Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

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handsum
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Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:49 pm

So I've posted this same question on another thread; however, it's not getting a lot of responses. Maybe I'm not targeting the right crowd??

Does anyone have any details/info regarding the intellectual property specialization at SMU? I'm very interested in SMU, yet, at #15, I know UT is a better place to study IP Law. I've searched SMU's site for more information on their IP route; I even found this student org page; however, it was lasted updated in 2002 (or so from what I can tell).

http://people.smu.edu/lawipo/

SMU takes the cake on Dallas placement, which I'm very interested in. I just want to make sure they're going to be able to offer me an IP-based law degree that is competitive against one from UT in the Dallas area.

What I currently believe is the risk is doing below average--someone's got to get the C, right? :) Then I (we) might be limited in opportunities. UT would likely take me wherever I want to go even with average performance during school. Granted, all of this really depends on the individual to an extent.

Does any of this ring true? Feel free to educate me in the ways of SMU vs UT in Dallas (or Texas for that matter). Really interested in IP details if any of you 1Ls/2Ls have any comments on this?

THANKS!

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handsum
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:56 pm

For the record, I did just find this psuedo-helpful LR.
http://smu.edu/stlr/

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kalvano
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:02 pm

I'm not really sure what you are looking for. SMU is primarily a business law school. It's what they do best.

If you want to get hired in Dallas, and you have someone with an SMU degree and a UT degree, it's probably going to go 70/30 in favor of the UT person. That's true for any specialty.

If you can go to UT, go to UT. It won't hurt you in trying to get hired in Dallas. The only time SMU will serve you better is for jobs that require a close working relationship with local Dallas offices. For instance, if you want to be a prosecutor in Dallas, going to SMU is probably a better bet due to their "in" with the local offices.

But for something like IP law, just go to the best school you can. The sub-specialties of law school really aren't staggeringly important.

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merichard87
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby merichard87 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:09 pm

I agree with kalvano. As long as the school offers more than 2 courses in your area of interest I think you are set.

Also, as kalvano said, if you can get into UT, go, immediately.

And if you are talking about patents I was lead to believe your UG courses are going to be more helpful than specific IP law courses. The firm can teach you how to write a patent. They want to know you have the engineering/science knowledge.

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handsum
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:49 am

kalvano wrote:I'm not really sure what you are looking for. SMU is primarily a business law school. It's what they do best.

If you want to get hired in Dallas, and you have someone with an SMU degree and a UT degree, it's probably going to go 70/30 in favor of the UT person. That's true for any specialty.

If you can go to UT, go to UT. It won't hurt you in trying to get hired in Dallas. The only time SMU will serve you better is for jobs that require a close working relationship with local Dallas offices. For instance, if you want to be a prosecutor in Dallas, going to SMU is probably a better bet due to their "in" with the local offices.

But for something like IP law, just go to the best school you can. The sub-specialties of law school really aren't staggeringly important.

merichard87 wrote:I agree with kalvano. As long as the school offers more than 2 courses in your area of interest I think you are set.

Also, as kalvano said, if you can get into UT, go, immediately.

And if you are talking about patents I was lead to believe your UG courses are going to be more helpful than specific IP law courses. The firm can teach you how to write a patent. They want to know you have the engineering/science knowledge.


I'm referring to what US News indicates, law firms seek, and law students neurotically research--how they'd rank. If you compare three potential schools in Texas (of no particular order or interest), UH, SMU, and UT, you have a myriad of reasons for choosing one over the other--or at least one would hope. For the sake of succinctness, I'll note the high points. US News ranks UH's IP program at #8, which is staggering compared to the many schools that claim to offer that specialty. UT is ranked #15 overall, which is notable for those looking for more of a national reach after graduation. And SMU has......... a very nice and outdated IPO student org page and LR page (that's meant as sarcasm but still disheartening).

That doesn't really stop or hinder me from pursuing them, however, I'm sure you can understand why I'm looking for more signs that the program exists outside of a couple of classes in their catalog and an old IPO and LR web page. I'm really interested in what goes on and what is offered at/by the school.

I have an electrical engineering background and three years of work experience so I feel like I'm ready for the next step as far as that's concerned.

With that said, I do appreciate your insight (both of you). I agree that if you get in at UT, the decision is a bit easier for some. Does this indicate more of what I'm after? Thanks again.

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merichard87
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby merichard87 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:03 am

Yea I get what you're saying but the bottom line is speciality rankings don't mean shit. They only really come into play when you start comparing peer schools which UT, UH and SMU are NOT. You are looking for a good legal education not a good intellectual property law education because in the end that may not even be the field you choose to go into.

I suggest you look at firm websites to see where their attorneys in the IP practice came from. If you see a significant amount of UT or SMU or UH lawyers then you get an indication of a decent enough program. Otherwise call the schools.

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kalvano
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:41 am

handsum wrote:I'm referring to what US News indicates, law firms seek, and law students neurotically research--how they'd rank. If you compare three potential schools in Texas (of no particular order or interest), UH, SMU, and UT, you have a myriad of reasons for choosing one over the other--or at least one would hope. For the sake of succinctness, I'll note the high points. US News ranks UH's IP program at #8, which is staggering compared to the many schools that claim to offer that specialty. UT is ranked #15 overall, which is notable for those looking for more of a national reach after graduation. And SMU has......... a very nice and outdated IPO student org page and LR page (that's meant as sarcasm but still disheartening).

That doesn't really stop or hinder me from pursuing them, however, I'm sure you can understand why I'm looking for more signs that the program exists outside of a couple of classes in their catalog and an old IPO and LR web page. I'm really interested in what goes on and what is offered at/by the school.

