GW vs USC

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bblack210

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GW vs USC

Post by bblack210 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:48 pm

I have recently been accepted off the waitlist at both GW and USC. It is important to me to have at least a reasonable shot at biglaw, and it seems that USC's statistics are noticeably better in that regard. In terms of location, I slightly prefer the west coast to DC. Cost of attendance would also favor USC, since they beat GW's scholarship offer. However, my main area of interest is in international law. I know that is more emphasized at GW, but would choosing USC severely limit my options in that field? I don't particularly want to work in government, more like a private firm dealing with international IP disputes, etc.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: GW vs USC

Post by decimalsanddollars » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:42 am

First, I'll say that USC is the clear choice given your circumstances. Costs less, moves higher, in your target geo area. Easy.

As for "international law," there's a lot of different practice areas that are international law-adjacent, and idk if I've heard of that in IP litigation (although I imagine it's a thing). Most "public international law" jobs require great performance at YSH and some outstanding reason, like ties to the affected area or fluency in weird languages, why they'd pick you over other applicants. As for "private international law" jobs, those come in a lot of different flavors, and the different lanes vary in how competitive/selective they are. Something like international arbitration or being a US-trained lawyer doing international securities work in London or somewhere might require top credentials; immigration law, international tax, and global energy practices might be less selective/have more spots open. As for IP, if you're patent-bar-eligible, you can probably get a good IP job from USC or GW, and you'd just be looking at which firms actually do cross-border work.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: GW vs USC

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:27 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:42 am
First, I'll say that USC is the clear choice given your circumstances. Costs less, moves higher, in your target geo area. Easy.
Agree, assuming total cost of attendance is manageable. Would add that, even if you're working at a biglaw firm involving in cross-border [IP litigation, mergers, etc.], you'll still just be practicing U.S. law for the most part. There'll be foreign lawyers in the foreign jurisdictions who handle the legal issues there.

GouldenBear

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Re: GW vs USC

Post by GouldenBear » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:18 pm

USC and GW are very different schools in very different cities. You should visit each and see which one fits you best. USC is small and intimate while GW is much larger. LA and DC couldn't be anymore different. If you love good weather, good food, and traffic go for LA. If you're a policy wonk that loves humid summers then DC.

Both schools can get you Big Law if you're in the top half of your class. LA big law concentrates a bit more on real estate, labor and employment, and entertainment but there's all the other standard big law areas in LA. DC has more government-centric practices. For "international law" any Big Law firm will probably give you comparable experiences but NYC might have the most opportunities for that, which isn't directly in the cards here.

I'd recommend USC since its a smaller class and LA has a better quality of life.

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cavalier1138

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Re: GW vs USC

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:21 pm

GouldenBear wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:18 pm
Both schools can get you Big Law if you're in the top half of your class.
That seems true-ish for USC (we'll see what happens in this economy), but GW sends ~30% of its class to biglaw.

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