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Messages - ohioan

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Choosing the Right Law School / food for thought - how to pick a school
« on: February 24, 2009, 03:52:11 PM »
I know everyone has their opinion about rankings and how to determine where to go. I wanted to share what I have been doing and the results in case it may be helpful to someone.

My area of interest in law is fairly specific: I seek a career in biotech IP law. Backups would be general IP, health, or immigration law. But, since my advanced degree and background is biomedical research, biotech IP is my direction. I searched for a listing of biotech IP firms to start working with. From that list, I started looking at where the associates came from for those firms, and I limited the search to my schools of interest. I add to this the regions that I am interested in building my career, namely Chicago, but NY/DC possible too. Now, based on this preliminary search, it is becoming quite clear that a lower ranked, Tier 2 school in Chicago would provide better employment prospects for me than a top tier 2 (30 spots) school in Ohio (Cincinnati). Yet, most attorneys I have talked to hold on to the notion of going to the best school you can get into. But some do admit that this really only pertains to top 20 and tier differences. Within a tier, and outside the top 20, they say ranking matters less in their hiring. Class rank however, is more important in hiring - which is obvious. So if you find yourself in a situation where you got into a good, relatively highly ranked school that is not in a strong legal market, but you did get into a lower ranked school within a strong market, how would you decide? I haven't made up my mind yet, and I need to visit one of the schools, and maybe revisit the other one, but I know that I am giving this a lot more consideration than some think I should; many think I should not even be considering a school ranked 30 spots lower than Cincinnati (in this case Loyola and DePaul). My point here is to support the idea of contacting firms to find out where they hire from. Skepticism about the information law schools provide is a good thing. And while the more information you gather, the more of a headache you may get, the better your decision will ultimately be. Hope you find this helpful, but if not, sorry to have wasted your time. Cheers!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Penn State
« on: February 23, 2009, 01:50:46 PM »
PSU is fine and will serve you well. The only real problem is the price. And Joe Pa. ;)

What strenghts does PSU have that you say it will serve one well? I have not found it to be particularly strong in employment prospects, even in NY/DC which is where they claim to be strong. However, my research was focused on IP firms, so maybe that's why I did not find much representation from PSU.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: December 2009 LSAT hopeful with some questions
« on: February 22, 2009, 06:52:01 PM »
Best of luck to your students.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: December 2009 LSAT hopeful with some questions
« on: February 22, 2009, 06:49:55 PM »
I have a 2.83 GPA and I am going to a great law school. 'nuff said.

Great law school with a 2.83 and a 161 means you're either black, Mexican, or lying.

None of the three, but thanks for sharing your prejudice.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: December 2009 LSAT hopeful with some questions
« on: February 21, 2009, 06:49:32 PM »
Definitely exhaust your independent study first. THen take the prep course.

This is like telling someone to spend a few months at the driving range and THEN hire a golf instructor.  Completely backwards. 

A prep-course is going to give you the basics.  It should come first.  Master the basics, get that strong foundation built, and then fine-tune it all with self-study until test day.

I disagree, and I spoke from experience. Study on your own first to learn your strengths/weaknesses, then try to improve as much as you can. say you improve from 149 to 157. If you are consistently scoring 157, then you know that your prepcourse should improve above that. If you take the prep course first and improve to 157, you would not have gained as much. This comes from experinece, but hey, do what you want. Golf analogy to LSAT? And if you expect a prepcourse to give you basics, you underestimate its purpose and value. For $1200+ it is supposed to help you improve your weaknesses and maintain your strengths, at least that is what the CAF does. Think about it. If you have not improved your strengths and minimized your weaknesses as much as you could, then you will ultimately not get as much out of it as you could, hence you will not score as high as you could on the lsat. I have a 2.83 GPA and I am going to a great law school. 'nuff said. Cheers, and good luck. :D

Studying for the LSAT / Re: December 2009 LSAT hopeful with some questions
« on: February 21, 2009, 02:03:39 PM »
As I have learned in this admissions cycle, nothing is more important than your LSAT score. Next would be GPA. You need to score as high as possible on the LSAT and an LSAT prep course is necessary. I could not afford one, but managed to raise my score from 144 to 161 by studying and analyzing my practice tests. Send me a message if you are interested in learning more about my study materials and strategy. Definitely exhaust your independent study first. THen take the prep course. If you figure out your strengths and what does or does not work for you, then you can use the resources of the prep course to fine tune your weak area. Best of luck.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / uc
« on: February 20, 2009, 03:48:12 PM »
I just got an email that I am accepted to University of Cincinnati (ranked 52). I also just got an email from an IP biotech atty (what I wish to become) at an excellent firm who said, the key factor to getting a law job outside a t14 school, is your class rank. Hands down.  He also said that firms have favorites and do hire locally. So you also have to consider where you want to work and live.

