runningzigzag wrote:Those Patent jobs don't go to the top ranked school exclusively...If you have a hard science or engineering degree and pass both your State Bar and the US Patent Bar, then you are set--regardless of where you attended law school. I have another friend who attend a (very) low-ranked T-4 and took the Patent Bar (he was a chemical engineer) and is making a six-figure salary and doing just fine. His classmates who weren't Patent Bar eligible, are severely struggling right now and are broke.
I think the top-ranked schools are of more value to those who aren't seeking to be in the Patent Law specialty...because people who don't have the engineering or a hard science background, are going to need all of the extra help they can get in this economy. I would personally suggest that those who aren't patent bar eligible, definitely do seek out the highest ranked school you can attend and go from there.
Like I said, Patent Attorney's don't need to worry about rank, because there are so few out there that qualify for this special caterogy. Everyone else should be very worried about their choice of school and all that other stuff. I know that I would be pretty scared right now if I was them too and didn't have a strong science or math background. Let's face it, it's rough out there and you need every possible advantage you can in this job market.
I also was looking at my options this morning on LSAC and it seems that I will still meet a number of deadlines even if I postpone till February 2011. Of course, these schools are T-3 and T-4 and but that doesn't matter to me to begin with. I'm just there to get the degree and then go on my way to take the Patent Bar.
I'll counter your anecdote with another anecdote! One of my good friends who attends the local T3 is patent-eligible (and has solid grades) and completely struck out at OCI. She's currently scrambling to secure any type of summer employment, though things aren't looking good. From what I understand, her situation is not uncommon- and this T3 doesn't exactly have a ton of competition in the region.
Maybe her situation is atypical- or maybe your friend's situation is atypical. In either case, I would make sure you're completely certain of the job prospects for IP-secure students from the schools you're looking at. IP is definitely not a golden ticket in itself.