Tier 4 Domestic (US) Applicant


I apologize to anyone who thinks this post is a total waste of space, but when I was searching this board for information on where I might get in, etc., I found very little that was pertinent to me. As such, I am going to post my general credentials and my rejections/acceptances in hopes that people in my situation in the future may be able to use my experiences to their benefit. I encourage any other Tier 4 US applicants to post the same information here as it becomes available. Good luck to everyone with their applications.

Tier 4 US School - Top 2% - summa cum laude
Chemical engineering undergrad degree - bad grades
Assistant articles editor law review
6 classes - top grade award
President of our IP club
Federal Clerkship (bankruptcy)
Federal Internship during school
Several jobs with so-so firms/corporations during school and summers
Published Student Note
Passed the Patent Bar (USPTO Registered Patent Agent)

I applied to the following:
Michigan - rejected
Yale - rejected
Harvard - rejected on 3-17
Oxford - accepted on 3-13
Cambridge - rejected
Berkeley - rejected
Chicago - applied just before the end of the application period and was rejected on 3/6/8.
Georgetown - I applied for their early review and was rejected 02/04/08
NYU - accepted to general studies LLM and later transferred to Trade Regulation/Intellectual Property

Notes: I thought my personal statements, etc. were OK, but not great. I applied to most of these schools very late in the application period (last few days), and this may have hurt me.

Please let me know if (a) this post is terribly inappropriate because of its content, or (b) you have any further questions. My email is mschuster43 at hotmail dot com.

I apologize to anyone who thinks this post is a total waste of space, but when I was searching this board for information on where I might get in, etc., I found very little that was pertinent to me. As such, I am going to post my general credentials and my rejections/acceptances in hopes that people in my situation in the future may be able to use my experiences to their benefit. I encourage any other Tier 4 US applicants to post the same information here as it becomes available. Good luck to everyone with their applications.

Tier 4 US School - Top 2% - summa cum laude
Chemical engineering undergrad degree - bad grades
Assistant articles editor law review
6 classes - top grade award
President of our IP club
Federal Clerkship (bankruptcy)
Federal Internship during school
Several jobs with so-so firms/corporations during school and summers
Published Student Note
Passed the Patent Bar (USPTO Registered Patent Agent)

I applied to the following:
Michigan - rejected
Yale - rejected
Harvard - rejected on 3-17
Oxford - accepted on 3-13
Cambridge - rejected
Berkeley - rejected
Chicago - applied just before the end of the application period and was rejected on 3/6/8.
Georgetown - I applied for their early review and was rejected 02/04/08
NYU - accepted to general studies LLM and later transferred to Trade Regulation/Intellectual Property

Notes: I thought my personal statements, etc. were OK, but not great. I applied to most of these schools very late in the application period (last few days), and this may have hurt me.

Please let me know if (a) this post is terribly inappropriate because of its content, or (b) you have any further questions. My email is mschuster43 at hotmail dot com.
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avonlady

Dear mschuster

There's no such thing as an inappropriate comment on an online blog. This is where everyone comes to rant and provide info that might not otherwise be available.

I think your post is very valuable because it provides different angle to the other applicants. As you correctly point out, most applicants on this section are foreign LLBs who are highly ranked in their law school (usually top-tier law school).

I would say you would have less luck in US compared to overseas, because most US LLMs are looking for international students. I have heard (whether true or not), US LLMs are adverse to domestic applicants because they don't want to become finishing schools for JDs who didn't go to top law schools. You'd have to demonstrate that you are a top teir candidate, rather than a bottom teir who needs a top tier education. But judging from your profile, you would be very competetive in the UK.

I have a friend who went to a really shit law school. Graduated first class, clerked, lectured, published. He got a full ride to both Oxford and Cambridge (god knows how many other LLMs). So I would expect you to get into some really good Unis in UK (Ox/Cam/LSE/UCL etc). they would rather a top student from tier 4, than a bottom student from tier 1. (Assuming all other aspect of your application blows their mind)

Dear mschuster

There's no such thing as an inappropriate comment on an online blog. This is where everyone comes to rant and provide info that might not otherwise be available.

