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Author Topic: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...  (Read 6653 times)

stluan

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UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« on: January 28, 2010, 02:38:23 AM »
Hi,

My choice between UC Hastings and Cardozo is a difficult one.  After thinking about it for a while now, I still can't decide where to go.  I've read some very helpful advice on LSD so I thought I'll give this a try. 

I want to practice patent law after graduation.  I don't have a preference for either the San Francisco Bay area or New York City.  Cardozo is a recognized (ranked #8 USNWR) IP school while Hastings is ranked better overall (10-point difference in USNWR ranking).  Even though Cardozo offered $28k/yr merit-based grade-contingent scholarship, money isn't a major consideration for me.  More important are (1) quality of education and (2) job prospects after graduation. 

Below are various considerations relevant to the two criteria above:

(1) Quality of Education

(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.)
   
(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).   

(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. 


(2) Job Prospects after Graduation

(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. 

(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). 

Are there any considerations I have missed?  How would you decide?
Any suggestions, advice, or comments very much appreciated.   
Thank you.

czarevich

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 02:17:19 PM »
I did not attend either of these schools although I did apply to Cardozo and was accepted.  Based on my research of Cardozo, it is a great school.  Although, if you are not at the top of your class, you might have difficulty finding the job you want in NYC.  It will not be as easy as you think to be top of your class...many people enter law school with that misconception.  Cardozo actually has a number of its students that come from top undergraduate schools and so despite its rank, the caliber of its students is comparable to a much higher ranked school.  I have not heard about the high turnover of its faculty although I have heard that it is basically a faculty feeder school for the top law schools (i.e., a young professor will prove him/herself at Cardozo before being offered a tenured position at a more prestigious school).  This is not a bad thing as many of these young professors will be more approachable and likely be researching the more "sexy" law topics. 

I think your decision should really come down to where you want to be...A UC Hastings degree will not help you outside of California and a Cardozo degree will not help outside of NYC/Philly/Boston.  Hope this helps. 

stluan

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 02:15:18 AM »
czarevich, thanks for your response! 

I heard that Hastings has had some NYC firms interviewing on campus. Hastings also has a first-rate career office.  But your point about both Cardozo and Hastings being regional schools is well taken.

Well, at this point, I'm hoping for favorable responses from more top-tier schools. ;-)   

aelevine

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 11:19:59 AM »
This post may possibly be too late for you if you're already decided, but I wanted to shed some light on your situation since I was actually in the same position as you.

In the end, I ended up selecting Cardozo (no $ for either, btw).  Aside from what the poster above wrote, the other thing that needs to be said is that you MUST visit the schools. For me, that was the deciding factor.  I really loved 'dozo when I visited.  The administration is extremely nice and friendly, the students seemed happy, and the location is really to die for.  IMO the same could not be said about hastings.

Nevertheless, I'm a SF native and Hastings has a really terrific reputation in the bay area. If you're not familiar with the bay area legal market, then the thing to know is that rankings do not seem to matter there.  I.E: there are plenty of judges who are golden gate law graduates who are very loyal to the school, and the same goes for USF. As I said, Hastings is considered to be a really amazing law school in SF, and I doubt that you'd have trouble finding a job.

In NYC, however, the legal market now is really awful.  It's a nightmare getting anything here b/c it's over-saturated with lawyers/bright students from around the WORLD.  Not saying that I won't get a job, but it might not a) be in something I really want to do, or b) may not be in NY. 

In regards to IP/patent work, cardozo is probably the better choice imo.  It's become somewhat of a niche field of study at cardozo, especially as it concerns entertainment law.  However, if you're interested in working in silicon valley doing that sort of patent work, the hastings is the better choice.  Also, for what it's worth, the professors that i've had so far have been really amazing.

