Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

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Stanford or Yale?

Stanford
33
75%
Yale
11
25%
 
Total votes: 44

ipacademic
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Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby ipacademic » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:46 pm

Hello TLS. I've gleaned a lot of wisdom from reading forums on here, so I would like to present my problem to you now and see if TLS community can help me out.

I'm deciding between Yale and Stanford. SLS has given me more grant aid than YLS, but since YLS has cheaper living costs, they would both cost about the same. Thanks to need-based aid, outside scholarships, familial help, free undergrad, etc. I am looking at taking out 100k in loans at either school (I'm extremely privileged to be in this situation and I feel really grateful).

My dilemma is that I want to go into IP/tech law, but I am also interested in becoming a professor. I have a compsci background and I am interested in issues related to the Internet, surveillance, and emerging technologies.

The conventional wisdom is to go to Yale for academia, but to go to Stanford for IP and tech. I'm trying to figure out for my situation which would be better.

Overall, I am leaning towards Stanford because there are more faculty there working on tech issues (so few at YLS!) and I have connected with several professors who I think would be good mentors. I am also interested in the Center for Internet and Society and the Juelsgaard IP clinic at Stanford. While Yale has a tech law journal and ISP, they don't seem to have many students or professors interested in these areas. However, Yale's COAP program covers academic fellowships, while Stanford's does not. Ideally, I would like to work for the federal government on tech issues before trying to become a law professor - but at SLS I would probably have to work at a Silicon Valley firm to pay off my loans, since Stanford wouldn't cover me under their LRAP during my hypothetical academic fellowship.

In the event that I don't have the grades to become a law professor, I would want to work on tech issues, either in DC or California.

Am I crazy to turn down Yale? Am I looking at this the right way? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

*edited for grammar
Last edited by ipacademic on Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

legalmindedfellow
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby legalmindedfellow » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:53 pm

ipacademic wrote:Hello TLS. I've gleaned a lot of wisdom from reading forums on here, so I would like to present my problem to you now and see if TLS community can help me out.

I'm deciding between Yale and Stanford. SLS has given me more grant aid than YLS, but since YLS has cheaper living costs, they would both cost about the same. Thanks to need-based aid, outside scholarships, familial help, free undergrad, etc. I am looking at taking out 100k in loans at either school (I'm extremely privileged to be in this situation and I feel really grateful).

My dilemma is that I want to go into IP/tech law, but I am also interested in becoming a professor. I have a compsci background and I am interested in issues related to the Internet, surveillance, and emerging technologies.

The conventional wisdom is to go to Yale for academia, but to go to Stanford for IP and tech. I'm trying to figure out for my situation which would be better.

Overall, I am leaning towards Stanford because there are more faculty there working on tech issues (so few at YLS!) and I have connected with several professors who I think would be good mentors. I am also interested in the Center for Internet and Society and the Juelsgaard IP clinic at Stanford. While Yale has a tech law journal and ISP, they doesn't seem to have many students or professors interested in these areas. However, Yale's COAP program covers academic fellowships, while Stanford's does not. Ideally, I would like to work for the federal government on tech issues before trying to become a law professor - but at SLS I would probably have to work at a Silicon Valley firm to pay off my loans, since Stanford wouldn't cover me under their LRAP during my hypothetical academic fellowship.

In the event that I don't have the grades to become a law professor, I would want to work on tech issues, either in DC or California.

Am I crazy to turn down Yale? Am I looking at this the right way? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!


I'm sure others will disagree, but I think this is entirely a fit question. (Ignoring that academia is a very hard thing to plan for, and that it's unlikely it's going to go your way). All things being equal Yale will probably make this easier, even with Stanford's connections. But if you're going to spend three years in law school not learning anything about your field then it's hard to see why that's a better decision than somewhere completely immersed in it. Mentorship and meaningful relationships with professors who can help you along the way is an incredibly important part of building an academic career. So long as the mentors at Stanford are not just "nice" but people who can actually help you, then that's going to be worth quite a lot relative to a mentorship relationship at Yale with someone who barely intersects with your interests.

Good luck. Obviously can't go wrong; though do think more carefully about non-academic options since they are more likely where you will end up, especially right out of school. PM me if you want to talk more.

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Jakobe
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Jakobe » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:53 pm

The tech central of America is in Stanford's back door, I would think that if you are interested in tech issues then there probably isn't a better place to be at than Stanford.

