Best T13 law schools for IP

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wjz3by

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Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by wjz3by » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:05 pm

What are the best T13 law schools for IP law related matters other than perhaps Berkeley and Stanford? What is the general ranking afterwards and how significant of a factor should this be for choosing a school with costs equal?

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by QContinuum » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:21 pm

For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by Sackboy » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:09 pm

QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
I agree wholeheartedly when it comes to curriculum. No job is going to hire you because the you had outstanding IP professors and courses at [insert lower T13] over Yale.

I disagree when it comes to connections. Stanford and to a slightly lesser degree Berkeley are probably much more connected to the tech scene than any other T13 schools, Yale included. This has a lot to do with both geographical factors and alumni outside of the law school. Stanford MBAs, which are in the top tier HSW grouping, prefer tech over any other employment option, iirc and have the highest rate of entrepreneurship among top b-schools. Berkeley has a slightly lesser tech pull, but both universities have world-class connections to tech when it comes to their undergrads and location.

You might not get your job out of the gate due to your Stanford or Berkeley degree, but I could definitely see a Stanford or Berkeley law degree having some cache in the IP law world with big tech or even startups.

Still, this should be a minor consideration after all the major points are considered. If you’re looking at sticker at Berkeley and a Darrow at Michigan, go to Michigan. If you’re looking at sticker at Stanford but a Ruby at Chicago, you should probably go to Chicago. Etc.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by UVA2B » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:11 pm

Sackboy wrote:
QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
I agree wholeheartedly when it comes to curriculum. No job is going to hire you because the you had outstanding IP professors and courses at [insert lower T13] over Yale.

I disagree when it comes to connections. Stanford and to a slightly lesser degree Berkeley are probably much more connected to the tech scene than any other T13 schools, Yale included. This has a lot to do with both geographical factors and alumni outside of the law school. Stanford MBAs, which are in the top tier HSW grouping, prefer tech over any other employment option, iirc and have the highest rate of entrepreneurship among top b-schools. Berkeley has a slightly lesser tech pull, but both universities have world-class connections to tech when it comes to their undergrads and location.

You might not get your job out of the gate due to your Stanford or Berkeley degree, but I could definitely see a Stanford or Berkeley law degree having some cache in the IP law world with big tech or even startups.

Still, this should be a minor consideration after all the major points are considered. If you’re looking at sticker at Berkeley and a Darrow at Michigan, go to Michigan. If you’re looking at sticker at Stanford but a Ruby at Chicago, you should probably go to Chicago. Etc.
Totally agree here. To the extent one T13 outplaces another, it's more of a correlation based on connections to tech markets than it is an endorsement of Stanford or Berkeley over another T13. There are a ton of tech jobs in/around SF, so there are a ton of law firms that service that industry. To a lesser extent, you see something similar in IP around DC because all IP matters are handled in DC, which is why schools like GWU developed a faux IP-centric focus of its student body. If there are more IP jobs in a particular market, the schools that best place in that market will reinforce that connection, because schools care about getting their graduates jobs where they want, so students choose to go to those good schools in that area and practice.

To illustrate the point: the current Patent Law casebook is co-written by a professor from Berkeley and a professor from UVA. Both do extensive amicus work in major SCOTUS litigation and both publish prolifically in the area, but Berkeley is considered more of a school for IP/patents, and UVA has a relatively small footprint in the area. Look across the T13, and every school has reputable and prolific academics in the area. And that type of logic can be applied across pretty much all the T13(or T14, I won't quibble about GULC's status on this since it is in DC and likely places a bunch of graduates into IP work).

