Saturday, July 23

Fwd: As A Poor Kid From The Rust Belt, Yale Law School Brought Me Face-to-face With Radical Inequality


I really liked this essay. And thought you might appreciate it given that you are in a bit of a similar situation, son. The son of an immigrant who is a son of a very poor refugee and while education is good in our family, the money part wasnt there for a very long period of time. Plus you studying in Oxford, one of the premier universities in the world, much older than Yale, does have an issue, but not sure if you see a similar situation there. I find myself, in many cases, almost being a bit quiet about you going to Oxford specially when speaking to others who arent there. Quite strange. Dont get me wrong, I am bursting with pride about how smart and handsome and hard working you are while being very grounded. You are not shoving it in others faces, your friends are still the old friends from a variety of backgrounds and you are still the cute wonderful son that I fell in love with when you were born. But just like I am, in many ways, so different from others, you will face this situation as well. You will have to find out your own route for this just like I did, but it was interesting to see how this chap handled it.



As A Poor Kid From The Rust Belt, Yale Law School Brought Me Face-to-face With Radical Inequality

"I have never felt out of place in my entire life. But I did at Yale."

 06/29/2016 09:11 am ET | Updated 1 day ago  

J.D. Vance

Author, 'Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis'

This post is excerpted from Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.

During my first round of law school applications, I didn't even apply to Yale, Harvard, or Stanford—the mystical "top three" schools. I didn't think I had a chance at those places. More important, I didn't think it mattered; all lawyers get good jobs, I assumed. I just needed to get to any law school, and then I'd do fine: a nice salary, a respectable profession, and the American Dream. Then my best friend, Darrell, ran into one of his law school classmates at a popular D.C. restaurant. She was bussing tables, simply because that was the only job available to her. On the next round, I gave Yale and Harvard a try.

I didn't apply to Stanford—one of the very best schools in the country—and to know why is to understand that the lessons I learned as a kid were sometimes counterproductive. Stanford's law school application wasn't the standard combination of college transcript, LSAT score, and essays. It required a personal sign-off from the dean of your college: You had to submit a form, completed by the dean, attesting that you weren't a loser.

I didn't know the dean of my college at Ohio State. It's a big place. I'm sure she is a lovely person, and the form was clearly little more than a formality. But I just couldn't ask. I had never met this person, never taken a class with her, and, most of all, didn't trust her. Whatever virtues she possessed as a person, she was, in the abstract, an outsider. The professors I'd selected to write my letters had gained my trust. I listened to them nearly every day, took their tests, and wrote papers for them. As much as I loved Ohio State and its people for an incredible education and experience, I could not put my fate in the hands of someone I didn't know. I tried to talk myself into it. I even printed the form and drove it to campus. But when the time came, I crumpled it up and tossed it in the garbage. There would be no Stanford Law for J.D.

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