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Dwrigh55

JD in Canada vs USA

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4 hours ago, Dwrigh55 said:

Hey guys, thanks for the responses!  The school is not a super well rated school.  The school is around 120 in US law schools.  However, when I looked up top rated Intellectual Property law schools in the States this school is rated number 6 overall.  Santa Clara.  It also has a Tech Edge program which seems like a perfect fit for me since I would like to work in Intellectual Property.  I have a Masters of Science and I would like to use my skilled qualities in law to be a prominent consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to bring their products to fruition.  I would like to move to and live in California if I am to go to school there, so returning to Canada is not an issue for me.  Also, I think California may be beneficial because of the saturation of tech start-ups which may provide tons of business and opportunities for someone in my position.  Let me know your thoughts on this and if this school would be worth considering over Canadian law schools.  

You might want to 'move to and live in California', but have you investigated what your options would be for doing so? If you plan to study in a country where you don't have status, you could potentially wind up with an expensive and useless degree (with a road of varying difficulty to return to Canada). 

 

In addition, have you read Santa Clara's disclosure report? http://1x937u16qcra1vnejt2hj4jl-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Std509InfoReport-23.pdf As many as 53% of students have their scholarships reduced or eliminated for failing to maintain grade requirements (and only 7% of students have an offer as generous as yours, suggesting it would have some strings/requirements attached), they estimate living expenses at $24k/year (which is $32k Canadian), and the last reported year, nobody transferred in, but 21 people (10% of the class) did leave for non-transfer reasons. 

 

All in all, I'd say you'd have to be quite brave to think that's a good offer if you're sitting on opportunities from Canadian schools.

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19 hours ago, lookingaround said:

You might want to 'move to and live in California', but have you investigated what your options would be for doing so? If you plan to study in a country where you don't have status, you could potentially wind up with an expensive and useless degree (with a road of varying difficulty to return to Canada). 

 

In addition, have you read Santa Clara's disclosure report? http://1x937u16qcra1vnejt2hj4jl-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Std509InfoReport-23.pdf As many as 53% of students have their scholarships reduced or eliminated for failing to maintain grade requirements (and only 7% of students have an offer as generous as yours, suggesting it would have some strings/requirements attached), they estimate living expenses at $24k/year (which is $32k Canadian), and the last reported year, nobody transferred in, but 21 people (10% of the class) did leave for non-transfer reasons. 

 

All in all, I'd say you'd have to be quite brave to think that's a good offer if you're sitting on opportunities from Canadian schools.

Thank you!  

This has been the most informative response, thus useful for my decision.  I really can't explain how thankful I am for the time you put in to help me out.  Many people on this forum write about hidden conditions which will remove my subsequent semester full tuition scholarships.  However, the only condition on my email states that I must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.9, which seems incredibly low.  Do you think there may be actual malicious hidden conditions?  

 

I'm striving to use my Masters of Science in Anatomical sciences as gateway into becoming a professional consultant in intellectual property law for start-up medical tech companies.  For this reason I've heard the West coast has the most opportunity for an individual with my goals.  Especially since Santa Clara is near Silicon Valley.  I've only been accepted to Western law school in Canada so far, but I feel as though I'll have less opportunity here in Canada, and pushed more towards corporate law, which I'm not sure I want to do.  

 

I'd really appreciate more input on this if you have the time!  This conversation has definitely pushed me more towards Canada, but I'm still lingering on the fence.  It's going to be a tough month of research and contemplation.  

 

Thanks!

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I’m ignorant about IP practices in general but how many “professional consultants in intellectual property law for start-up medical tech companies” are there? And what’s relevant to being hired as one (whether by a consultancy firm or a client)? Is it jurisdiction-specific IP legal knowledge? Is it real-world experience as an IP lawyer representing medical companies? Is it technical scientific knowledge?

