Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

How important is law school rank if the end goal is writing patents?

Highly important, this is a stupid question. T14 or bust!
8
35%
Relatively important, but as long as it's T50 you'll be ok.
10
43%
Not important as long as you're in the T100.
2
9%
Follow the scholarship money, for patent law it doesn't matter where you go as long as you have a science background and pass the patent bar.
3
13%
 
Total votes: 23

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chameleon
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Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby chameleon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:21 pm

How much does the choice of a law school matter if the end goal is to write patents?

Back-story for this question: Just recently met someone who went to Thomas Jefferson Law School (TTT or TTTT, don't remember), passed the patent bar, and is making 6 figures because he has a strong engineering background and that's all his clients care about. Is this the rule or the exception?

09042014
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:24 pm

chameleon wrote:How much does the choice of a law school matter if the end goal is to write patents?

Back-story for this question: Just recently met someone who went to Thomas Jefferson Law School (TTT or TTTT, don't remember), passed the patent bar, and is making 6 figures because he has a strong engineering background and that's all his clients care about. Is this the rule or the exception?


How'd he to at TJLS?

I've heard conflicting stories on this. So I'm curious as well.

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chameleon
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby chameleon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Top 25%, but it's Thomas Jefferson, it's not that hard. Failed the CA bar the first time he took it, decided he didn't want to do litigation anyway, decided to take the patent bar and just write patents. Worked for a firm for a while, now has his own group of clients and sort of freelances. My guess is he is mid-thirties. Making bank...


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DOOM
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby DOOM » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:36 pm

I think its a difficult question to answer with the options included in your poll. Obviously the better the law school, the better your prospects are, even if you are just doing patent prosecution. hiring at boutiques remains competitive. but your engineering degree (where you got it from) will hold a lot of weight, particularly if you have a PhD from MIT/Stanford/etc.

I think, in general, your engineering degree can give you a strong leg up in all situations. I'm sure you're friend went to a pretty solid engineering school.

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Bosque
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby Bosque » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:22 pm

If you want to WRITE patents, you should go get a doctorate in something instead of going to law school, then start researching.

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cboo
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby cboo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:24 am

I'd also really like to know what people think about this. I have a PhD in genetics and am hoping to do patent prosecution. Right now I'm trying to choose between moving to NYC for Columbia or NYU or staying in Boston and going to BC. No $ offered anywhere yet, so going to NYC is the obvious choice, except that I want to practice in Boston and if I go to NYC it's unlikely that my husband will be able to go with me.

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby BigFatPanda » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:49 am

The bottom line:

1. For those majored in Liberal Arts, there are just tons and tons of them going to law school. Thus, for every ten spots opening at a law firm, there are 20 to 30 liberal art background law graduate vying for it. In this case, firms can be picky and choose those who graduate from top law schools.

2. For those majored in engineering. there aren't too many of us going to law school. Thus for every ten spots opening at a law firm, there may only be 6-7 engineering background law graduate vying for it. All things being equal, of course a law firm would love to hire a Berkeley / Standford graduate over Thomas Jefferson. However, because there aren't enough of us to go around, firms have no choice but to hire Berkeley/Stanford grads concurrently with Thomas Jefferson grads. Its simple demand side economics at work. While the recession did took a toll on firm hiring, however, patent works is among the first to recover. Indication of such can be found in the fact that applications to the Patent Office are surging once again.

3. In supply side economics, when a commodity is so scarce but in high demand, said commodity would be wanted everywhere. In contrast to those liberal arts major law grad who goes to non T30 schools (Hence, T30 or bust), engineering major law grad has a high degree of diploma mobility across the United States. This is even possible with engineering law grads from Tier 3 or 4 schools (the grad usually places in the top 20% of the class if not better, in those cases). Evidence of such can be found at the following top law firms:

http://www.morganlewis.com/index.cfm?fu ... =1&x=7&y=6

--LinkRemoved--

In conclusion, engineering majors have way more flexibility in term of selecting which law school to go to relative to liberal arts major. Personally, a school in the top 50 range with a decent reputation and affordable tuition works wonderfully for all engineers who are interested, so long as you remain in the top 50% of the class.

In term of T14 vs T50 for engineers, the only downside in going to a T50 instead of a T14 is that you could get stuck at patent prosecution (not always, case by case dependent) whereas T14 schools could potentially allow you to jump to more lucrative or interesting practice areas if you want to, where you will be subjected to the same constraints apply to liberal art majors.

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chameleon
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby chameleon » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:29 pm

Panda - thank you so much for that post, it was really helpful!

jdr110
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby jdr110 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:56 pm

I'm an engineer planning on attending Illinois for law school and am receiving my degree in civil engineering from northwestern in june.

i know that patent law has been hurt the least by the downturn. a patent attorney at a large firm in chicago who taught one of my classes said that patents and tech research really can't be slowed down even in a bad economy. the companies need to stay ahead of their competitors by coming up with better products all the time. hence the fact patents are continuously being filed. a friend who is graduating from illinois law this year already got a nice six-figure offer at an IP firm and he's only top 40-25ish%. he said as long as you can stay above 50% you have a decent chance at summer-jobs etc.

i was wondering if anyone had insight into the type of engineering background going into law. i know electrical is obviously in the most demand, but would a degree in civil hurt my chances? i figured since my concentration is in structures and mechanics of materials i would be lumped in with mech e's

lpgcn17
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Re: Choosing a Law School - Patent Law Edition

Postby lpgcn17 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:26 pm

I'm also very interested in how a Civil Engineer with a concentration in structures would fare compared to all the EEs and MEs.

Also, how does working in patent law compare to working in corporate law as far as work schedules and compensation?




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