GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Should I go to UCI or GW?

GW
1
13%
UCI
7
88%
 
Total votes: 8

commonlaw

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GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby commonlaw » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:39 pm

So here's the picture: GW @ $31,790/y v. UCI @ $20,000/y (plus subsidized grad housing, which would save me approx. $20k over three years--other COL about the same). I'll also note that I have about $50k saved in an education fund.

I'm interested in working soft-IP/technology, preferably, I think, doing transactional or non-litigation work. I've been in Los Angeles for the past 15 years and would be happy to live in D.C. and maybe even work on the East Coast after graduation, but I suspect that I will want to return to California eventually, especially since California probably has better markets for media/tech law. I've also been waitlisted at UCLA and USC. A last-minute change of plans to either of those schools would be much easier from UCI than GW, as I wouldn't have to worry about a subleasing an apartment from the other side of the country while starting law school.

My biggest hangup with UCI is that the students don't seem as high caliber as GW students, at least from the impression I got on preview day. Also, I heard that law firms will look at the GPA and LSAT profile of where you went to law school. Although similarly ranked, UCI's averages are lower than GW's by a few points. I'm not sure how much I should be concerned about this. It also seems that GW generally has more national prestige and reach. I'm also worried a UCI degree might limit me geographically more that GW degree, even for a number of years post-graduation. GW's alumni network is of course much more extensive than UCI--maybe even in California given how new and small UCI is.

On the other hand, I suppose UCI might be less competitive to earn good grades and other accolades. It would be easier, I presume, to connect with professors, given the class sizes are about 1/6th of those at GW. According to law professors I've spoken with at GW and UCLA, the UCI IP faculty is definitely on par with GW. There is a really cool public interest IP/technology clinic (GW doesn't have any IP related clinics--not that I'd go to a school just for a particular clinic). The professors at UCI seem much more open doing things like co-authoring with students and the administration seems very supportive of novel student initiatives and responding to student needs. I have a lot of connections in California in various industries, including the legal world, whereas I don't know many people (yet) on the East Coast. I also really want to do a federal clerkship and UCI, for whatever reason, has a federal clerkship placement rate on par with T14s.

I can't stop vacillating and would appreciate any additional input/perspectives!

cavalier1138

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:19 pm

It's hard to figure out the best response to your post, because you're focusing on all the wrong things. Short answer: if you want to work in California, UCI is a much better option than GW. But if you don't want to be left holding the bag on approximately $100k in debt without a salary that'll pay it off, neither is a good choice.

What are your current stats? Do you have any relevant qualifications for IP?

commonlaw

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby commonlaw » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:37 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:It's hard to figure out the best response to your post, because you're focusing on all the wrong things. Short answer: if you want to work in California, UCI is a much better option than GW. But if you don't want to be left holding the bag on approximately $100k in debt without a salary that'll pay it off, neither is a good choice.

What are your current stats? Do you have any relevant qualifications for IP?


So what are the "right" things to focus on? Job and big law stats? According to LST, UCI seems to fair a bit better but both schools seem to be on par for job prospects in their respective markets. Other than that, I would think market and affordability are the things to focus on. My numbers are 3.5/166. I'm not interested in copyright and trademark--not patent, so I'm not sure exactly what relevant qualifications you mean. I have a background working as a professional photographer and as a litigation and LIHTC paralegal. I've also done research for a copyright professor at UCLA in two instances.

Yes, ideally I would have scored two+ points higher on the LSAT and my choices would be different...

cavalier1138

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:53 pm

commonlaw wrote:So what are the "right" things to focus on? Job and big law stats?


I would phrase it differently, but pretty much. You want to focus on job stats, debt at graduation, the likely salary for a median graduate, and market served.

Your initial post brought up some of that, but you seemed much more focused on research opportunities with professors (available everywhere), school administration (practically identical across the board and largely meaningless), the relative intellectual capacity of students at each school (impossible to gauge), national prestige (these are both regional schools), and the relative ease of getting good grades at each school (100% impossible to predict).

If you're not willing to retake, leaving better schools and six-figure scholarships on the table, then the only answer for you is UCI. You want to work in California. UCI serves the California market; GW doesn't.

Golradaer

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby Golradaer » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:13 pm

The good news is that your concerns about UCI aren't actually issues. GW is not a nationally prestigious school and will not help you in California to the extent that UCI will.

I agree that retaking and going to UCLA/USC is the better choice for your goals, but UCI isn't a bad choice if you have to go this year.

mganteater

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby mganteater » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:47 pm

commonlaw wrote:
My biggest hangup with UCI is that the students don't seem as high caliber as GW students, at least from the impression I got on preview day. Also, I heard that law firms will look at the GPA and LSAT profile of where you went to law school. Although similarly ranked, UCI's averages are lower than GW's by a few points. It also seems that GW generally has more national prestige and reach. I'm also worried a UCI degree might limit me geographically more that GW degree, even for a number of years post-graduation. GW's alumni network is of course much more extensive than UCI--maybe even in California given how new and small UCI is.

On the other hand, I suppose UCI might be less competitive to earn good grades and other accolades. According to law professors I've spoken with at GW and UCLA, the UCI IP faculty is definitely on par with GW. I also really want to do a federal clerkship and UCI, for whatever reason, has a federal clerkship placement rate on par with T14s.



It is so beyond clear that UCI is a better school and fit for you. However, based on these comments from your post, you honestly sound like a complete tool. You for some reason think you're better than UCI, based on your comments about UCI being less competitive to earn good grades and accolades. My guess is that you're going to be the prime example of someone who think they're "hot stuff," shows up to law school, and is shocked when first semester grades come out and you're not as great as you think you are.

Also, law firms don't give a shit about the LSAT and GPA profiles, and I'm not sure why you would think that. Firms care about the reputation of the school and if you want to work in soft-IP, UCI has a great reputation for that. If you think that GW has a large "network" in California, I encourage you to get on law firm websites and compare the number of GW grads and UCI grads. The numbers will directly contradict what you've said.

However, all that being said, I highly encourage you to pick GW over UCI. UCI is a laid back school and if it seemed like the students weren't high caliber it's probably because they aren't all trying to actively compete against each other at all times, such as admitted students weekend. You should honestly go to GW because I promise you that you will not fit in at UCI. You sound like a douche, and UCI doesn't need students like you ruining the culture of the school.

LaChusa2020

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby LaChusa2020 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:05 am

Not trying to give you a hard time, because i know people come here to learn and that’s good, but you said some things that make no sense. Law firms do not look at the gpa/lsat profiles of law schools they recruit at. UCI is a well ranked school but not elite, same with GW. Your odds of getting a good job in dc are much higher from GW, same with UCI and SoCal. Biglaw recruits from T14>highest ranked local schools>other local schools>anywhere else.

All of the other differences you pointed out are illusory, neither of these schools will reliably to take you to the other coast unless you are at the very very top of your class, so focus on cost of attendance and location where you want to practice. The other things you pointed out are not real/do not matter.

In your case that definitely means UCI.

LaChusa2020

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby LaChusa2020 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:10 am

Also, do not assume going to a slightly lower ranked (not even true in this case) school means you will do better. Nobody knows for sure how they’ll do in law school and trust me an LSAT point or two or even ten above mean does not mean you will get great grades, it just doesn’t work that way.

Wubbles

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Re: GW or UCI for soft-IP/tech - I can't decide!

Postby Wubbles » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:27 pm

If you don't want to do litigation, why do you want a federal clerkship?



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