I see your TLS profile says you're at Penn.
Can you please share how you believe Penn is doing for IP lit big law? How deep do firms go in your class ranks specifically for IP lit? And where do people end up going? Do 1L class have jobs lined up? Last but not least, do people with tech background but poor 1L grades have jobs? By poor I'm not referring to dead bottom. I'm thinking more like bottom 15-20%.
Everyone I know who wants a decent IP lit job gets one. I obviously don't know all the people, but we do have an IP group and I don't hear anything negative about job prospects. Almost everyone I know is going to V100 firms. Sample size isn't large though, because Penn is mostly corporate and general litigation.
1Ls sounds relaxed about jobs. We don't have this year's stats yet, but anecdotal evidence suggest that there are way more 1L SA this year. I don't really feel like it's an issue getting anything. I haven't heard any summer job chatter for a while. They are multiple openings for RAs, which suggest that people mostly have other things lined up.
We don't calculate GPA or publish ranks. From what I know, most people have a mix of grades. So without official ranks, it's really hard to know whether you are 33% or 66%. I think the middle third is so packed it's hard to know for sure if slightly above median (objectively) means anything more than slightly below. As for the bottom of the class, I don't know, since OCI hasn't happened yet. But I can't imagine people with poor grades but good tech background can't land something, absent some other issues. There are many smaller boutiques that don't usually get to hire Penn talents (a couple of them right here in Philly) so I can't imagine they can't hustle for one of those jobs.
Overall I feel confident that people with tech background at Penn have a leg up on the rest of the class if the goal is to get an IP job. And since Penn already arguably has a toe length over its peers on biglaw hiring, you can infer the IP forks will do even better. Another thing about Penn, a lot of Pharma companies are very close to Penn, so life sciences is big here. Akin Gump has their life science group right here in Philly and actively recruits at Penn (we had them come to do a recruiting presentation for the IP group this semester).
That said, if it costs you less to go to Boalt, then go there.