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Author Topic: Transferring out of Miami  (Read 1671 times)

Miami13

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Transferring out of Miami
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:10:52 PM »
When I started at Miami, it was ranked no. 60.  With the LLMs now counted as unemployed for statistics, it dropped to 77.  Regardless, I want to do IP and am finding that South Florida is not such a great market for it.  I have a 3.5 for the Fall semester (Spring isn't in yet) and wondered if anyone had transfer suggestions.  Thanks.

Miami13

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 12:36:23 PM »
I was considering University of Houston since they have such a strong IP program.  The other top rated IP programs are mainly all T14 programs (Stanford, Berkeley, etc)

bigs5068

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 01:23:53 PM »
Schools rise and drop 20 spots any given year. The rankings are an absolute joke see LSAC's articles  http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/deans-speak-out-rankings.asp  http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf . The system is literally this judges/lawyers across the country mark a scantron from 1-5. Some guy in Spokane Washington was pissed of that Lebron James went to Heat so he marked Miami a 3 instead of a 4 this year. Obviously don't have any proof this, but that is they system people who have no experience or even knowledge of the 200 schools in the country mark a scantron. Schools drop and rise 20 spots any given years a result of this.. You are in a tie with Denver for 77th. Most of their rankings havae between 4 and 6 way ties, but there is a 12 way tie for 84th look through the rankings and you will see they just tie every school. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4. There is a 5 way tie for 79th and a 12 way tie for 84th. Don't leave Miami because of the rankings unless you can get into Stanford or Berkeley, but you will need to be in the top 5% for that.

If you are really into IP law then coming to the Bay Area is probably better and I know Santa Clara is great for IP law especially because it is the only ABA school in the Silicon Valley next to Apple, Google, Cisco, the list goes on. They were 74th last year, but they are in a TWELVE yes TWELVE way tie for 84th place now in U.S. News questionable system. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4 . Still if you REALLY want IP law then going to school in the Silicon Valley and being in the Bay area is probably the best place to do it.

kjw5029

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 01:24:02 AM »
I agree for the most part with bigs, but as far as I know, Santa Clara actually moved up in the rankings and was ranked lower last year.  (It wasn't 74 in 2010, it was in the 90's).  That's besides the point and doesn't really matter.  As many people have said before me, I think that outside the top 14 law schools, region is incredibly important.  I can't speak of the IP market in Houston, but I can speak a bit as a 2L law student in the bay area.  There are internships available, and I had like 4 or 5 interviews as a 2L.  I just don't know how much sense it makes for someone to transfer down in the rankings (for instance, out of Miami).  I can honestly say I've never heard of anyone doing it.  Not saying it's the wrong move, but it's certainly unusual.  Your best bet may be to speak with IP attorneys in the area of your current school and see what they think.  If you honestly believe you will have little to no shot at finding a job in IP law upon graduation, maybe consider a change.  Past "good markets" for IP law (from what I've been told) include, but are not limited to DC, NY, the bay area, and Chicago.  If you have specific questions about schools in the bay area or job hunting in the bay area, feel free to pm me.  I am still a student, but I've had a bit of experience job hunting here. 

*EDIT*  just out of curiosity, I checked Santa Clara's passed rankings.  85 - 2009, 93-2010, 84 - 2011.  Bigs is right that outside tier 1, rankings fluctuate quite a bit.  For instance, Villanova, a past highly ranked t2 dropped nearly 20 spots this year.  Just interesting to note.

bigs5068

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 12:34:22 PM »
The reason Villanova dropped is because they provided false information about their LSAT scores and GPA's to U.S. News it was a big article in the National Jurist, but I am sure every school does this. Nobody verifies the information or even reports it accurately to U.S. News and I am sure many schools engage in the same behavior Villanova did and  lie to please a unregulated for profit magazine offering their subjective and unfounded opinion to earn some money. As a result of it schools are not focused on teaching students the law or practical skills and most of the schools efforts go to pleasing this magazine that has no authority. It is really sad what it has done to legal education.

The articles from LSAC above describe the system a little better. Although it is really sad in the national jurist article a lot of the Deans 173 of them said the rankings are a joke, but when some of their schools improved in the rankings they used that on their websites to attract new students. It was pretty cowardly of all of them and legal education continues to suffer because schools are focused on pleasing a magazine not providing a solid education for law students.

To the actual point of transferring I think moving to the Bay Area if you want to do IP law is a good move regardless of a schools rank. The Bay Area is where a lot of software companies are based and software companies need IP lawyers it is simple supply and demand. I guess I know nothing about Miami, but I don't think of Miami as a place where technology is booming. Miami and Santa Clara are mid level schools in two years it is very possible Miami could be behind Santa Clara or vice versa there is no rhyme or reason to the rankings especially with regional schools. 

