For anyone thinking about an LLM program, there's a new category on the Students' & Graduate' board.
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Messages - Andrew
I'm certainly no expert, but Suffolk seems to enjoy a pretty good reputation in Boston, whereas I tend to forget that NESL even exists. The Suffolk building is soooo nice, and I also hear a lot more about Suffolk than NESL. We have several Suffolk transfers at BU, and I've also met a lot of Suffolk people around town at jobs and such. NESL is never as well represented. I would go to Suffolk.
What are your interests? Research, writing, negotiation, argument analysis? Or care, diagnosis, interviewing, scientific analysis?
I'm always surprised that people have a hard time picking between two completely different fields. Law and Medicine don't have much in common other than prestige and money. If these are your goals you might consider a business profession over two very different service professions.
(1) This board. It pays to ask specific questions - there are a LOT more people reading than posting, but people are pretty good about responding to specific questions (ie - if someone asked a question about BU, I'd certainly answer it). You can also try the Students' and Graduates' board. Try asking for input under the specific school boards (not a whole lot of activity there yet, but inactivity perpetuates itself - post away!)
(2) Visit schools. I know it's hard to hop around the country to visit distant schools, but you should try to visit any school that you're considering that isn't too out of the way (or use the visit as an excuse to visit an otherwise interesting city). Once you're actually at the school you can sit in on a class, talk to the students (they'll tell you what it's really like), and check out the facilities. Then you can report back here for others who couldn't visit.
That said, I was living in San Francisco when I decided to come to BU. I'd never even been to Boston before signing up. I don't regret my decision for a second. I found a great school in a great town just by taking a chance on the unknown.
« on: July 03, 2003, 08:47:08 AM »
Private schools are expensive because they're private, not because they're any better than public. If you'll still have the option of going to the private school next year, I would wait. Then you can pick which one you want.
I went to a public school for undergrad and a private school for law, and so far I have only observed two differences: (1) sometimes at my law school there are cookies and/or free drinks, (2) my law school costs about $33,000 more per year than my undergrad did - and that would buy truckloads of cookies and beer.
50/50 is low odds these days because it's getting more competitive every year (assuming you're using last year's numbers as a guide, keep in mind that next year's numbers will really be two years later), but while you can't control the function, you can certainly control the input. Why not retake the lsat for a couple more points and strengthen your application with a really good personal statement?
Plus - you can save up a little money while you wait. A penny saved is probably about three pennies earned in your situation: Loans will about double the cost of law school, and taxes (if you make lots of money as a lawyer) will take another big chunck.
Pun - never noticed your reply until today - when I said that the bar was lower I didn't mean the actual BAR - I meant the standards for getting a big-firm job. I can see how my post is misleading.
I don't know anything about the patent bar exam except that you need the science or engineering degree. (I don't have one.) What I do know is that I have a lot of friends that got great jobs at patent attorney's based on their undergrad degrees and average grades. It was much easier for them than for eveyone else.
I agree, but don't forget that (generally) you need a science or engineering degree to sit for the patent bar. Firms won't train you in that respect - in fact, most won't even talk to you.
That said, the bar is lower for patent attorneys in terms of grades / class rank. You don't need to do as well in law school to get patent jobs the most prestigious firms. It makes sense because the applicant pool is much smaller - only a certain (small) percentage of law students qualify for the patent bar.
« on: July 16, 2003, 05:29:10 PM »
School prestige (not necessarily rank) is very important to law firm employers - and most people start out in the law firm before going in-house because in-house employers tend only to look for experienced lawyers. You'll find that it's much easier to get big law firm jobs from the top schools.
Even more imporant than school prestige, however, are law school grades. Unfortunatly you really have no way of predicting how you'll do in law school - it all depends on how everyone else did, and whether you're brain was going full rate on exam day.
The corporate-law vs. criminal or litigation distinction doesn't seem to be that important in terms of hiring criteria. Private vs. public makes a big difference though (easier to get public or government jobs).
The money thing...
personally, I'd say that should be your most important consideration. With your scores and grades, you can attend law school without risking much (without loans at all - depending on where you go). Without the burden of huge loans, you can take a little longer to find a job - and be a little more picky about getting something you like.
Plus - local schools' reputations are more valuable in the local context. For example, I'm sure Pepperdine has lots of alumni in LA, and LA firms will probably interview there more than they would a school like BU - which is a good but not elite school - in a far away city.
Honestly, I'd take the more prestigeous school - but that's because my judgement is clouded by the prestige (and because I know that UCLA is really cheap for what you get - if you live in CA). A more reasonable choice would be to take the money, study hard, and end up in the same place you would have at the other school, but with less debt.