It should also be appreciated that a difference exists between patent law and copyright, trademark, cyber security (I guess), and other such areas of law. This is probably a point in definition of a particular practice area more than it is a difference in how the schools place into particular markets or particular practice areas, but it nominally matters. So when you refer to IP, it helps to refer to whether you're talking patent, copyright, trademark, etc. because they are siloed, even if there is plenty of overlap in the generic field of IP. Especially considering patent work has additional barriers to entry that copyright and trademark don't.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by plurilingue » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:02 pm

QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
I strongly agree with this advice. More specifically, Berkeley hawking its IP offerings to encourage people to attend who would otherwise matriculate at CLS/NYU/UChi is total flame. There is no justification for such a decision based on the preferences hiring partners in Silicon Valley have expressed to me. To the above, while there are star professors at that school, and certainly there are geographic advantages to being in the Bay Area, such benefits are greatly outweighed by the reputation of the school attended.

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nealric

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by nealric » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:17 pm

QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
Speciality rankings are indeed meaningless, but the specific example of Yale and Stanford for IP is a bad one. Even Yale and Stanford have a certain degree of regional bias, and if your goal is to be keyed into the West coast tech scene, you are better off picking Stanford over Yale. Yale is slightly better than Stanford if you are gunning for a SCOTUS clerkship, but that's more or less irrelevant for someone looking to do IP. Both schools have essentially 100% placement and a "worst case" outcome is typically a v50 biglaw gig as long as you have a tiny modicum of social skills.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:33 pm

nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
Speciality rankings are indeed meaningless, but the specific example of Yale and Stanford for IP is a bad one. Even Yale and Stanford have a certain degree of regional bias, and if your goal is to be keyed into the West coast tech scene, you are better off picking Stanford over Yale. Yale is slightly better than Stanford if you are gunning for a SCOTUS clerkship, but that's more or less irrelevant for someone looking to do IP. Both schools have essentially 100% placement and a "worst case" outcome is typically a v50 biglaw gig as long as you have a tiny modicum of social skills.
Agree. Another reason why it's important to have a specific career path in mind when making these distinctions than trying to rank every school ordinally, like OP wants to do. Gestalt "placement power" is a pretty good yardstick for legal recruiting but there's still a lot of nuance at the level of individual human decisions.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by QContinuum » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:09 pm

nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:For J.D. programs, specialty rankings are meaningless, and this remains true in the case of IP. Put another way, Yale remains a better law school than Stanford even for someone who's 200% dedicated to IP. No employer is going to pooh-pooh a YLS applicant because Yale's IP offerings are relatively limited. Likewise, do not choose Berkeley over Columbia even though Berkeley probably does have stronger IP faculty.
Speciality rankings are indeed meaningless, but the specific example of Yale and Stanford for IP is a bad one. Even Yale and Stanford have a certain degree of regional bias, and if your goal is to be keyed into the West coast tech scene, you are better off picking Stanford over Yale. Yale is slightly better than Stanford if you are gunning for a SCOTUS clerkship, but that's more or less irrelevant for someone looking to do IP. Both schools have essentially 100% placement and a "worst case" outcome is typically a v50 biglaw gig as long as you have a tiny modicum of social skills.
I don't know, neal. I think SLS has a specific advantage for someone looking to get "keyed in" to the Silicon Valley startup scene, but most folks who are so laser-focused on the startup scene would be better served by attending SBS over SLS.

I disagree that SLS has an edge over YLS in getting folks into CA BigLaw, even IP positions in CA BigLaw. SLS is, of course, a superb school, and the second-strongest law school in the country, and someone wanting IP/CA BigLaw would be well-served by attending SLS. I still think, though, that YLS has an edge over SLS. Totally justifiable to choose SLS, of course, assuming similar COA (which may not, in fact, be the case, given New Haven's relatively low COL), but that doesn't make it the objectively better school.

