IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

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Chicago-kent vs. New Engineering Job

Chicago-kent with $20k/yr no stipulations
6
30%
Job at top chemical company that requires driving 100 miles/day
14
70%
 
Total votes: 20

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Bluben
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IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:38 pm

Here goes,

I really hate my job right now. Im an engineer, but my job is one that a trained monkey can do. There is no learning or growing going on here and when i asked my manager for training, she responded by saying "this is not college, im not here to teach you what you need to know." Most of what i do is fill out spreadsheets and i see 50 yr olds doing the same thing i am doing. So once i hit the 2 year mark in June I am peacing out. Money factors into my decision because I dont have any big savings, have some loans left over from undergrad, around $20k, and I would expect to make more as a patent lawyer than i am making as an engineer.

Option 1:
Go to Chicago-Kent with $20k/yr scholly, no stipulations. (Tuition = around $40k/yr and living expenses i hear are around $20k/yr)
Pros
-Ive never been to chicago but i imagine i will love it, as i love every large city ive ever been to. Will visit in two weeks.
-I would do patent law, which they have reputation for.
-i can possibly negotiate to $30k scholly against a UNH scholly.
Cons
-I have no clue whatsoever as to how Kent has been placing IP graduates when it comes to patent attorney jobs
-Will a job as a patent lawyer leave me feeling like I'm doing the job of a trained monkey? I do love reading about, and working with, new technology though.

Option 2
Take a job that a friends dad offered me.
Pros:
-Will pay around $85k/yr which is about a $20k/yr pay raise for me.
-Comes with production bonuses, so around $5k/yr
-Includes a pension
-I would be workign operations at a chemical plant, which is something I've done before and know i enjoy.
-If it doesnt work out, I can retake and ED to UVA after a couple of years (well, you know what i mean).
Cons:
-Its a freaking chemical plant in Houston. Hot, sweaty, tough work
-Its 50 miles outside of Houston, so I'd probably end up driving 100 miles/day because there is no way in hell i'd live in suburbs.
-I would feel like im being complacent rather than making a big move and doing something completely different, and i am a rather adventurous fella.

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stratocophic
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby stratocophic » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Bluben wrote:Here goes,

I really hate my job right now. Im an engineer, but my job is one that a trained monkey can do. There is no learning or growing going on here and when i asked my manager for training, she responded by saying "this is not college, im not here to teach you what you need to know." Most of what i do is fill out spreadsheets and i see 50 yr olds doing the same thing i am doing. So once i hit the 2 year mark in June I am peacing out. Money factors into my decision because I dont have any big savings, have some loans left over from undergrad, around $20k, and I would expect to make more as a patent lawyer than i am making as an engineer.

Option 1:
Go to Chicago-Kent with $20k/yr scholly, no stipulations. (Tuition = around $40k/yr and living expenses i hear are around $20k/yr)
Pros
-Ive never been to chicago but i imagine i will love it, as i love every large city ive ever been to. Will visit in two weeks.
-I would do patent law, which they have reputation for.
-i can possibly negotiate to $30k scholly against a UNH scholly.
Cons
-I have no clue whatsoever as to how Kent has been placing IP graduates when it comes to patent attorney jobs
-Will a job as a patent lawyer leave me feeling like I'm doing the job of a trained monkey? I do love reading about, and working with, new technology though.

Option 2
Take a job that a friends dad offered me.
Pros:
-Will pay around $85k/yr which is about a $20k/yr pay raise for me.
-Comes with production bonuses, so around $5k/yr
-Includes a pension
-I would be workign operations at a chemical plant, which is something I've done before and know i enjoy.
-If it doesnt work out, I can retake and ED to UVA after a couple of years (well, you know what i mean).
Cons:
-Its a freaking chemical plant in Houston. Hot, sweaty, tough work
-Its 50 miles outside of Houston, so I'd probably end up driving 100 miles/day because there is no way in hell i'd live in suburbs.
-I would feel like im being complacent rather than making a big move and doing something completely different, and i am a rather adventurous fella.
Take the job. I repeat. Take. The. Job. Go to law school in 2 years or so - shoot for NU or UVA, but for now take the job. It very likely pays as much as or more than you'd make coming out of Kent. No disrespect to the school - I'd tell you the same thing if you were considering WUSTL or ND.