I think your ambitions are too specific for any general advice to be overly helpful. I would urge when deciding you to strongly consider what (if any) alternative career outcomes would appeal to you if your specific goal doesn’t pan out. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Dwrigh55 said:

the only condition on my email states that I must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.9, which seems incredibly low

That GPA might not be as low as you think - it's dependent on the curve that the school uses. 

22 minutes ago, Dwrigh55 said:

I feel as though I'll have less opportunity here in Canada

You're not going to jump straight from law school to being a consultant. You're going to have to grind out a few years as an IP lawyer either at a IP boutique or at a large corporate firm's IP department. There are lots of IP law firms in Canada - and IP law in Canada is federal meaning you hypothetically should be able to practice anywhere in Canada (obviously you still have to go through provincial law society accreditation). Having an MSc makes getting into an IP firm much easier.

The path of least resistance is, in my opinion, going to a Canadian school.

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21 hours ago, ProfReader said:

I don't think this is very sound advice.  I agree that rankings aren't everything, but the employment statistics aren't great, which is arguably the most important consideration.  Only 77/136 students from 2017's class are employed in jobs that are both full time/long-term and require a JD: http://1x937u16qcra1vnejt2hj4jl-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Class-of-2017-ABA-Summary.pdf.  Yes, a masters of science is coveted ("highly" is going too far given that it is not at all uncommon for students to have a MSc and some even have a PhD...the specific field of the masters may matter).  However, Stanford, to name one example, has a much more prestigious science and tech law program that likely also has many students with a masters of science and who are US citizens who would be competing for the same jobs.

Hey!  

I read through your discussion with @Trew and I really appreciate both of your input!  I want to extrapolate a little on my thoughts and ambition.  I believe the United States have a larger job market for medical technology and tech start-up businesses seeking professional help.  I would also enjoy living in the West or mid-Western United States. 

If Santa Clara does not quite reach a standard that employers will recognize, then what schools in the States can I trust?  The better schools in the states I'm considering are not T-14 schools, but they are ranked much higher than Santa Clara.  The three in particular are: Denver Sturm College of Law, University of Colorado Boulder Law, and Loyola Marymont Law in California.  Is it reasonable to choose one of these schools?  Or is it still incomparable to studying law in Canada? 

I'm also fearful that if I study in Canada I won't reach my goal of becoming a professional consultant practicing intellectual property law for novel medical technologies.  This may be an irrational fear of mine, but I imagine myself having much more of a difficult time succeeded in IP law while being surrounded by more opportunity in corporate law here in Canada.  

 

Let me know your thoughts!  I apologize if I'm coming off as completely irrational!

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3 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

That GPA might not be as low as you think - it's dependent on the curve that the school uses. 

You're not going to jump straight from law school to being a consultant. You're going to have to grind out a few years as an IP lawyer either at a IP boutique or at a large corporate firm's IP department. There are lots of IP law firms in Canada - and IP law in Canada is federal meaning you hypothetically should be able to practice anywhere in Canada (obviously you still have to go through provincial law society accreditation). Having an MSc makes getting into an IP firm much easier.

The path of least resistance is, in my opinion, going to a Canadian school.

Thanks for the input!  

This comment has definitely set me spinning towards Canada.  You mention that I should be able to practice anywhere in Canada.  Do you happen to know if it's common for IP lawyers to article in a difference province than their schooling?  Hypothetically, if I were to study in Ottawa or even Dalhousie (these are my top two choices in Canada) would it be common or even possible to attain a position in an IP firm in British Columbia?  

Thanks so much! 

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Just now, Dwrigh55 said:

Thanks for the input!  

This comment has definitely set me spinning towards Canada.  You mention that I should be able to practice anywhere in Canada.  Do you happen to know if it's common for IP lawyers to article in a difference province than their schooling?  Hypothetically, if I were to study in Ottawa or even Dalhousie (these are my top two choices in Canada) would it be common or even possible to attain a position in an IP firm in British Columbia?  

Thanks so much! 

