Kellerman used showed the opposite: that people shot dead were more likely to own guns than a randomly selected neighbor who happened to still be breathing. No evidence was shown regarding the ownership of the gun that fired the fatal bullet.

Frankly if I'm in the group of people likely to be shot dead, you're damn right I'm going to get a gun, to give myself a fighting chance.

Even the gun ownership effect Kellerman detected was smaller than two other effects that he somehow failed to trumpet: People who had been shot dead were much more likely to have rented their living quarters than to have owned (even with the help of a mortgage). And the deceased were also much more likely to live a dogless existence.

So if somehow you believed that correlation (with the traits of the deceased) equalled causation (risk rises uniformly for every gun owner), to avoid the perceived risk of being found lying in a pool of your own blood, you would have to plunk down a down payment for your own home, or at least buy a dog.

Eric said...

See? Milton was right after all.

Kev said...

I wonder if higher education in general would be better off if everyone waited at least two years or so before pursuing it.

I agree with Jim's reply at 3:32, but there is one other problem with a "gap year" before college: What are people who already have a specialized skill in which they are going to major (think music, art, athletics, etc.) supposed to do? Most people will have to work full time during the gap, during which time those skills are likely to atrophy, or at the least not get any better.

Skyler said...

kev, I see your point but your choices of examples are the kind that rarely have relevance to any scholStic degree.

Name one athlete that was improved because he had a masters in phys ed.

An artist might learn under a master, but this has little to resemble how a university churns out art degrees.