The Yale Law School is only a third the size of Harvard's, but Americans can be excused for assuming it's bigger.
So many Yale law graduates have figured prominently in the news lately that he-or-she-went-to-Yale reports have begun to have the ring of "George Washington slept here."The Democratic presidential race was a Yale intramural contest between Bill Clinton (class of 1973), Jerry Brown (1964), and Paul Tsongas (1967).
So were the hearings in which Anita Hill (1980) accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas (1974) of sexual harassment. Thomas' chief backer was Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo. (1963). Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. (1956), questioned Hill for the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Even Harvard's most famous law professor went to Yale Law School: Alan Dershowitz, counsel to Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson and Leona Helmsley.
"It reminds me not only of the tradition of excellence at Yale but also of the tradition of giving back to our country and our community, which we were taught is important for our profession to do," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (1973).
The 1988 presidential field featured two Yale law graduates: Gary Hart (1964) and TV evangelist Pat Robertson (1955).
"We have become used to the graduates of this law school moving to the forefront of law and our society, but it's usually with less fanfare and notoriety," said Stephen Yandle, an associate dean.
Gerald Ford (1941) is the only Yale law alumnus to make it to the White House; President Bush attended Yale as an undergraduate only. But Bush has a Yale law graduate in his Cabinet: Trade Representative Carla Hills (1958).