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FSK
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby FSK » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:54 pm

You need to know you won't become a professor. That is, its so unlikley you need to plan like it will never happen. That said, SLS is obv the best for high tech.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:57 pm

Tech stuff and academia are both over my head, but S seems like the right choice here to me

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby jemthey17 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:59 pm

You should add a poll. Anyway, I vote for Stanford. It's really hard to plan to go into academia and you don't sound particularly sold on it. You sound more interested in tech and SLS is the best for it.

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FSK
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby FSK » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:00 pm

Clemenceau wrote:Tech stuff and academia are both over my head, but S seems like the right choice here to me


I feel like "tech stuff" for lawyers is basically VC/Tech Transactions/EE & CS patents. The former two are definitely home based on SF/PA. Starting at MoFo, Cooley, Orrick, OMM, Pillsbury, Wilson Sonsini, or whatever is a great entry to that field.

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rpupkin
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:01 pm

Go to Stanford. If you're academically inclined, the subject matter focus of the faculty matters. And the Bay Area is such a better environment for what you're interested in studying. Given your focus and goals, I would even recommend going to Berkeley over Yale. But since you're in at Stanford, I think your choice is especially easy here.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby abl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:05 pm

You're not crazy to turn down Yale. Almost certainly, some proportion of Yale's perceived academia "advantage" is due to self-selection. And although there are benefits to being in an environment where a huge proportion of the class is interested in academia, there are also benefits to being at a school where you'll stand out for having academic interests.* Being one of the only students at Stanford at a given time interested in IP academia could be a really, really good thing in terms of developing connections with the faculty (something that matters far more than whatever support you'll get from your fellow students). Overall, I think that Yale's supposed edge for academia over SLS is somewhat overstated. Similarly, though, I think Stanford's supposed edge for IP law over Yale is somewhat overstated. Both schools are incredibly strong in both areas, and I think it'd be a mistake to put too much stock in either supposed strength when deciding between the two schools. Edit: I should also note that IP is not my area, so I may be somewhat out-of-date about the schools' respective faculties.

I'd go to the school that you feel like you'd be happier in / with the professors who you are most excepted about working with. Whether you're personally thriving or not is going to have a big impact on how you do in that school--you being personally happy at Yale (vs. so-so at Stanford) is going to have a far greater impact on your ultimate career success than whatever slight edge SLS has for IP. Similarly--and maybe even more importantly--getting a chance to work with professors who you are excited about is very important. The two schools are both small (which I think is mostly a strong point), which means that the character of any one particular department at Yale may be very different than at Stanford. My guess is that the IP departments, although each strong, have fairly different respective strengths and feelings. Key to academia is publishing, and having strong professor support can be incredibly helpful towards figuring out how to write a good article (it's much harder than you'd think!). If you feel like one schools' department is a better fit for you than the other, well, that should be a big factor. I would be reluctant to base your decision around any one professor, unless the professor is a school lifer (you can usually figure that out pretty quickly by looking at their bio), because professors do move between these schools -- but I think it's fair for you to base your decision around a combination of 2-3 professors.

The one exception to this fit-based recommendation is if you're pretty intrigued by doing IP/tech law outside of biglaw (like a VC firm or facebook, for example) as a fallback to academia (and you should be working on finding some rewarding non-academia fallback). I think Stanford's got a real advantage in this area, if only due to its location and connections. That's not to say that you should go to Stanford if it's a relatively bad fit otherwise--but this should be a strong factor.

Incidentally, if you want to do government for a couple of years, that should be covered by either school's loan repayment program (and neither school requires 10 years of commitment to get any assistance--so if you clerk for a year and then work in the government for 4, both schools will pay off 50% of your loans (5/10) even if you do something not-eligible like biglaw (not eligible under either) or a fellowship (not eligible under SLS) afterwords. Finally, along those lines, I'd assume that there's more flex in the predicted COL at both schools than represented. You can probably shave another $10-15k off of total COA at either school if you work at it. I think there's probably a little more fat in the SLS COL than the Yale COL, but I think the differences will be slight. <--this is all to say that given your plans, the COA of either school is going to be very manageable, and probably pretty darn similar.

*At least, I'd say this with respect to comparing YLS to SLS.
Last edited by abl on Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rpupkin
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 pm

abl wrote: Similarly, though, I think Stanford's supposed edge for IP law over Yale is somewhat overstated. Both schools are incredibly strong in both areas, and I think it'd be a mistake to put too much stock in either supposed strength.

Can you explain Yale's "incredible strength" in IP? This is not a rhetorical question. Unless something has drastically changed over the past two years, I think you're just wrong here.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby abl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:16 pm

rpupkin wrote:
abl wrote: Similarly, though, I think Stanford's supposed edge for IP law over Yale is somewhat overstated. Both schools are incredibly strong in both areas, and I think it'd be a mistake to put too much stock in either supposed strength.

