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November 16, 2012 11:05 AM Education and the New Senate

By Jonathan Bernstein

I’m not sure I have a major point to make about this, but given that all our recent presidents and most of the losing nominees seem to have either Harvard or Yale on their resumes, and given the much-remarked dominance of the Supreme Court by a few elite law schools, I decided to take a quick look at the incoming class of Senators to see where they were educated.

And: nope, they aren’t all from Ivy League schools.

There’s only twelve of them — nine lawyers — so why don’t I just list all their schools:

Half went to state schools: two to Missouri, and one each to the Universities of Hawaii, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Houston.

Two went to flagship religious-affiliated schools: BYU and Notre Dame.

Two to Ivies: one Princeton, one Dartmouth.

And two to small liberal arts colleges, Smith and Williams.

As far as law schools, we did get two from Harvard Law; the rest went to U Conn, Georgetown, Lewis and Clark, Wisconsin, Virginia, Washington and Lee, and Rutgers. That’s not a bad group of schools, to be sure, but it’s also not all Harvard and Yale.

Again, this is mostly sharing the data, not really making a point. Of course, it’s not perfectly representative of the nation; to begin with, all twelve are college grads, and nine are lawyers. Nor are their undergraduate experiences even representative of all college graduates: it’s certainly weighted on the elite side. Less so than the Supreme Court? Sure. Beyond that, I don’t really have any additional comment. Just find this stuff interesting, so maybe others will too.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.