You might think that a school that doesn’t assign letter grades or publicize peer rankings would be a Godsend. Make no mistake: the University of California-Berkeley’s legal curriculum is among the nation’s most rigorous. And this is especially true in intellectual property law. In 2001, Boalt Hall became the first law school to establish such a program – and it remains the industry’s preeminent program to this day. Through the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic, Berkeley students can gain practical experience and technical knowledge through advocacy, research, and policy-making. In fact, students have represented clients before the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Elections Commission, the California Supreme Court, the California Assembly and Senate, and the United States Supreme Court. In addition, the center coordinates with other law schools to operate Chilling Effects, an online resource that provides legal advice to website operators who receive copyright, trademark, and patent notices. The clinic places special emphasis on interdisciplinary research and collaboration, notably in the life sciences.
George Washington University Law School’s IP program is rooted in its Master of Patent Law program, which was launched in 1895. It encompasses four foundational courses and 22 advanced courses, where students can earn an LL.M. in intellectual property law. Students can participate in an IP law association, along with various IP competitions. In addition, the school’s close proximity to Washington, D.C., institutions like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, and Congress enable students to build networks and participate in internships. Fun fact: Early patents for the telephone, calculator, camera film, airplane, phonograph, and computer mouse were written by George Washington alumni.
At the New York University School of Law, students can earn a LL.M. in Competition, Innovation, and Information Law. They are required to take three foundational and one international law course, before moving into specialty areas like corporate, administrative, and evidence law. To gain real-world experience, students can participate in the Technology Law and Policy Clinic, where they will represent clients on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union. The university also maintains an Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society and publishes the Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.
Despite ranking 107th overall, the Santa Clara University School of Law School of Law comes in at #4 for intellectual property. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara offers the High Tech Law Institute, where students can take over 40 courses related to IP law in areas like entertainment, broadband, internet law, startups, and venture capital. Among the largest IP programs in America, Santa Clara publishes two technology law journals, sponsors student groups in intellectual property and biotechnology, and houses a think tank called the Broadband Institute of California. Second and third year students also provide legal services to area entrepreneurs through the school’s Entrepreneurs Law Clinic.
Like NYU, Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law benefits from being in New York City, the world’s media and financial capital. The school offers over 30 courses in areas like internet, patent, sports, music, arts, antitrust, and commercial law. While earning their LL.M., students can learn from instructors like Susan Crawford, who has been named one of the top 40 minds in technology by Time magazine, and Daniel Ravicher, who recently won a patenting case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The school also sponsors a series of court competitions and publishes the top journal in the area of arts, entertainment, and sports law.