Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

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LogicSalmon
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Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby LogicSalmon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:37 pm

I'll start off by saying what a great forum this is. It has given me a lot of support and stability in the craziness of the 0L ride.

I'm an Engineering undergraduate with a B.S. degree and I plan on getting my patent bar the summer after 0L. I hope to be practicing IP law within high tech industry. Among the schools I'm choosing, I am looking keenly at Hastings and Irvine. As a prospective IP/Patent attorney, I'm inclined to think that studying in NorCal would give me the best job prospects considering the Silicon Valley.

I'm intrigued by Irvine for the same reasons as the entire legal world is. Great faculty, great ratio, great location. If I were interested in Public Interest, I wouldn't hesitate. However, I've heard little to nothing about their IP program and Irvine and San Diego's biotech industry isn't particularly what I want to focus on.

Any advice on my choice? I should add that the price for both schools will be the same for me. Thanks!

hurldes
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby hurldes » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:52 pm

I had this same interest in UCI. I don't know much about Hastings. In emailing with lots of attorneys about my options coming out of UCI for patent law, I basically learned that law firms have high hopes for it... many anticipate that it will come in just under UCLA and USC in the rankings. But who knows..

What's your undergrad in? I'd say that you're in the same situation at either school. People will probably disagree with me, but my guess is that with a good engineering degree (EE, CompE, CS) you'll be in great shape if you are around the top third of your class at either UCI or UC Hastings... maybe lower.

Emu Flu
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby Emu Flu » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:14 pm

What's your BS degree in? I noticed that many Hastings IP people didn't work at firms for their summers. Some even went to the East Coast to work at firms.

Are you interested in patent prosecution or litigation?

I noticed that most of the firms that come to Hastings are looking for litigators. I had to do a lot of applying on my own outside of OCI programs since I was focusing on patent prosecution. Patent prosecution firms can come to Hastings but they're lucky to find 5 students interested in the field. But they can go to Santa Clara and find 100 students. I felt it was a little difficult competing with them.

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ilovesf
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby ilovesf » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:27 pm

If you want NorCal- Hastings. If you want SoCal- irvine.

LogicSalmon
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby LogicSalmon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:44 pm

I'm an Engineering Sciences B.S. from UCSD, with a focus on Structural Engineering. With that said, I'm not necessarily looking to go into Civil E, and "Engineering Sciences" just sounds broad enough :lol: .

In terms of prosecution vs litigation, as of now I'm more interested in the prosecution side but I'm an 0L with an open minded so there's that. The consensus I've gathered is that school reputation > program reputation, like Hastings vs. Santa Clara, but how does that really translate into the job market for patent attorneys?

Thanks for the input, would love to hear more.

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coldpixies
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby coldpixies » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:36 pm

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Last edited by coldpixies on Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Emu Flu
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby Emu Flu » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:53 pm

LogicSalmon wrote:I'm an Engineering Sciences B.S. from UCSD, with a focus on Structural Engineering. With that said, I'm not necessarily looking to go into Civil E, and "Engineering Sciences" just sounds broad enough :lol: .


You should make sure that an Engineering Sciences degree qualifies you to sit for the patent bar. It doesn't seem to fit under Category A (Engineering Physics is listed though). Category A qualification means that you have an approved undergraduate degree. Category B requires certain coursework. Category C requires the FE test. I imagine you would fit under Category B, but you should just check to be safe! Read: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/grb.pdf

You may have some issues with your technical background. BS degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and PhDs in Chemistry/Bio seem to be the most marketable. Next are Biomedical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Material Science, and Mechanical Engineers. I'm not sure where an Engineering Sciences degree would fit. A civil/structural engineering background isn't too competitive in today's market. I've heard of people in practice who have them, but they also had some work experience in software before going to law school, and they went 10 or so years ago when it was easier to get into the field.

In terms of prosecution vs litigation, as of now I'm more interested in the prosecution side but I'm an 0L with an open minded so there's that. The consensus I've gathered is that school reputation > program reputation, like Hastings vs. Santa Clara, but how does that really translate into the job market for patent attorneys?

Thanks for the input, would love to hear more.


That's true. However, if you're thinking of prosecution, you'll have to do a little bit of work on your own, such as sending your resume to firms or applying to the Loyola Patent Interview Program. These are the firms with patent prosecution practices that interviewed or had a resume collect (just collected resumes, did not actively interview on campus) at Hastings for the 2011 OCI:

Resume Collects:
Christie, Parker & Hale
Farjami & Farjami
Haynes & Boone
Hickman Palermo Truong & Becker
Lowenstein Sandler

Interviews on Campus:
Fenwick & West
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
Fish & Richardson
Kenyon & Kenyon
Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear
Weaver Austin Villeneuve & Sampson
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Foley & Lardner
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
Morrison & Foerster
K&L Gates
Morgan Lewis & Bockius
Perkins Coie

Those firms range from tiny boutiques to large general practice firms. I might be missing some. However, lots of those are most likely not recruiting prosecutors. For example, I think Fenwick may have shifted to a patent agent/evening school model. Some of those firms don't even do patent prosecution in the Bay Area or have small practice groups. I don't imagine firms like Wilson Sonsini, Foley, K&L Gates coming to Hastings for patent prosecutors. I think Perkins Coie usually does most of their patent prosecution recruiting for the Bay Area at the Patent Law Interview Program. So, the list for actual patent prosecution opportunities is quite small.