I think your post is very valuable because it provides different angle to the other applicants. As you correctly point out, most applicants on this section are foreign LLBs who are highly ranked in their law school (usually top-tier law school).

I would say you would have less luck in US compared to overseas, because most US LLMs are looking for international students. I have heard (whether true or not), US LLMs are adverse to domestic applicants because they don't want to become finishing schools for JDs who didn't go to top law schools. You'd have to demonstrate that you are a top teir candidate, rather than a bottom teir who needs a top tier education. But judging from your profile, you would be very competetive in the UK.

I have a friend who went to a really shit law school. Graduated first class, clerked, lectured, published. He got a full ride to both Oxford and Cambridge (god knows how many other LLMs). So I would expect you to get into some really good Unis in UK (Ox/Cam/LSE/UCL etc). they would rather a top student from tier 4, than a bottom student from tier 1. (Assuming all other aspect of your application blows their mind)
quote
consultt

Dear mschuster

There's no such thing as an inappropriate comment on an online blog. This is where everyone comes to rant and provide info that might not otherwise be available....

Thanks to avonlady to put down some basic facts. I agree totally

On a more philosophical note, can I say that an LLM is always better done in a country than one's own (where the first degree was done)? I think the same tenets will apply regardles of location. I especially liked the "finishing school" concept.

In anycase mschuster has (or will have) the JD, he should not have any issue in eligibility for the US bar - so a US llm is not needed for him, no?

I wish mschuster all the best with his applications with Cambridge and Oxford!!!

<blockquote>Dear mschuster

There's no such thing as an inappropriate comment on an online blog. This is where everyone comes to rant and provide info that might not otherwise be available....

Thanks to avonlady to put down some basic facts. I agree totally

On a more philosophical note, can I say that an LLM is always better done in a country than one's own (where the first degree was done)? I think the same tenets will apply regardles of location. I especially liked the "finishing school" concept.

In anycase mschuster has (or will have) the JD, he should not have any issue in eligibility for the US bar - so a US llm is not needed for him, no?

I wish mschuster all the best with his applications with Cambridge and Oxford!!!

quote

You fail to mention what sort of LLM programs you are applying to. To be honest with you if you are doing an LLM because you think it will improve your employment opportunities you are going to be disappointed. Employers will continue to look at your JD transcript more heavily than your LLM transcript and the school you went to is going to be very influential.

That being said, from what I hear people seeking to become patent attorneys usually dont have much trouble finding positions because there are relatively fewer people applying for such positions. Given your statistics I would think you wouldnt have so much trouble finding a job.

On another note, most of the information in the above posts is kind of inaccurate or inapplicable to you. Foreign LLM students dont really understand why US students do LLMs so I would take their advice with a grain of salt. Unless you are seeking to do international work I would definitely not get an LLM abroad, it will be a complete waste of money if you think it will improve your employment statistics.

What you should definitely do is seek out the help of your career services office. Graduating top 2% of your school means you should be able to find a pretty decent job. You might not like this advice but just based on going to a tier 4 school, the top big firms are probably going to ignore you even if you did an LLM. Sorry.

You fail to mention what sort of LLM programs you are applying to. To be honest with you if you are doing an LLM because you think it will improve your employment opportunities you are going to be disappointed. Employers will continue to look at your JD transcript more heavily than your LLM transcript and the school you went to is going to be very influential.

That being said, from what I hear people seeking to become patent attorneys usually dont have much trouble finding positions because there are relatively fewer people applying for such positions. Given your statistics I would think you wouldnt have so much trouble finding a job.

On another note, most of the information in the above posts is kind of inaccurate or inapplicable to you. Foreign LLM students dont really understand why US students do LLMs so I would take their advice with a grain of salt. Unless you are seeking to do international work I would definitely not get an LLM abroad, it will be a complete waste of money if you think it will improve your employment statistics.