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Bluben
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:52 pm

Thanks for the advice. I know in reality I should be shooting for a better school. I realize I want to go to Kent because of the scholarship and my impatience, but the impatience stems from having such a craptastic job. It wouldnt make financial sense to go to school for 3 years at a cost then make the same ammount of money after graduating.

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fragged
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby fragged » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:56 pm

Don't ask questions like this on TLS forums or you will (likely) get responses like the one above. No one can answer this but you because no one can quantify exactly how unhappy you currently are and/or how much happier/unhappier you will be at a new job.

Remember, quitting one job to take a new one is like dumping your ex and then immediately finding a new girlfriend. Sure, things are great at first - but then you realize she has a WHOLE NEW set of issues. Pretty soon your ex starts looking pretty good again.

My only advice is to think long term - what you want to be doing 10-15 years from now, not 2-3 years from now.

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stratocophic
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby stratocophic » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:17 pm

fragged wrote:Don't ask questions like this on TLS forums or you will (likely) get responses like the one above. No one can answer this but you because no one can quantify exactly how unhappy you currently are and/or how much happier/unhappier you will be at a new job.

Remember, quitting one job to take a new one is like dumping your ex and then immediately finding a new girlfriend. Sure, things are great at first - but then you realize she has a WHOLE NEW set of issues. Pretty soon your ex starts looking pretty good again.

My only advice is to think long term - what you want to be doing 10-15 years from now, not 2-3 years from now.
Yeah, but girl #2 is more attractive (pays more) and will allow you to work out (do better on the LSAT so you can ED to UVA/NU if your GPA is low - engineering wrecked me) in order to get an even more attractive girl. Girl 3 is high maintenance (chained to your desk/blackberry), to be sure, but at least she's nicer to look at (pays a lot), especially you don't even like the one you have now, who is much less attractive (pays less).

bhan87
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby bhan87 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:21 pm

TAKE THE JOB!

And possibly rent an apartment closer to its location.

You really don't want to go to Chicago Kent over a job that pays as much as the job you nabbed because there's a strong likelihood you will come out of law school with a job that pays the exact same or less, but with debt.

Lawl school will still be around in a few years if you really want to still go. If so, save up some money from your current job, retake, go to NU, and profit

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Bluben
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:22 pm

fragged wrote:Don't ask questions like this on TLS forums or you will (likely) get responses like the one above. No one can answer this but you because no one can quantify exactly how unhappy you currently are and/or how much happier/unhappier you will be at a new job.

Remember, quitting one job to take a new one is like dumping your ex and then immediately finding a new girlfriend. Sure, things are great at first - but then you realize she has a WHOLE NEW set of issues. Pretty soon your ex starts looking pretty good again.

My only advice is to think long term - what you want to be doing 10-15 years from now, not 2-3 years from now.



Well im probably one of those "the grass is always greener on the other side" people. I really cannot do this job any longer, though, and knowing that Ive enjoyed the kind of job I would move on to is a big plus.

Long term, I mean Ill probably never feel fullfilled until i have a family. Another thought that has crossed my mind is, i have the education and know-how, so I would like to design and operate a distillery someday. Wether as a project or a business. The caveat is that I have to have the means to do so. Both 10 to 15 or 30 years working as a patent lawyer or ChE can be beneficial to that.

Plus, moving up in a company such as the one i have an opportunity with can easily pay as much as law. Im really leaning towards the job, and if that doesnt work out for any reason, shooting for a better law school it is.

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Bluben
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:24 pm

Thanks everyone. This is great advice, and you all are pointing light to something that I already kind of knew but didnt want to accept.

bhan87
Posts: 850
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby bhan87 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:28 pm

Bluben wrote:Thanks everyone. This is great advice, and you all are pointing light to something that I already kind of knew but didnt want to accept.


Don't consider the 2nd option as "settling" because it still keeps the possibility of law school open in a few years. And, if you save wisely, you can minimize your debt load. Option #1, however, locks you into one career path.

Also, relevant work experience can only help you when you're finding a job in the IP field.

09042014
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:28 pm

Take the job. Law school will be there in 4 years if you hate it. But in that mean time you can save up. If you still want to go to school you have enough money to live off without taking loans. And if you like your job, you can buy a house.

Chicago Kent isn't some IP power house. You'll need great grades to get a job in a good boutique or big law IP group.

