Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

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Sdowling
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Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby Sdowling » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:58 pm

Morning, folks!

Like the title says, my career goal is basically to end up practicing IP law (branding, copyrights, and trademarks, not necessarily patents) in the Bay area generally. I'm a Delaware native looking to uproot, and I'm self-financing my law degree. My folks paid for undergrad but I'm on my own for this, which I'm fine with but means that cost is definitely a huge factor. Schools in serious consideration at this point are:

USC with a scholarship of 45,000$ per year
Georgetown with scholarship TBD
Vanderbilt with scholarship TBD
UC Davis with scholarship TBD (but expected fairly significant)
UCLA with 26,000$ per year

LSAT score (taken once): 172
GPA score: 3.6 (one bad semester sophomore year...eh, it is what it is)

I'd like to go to law school in a place I can enjoy - hence the schools I've applied to over ones like Cornell (no thanks Ithaca), work hard, and secure a job in a place I love and would be really happy living in, and make enough money to not live in debt for years and years. Don't have any taste for fancy cars or big houses or boats, just want to make a living doing something I love and get paid well enough to comfortably spend my free time doing things I love with people that matter. Not to, y'know, get too golden-boy about it (jesus, am I a caricature or something?).

While location is key, I do have a bit of a fallback: I've worked most of my undergraduate summers and winters as an intern (and now work full-time as an assistant case manager) at a national IP firm with an office in Delaware and multiple others across the country, including both San Francisco proper and Silicon Valley (and LA, for what it's worth). They are hiring associates (I work across the hall from two first-years), and for reasons I don't want to spell out but you can probably piece together, I'm reasonably confident at my qualifications for potentially working there as a starting point given the rank of the universities I'm looking at attending.

Where my head is at right now, for my goals: Strongly leaning USC because price, location, and Bay Area connection. I'm putting it above UCLA not just for the 60k difference in debt but because honestly in all my interactions with students and alumni at each school both in person and online USC seems much more on my wavelength (no slight intended at UCLA, it's a lovely place, but not at all my vibe) and I think I'd really enjoy my time there much more. A matched offer from Vanderbilt would potentially tip my hand in their direction, and a superior offer from Davis would do the same. Otherwise I think it's Trojans for me. Anything I'm overlooking in my considerations? Anything I'm dead-wrong about?

BigZuck
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:04 pm

I would reapply and have a proper application cycle, not blanketing the T14 (minus Y) is a huge mistake. I'd retake as well, a few extra points might come in handy.

Going to law school right now would most likely be a pretty big mistake.

Are you K-Jd? What kind of IP are we talking here?

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twenty
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby twenty » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:12 pm

BigZuck wrote:I would reapply and have a proper application cycle, not blanketing the T14 (minus Y) is a huge mistake.


This.

Also, keep in mind that even if you have zero interest in going to Cornell, you can use Cornell's scholarship offer against other schools to get them to bump up theirs.

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Pumpkin-Duke of Pie
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby Pumpkin-Duke of Pie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:13 pm

BigZuck wrote:I would reapply and have a proper application cycle, not blanketing the T14 (minus Y) is a huge mistake. I'd retake as well, a few extra points might come in handy.


This. I'd check school medians, but with the decline in LSAT takers and the overall decline in applications/matriculation you should be doing way better in terms of scholarship money and acceptances. Because you aren't trying to do STEM related IP work, you need to go to the best school you can possibly get in at as low a cost as possible. This is especially true because you want to work in the saturated Bay Area.

Unless you're willing to reassess your goals, going to USC or UCLA should only be an option if they give you more money (preferably a full ride) or a T-14 at a discount.

Edit: Just realized that USC is (looks like?) a full-ride. That's not a bad option if you have a way of keeping your COA low, but you'd also have to be happy with just practicing law in general/dropping out if you matriculate and your grades aren't high enough.

BigZuck
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:36 pm

U$C tuition is 55K a year. The op would still be about 100K in debt there which I guess is justifiable, but not really with those numbers or without giving a real, negotiated cycle the old college try.

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twitterati
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby twitterati » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:43 pm

My 2 cents: I think all the above comments are spot on. Even if you're focusing on sub-T14 schools with regional ties to where you want to practice, with your #s, you can definitely leverage offers from higher ranked schools to negotiate more $ from the schools you're interested in.

Also, even with your fallback option, a lot can happen in three years. Note that a T14 degree will go further should you need plan C if plan B falls through.

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Pumpkin-Duke of Pie
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby Pumpkin-Duke of Pie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:58 pm

BigZuck wrote:U$C tuition is 55K a year. The op would still be about 100K in debt there which I guess is justifiable, but not really with those numbers or without giving a real, negotiated cycle the old college try.


Oh, it is!? Yeah, never mind. Reapply is TCR

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jbagelboy
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:44 am

BigZuck wrote:I would reapply and have a proper application cycle, not blanketing the T14 (minus Y) is a huge mistake. I'd retake as well, a few extra points might come in handy.

Going to law school right now would most likely be a pretty big mistake.

Are you K-Jd? What kind of IP are we talking here?