What you should definitely do is seek out the help of your career services office. Graduating top 2% of your school means you should be able to find a pretty decent job. You might not like this advice but just based on going to a tier 4 school, the top big firms are probably going to ignore you even if you did an LLM. Sorry.
quote
Lit

But surely the point is that the original poster did not say what his career goals were. I would imagine, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, that with an LLM from Oxbridge, one would be able to find suitable employment in academia, for instance, even if they are an American with a crappy undergrad, poor JD school and applying to an American law school for employment. That aside, I would take an opinion that an LLM from Oxbridge is worthless, even in the American private market, with a spoonfull of salt. Call me optimistic.

But surely the point is that the original poster did not say what his career goals were. I would imagine, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, that with an LLM from Oxbridge, one would be able to find suitable employment in academia, for instance, even if they are an American with a crappy undergrad, poor JD school and applying to an American law school for employment. That aside, I would take an opinion that an LLM from Oxbridge is worthless, even in the American private market, with a spoonfull of salt. Call me optimistic.
quote

I could be wrong but based on the original poster's list of qualifications it appears as if he is more interested in a career in IP than in academia (though it remains for him to clear that up). I am not trying to put down and Oxbridge LLM but from an employment in the US perspective such a qualification would do little to improve employment opportunities.

If the original poster is interested in a career in academia the LLM would surely be helpful but they would still most likely be hampered by their JD institution (look at the faculty of any law school and you will notice that professors tend to come from ver highly ranked law schools). I think a better approach to enter academia would be to gain valuable work experience in the field they wish to teach in and then become an adjunct and work their way up to full time teaching.

I am not trying to put down foreign students on this board, but things are very very different for american students and foreign students in terms of employment as well as academia. While the advice provided by a foreign student may help other foreign students, it isnt as relevant to those who are domestic students.

I could be wrong but based on the original poster's list of qualifications it appears as if he is more interested in a career in IP than in academia (though it remains for him to clear that up). I am not trying to put down and Oxbridge LLM but from an employment in the US perspective such a qualification would do little to improve employment opportunities.

If the original poster is interested in a career in academia the LLM would surely be helpful but they would still most likely be hampered by their JD institution (look at the faculty of any law school and you will notice that professors tend to come from ver highly ranked law schools). I think a better approach to enter academia would be to gain valuable work experience in the field they wish to teach in and then become an adjunct and work their way up to full time teaching.

I am not trying to put down foreign students on this board, but things are very very different for american students and foreign students in terms of employment as well as academia. While the advice provided by a foreign student may help other foreign students, it isnt as relevant to those who are domestic students.
quote

First, in reviewing my original application, I think I should note that I have applied for a general studies LLM at all of these institutions except Berkeley (which offers an IP LLM).

Second, you are right, it would appear that a career goal section would have been smart -
I am hoping to enter into academia eventually. To achieve this, I have been told that you should: (1) publish articles, (2) do a federal clerkship or 2, and (3) get a good LLM (if you came from a low tier JD). Thus, I'm doing the bankruptcy clerkship in hopes that it will help my research skills and make me a better candidate for good LLMs and a better clerkship down the road. In regards to the IP stuff, I do hope to work in the field for a few years. Further, from my understanding, there is a current need in US academia for professors with such a background. Lastly, in regards to biglaw, the money isn't that important (you can get paid a salary that is near biglaw standards at an IP boutique), but the prestige that comes with such a job would help enter into academia. As such, I hope to use the career resources/fall recruiting at whatever LLM program I end up at to this end. I have heard that many domestic biglaw firms don't hire a great deal of LLM students, but I would imagine that if you work hard, you can at least get a few interviews. Regardless, biglaw is certainly not why I am pursuing an LLM, so while such a job would be nice, it is not an imperative.

First, in reviewing my original application, I think I should note that I have applied for a general studies LLM at all of these institutions except Berkeley (which offers an IP LLM).

