Monday, April 29, 2013

So-Called Scientists Rag on Prestigious Intellectual Property Programs

Over at science to law, some Einstein has made the brilliant discovery that the US News IP Rankings are BS.

People use prestige as a shorthand, and very few lawyers that I know of actually keep track of which lower-ranked schools have invested in their IP programs of late....

Second, even if potential employers might appreciate the value of a particular IP specialty program, the clients who hire those lawyers might not....

[A]nyone urging strict reliance on the IP sub-rankings operates with a flawed and unstated assumption: That the substance of your legal education — i.e., which courses you take — matters more to employers than vague notions of school prestige. Applicants, particularly those poised to drop $200k on a degree, desperately want this to be true. It’s not. While having a few more patent law courses under your belt might seem like a good way to get a leg up, you’ll get a far bigger (and more lasting) leg up by choosing a top overall school.

Eureka! This would seem to be an affront upon the ranked and respected programs at Santa Clara, Cardozo, American, New Hampshire, and IIT/Chicago-Kent.

The person who wrote this is allegedly a big-firm patent attorney. So the real question becomes this: why is a scientist, a clinician trained in the rigorous scientific method, perpetuating the prestige-craving? Why is he not spreading awareness of those "lower-ranked schools" that have excellent IP programs - there's practically one in every major metro area! Why does his devotion to scientific truth not translate into a desire to hire entry-level IP lawyers with superior knowledge and training instead of random Columbia grads? Wouldn't a REAL scientist believe in knowledge and not what the uninformed masses believe?

Here's a better question: who would you rather believe, a well-ranked law school that has graduated scores of scientists into thrilling IP jobs, or one scientist who had a lunchroom chat at the office?

Yeah. In other news, there's (probably?) still time to enroll in Santa Clara, Cardozo, American, New Hampshire, and IIT/Chicago-Kent!

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