I wanted to respond to some of the comments to my post on why evangelicals are underrepresented in the legal elite and thought it might be easier to do it in a separate post.
Several people have attributed evangelical underrepresentation to admissions bias. That may be part of it, but I doubt that’s a huge factor at least in the last decade or so. The reason is that law school admissions officers are under HUGE, HUGE pressure to maximize two things: GPA and LSAT score, which feed into the all-important U.S. News and World Report Rankings. Yes, other factors are also taken into account, but it’s hard for me to see admissions offices routinely turning down applicants with 3.98 GPAs and 179 LSAT scores just because the undergraduate school happened to be Wheaton, Calvin, Houghton, Taylor, or Westmont.
The suggestion of trying to study this empirically is a great one. If anyone out there with an interest in these questions is (1) hugely wealthy and/or (2) a skilled social science researcher, there are number of very interesting empirical projects that one could undertake to put some meat on these intuitions. Drop me a line!
Finally, to the comments that anti-Christian hostility drives evangelicals away, a few observations/questions. My very preliminary survey data on one elite law school suggested that Catholics were largely holding their national market share (around 20%) whereas evangelicals were not. Is the elite law school hostility anti-evangelical but not anti-Catholic? Are the Catholics who go to elite law schools disproportionately from the liberal wing of Catholicism and therefore don’t care about the hostility to traditional Christianity? In short, why are Catholics but not evangelicals going to these hostile law schools?