Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

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BCS
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Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby BCS » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:48 pm

According to most people on this forum it seems that outside of the T14 employment is confined to the local market of the school. Is anyone familiar with it enough to know if IP is any different?

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TTH
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby TTH » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:34 pm

Slightly less, in that you'll want to go to a school with a strong IP program (while still generally be highly ranked). There's also the Loyola job fair which is a big IP draw nationwide.

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sanetruth
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby sanetruth » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:49 pm

I can't tell which of these you're answering, so i'll answer both:

if you have a hard science background and you're trying to get into 'hard' IP, you will likely have a little more flexibility in moving out of your school's region, depending on your school's range, i'd wager up to T25, assuming you perform/interview well.

if you're wondering if IP as an industry is regional, the answer is yes: Silicon Valley/San Fran and DC for the most part. But again this is regarding 'hard' IP.

Soft IP makes up a much smaller fraction of the IP market, and very few people focus on it exclusively in comparison to hard IP, so the answers above do not apply.

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stratocophic
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby stratocophic » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:51 pm

TTH wrote:Slightly less, in that you'll want to go to a school with a strong IP program (while still generally be highly ranked). There's also the Loyola job fair which is a big IP draw nationwide.
Probably true, but with the caveat that demand for IP hinges on a bunch of different variables (lit vs. pros, LS/UG grades, school strength, demand for background, a firm's specific needs in a particular practice area can fluctuate since IP groups generally aren't massive, etc.). Attorneys have told me that you may need to be willing to cast a wide net and go anywhere, especially if your background isn't in very high demand. IMO best thing to do is to go somewhere like Columbia where it won't be an issue. Barring that, to go to a school in a region where your major is in demand - i.e. Biotech/biochem in the midwest (ag stuff) or Boston, CS/EE in Cali, that sort of thing. That way you aren't coming from an unfamiliar school to the region that you'd have ended up in anyway.

BCS
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby BCS » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:25 pm

I'm looking at hard IP with an EE degree from a nationally respected program.

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yuzu
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby yuzu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:23 pm

I agree with sanetruth. You'll have a little more flexibility because of the weight of your engineering degree and because of the lower number of attorneys eligible to take the patent bar.

I don't agree that a "strong IP program" is important; I think most patent lawyers learn what they're doing in law (and engineering) practice rather than in law school.

You may also have an advantage in the region of your undergrad school, since you'll be able to demonstrate a local tie there.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:48 pm

TTH wrote:Slightly less, in that you'll want to go to a school with a strong IP program (while still generally be highly ranked).

No no no no no no no.

BCS
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby BCS » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:33 pm

Why no no no no no?

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drdolittle
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby drdolittle » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:09 pm

stratocophic wrote:IP hinges on a bunch of different variables (lit vs. pros, LS/UG grades, school strength, demand for background, a firm's specific needs in a particular practice area can fluctuate since IP groups generally aren't massive, etc.). Attorneys have told me that you may need to be willing to cast a wide net and go anywhere, especially if your background isn't in very high demand. IMO best thing to do is to go somewhere like Columbia where it won't be an issue. Barring that, to go to a school in a region where your major is in demand - i.e. Biotech/biochem in the midwest (ag stuff) or Boston, CS/EE in Cali, that sort of thing. That way you aren't coming from an unfamiliar school to the region that you'd have ended up in anyway.

This is all excellent advice from what I've seen, especially the idea of going to a regional school if an absolute top school is not an option. IP's still somewhat regional b/c unless they have to (i.e. are desperate for a tech skill) firms don't want to invest into training associates who might very likely go back to where they came from. How regional depends on the variables listed above.

BCS
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby BCS » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:13 pm

What you're saying seems to back up the idea that if my undergrad and law school were in different markets that I could potentially be marketable in either of those markets.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:27 pm

BCS wrote:Why no no no no no?


"IP Programs" do not matter.

BCS
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby BCS » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:30 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
BCS wrote:Why no no no no no?


"IP Programs" do not matter.


Why not?

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Zugzwang
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Re: Is IP any less regional than other fields of law?

Postby Zugzwang » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:51 pm

BCS wrote:Why not?

What makes one school's IP program better than another's? The prestige of the professor teaching Patent/Trademark/Copyright Law? Doubtful. You're going to learn the same thing, and if you're going to do Patent law like the OP, is the pedigree behind 1 class going to propel you to the Federal Circuit?

What really makes one school's IP program better than another's is the strength of clinical and applied lawyering classes, whether those classes are offered and how good they are at giving you the foundation for being a lawyer in the IP field. But, since most firm hiring happens before you take those classes (thus, the firm has no way to guarantee that you take them, and no way to guarantee that they only hire students who take those classes), it really doesn't matter.

If a lot of engineering/science majors go to a particular school like GW or FP then yea, a lot of IP firms will recruit from there simply because it is so easy to find recruits, the strength of the IP program isn't really a factor.




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