Can you explain Yale's "incredible strength" in IP? This is not a rhetorical question. Unless something has drastically changed over the past two years, I think you're just wrong here.


Maybe I'm wrong about that: I was just looking through the course schedule and I see now that IP is taught by Ayres (who's super legit but not really an IP guy) and Kapczynski. I wonder if folks have left or if I was just confused about who was at what school. If Yale's IP department is just Ayres and Kapcynski, well, that is a pretty big advantage for Stanford.

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L’Étranger
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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby L’Étranger » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:24 pm

Wow at this thread going strong for S. I thought common wisdom was never say no to Yale.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby ipacademic » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:58 pm

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your replies.

To address a few points - YLS does not have much in the way of IP/tech compared to Stanford or Berkeley. Ayres and Kapcynski are great (there is also Jack Balkin - though he does more media/information law) Also, apparently their faculty isn't really interested in expanding this area, so there are unlikely to be additions in the near future (at least that is what I hear through the grapevine). My feeling talking to students, professors, and alumni, is that tech/IP at Yale is doable - but that it is an uphill battle. The path to tech law at Stanford, in comparison, seems much more straightforward.

As for non-academic careers, I am definitely thinking a lot about my plans B, C, and D. Hiring for legal academia is really abysmal and might require a penchant for risk-taking that I don't have. Don't think I want to end up in big law, though I wouldn't be opposed to it for a couple years. I have heard that it is better training than gov't/public interest. Like I said, I would love to work for the FCC or FTC, and I could even see myself maybe prosecuting cybercrime. These are also unicorn jobs - but more attainable than academia. As you can see, my interests run the gamut, but all connect back to technology. I would really like to put the 4 years I slaved away on my BS to use (and, of course, I love computers and the tech community :D ).

My gut is saying Stanford because I think I would be happiest and most successful there. Gonna think it over to be sure, but that is where I am leaning right now. Thanks again!

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:05 pm

abl wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
abl wrote: Similarly, though, I think Stanford's supposed edge for IP law over Yale is somewhat overstated. Both schools are incredibly strong in both areas, and I think it'd be a mistake to put too much stock in either supposed strength.

Can you explain Yale's "incredible strength" in IP? This is not a rhetorical question. Unless something has drastically changed over the past two years, I think you're just wrong here.


Maybe I'm wrong about that: I was just looking through the course schedule and I see now that IP is taught by Ayres (who's super legit but not really an IP guy) and Kapczynski. I wonder if folks have left or if I was just confused about who was at what school. If Yale's IP department is just Ayres and Kapcynski, well, that is a pretty big advantage for Stanford.


Is who teaches IP even a consideration? Will that impact academic hiring. Because it sure as fuck won't impact firm hiring.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby abl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:08 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
abl wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
abl wrote: Similarly, though, I think Stanford's supposed edge for IP law over Yale is somewhat overstated. Both schools are incredibly strong in both areas, and I think it'd be a mistake to put too much stock in either supposed strength.

Can you explain Yale's "incredible strength" in IP? This is not a rhetorical question. Unless something has drastically changed over the past two years, I think you're just wrong here.


Maybe I'm wrong about that: I was just looking through the course schedule and I see now that IP is taught by Ayres (who's super legit but not really an IP guy) and Kapczynski. I wonder if folks have left or if I was just confused about who was at what school. If Yale's IP department is just Ayres and Kapcynski, well, that is a pretty big advantage for Stanford.


Is who teaches IP even a consideration? Will that impact academic hiring. Because it sure as fuck won't impact firm hiring.


It will impact academic hiring, it will impact the practical availability of unicorn jobs (many of which are connections-based), and it will impact the OP's actual IP education.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:12 pm

abl wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
abl wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Can you explain Yale's "incredible strength" in IP? This is not a rhetorical question. Unless something has drastically changed over the past two years, I think you're just wrong here.


Maybe I'm wrong about that: I was just looking through the course schedule and I see now that IP is taught by Ayres (who's super legit but not really an IP guy) and Kapczynski. I wonder if folks have left or if I was just confused about who was at what school. If Yale's IP department is just Ayres and Kapcynski, well, that is a pretty big advantage for Stanford.


Is who teaches IP even a consideration? Will that impact academic hiring. Because it sure as fuck won't impact firm hiring.


It will impact academic hiring, it will impact the practical availability of unicorn jobs (many of which are connections-based), and it will impact the OP's actual IP education.