Second, you are right, it would appear that a career goal section would have been smart -
I am hoping to enter into academia eventually. To achieve this, I have been told that you should: (1) publish articles, (2) do a federal clerkship or 2, and (3) get a good LLM (if you came from a low tier JD). Thus, I'm doing the bankruptcy clerkship in hopes that it will help my research skills and make me a better candidate for good LLMs and a better clerkship down the road. In regards to the IP stuff, I do hope to work in the field for a few years. Further, from my understanding, there is a current need in US academia for professors with such a background. Lastly, in regards to biglaw, the money isn't that important (you can get paid a salary that is near biglaw standards at an IP boutique), but the prestige that comes with such a job would help enter into academia. As such, I hope to use the career resources/fall recruiting at whatever LLM program I end up at to this end. I have heard that many domestic biglaw firms don't hire a great deal of LLM students, but I would imagine that if you work hard, you can at least get a few interviews. Regardless, biglaw is certainly not why I am pursuing an LLM, so while such a job would be nice, it is not an imperative.
quote

General Studies?!!?! Sorry but no employer is going to take a general studies LLM seriously. Basically you are going back to law school for more of the same you have done for the past 3 years. The general studies LLM is geared toward foreign lawyers who want to learn about the American system. The LLM on your resume will be an obvious ploy to try and get a presitgious name on your resume and will not be taken seriously by anyone. The whole point of an LLM for a domestic applicant is to gain knowledge in a specialized area of the law.

General Studies?!!?! Sorry but no employer is going to take a general studies LLM seriously. Basically you are going back to law school for more of the same you have done for the past 3 years. The general studies LLM is geared toward foreign lawyers who want to learn about the American system. The LLM on your resume will be an obvious ploy to try and get a presitgious name on your resume and will not be taken seriously by anyone. The whole point of an LLM for a domestic applicant is to gain knowledge in a specialized area of the law.
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hannenyh

Some of those schools aren't American though. So, a general LLM there would be different. Plus a general LLM could give you time to write and publish. And you get to write it as an attorney, not a student, which is way better. Specializing sounds like a good idea though. It seems weird to just take more general classes, being kind of like a 4L.

Some of those schools aren't American though. So, a general LLM there would be different. Plus a general LLM could give you time to write and publish. And you get to write it as an attorney, not a student, which is way better. Specializing sounds like a good idea though. It seems weird to just take more general classes, being kind of like a 4L.
quote

I was referring mainly to the American schools though for Oxbridge a general studies LLM would probably not be as useful in the US as it would be outside of the country.

The comment about being a 4L is spot on. It is possible that you may get time to write and publish but I bet the majority of these programs limit the number of credits that can be devoted to something like independent study. If you wish to write and publish a fellowship is probably a better route to go.

The rule of the game when it comes to domestic candidates is that an LLM is not a way to clean up an otherwise poor resume (not to say your resume is poor). If you truly want to go into academia you are best off finding an area of the law you wish to teach in an develop an expertise. That is where the LLM will help you most. Its not about just having an LLM its about having specialized knowledge and the LLM is an indicator of that knowledge.

I was referring mainly to the American schools though for Oxbridge a general studies LLM would probably not be as useful in the US as it would be outside of the country.

The comment about being a 4L is spot on. It is possible that you may get time to write and publish but I bet the majority of these programs limit the number of credits that can be devoted to something like independent study. If you wish to write and publish a fellowship is probably a better route to go.

The rule of the game when it comes to domestic candidates is that an LLM is not a way to clean up an otherwise poor resume (not to say your resume is poor). If you truly want to go into academia you are best off finding an area of the law you wish to teach in an develop an expertise. That is where the LLM will help you most. Its not about just having an LLM its about having specialized knowledge and the LLM is an indicator of that knowledge.
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susiee

to be fair to mschuster, a lot of LLM programs may not offer a specialization in his / her area of interest (IP) so it still sounds sensible to apply to the general studies program and then take specialized courses in IP Law. Additionally you can always try to switch into a specialization once you're admitted.

to be fair to mschuster, a lot of LLM programs may not offer a specialization in his / her area of interest (IP) so it still sounds sensible to apply to the general studies program and then take specialized courses in IP Law. Additionally you can always try to switch into a specialization once you're admitted.
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