Also, for unique, law-adjacent positions (which some "unicorn" IP positions may fall into), YLS' COAP provides unparalleled flexibility. COAP looks solely to income, and does not impose additional requirements on what kinds of employment qualify for coverage (private or public, PI or non-PI, bar passage-required or not). SLS' LRAP, in contrast, is limited to "law-related" positions, and even for "law-related" positions requires "prior committee approval" in certain cases (which presumably isn't guaranteed, because otherwise the committee approval requirement would be superfluous).
plurilingue wrote:I strongly agree with this advice. More specifically, Berkeley hawking its IP offerings to encourage people to attend who would otherwise matriculate at CLS/NYU/UChi is total flame. There is no justification for such a decision based on the preferences hiring partners in Silicon Valley have expressed to me. To the above, while there are star professors at that school, and certainly there are geographic advantages to being in the Bay Area, such benefits are greatly outweighed by the reputation of the school attended.
Totally agree, plurilingue. Now that I think about it, I'd add the minor caveat that Berkeley with $$$ may be TCR over CCN at sticker. But even still, Berkeley's unlikely to be the best choice overall, because Berkeley's notoriously stingy (relative to its peer schools) in awarding merit aid. An applicant strong enough to land $$$ at Berkeley will likely also have $$$ (possibly even more money) at a higher-ranked law school.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by wjz3by » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:02 pm

Thanks for all the help everyone. On another note, I realize that ED is not recommended on TLS for a number of reasons. Unfortunately though my GPA is on the lower side of 3.8 and probably going to be trending downward due to the difficulty of my upcoming engineering coursework. This would put me below median for GPA at most T13 schools and out of big scholarships at those respective schools. I also don't have very competitive softs other two internships one at a small regional tech firm and one this summer at an established blue chip tech firm (hasn't been cancelled this summer!) With a below median GPA and interest in IP tech would it make sense to ED to Berkeley for the 75,000 guaranteed scholarship?

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by Sackboy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:09 pm

wjz3by wrote:Thanks for all the help everyone. On another note, I realize that ED is not recommended on TLS for a number of reasons. Unfortunately though my GPA is on the lower side of 3.8 and probably going to be trending downward due to the difficulty of my upcoming engineering coursework. This would put me below median for GPA at most T13 schools and out of big scholarships at those respective schools. I also don't have very competitive softs other two internships one at a small regional tech firm and one this summer at an established blue chip tech firm (hasn't been cancelled this summer!) With a below median GPA and interest in IP tech would it make sense to ED to Berkeley for the 75,000 guaranteed scholarship?
I found someone with a 3.71 + 170 who got $82,500. I also found a 3.84 + 168 who got $85,000. I wouldn't ED for $75,000. That's a paltry sum of money now that tuition has continued to rise at astronomical rates for over a decade now. You'd be looking at $230k worth of debt. Don't lock yourself into that. Go get a 170+ and then play the field. You'll likely have better offers elsewhere in the T13, or Berkeley will give you a better deal than the ED students. Don't be too focused on Berkeley to get you to tech. Literally any T13 school can get you into an IP or Tech Transactions group and can get you back to California.

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Re: Best T13 law schools for IP

Post by UVA2B » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:55 pm

wjz3by wrote:Thanks for all the help everyone. On another note, I realize that ED is not recommended on TLS for a number of reasons. Unfortunately though my GPA is on the lower side of 3.8 and probably going to be trending downward due to the difficulty of my upcoming engineering coursework. This would put me below median for GPA at most T13 schools and out of big scholarships at those respective schools. I also don't have very competitive softs other two internships one at a small regional tech firm and one this summer at an established blue chip tech firm (hasn't been cancelled this summer!) With a below median GPA and interest in IP tech would it make sense to ED to Berkeley for the 75,000 guaranteed scholarship?
I think you misunderstand how medians are treated by law schools at this tier. If you end up with a 3.8 GPA, you're below the median GPA of most of the T13. In isolation, that looks bad.But medians statistically are easily manipulatable because it only takes the single person/profile who is median to have a given GPA. So if Berkeley or a peer admits 1000 people, they can do so to achieve median GPA and LSAT/GRE levels. They can accept a 3.4/171 that offsets a 4.0/166. This needs to be spread across their entire admitted class, but trust that these admissions offices are very good at doing this.

I wouldn't worry about the below median GPA by itself, and if your LSAT is strong enough, I wouldn't worry about anything at all. Get the best offer you can from the T13 when you have that strong LSAT.

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