Santa Clara's 2010 (1 year ago compared to the above data; I can only imagine it getting better in 2011) has almost all of the above, but also includes several firms that are heavily focused on patent prosecution:

Beyer Law Group
Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman
Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery
Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
Levine Bagade Han
Novak Druce + Quigg
Schwegman, Lundberg, & Woessner

One of those, Novak Druce + Quigg, is even located in San Francisco yet chooses not to recruit from Hastings, but goes to Santa Clara.

There aren't many alumni working in patent prosecution, too. So, you'll have to rely more on your own merit rather than some sort of alumni bump.

Now, I'm not saying that it's better to go to Santa Clara over Hastings. I would go to Hastings over SCU. I'm just saying that there are more opportunities to get viewed by patent prosecutors at Santa Clara because employers know they can find lots of candidates there! You might need to do a bit of work on your own outside of Hastings. It's what I had to do!

I imagine you'd have to do the same at UCI, too. In fact, looking over their OCI employer list, they barely even have any patent prosecution firms. I only see: Workman Nydegger, MoFo, Knobbe, Hickman Palermo, and Foley. At least 3 of those would be recruiting for prosecutors, but that list is very short.

LogicSalmon
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby LogicSalmon » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:21 am

Wow that's fantastic, I didn't expect such an in depth response but that was definitely informative. I hope you don't mind if I extract more info from you.

In terms of qualifying, yes I qualify as category B based on the courses I took. My course offerings were identical to Civil Engineering all the way up till my final year, so I have more than enough to qualify. That isn't so much an issue as what you mentioned later, which was my general field's competitiveness relative to the other major Engineering majors. This is understandable considering the nature of patent law and the subject matter of Civil E.

Would it be safe to assume based on your info that this issue of lack of recruiting is generally true for most law schools not considered primarily patent law schools, schools like U of NH and Santa Clara? In other words, would this generally be an obstacle I'd have to face regardless of what school, outside of big patent schools, I'm at? I realize that's a vague question with inconclusive answers but I figure you'd have some sense. Thanks again!

Emu Flu
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby Emu Flu » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:15 am

LogicSalmon wrote:Wow that's fantastic, I didn't expect such an in depth response but that was definitely informative. I hope you don't mind if I extract more info from you.

In terms of qualifying, yes I qualify as category B based on the courses I took. My course offerings were identical to Civil Engineering all the way up till my final year, so I have more than enough to qualify. That isn't so much an issue as what you mentioned later, which was my general field's competitiveness relative to the other major Engineering majors. This is understandable considering the nature of patent law and the subject matter of Civil E.

Would it be safe to assume based on your info that this issue of lack of recruiting is generally true for most law schools not considered primarily patent law schools, schools like U of NH and Santa Clara? In other words, would this generally be an obstacle I'd have to face regardless of what school, outside of big patent schools, I'm at? I realize that's a vague question with inconclusive answers but I figure you'd have some sense. Thanks again!


Yes, I think it's something you will face at a lot of schools. Patent prosecution is a very specific field of law. Be sure to put in some extra effort beyond OCI if you're shooting for patent prosecution! Apply to the PLIP, send out resumes on your own, etc.

However, there are some issues with the Bay Area, too. There is a surprisingly low number of SA positions for patent prosecution in the Bay Area.

That's likely because several mid-sized IP firms collapsed here some years ago. Additionally, lots of the traditional patent prosecution powerhouses have declined in terms of headcount in the Bay Area, meaning less prosecution SAs. Blakely Sokoloff (they did Intel's first patent; it used to be ranked as the largest domestic patent firm) had like 50 attorneys in its Sunnyvale office at its peak. Now it's less than 20. MoFo used to have tons too. Townsend merged with a general practice firm, leading to a large exodus of prosecutors because of the higher billing rates.

Lots of smaller offices have emerged, either patent boutiques or satellite offices of other firms (Leydig and Lowenstein are 2 that I've noticed over the last few months). In the Mid West or East Coast, there are tons of offices with 30-100 patent prosecutors. Here? Not many. 20 dedicated prosecutors in a single office is considered special.

Just some things to be aware of!

uci2013
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Re: Hastings vs Irvine for IP/Patent Law

Postby uci2013 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:58 pm

UCI student here. The friends I know interested in patent law generally did well at OCI or at the Loyola Patent Fair. The word here is the Loyola Fair is the best way to go as you get a head start in Chicago and a broader pool of firms. We have placements at Knobe, MoFo and Foley that I know of; I suspect we have more. We also have some superstar faculty for patent law, including Professor Burk.




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