Having gone through the formal recruiting in BC I can say that there are a LOT of students from the East that apply to - and are hired - by firms in BC. There's nothing prohibiting law students from one province from working in a different province. When applying to a BC firm from outside of BC, they will want you to explain why you want to work in BC and they want to hear that you plan on sticking around for a while. They don't really want to invest time in training a law student if there's a good chance that law student will move back home after a year or two.

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26 minutes ago, Dwrigh55 said:

Hey!  

I read through your discussion with @Trew and I really appreciate both of your input!  I want to extrapolate a little on my thoughts and ambition.  I believe the United States have a larger job market for medical technology and tech start-up businesses seeking professional help.  I would also enjoy living in the West or mid-Western United States. 

If Santa Clara does not quite reach a standard that employers will recognize, then what schools in the States can I trust?  The better schools in the states I'm considering are not T-14 schools, but they are ranked much higher than Santa Clara.  The three in particular are: Denver Sturm College of Law, University of Colorado Boulder Law, and Loyola Marymont Law in California.  Is it reasonable to choose one of these schools?  Or is it still incomparable to studying law in Canada? 

I'm also fearful that if I study in Canada I won't reach my goal of becoming a professional consultant practicing intellectual property law for novel medical technologies.  This may be an irrational fear of mine, but I imagine myself having much more of a difficult time succeeded in IP law while being surrounded by more opportunity in corporate law here in Canada.  

Yes, the US has a larger market for medical technology and tech start ups.  However, it will be a long time before you are acting as a consultant in this field, if indeed you do break into it, so I think you should be more concerned with your immediate future. As I noted in a previous post, there are lots of people with MSc degrees or even PhDs who are interested in IP.  Because of this, yes, it is entirely possible that your fears are well founded and that you won't ever achieve this very specific career goal (regardless of whether you go to law school in Canada or the US).  I suppose that you have to ask yourself if you would also be happy doing something else with your law degree. 

I still wouldn't go to any of those 3 schools.  Looking at Sturm, for example, only 177/252 grads are employed in long term/full time/JD required jobs: https://www.law.du.edu/documents/career-development-and-opportunities/2017-ABA-Report.pdf.  The employment stats would be much better in Canada. 

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15 hours ago, Dwrigh55 said:

This has been the most informative response, thus useful for my decision.  I really can't explain how thankful I am for the time you put in to help me out.  Many people on this forum write about hidden conditions which will remove my subsequent semester full tuition scholarships.  However, the only condition on my email states that I must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.9, which seems incredibly low.  Do you think there may be actual malicious hidden conditions?  

I know nothing about IP practice or medical law, so can't comment on the rest of your post. I don't think there are 'malicious hidden conditions', but US schools are famously good at getting people in with scholarships that the students can't maintain (hence that report figure with up to 53% having them reduced or eliminated). 2.9 isn't necessarily an easy grade to get in law school - depending on what they curve/average to, a good chunk of the student body can probably expect grades below that. 

 

Aside from just the general difficulty adapting to law school, one of the most common ways US schools manage scholarships (I have no idea if Santa Clara do this, it's just a technique I have read is common) is to place all, or most, of the scholarship students in a section together, so they're being graded against each other, which makes it very statistically difficult for all of them to beat the curve. What I do know they do (because it's on their website) is that in substantive courses, an 8-12% of the class must get a C- grade or below (https://law.scu.edu/bulletin/academic-policies/#Grades). Being one of those people in any course could be pretty devastating to your GPA.

 

Below you list three other schools - CU is the best ranked of everything you've mentioned, and is one of the best schools in the mountain west (if you include them, the two Arizona schools are the only ones ranked higher). But it is a regional school, and you'd be facing a lot of work to get work in California from Colorado (on top of the 'can you work in the US' issues to begin with). If you were American and wanted to work in Denver, Boulder, CO Springs, even SLC, CU could be a very good choice, but it's probably not a great option to try to get to either CA.

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