First two sorta make sense, but the later doesn't. "Rockstar" academia doesn't translate well to the classroom.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby abl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
First two sorta make sense, but the later doesn't. "Rockstar" academia doesn't translate well to the classroom.


Sure, but it's worth more than nothing. Also, having professors who specialize, even generally, in the subject does translate well. And having multiple professors who specialize in the subject matters. Frankly, I'm pretty shocked by just how little Yale has by way of IP (a fairly core subject area) faculty.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:07 pm

I think that to have a chance at academia you're going to be making different connections with profs than simply taking a class, so it does matter who the profs are and what they're working on more than just whether the school offers a cybercrime (or whatever) class. Most competent profs could work up a class in most subjects, it doesn't mean they could direct someone who wants to do research in the field.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:29 pm

It's hard to say no to Yale of you want academia. I want to say SLS because it leaves the door still very much open for academia especially because you can tell such a coherent story with your tech/scholarship (assuming you don't get into law school and all of a sudden realize 16th century tort law is your real passion, etc) but I think I'd still say Yale. Academia is always a longshot, except, really, at Yale.

Neither is a bad choice though. Congrats.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:46 pm

Br3v wrote:It's hard to say no to Yale of you want academia. I want to say SLS because it leaves the door still very much open for academia especially because you can tell such a coherent story with your tech/scholarship (assuming you don't get into law school and all of a sudden realize 16th century tort law is your real passion, etc) but I think I'd still say Yale. Academia is always a longshot, except, really, at Yale.

I think this is too simplistic. The hivemind of TLS is helpful in many areas, but there's just too much collective ignorance about academia. People look at academic placement percentages and then treat academia like big law. But it doesn't work like that.

If you're interested in a particular field (as the OP is), what you publish matters. The conferences you attend (and the connections you make there) matter. The professors you work with (and perhaps publish with) matter. If your law school offers minimal support for your area of interest, it's going to make academia that much harder--even if your law school is Yale.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Vursz » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:55 pm

Yale student here. Go to Stanford for what you're interested in.

Yale University as a whole has not done a good job of maintaining its tech/CS offerings (they're just now bringing in a bunch more professors in the field), and the IP offerings at YLS (from what I've seen) are nothing like you'd get at Stanford, not to mention the connection-related benefits from being on the West Coast. I have a brother who works in CS out there, and it's a materially different environment for people wanting to study/conduct research in the field.

If you wanted any other type of academia, I'd say YLS no question. But IP is a real deficiency in Yale's offerings.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby RunnerRunner » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:56 pm

L’Étranger wrote:Wow at this thread going strong for S. I thought common wisdom was never say no to Yale.


I'd say IP interest + Stanford on the table is one of the exceptions though. This situation is like when people want a JD/MBA and go to Harvard over Yale: makes more sense given the program strengths.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby downbeat14 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:58 pm

.
Last edited by downbeat14 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby gnomgnomuch » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:03 pm

This seems to be a winner for Stanford.

Consider - Yale >> Stanford for Academia, but you're not exactly shut out of the field because you went to Stanford.

On every other metric that you raised, Stanford clearly beats out Yale. Cost is the same, job prospects - in terms of jobs that will pay enough to pay down 100+k of debt are also the same. Plus the fact that Stanford will offer you infinitely better networking opportunities, as well as better weather and location.

I don't really think you can go "wrong" in your situation, but there are more reasons to choose Stanford than to choose Yale.

Best of luck!

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Re: Stanford v. Yale for Academic and IP interests

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:08 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Br3v wrote:It's hard to say no to Yale of you want academia. I want to say SLS because it leaves the door still very much open for academia especially because you can tell such a coherent story with your tech/scholarship (assuming you don't get into law school and all of a sudden realize 16th century tort law is your real passion, etc) but I think I'd still say Yale. Academia is always a longshot, except, really, at Yale.

I think this is too simplistic. The hivemind of TLS is helpful in many areas, but there's just too much collective ignorance about academia. People look at academic placement percentages and then treat academia like big law. But it doesn't work like that.

If you're interested in a particular field (as the OP is), what you publish matters. The conferences you attend (and the connections you make there) matter. The professors you work with (and perhaps publish with) matter. If your law school offers minimal support for your area of interest, it's going to make academia that much harder--even if your law school is Yale.


Well, I guess I'd disagree. No hiring committee is going to turn up their noses at a YLS grad with a publication record. Are there less "rockstar" IP Prof's at Yale? Probably, but again, writing under anyone at Yale is probably going to be just fine.




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