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Analogical Reasoning

A key element of legal education is the skill of creating analogies, likening one set of facts to another in order to make a point or promote a desired outcome. 

A common side effect is fabulously nonsensical connections like this one from David Lat of Above the Law, quoted in a Slate article about the $200,000+ signing bonuses that some law firms are now willing to pay to Supreme Court clerks.  As an alternative, Lat notes that some firms are recruiting somewhat less pedigreed law graduates instead:

"For every one of the 36 smartest law kids," he says, "there is another equally smart law kid who just had a bad interview [for a Court clerkship]." And if law firms make the economic decision to give bonuses to them, "they get all the benefits of a knock-off Prada purse: They perform the same function, they look great, and you know they'll do a great job."

Now I understand why so many legal services are sold on street corners. 

No, wait -- wrong analogy.