Document Type


Publication Date



Professor Richard Sander's Class in American Legal Education is an almost unique effort to examine empirically the social class origins of American law school students and to relate law student class origins to law school stratification, the class structure of American society and the potential law school applicant pool. His effort, and the special attention he gives to the class composition of elite law schools comes perhaps at a fortuitous time in the history of American legal education. The law degree, like the medical degree, has long been a route for upward mobility in American society. But the access of recent immigrants and others who were poorly off to the medical degree was substantially limited almost a century ago following the Flexner Report, which largely eliminated those medical schools willing to admit almost anyone who could pay tuition. Although elements of the bar and legal education pushed hard to emulate the "success" of the medical profession by closing down proprietary schools and other perceived weak sisters of professional education, their success was at best limited.