Law School Discussion

Hastings or Georgetown?

Hastings or Georgetown?
« on: July 11, 2005, 06:09:26 PM »
I would like to practice IP law in California after law school, preferentially San Diego. Which of these schools gives me the best opportunity? Hastings is cheaper (in-state tuition), has a big alumini network, and its IP seems pretty good. On the other hand, Georgetown is ranked higher and has a better national reputation.

What should I do? Have to make up my mind pretty soon. Any suggestion will be appreciated!

DodgerLaw

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2005, 06:33:06 PM »
I don't really have an answer for you about which will give you a better shot at IP.

But I will say this: If you are from California and planning to live the rest of your life there, I would take the three years in D.C. You may never get another chance.

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 07:04:28 PM »
Thanks for the advise. Actually I have been moving around the country quite a bit, but never lived in D.C. I will certainly put it in consideration in determining my law school choice.

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 08:10:55 PM »
First of all forget about money because you'll borrow so much for living expenses anyways that a slight difference in tuition is immaterial.

You have a shot to go to Georgetown which is truly an incredible school.  While Hastings is also quite good (and in an area where IP is hot), and I could only wish I was able to have gotten in there, I would choose Georgetown.

Georgetown's name should be enough to allow you the mobility to move around the country.  It's an elite school and I would take it in an instant.

ilsox7

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2005, 02:54:07 AM »
Hastings.  Both are great schools, no doubt.  But Georgetown doesn't have the "WOW" impact that, say, Harvard or Stanford does.  When you walk into an interview for your California IP job, it's much, much more likely that your interviewer will be a Hastings grad.  Common ground right off the bat makes landing the job that much easier.  Plus, living in the state (and maybe city) where you will practice is much preferred.  You can actually work part time at a firm during the year, pocket some extra cash, and more importantly netowrk at the firm, and other firms. 

One thing a lot of people on LSD overlook is the importance of being in the city, or darn close to the city, where you want to practice.  You know where you want to be, so it's advantageous for you to go to school there.  The bottom line, though, is you really cannot go wrong with either choice.  Georgetown may be fun b/c it will be nice being somehwere different than where you'll settle eventually.  But the logistics and perks that go with going to school where you want to practice would outweight that, for me.

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2005, 10:43:16 AM »
GULC. This shouldn't even be a question, there is NO comparison between the two. I don't care if GULC was ranked last in IP and Hastings first, or if the dream IP firm you wanted to work at was on the friggin Hastings campus itself, GULC is light years better and more prestigious than Hastings and your career (in any type of law you wish to practice) will undeniably benefit from this. Make the right choice - it shouldn't be too hard, given that it is painfully easy.

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2005, 11:48:12 AM »
I get ilsox7's point and that's exactly why I'm still debating about this. Hastings is a very good school, despite of the ranking. Plus its reputation is high in california.

The only thing that worries me is I'd be competing with the graduates of boalt, stanford, ucla, t14 etc for the jobs. If I can't make to the top 25% of the class at hastings, I'm dead. For Georgetown, even if I don't do well, I think I'm still going to be ok. Is this a valid point?

Thanks all for your input.

ilsox7

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2005, 01:35:52 PM »
I get ilsox7's point and that's exactly why I'm still debating about this. Hastings is a very good school, despite of the ranking. Plus its reputation is high in california.

The only thing that worries me is I'd be competing with the graduates of boalt, stanford, ucla, t14 etc for the jobs. If I can't make to the top 25% of the class at hastings, I'm dead. For Georgetown, even if I don't do well, I think I'm still going to be ok. Is this a valid point?

Thanks all for your input.

About reputation...yes, Hastings is VERY well thought of in Cali.  I'd venture to guess it's at least as highly thought of as Georgetown.  Sadly, some people around LSD simply cannot get over the fact that USNEWS isn't the be all and end all.  What a lot of people do not realize is that it's often much better to go to a very good "regional" school where you want to pracice rather than an excellent "national" school across the country from where you want to be.  Now, let's say law school doesn't go as planned and you don't make top 25%...so you're top half at Georgetown and top 65% at Hastings.  All you've proved, no matter what the outcome, is that you're a mediocre law student.  Now, being a mediocre law student, what would you rather have going for you?  Interviewing with partners and associates who went to your school and can "bond" with you over that?  Having the ability to do part time work throughout the school year so as to show a firm that even though you're not a great student you will be a great lawyer?  The ability to network constantly throughout 3 years in the city you want to practice?  Or move across the whole country, not knowing one lawyer in California, trying to find a job by saying, "Hey, I went to Georgetown!  I may have been a mediocre student there, but it's GEORGETOWN."

Methinks your best bet then is Hastings.  Again, you really can't go wrong with either choice.  But I'd venture to guess life would be easier by going to Hastings.

DodgerLaw

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2005, 02:42:53 PM »
Just for the record here, Hasting is in San Francisco whereas this guy wants to practice in San Diego. Same state, but still considerable distance.

s9120

Re: Hastings or Georgetown?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2005, 07:48:28 PM »
Sorry for going a bit off-topic. Since you are interested in IP law I will assume you (or maybe someone out there reading this) have a technical background. Technical background as in a science or engineering degree. For IP law, your undergrad is just as important as your law degree. Work experience prior to law school is a HUGE bonus. Making the top 25% in Hastings or any school isn't as important in this field of law (it is important but not as important as other areas). So if you have a technical undergrad and some decent relevant work experience, the law school you choose (or choosing the wrong one) won't affect you as much. I'm basically trying to say that if you fit this description you can't go wrong with Hastings or GT.

If you are an english major with no work experience and want to go into IP law, you better get your ass into GT.