Intellectual property law. To law students, it can be somewhat mythical. It’s an area of law where the subject matter is usually more confusing than the actual statutes that govern it. And there’s money in it as well.
It’s the area of patents and copyrights. Those little symbols you see, the © or the ™, are what IP lawyers deal with every day. People are willing to spend lots and lots of money to protect their ideas, and lawyers have been reaping the benefits for years.
If you want to get into IP law, you will probably want to consider going to a school that is known for having a good IP program … naturally.
Most, if not all, law schools offer some kind of IP course, but some go much further than others. The following five are among the best intellectual property law schools in the U.S.
1. University of California, Berkeley
Cal’s Boalt Law School is in a unique position, rivaled only by Stanford Law School. They sit right next to Silicon Valley, one of the most IP-rich areas in the United States. Each year the school hosts conferences with scholars and the like coming from all over the place to speak on various aspects of IP law.
The school offers classes in intellectual property, privacy, digital entertainment, and even international IP law. The resources at the school include the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, a student run, nationally recognized, legal journal focusing on areas of IP law, privacy, and cyberlaw; numerous IP-centered student law societies; and the Berkeley IP lab, which allows students to work with local startups and their IP issues.
2. Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School’s IP program is similar to Cal’s in that it has access to Silicon Valley, and all of those tech startups.
They have numerous legal centers, like the center for E-commerce, center for Internet and Society, and the CodeX. Each of these centers focuses on different areas of IP law, and allows students to interact with alumni and faculty who deal specifically in these areas.
Stanford Law School also offers its own clinic, where students get to work closely with practicing attorneys to learn how things work in the real, non-law school world.
3. New York University Law School
NYU, while not connected to Silicon Valley, still has a great program. They offer students numerous classes on the subject matter, and their own legal clinic. The clinic is a semester long, six credit course, giving students the ability to work with faculty and representing individuals as well.
4. George Washington University
George Washington University’s intellectual property program has been around for over a hundred years. In addition to having a robust IP curriculum, the law school also has some great resources with alumni, and a unique fellowship program that law school graduates can apply to if they want to practice IP law.
5. New Hampshire Law School
I know what you’re thinking … New Hampshire? Well, they have a very reputable IP program as well. They boast one of the most comprehensive IP law curricula in the country. On top of that, the law school offers a fellowship program and the IP and Transaction Clinic, which gives students practical experience in IP law.