The one final thing I want to emphasize is that 'dozo (and hastings too, minus the jewish part) is packed with very high achievers who selected the school b/c of $, it's location, and for some, b/c it's Jewish.  The point, as it concerns you, is that everyone came in predicting amazing grades, and very few ended up with them. It's a very competitive school that will push you to the limits to not get left in the dust.I can promise you that it's not easy street at Hastings, either. 


bigs5068

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 09:41:14 PM »
This probably won't be that much of a difference maker, but you never know. I have lived in both SF and New York and both are great schools, you could definitely have worse options. One negative thing about Hastings is that it is right by the tenderloin one of the worst areas of San Francisco. Hastings is also right next to Federal Building and United Nations Plaza, which is gorgeous! However, a block away you have payday advance places, pawn shops, some shady business and just bums everywhere granted it is S.F. so bums are almost everywhere anyway, but it's particularity prevalent around Hastings. I have friends that went there who have gotten things stolen more than once. I am 6'9 260 pounds and I get somewhat scared walking around that area at night. Cardozo is in a much better location, but as I said before both schools are excellent for career prospects in their respective locations.

Granted if you are from the Bay you probably already knew that, if you are unfamiliar with S.F. it is something to consider.

IPFreely

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 05:36:18 PM »
Might be too late, but keep in mind that for your upper-level electives, since you are specializing in IP, there will be far fewer students competing for spots in those classes.  We have some limited-enrollment classes at my school (Illinois), and whereas the annual Caymans class gets filled up within a few minutes of registration opening, I've never had a problem getting a spot in IP classes.  (In fact, for one of them this year, there was a real risk that it might be cancelled due to too few students signing up.  Luckily, we just barely made the cutoff.)

Hastings might have proportionally more patent geeks, but they won't be the whole student body, and so you won't have to compete for spots with nearly as many people as, say, the classes on Environmental Law, or Gender Discrimination Law, or the special seminar on Bankruptcy that one of our profs ran this year (limited to ten students, filled up in less than five minutes from reg opening).

CJScalia

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 03:49:19 AM »
(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).

Correct

Quote
(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.
   
Quote
(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.

Quote
(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.


Quote
(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.

Quote
(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.

Quote
Are there any considerations I have missed?  How would you decide?
Any suggestions, advice, or comments very much appreciated.   
Thank you.

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.
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nerfco

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 05:06:52 PM »
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.

LOL. I don't know anyone that has picked a class based on it being on the bar exam. I don't even know what is tested on the bar exam in the state I plan to take yet. That's what Barbri is for.

That said, class selection may give you more things to learn you are interested in, but is probably not of utmost importance. All schools will have interesting classes.

There is no conflicting opinions on the value of LLM degrees. Their value is 0.

Agree, with some exceptions that aren't relevant here. An LLM is especially worthless when earned concurrently with a JD from the same school.

Also, take a word of advice from my Patent law professor. "DO! NOT! TAKE! THE! PATENT! BAR!". His words, not mine.

To state the obvious, if OP wants to do patent prosecution, s/he should probably take the patent bar at some point. ::)

Oh, and generally... this all just comes down to location. Where do you want to go to school, and where do you want to work post-graduation?

CJScalia

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 09:39:33 PM »
Hey, just figured I'd get back to you on this, since I got nothing better to do. Well, I got a paper on banking law waiting to be written, but if I give it enough time, that will work itself out!

I'm a bit surprised to hear that nobody picks courses for bar exam. Not that I'm saying you're doing wrong, just that at my law school it seems like 75%+ of the class have chosen to do that. Yeah, sure you got bar review, but bar review is going to be a whole lot easier if it's actually, you know, a review :)

Each to their own I guess, it's not like anyone is doing anything useful for their 3L class anyway. Islamic Jurisprudence or Criminal Procedure? Might as well take the one that's on the bar exam.
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stluan

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Re: UC Hastings v. Cardozo. Still undecided...
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2010, 03:16:17 PM »
Thanks everybody for your postings and suggestions. Your thoughtful advice is very much appreciated! 

I haven't put down an enrollment deposit yet but the deadline is soon approaching.  According to the comments on this site and people I've talked to, it seems like the consensus is that employment location is the driving factor.  Secondary considerations would include the result of my attempts to negotiate for better financial-aid packages from both schools.  (I am extremely disappointed that Hastings didn't offer me the typical Hastings Grant and their financial-aid office has been unresponsive.) 

BTW, CJScalia -- Why would your prof warn against taking the patent bar exam?  It is required for patent prosecution.  For litigation, being registered to practice before the USPTO is certainly not a deficiency.  Studying arcane procedures for this exam is tedious and mind-numbing but everybody I've talked to recommends passing it before starting law school.