(a) Patent-related courses/externships: Cardozo has more patent-related courses (e.g., "Patent Claim Construction") that will be directly applicable to my job, (supposedly) allowing me to 'hit the ground running.' Furthermore, Cardozo also has externships that are specifically IP-related while Hastings does not (I think).
(b) Quality of teaching: I have read complaint(s) about the quality of teaching at Cardozo (but no such gripes for Hastings). I have also read that the turn-over rate for Cardozo professors is relatively high -- teachers don't stick around for long. (I don't remember if I had read all this in a single post on some discussion forum.)
I have not heard any such complaints from the people I know at Cardozo. Mind you, I don't study there myself, so this is hearsay, but I'm at another NYC school, so I know a few people at 'dozo. Generally speaking, they seem satisfied with their profs. There's always going to be exceptions, there's people unhappy with some profs at Yale, Stanford and Cooley too.
(c) Class selection: Hastings has a lottery system for enrollment in upper-division elective classes so students may be limited in their course selection. I don't think Cardozo has this problem. Furthermore, Cardozo has some really interesting classes such as "Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law" and "European Legal Theory" which are very tempting (but perhaps are only irrelevant distractions).
First of all, once in law school, you're going to be picking classes on three criterias. 1) The professor is a generous grader 2) The subject matter is going to be on the bar exam and 3) I'm actually interested in learning about this stuff.
And yes, that's a ranked list.
(d) J.D./L.L.M. joint degree: Cardozo allows students to complete their JD and LLM in IP law in seven semesters. There are certainly conflicting opinions about the actual value of LLM degrees. However, having the opportunity to earn another degree while possibly waiting for the economy to more fully recover is not a bad plan.
There is no conflicting opinions on the value of LLM degrees. Their value is 0.
Exception granted if it's a tax LLM from NYU or Georgetown. The rest of them are all equally worthless.
(a) Alumni network: Hastings' alumni network in the SF bay area is extensive. Cardozo's alumni network is smaller since it is a relatively new law school.
Then again, Cardozo is in the largest city in the country. By and large, I wouldn't put much thought into this.
Very few people I know actually got employed thanks to their alumni network, I really wouldn't put much weight to this.
(b) Class-standing: All things being equal, I will most likely achieve a higher class-standing at Cardozo. However, I read that Cardozo groups all their scholarship-winners together into the same sections(s) to increase competition (and possibly save money on grade-contingent scholarship awards).
Why would you assume that?
I'll give every "0L" this advice when thinking about law school. Do not assume anything
about your law school GPA. I don't care if you're 180/4.0 when starting law school, this is a different beast. You have literally no idea how your success (or lack thereof) in law school is going to be.
I will say this much, being a diligent and effective student will most likely assure you in the top half of the class. Where in that top half you will end up, you will have absolutely no idea until first semester grades are in.
Are there any considerations I have missed? How would you decide?
Any suggestions, advice, or comments very much appreciated.
Yeah, it's easy. Do you want to be in Cali, or do you want to be in NYC? Both schools are regional, and at the end of the day that's what it comes down to.
Also, take a word of advice from my Patent law professor. "DO! NOT! TAKE! THE! PATENT! BAR!". His words, not mine.