Given this, let me pose this question. I like a city environment with lots to do, so Chicago beats Cinci. I want to go to a strong legal market, so again, Chicago beats Cinci. I want to go to the highest ranked school I can get into (consistently higher ranked) and that I can be in the top 10% of the class. So, I would think that Cinci is better for this (I am close to their 75% LSAT). Plus, I should get in state tuition. I have a 15K/yr scholarship to DePaul in Chicago, which has a recognized IP program, but poor job placement (IMO). Call me crazy, but don't you think Cinci is the best choice here?

Current Law Students / Re: Median at T20 wanting to do patent law
« on: February 20, 2009, 02:25:32 PM »

Yes, the Loyola PLIP is strongly recommended.  If you aren't landing anything good after callbacks from that, AIPLA has another interview event in late October. 

I am a prospective student having a 15K/yr scholarship to DePaul and maybe something to Loyola. So if it is much cheaper for me to go to DePaul, is Loyola still a better option because of the PLIP? DePaul has a ranked IP program and, at least on paper, seems stronger for IP than Loyola.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Hofstra vs. Suffolk
« on: February 19, 2009, 01:42:28 PM »
Would you say that Suffolk and Hofstra's reputations are pretty much on par? I only ask because though it is not a guarantee by any means, if the opportunity arises, I would like to try and transfer out.

do a google search for Hofstra law student...I remember coming across something that opened my eyes to them. I got a good offer, $27500 per year from them, but I am not likely to take it because I don't think they have a good program. By good, I mean that it seems their students are not well prepared for the legal profession. That impression comes from having read and interacted with alumni and current students. Suffolk on the other hand does seem to do a better job preparing students. In fact, as I was searching law firms, there was one that had a ton of Suffolk grads.

Lemme do two things here.  First, answer the question above, and then ask another question myself.

DePaul is in Lincoln Park...the best place to live is Lincoln Park.  I dont know how familiar you are with Chicago.  Lincoln Park is on the north side.  DePaul is on the north side, Kent is in the West Loop by the Sears Tower and train stations, NW is in the loop, U-Chicago is on the south side, and Loyola is on Michigan Avenue, where the water tower is and all the expensive shops.

Theyre all about 20 mins from each other...that is, if you live in lincoln park, youd be 2 mins from depaul, but 20 mins fromeverything else.  Ditto if you lived in the could commute by bike to NW or maybe Kent, but would be 20 mins to DePaul and Loyola.  Therefore you need to narrow down where you want to to gofirst id say.  I believe the orange line runs right by the Sears Tower, giving access to Kent.  I cant think of what runs right above DePaul.  There is crime everywhere in the city.  Theres noise everywhere in the city.  Cant really say a quiet and safe place.

For my question...let me play devils advocate.  I heard that both a) Kent grads go to big firms in Chi, and b) that its cause its ranked higher than DePaul and Loyola.  How do you factor this into regional schools that are ranked higher?  E.G.  Tennessee.  Theyre ranked 50, and I imagine they just feed into Nashville and maybe Cincinatti. But at the same time, it is ranked higher than Kent.  How do you determine this?   How are you "hired" out of law school?  Is it mostly recruiters coming to your school, cause if thats the case i can see why a school like Tenn doesnt equal big jobs in NY, Chi, or LA.  I can see why going to somehwere like Kent or Houston is good though.  So, just wondering about that.

Thanks guys.

A comment about the areas mentioned, DePaul law is in the loop, as is Kent and Loyola. Lincoln park campus for DePaul is their main campus, but the law school is in the loop. As for me, I think the key factor in my decision is going to be 1) where are the biotech IP firms, 2) where do they hire from. I anticipate the answers to be 1 - located in NY, DC, MA and other than t15 schools, they hire locally. Though acceptances, and scholarships from Hofstra adn New York Law School make NY access better than DePaul and Loyola, I am not sure that the level of access those two schools provide is worth it. I think Penn St. could be a good option, but I am not seeing much representation of their graduates as I look at IP firms in NY, DC. So I think the idea of developing a career in Chicago first might be the most appropriate.

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