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Bluben
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:39 pm

stratocophic wrote:Take the job. I repeat. Take. The. Job. Go to law school in 2 years or so - shoot for NU or UVA, but for now take the job. It very likely pays as much as or more than you'd make coming out of Kent. No disrespect to the school - I'd tell you the same thing if you were considering WUSTL or ND.


Lol, I was waitlisted at ND. That solves that issue.

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howell
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby howell » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:15 pm

Another suggestion. Take the Patent Bar, get a job as a patent agent, and then see if IP is what you want to do. If so, then you know, and you can either shoot for a better school or a part-time option somewhere and take on much less debt. I had thought about doing IP/patent stuff before I came to law school, but really finding out what was involved in patent prosecution completely divested me of that interest. Much easier to find that out from dropping a couple of grand (or less) on a prep course, a couple of months of part-time studying, and taking the patent bar than pushing 6 figures of law school debt and giving up 3 years of your life.

You also might end up living in the suburbs in Houston. It is a VERY different city with very few residential areas downtown. There are walkable communities in the suburbs. Definitely find someone who really knows that town to help you figure out what life would be like there.

ajr
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby ajr » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:41 pm

I'm always surprised by the admiration for engineering/ business careers on this forum :? Having worked for 8 years in engineering, I can totally see OP's point. I don't see many happy people in engineering after 4-5 years of WE. The money is ok, but it tops out, and the excitement is usually zilch.
Last edited by ajr on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fatduck
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby fatduck » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:42 pm

ajr wrote:I'm always surprised by the admiration for engineering/ business careers on this forum :? Having worked for 8 years in engineering, I can totally see OP's point. I don't see many happy people in engineering after 4-5 years of WE. The money is ok, but it tops out, and the excitement is usually zlich.

have you seen the grass over there? it's totally greener.

ajr
Posts: 165
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby ajr » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:45 pm

fatduck wrote:
ajr wrote:I'm always surprised by the admiration for engineering/ business careers on this forum :? Having worked for 8 years in engineering, I can totally see OP's point. I don't see many happy people in engineering after 4-5 years of WE. The money is ok, but it tops out, and the excitement is usually zlich.

have you seen the grass over there? it's totally greener.


Maybe I should stop and take a look :shock: ...and smell it

carrier
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby carrier » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:54 pm

You said you'll be visiting in 2 weeks. If that's the April 2 ASW, I'll be attending and would be happy to talk in person about some of these issues. Either way, PM me.

I'm a patent examiner and know several IP attorneys, am looking into part time law school, and studied engineering in underrgad... so I may have some insight.

Experience in a variety of industries can serve you well in law. Working at a chemical plant may help you understand chemical patents, or prepare you for law work in environmental effects of industrial waste, for example. Many IP attorneys have 3-10 years of work experience before studying law, and it will only help your applications later on. On the other hand, if you don't really want to do your current job or this next one, it would be valid to move on to a career that does interest you as soon as possible.

Hopefully you can find a decent middle ground on that commute, 50 miles each way would be terrible for quality of life.

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Bluben
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Re: IP/ Patent law @ Chicago Kent w/$$ vs. New Engineering Job

Postby Bluben » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:58 pm

howell wrote:Another suggestion. Take the Patent Bar, get a job as a patent agent, and then see if IP is what you want to do. If so, then you know, and you can either shoot for a better school or a part-time option somewhere and take on much less debt. I had thought about doing IP/patent stuff before I came to law school, but really finding out what was involved in patent prosecution completely divested me of that interest. Much easier to find that out from dropping a couple of grand (or less) on a prep course, a couple of months of part-time studying, and taking the patent bar than pushing 6 figures of law school debt and giving up 3 years of your life.

You also might end up living in the suburbs in Houston. It is a VERY different city with very few residential areas downtown. There are walkable communities in the suburbs. Definitely find someone who really knows that town to help you figure out what life would be like there.


This sounds like a good idea. I almost got hired out of undergrad by a boutique in Houston to work as an agent, but they needed me in January and I graduated in May. They would have paid for my studying and for the bar. I didnt realize then how good of an opportunity that was. Luckily i got a job that got me through the economy's worst in 2009 and i survived as part of the skeleton crew.

Also, I currently live in Houston, and i really really really dont want to move to the suburbs. I'd rather drive the 100 miles a day.




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