Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Best option?

Berkeley (J.D. only) - 3 years, ~$16,830 (estimated fee remission)
1
4%
Berkeley (J.D. + M.Eng. Bioengineering) - 3 years + 1 year, ~$16,830 + $16,000 (estimated fee remission + M.Eng. Grant)
13
57%
Duke (J.D./M.S. Biomedical Engineering) - 3 years + 1 summer, $78,000
3
13%
Columbia (J.D. only) - 3 years
3
13%
Chicago (J.D./PhD Health Studies - Biostatistics assuming accepted) - 3 years + 3 years, $45,000 (PhD is fully funded)
3
13%
 
Total votes: 23

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Vincent
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Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby Vincent » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:43 pm

Goals:
- Career in California, preferably San Francisco Bay Area (SF, Silicon Valley).
- (Possibly) IP work. Litigation or patent writing. My background is statistics/biosciences, but if I could break into more general technology, that'd be great.
- A job.
- Down the line: In-house counsel
- Further down the line: policy work?
- Way further down the line (think decades): Academia?

Why is (???) attractive/not attractive?
- Berkeley Law
Good: #1 in IP rankings - strong in IP + technology. Undergraduate work here = existing connections with professors and students, placement into CA (60%+ according to LST). Virtually guaranteed opportunity to GSI/TA, which means a graduate tuition remission every semester you do it (graduate tuition is currently $5,610). I probably would be able to GSI all through law school, but I'm underbudgeting right now. Smaller school. "Chillest" student body, in terms of competition, supposedly. Close to home - I've grown up in the Bay Area, and I can take care of family. Nice grading system. Lastly, weather.
Bad: Lower ranking, another "Berkeley" degree (as opposed to diversification), worse employment numbers (than the two CLS's). Also, Cal Football/Basketball.

- Berkeley Masters of Engineering in Bioengineering
Good: Close to home; weather. Berkeley (the engineering school) is one of the best. 1 year. Capstone project may offer industry experience opportunities. IP appears to be harder and harder to break into, especially in the biosciences, and it seems advanced degrees are almost required (especially for in-house positions)
Bad: COST (~$48,000/year, 1 year, before grant). It's also the first year of the program, so it's an unknown. It's an M.Eng. (as opposed to an M.S.), which is more geared towards management and industry.


- Duke
Good: Integrated program; shortest program; nice scholarship. M.S. (as opposed to M.Eng). Duke Engineering isn't as good as Berkeley Engineering, but Duke Biomedical Engineering is comparable, or superior, to Berkeley Engineering. Smaller school. Also, Duke Basketball.

Bad: I didn't like Durham at all. Duke Law's employment numbers concern me a LOT. Duke Law's placement numbers into California concern me EVEN MORE.


Columbia
Good: "Prestige"/"ranking". Highest portability of degree. New York City. Decent IP emphasis. Excellent employment numbers (~94-95ish according to LST).
Bad: No financial aid (thus far, and it's very unlikely I will get any). Less likely placement in California. Weather. Far from home. Large student body. Anecdotally, much more competition. IP probably not as good as Berkeley.


Chicago
Good: Ranking. Smaller student body. I liked my visit - the school and the city of Chicago. Scholarship. Great portability of degree.
Bad: Little (no?) IP specialization at all. Legendarily difficult curriculum, and the academic students that accompany that reputation. Have not received a decision on the PhD program, though the PhD is from a very small department that is not incredibly famous in its field. Weather. Did not like Hyde Park; specifically, did not like feeling like I would get shot. Placement in California (when compared to Berkeley)

Stanford and Harvard would make my decision SO much easier if they would take me; alas, these are my current options.

TL;dr Want to end up in California. Where should I go?
Last edited by Vincent on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal, Duke, Chicago)

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:54 pm

All of those are great options. I'm not qualified to comment substantively, other than to say that you seem to be "at home" in Berkeley. Don't underestimate that when it comes to your decision.

Anecdotally, I have a close family member who is GC for one of the major tech industries (think Cisco, Samsung, etc. but not one of those specific companies). He has a his bachelors and masters in engineering and a law degree. He credits his position to the fact that he has the masters in engineering.

GL!

User avatar
Vincent
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal, Duke, Chicago)

Postby Vincent » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Thanks for the reply, patrickd. Would you happen to know if that's an M.Eng, or an M.S. in .*Engineering?

User avatar
patrickd139
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:53 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal, Duke, Chicago)

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:32 pm

Vincent wrote:Thanks for the reply, patrickd. Would you happen to know if that's an M.Eng, or an M.S. in .*Engineering?

M.S. in [redacted for anonymity] Engineering

Danny Crane
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby Danny Crane » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:32 pm

Joint degrees are complicated.

User avatar
patrickd139
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:53 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:50 pm

Danny Crane wrote:Joint degrees are complicated.

The insightful content of this post is almost too much to bear.

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sinfiery
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:55 am

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby sinfiery » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:25 pm

OP, I have the exact same career goals as you but without a background in a hard science (so no patent writing, etc) No idea if Berkeleys ties to Silicon Valley/BLCT and IP rankings are important enough to actually consider.


Sorry I have no answers but I'm totally lurking this thread.

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camelcrema
Posts: 281
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:43 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby camelcrema » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:30 pm

OP, are you patent bar eligible? Also, the numbers listed represent the grants given to you by each school over three years, correct? Lastly, if you were to pick one one these to start at, which would it be: 1) CA biglaw > non-CA biglaw > CA non-biglaw > non-CA non-biglaw, or 2) CA biglaw > CA non-biglaw > non-CA biglaw > non-CA non-biglaw?

User avatar
Vincent
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Joint Degrees Involved! (Columbia, Cal$, Duke$$$, Chicago$$)

Postby Vincent » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:12 am

sinfiery: Feel free to stick around; we (okay, I) have/am making cookies. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

camelcrema: Patent bar eligible; my application is stuck in the system though - something about the USPTO wanting Bachelor of Science degrees, whereas my college didn't offer B.S.'s, only B.A.'s. Even if you were studying Physics. Or Molecular and Cell Biology, in my case. Meanwhile, the Business majors get B.S.'s.

Correct on the grants; they reflect projections or offers across 3+ years of academic study.

CA Patent/"boutique" law > CA biglaw > non-CA biglaw =?= CA non-biglaw > non-CA non-biglaw. That =?= is determined by what I'd actually be doing, although I've reasoned that I'm about 95% sure I would be willing to take a 40k annual pay cut to be in the Bay Area, all else equal.

Feel free to offer reasoning behind votes, even if it's just "I heard Duke is decent in basketball this year." (I have them going to the Final Four in my completely-wrecked-bracket).

Thanks, everyone!




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