I might have been wrong on where Santa Clara was ranked, but my point is they move every year and they are currently in a 11 way tie for 84th so they might be 84th or 95th and probably somewhere in between nobody knows because 11 schools are tied for 84th place this year. Right now schools tied for 84th drum roll Depaul, Hofstra, LSU, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers Newark, Santa Clara, Seattle, Buffalo, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Villanova, which as you mentioned dropped 20 spots into this 11 way tie so maybe they are actually 96th (that would result in a drop of 30), but we don't really know if they are 84th or 95th because they are making 11 way ties. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4

So to the OP don't base your decision to transfer or not transfer based on a dip in the rankings there is literally no way to tell where Miami well be next year. Your school could improve tremendously based on some judge in Oregon being upset if the Heat win the Championship and giving Miami a 3 instead of a 4 next year. Or maybe this Oregon judge will be happy if the Heat win the championship and give them a 4 instead of a 3. They do not need to give any facts to support why they think a school is a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, they just check a number. I simply don't know how you could measure anything subjectively as 84th I do not have an 84th favorite restaurant, an 84th favorite city, an 84th favorite sport team, an 84th favorite friend, the list of that could on forever. Nobody cares bout 84th it is 84th and not only 84th an 11th way tie for 84th so it is simply mind boggling that this system over the last 20 years has transformed legal education in such a negative way.




Miami13

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 03:20:51 PM »
I know the rankings are a joke...but I also know that in many ways they do matter. UH's IP program (6) is ranked above Santa Claras (8).  UH is 56 in the overall rankings.  However, I know that the Bay area is known for IP but it seems more technology oriented (I want to do more trademark and less patent law since I do not have a hard sciences background).  My only issue with going to California right now is job security.  I'm not on the West Coast but I have a friend from California that went to Berkeley and is having trouble finding a job.  Texas' economy seems to be booming.  So keeping that in mind, would you still recommend Santa Clara over UH?  I had looked into it but I figured that so many top law schools are in Cal (Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, etc) that it would be almost impossible to find a job there. Thanks for all the help, I was beginning to think I wouldn't get an answer.

Miami13

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 03:24:10 PM »
On a related note, do you even recommend the transfer?  I could always stay at UM and do as well as possible and try to get into Berkeley's IP LLM program or any of the other schools IP LLM programs.  Not the optimum route, but still an option.  Thanks again.

bigs5068

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 02:35:15 AM »
Well take any advice given from me with a major grain of salt. I wouldn't say there are NO jobs in California a lot of my friends that just graduated from Golden Gate -not an elite school got jobs and others that graduated did not. Finding a entry level professional job is always difficult and always will be during anytime and in any place.

I do have a friend that moved to Dallas for work and they don't have state income tax there which is awesome and it is a cheaper cost of living than California. Maybe it is booming out there, but I figure Houston's entire economy was rocked somewhat by the Enron Scanadal. Although I know absoultely nothing about Houston so that may be way off base. Remember even if it is booming in Texas now there is no guarantee it will be booming when you pass the bar in 3 years and California may be on the rise in three years there is simply no way to tell.

As far as the IP ranking goes the overall ratings are a joke and the speciality rankings make even less sense. Do not give that any consideration whatsoever in making your decision. The Bay Area has a lot of tech, medical, chemical, companies etc so there are IP opportunites here. I am sure Texas has plenty of things going on as well as does Miami.

Is it worth it to transfer?  Ask yourself why you are transferring do you like Miami? have you been to Texas, the Bay Area, any of these places will you be able to get set up there and realize that in the 2L nobody is looking to make new friends 1L is when all the relationships etc develop at least in my experience. You are going to move to a new city, new school, and not know a sole there and most of the 2L's will all be acquintead with eachother. This could really suck, but if you have a specific reason for leaving your school then maybe it is worth it, but if you like your professors, made friends, and are doing well academically what is the point of moving across country from one mid-level school to another? I don't think transferring is every a good idea unless you are going into the T14. I have had many friends that transferred from GGU to Hastings, Santa Clara, and USF and all have said it was the wrong decision. This is only a sampling of 12 people, but none of those schools are all that impressive. Houston, Miami, Santa Clara, if that is an option  they are not ELITE schools and nobody will really care. Certailny finding a job in the Bay Area will be easier from Santa Clara because of the location and people in the Bay have heard of Santa Clara. Houston same logic, but Santa Clara loses to Stanford & Berkeley and I am sure Houston loses to Univesity of Texas.

kjw5029

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 11:05:56 AM »
I would just note that you shouldn't give too much weight to IP rankings.  They are almost entirely useless.  Not once have I had a job interviewer say (or ask) that Santa Clara is a good IP school.  I'm sure it goes the same for many other schools outside of the T14 law schools.  If you're getting an interview from a school outside the Top 25 (let alone the T14), you're likely getting it because of where you went to school and because someone at the interviewing firm either went there too or has hired successful students from that school in the past.  What I mean to say is (I guess in the end) that IP rankings don't mean much to job interviewers or selectors.  You're probably not going to get a job over someone attending the #8 IP school just because you go to the #7 IP school. 

bigs5068

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Re: Transferring out of Miami
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 03:15:56 AM »
Yea speciallity rankings are done with even less dilligence than the real ones and I cannot imagine anyone going to U.S. News to find what the best IP, Negotiation, whatever b.s. rankings they have put together are.

More importantly though is it is very possible IP Law might not be for you. It very well could be, but if you are a 1L I am guessing you have not taken any IP law classes. When I went into law school and even after the first year I thought IP law was what I wanted to do, but I took a class and did an internship in that area and it sucked. Then in Spring I did family law and that was never on my radar, but I really enjoyed it. I might have another change of heart, but the point is don't pigeon hole yourself into worrying about one small area of the law and don't move across country for to pursue some small area of the law you don't have much experience in.

If you have done a lot of IP law stuff before law disregard the above post, but it seems like a lot of people just say I want to do IP law because it sounds cool(myself included) in this category and don't really know what it entails.