I don't think a retake is necessary, but a 172/3.6 should have way, way better offers than this.

ub3r
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby ub3r » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:10 am

jbagelboy wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I would reapply and have a proper application cycle, not blanketing the T14 (minus Y) is a huge mistake. I'd retake as well, a few extra points might come in handy.

Going to law school right now would most likely be a pretty big mistake.

Are you K-Jd? What kind of IP are we talking here?


I don't think a retake is necessary, but a 172/3.6 should have way, way better offers than this.


I dunno about way, way better. My numbers are really really similar and that's sort of what I'm getting. Though I got more from UCLA and got 75k from Mich w/ Duke pending.

Big Dog
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby Big Dog » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:34 am

not sure I agree with the retake/reapply chorus. The Bay Area is getting tough with no ties, and not sure that a Northwestern or a Michigan or other likely T14 will be much better than 'SC/UCLA. (Without a great backstory, Boalt won't be interested in that GPA.) Sure, a 172 might even get a bite from NYU, but a Del resident will have it even tougher to come west from NYC.

Nomo
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Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby Nomo » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:05 pm

I think you're getting good advice. I'm not necessarily against USC with 100k in debt, as long as you have the right kind of goals and backup plans. But I also want to warn you that its very hard to get into copyright and trademark law. People talk about IP being hot, but they're talking about patents. I just want you to be sure that you're OK with the possibility that you don't end up in you're preferred practice area.

WhiskeynCoke
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: Hoping to end up in the Bay Area - where to go first?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:53 am

Sdowling wrote:Morning, folks!

Like the title says, my career goal is basically to end up practicing IP law (branding, copyrights, and trademarks, not necessarily patents) in the Bay area generally. I'm a Delaware native looking to uproot, and I'm self-financing my law degree. My folks paid for undergrad but I'm on my own for this, which I'm fine with but means that cost is definitely a huge factor. Schools in serious consideration at this point are:

USC with a scholarship of 45,000$ per year
Georgetown with scholarship TBD
Vanderbilt with scholarship TBD
UC Davis with scholarship TBD (but expected fairly significant)
UCLA with 26,000$ per year

LSAT score (taken once): 172
GPA score: 3.6 (one bad semester sophomore year...eh, it is what it is)

I'd like to go to law school in a place I can enjoy - hence the schools I've applied to over ones like Cornell (no thanks Ithaca), work hard, and secure a job in a place I love and would be really happy living in, and make enough money to not live in debt for years and years. Don't have any taste for fancy cars or big houses or boats, just want to make a living doing something I love and get paid well enough to comfortably spend my free time doing things I love with people that matter. Not to, y'know, get too golden-boy about it (jesus, am I a caricature or something?).

While location is key, I do have a bit of a fallback: I've worked most of my undergraduate summers and winters as an intern (and now work full-time as an assistant case manager) at a national IP firm with an office in Delaware and multiple others across the country, including both San Francisco proper and Silicon Valley (and LA, for what it's worth). They are hiring associates (I work across the hall from two first-years), and for reasons I don't want to spell out but you can probably piece together, I'm reasonably confident at my qualifications for potentially working there as a starting point given the rank of the universities I'm looking at attending.

Where my head is at right now, for my goals: Strongly leaning USC because price, location, and Bay Area connection. I'm putting it above UCLA not just for the 60k difference in debt but because honestly in all my interactions with students and alumni at each school both in person and online USC seems much more on my wavelength (no slight intended at UCLA, it's a lovely place, but not at all my vibe) and I think I'd really enjoy my time there much more. A matched offer from Vanderbilt would potentially tip my hand in their direction, and a superior offer from Davis would do the same. Otherwise I think it's Trojans for me. Anything I'm overlooking in my considerations? Anything I'm dead-wrong about?


None of these are great options given your goals & numbers, so if you didn't blanket the T14, you need to reapply and do that. You have 0 ties to the Bay Area (very important), appear to not have been accepted to Boalt or Stanford, and haven't articulated any highly-desirable attributes (i.e. PHD in Electrical Engineering).

Your best option here (besides reapply next cycle) is to leverage your $45k at USC to squeeze a full ride out of UCLA which, despite your poor opinions of it, probably does better with Bay Area firms. Just know that you have a very slim chance of getting anything in the Bay from UCLA/USC with no ties, unless you absolutely crush 1L. It's hard enough from those schools even WITH ties to the Bay. Basically, only go to law school at this point if you're OK with LA or NYC big-law (if at all) and can go for very cheap.

You sound fairly uninformed about biglaw hiring in general and some of your comments are very concerning. That you would take UC Davis over USC/UCLA at a similar price is a big red flag. And Vandy over the LA schools for someone gunning for CA biglaw? Really?

Also, just to warn you, don't assume you're a shoo-in for a SA position at a firm just because you've already worked there as support staff. I know plenty of people who never got offers at their paralegal firm. If you bomb 1L, you're still fucked. That is, unless if you've made some extremely solid connections with powerful partners who will really go to bat for you. It's just really hard to convince a hiring committee to pick the bottom 1/4 USC kid over the top 1/4 HYS kid (who will be competing with you for the limited number of coveted Bay Area SA spots).




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