I have an electrical engineering background and three years of work experience so I feel like I'm ready for the next step as far as that's concerned.

With that said, I do appreciate your insight (both of you). I agree that if you get in at UT, the decision is a bit easier for some. Does this indicate more of what I'm after? Thanks again.




Specialty rankings don't mean crap. Stetson may be #1 in trial advocacy, but that doesn't mean people would rather have a Stetson grad over a Vanderbilt or a GULC grad.

Forget the specialty rankings.


Do you even have the numbers for UT, anyway?

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handsum
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:27 pm

merichard87 wrote:Yea I get what you're saying but the bottom line is speciality rankings don't mean shit. They only really come into play when you start comparing peer schools which UT, UH and SMU are NOT.

kalvano wrote:Specialty rankings don't mean crap. Stetson may be #1 in trial advocacy, but that doesn't mean people would rather have a Stetson grad over a Vanderbilt or a GULC grad.

Forget the specialty rankings.

I agree. It was only a point of contrast for the concern I'm proposing. I like your other comment about where you'll (I'll) actually end up. I feel like that's the industry I'm shooting for and given my background it should be fairly realistic. Maybe not though... -->

merichard87 wrote:You are looking for a good legal education not a good intellectual property law education because in the end that may not even be the field you choose to go into.

kalvano wrote:Do you even have the numbers for UT, anyway?

I've got the GPA, a solid degree from a reputable institution, and a pending LSAT score so I'll have to get back to you on that. Thanks for your concern though. I think I'm more interested in the culture of SMU, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot if the stars were to align and UT opened its doors to me. And maybe I'm being too forward. If I get in to UT, I doubt I'll be able to honestly say 'no'. It'll come down to the cost of things. I know SMU can be generous with scholarships.

Here's to wishful thinking...

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kalvano
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:35 pm

handsum wrote:I think I'm more interested in the culture of SMU



What do you mean by that?

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merichard87
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby merichard87 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:00 pm

I'm an engineer as well and plan to go into IP but I'm not going to limit myself to IP if I find myself more interested in M&A or Securities or something.

The bottom line for choosing a law school is even if you want to work in a certain area you would do better going to a national school simply because life happens and you want to be prepared. There is nothing wrong with going to SMU but only a full ride should keep you from UT.

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handsum
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:10 pm

kalvano wrote:
handsum wrote:I think I'm more interested in the culture of SMU



What do you mean by that?


Well after reading through the SMU 2010! thread (all 115 pages to date including your distaste for Dallas and Texas in general :)), I think your post regarding your observations of SMU contains some of my interests in the school. Maybe "culture" wasn't the best word for it though; that's really only one point.

1-
kalvano wrote:It's an excellent school with a very good reputation, especially within the D/FW area. It's hard for out-of-state people to grasp just how big a stranglehold SMU has on the Dallas area, because everyone sees UT and thinks it must be the best school in Texas. Rankings-wise and portability-wise, it is. But SMU completely dominates the Dallas market. SMU places well outside their USNWR ranking, with an excellent average starting salary in an area with a cheap cost-of-living. Dallas is a huge city with an enormous legal and business market, so having an SMU law degree here really opens a ton of doors, much more than you would think a mid-40's ranked school does.

2-
kalvano wrote:The school made a point about, and takes pride in, their atmosphere. While it will be competitive, they took great pains to point out that they strive for an atmosphere that is not cutthroat or backstabbing. The dean specifically said if you want a cutthroat atmosphere, go somewhere else.

3-
kalvano wrote:The school is very pretty. It looks like a law school should, in my mind. The seats are comfortable, it's technologically equipped, but it has a nice, stately appearance.

4- SMU is a private school so it can be expensive, however, SMU is notorious for handing out significant scholarships that help heed the costs of their education. In the end, the may be less expensive than UT when referring to overall indebtedness.
5- Smaller class sizes, stronger social connection among peers, etc.
6- I've got some family in the Dallas-area, which is a nice PRO
7- My girlfriend will probably end up in Dallas with her job. That's where I think we'd like to end up too. I'd prefer Dallas over Houston and plan to stay in Texas.

Those are the things that come to mind. I've been dwelling on this a lot and there are a multitude of other items too. That would turn this post into more personal reasons (like #6 and #7) rather than more measurable items and take forever. #1 has been my biggest draw.

PS> Good luck with the house and Wake Forest!

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handsum
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby handsum » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:13 pm

merichard87 wrote:I'm an engineer as well and plan to go into IP but I'm not going to limit myself to IP if I find myself more interested in M&A or Securities or something.

The bottom line for choosing a law school is even if you want to work in a certain area you would do better going to a national school simply because life happens and you want to be prepared. There is nothing wrong with going to SMU but only a full ride should keep you from UT.

Duly noted!

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kalvano
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Re: Intellectual Property Law at Southern Methodist University??

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:32 pm

Well, it's a great school for Dallas. That doesn't mean you should pass up UT.

Like I said, if you want a specific job in Dallas (PD, DA), going to SMU might be a better bet for the internships and networking.

I can't speak to the UT culture. I know the UG is huge, and the law school is as well. That's a big turn-off for me. My family is an SMU family, so I know it pretty well.

If you have UT numbers and apply early, you'll get cash from SMU (even though they are trying to bump their medians), as long as you apply early.

But really, UT is king of the state. Go to SMU if you want, if you think it's a better fit for you. You can't go wrong going to SMU if you want to work in Dallas. But don't choose based on specialty ranking.




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