Tech Law

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giltzer14
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Tech Law

Postby giltzer14 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:32 am

A few questions:

1.) I am very interested in working in the technology law field (specifically copyright, intellectual property) but am concerned that my bachelors degree in business is going to limit me in this area because a lot of this work is meant for patent lawyers who need a science or tech background? Any clarification on this is much appreciated!

2.) If you're answers to the above question are not too depressing for my situation, where would you reccomend that I apply to law school? I have been looking at schools in Northern Cali such as UC Davis, Santa Clara, University of San Francisco (Stanford and Berkeley are out of my reach in terms of GPA/LSAT unfortunately). I am open to other locations as well so please feel free to make suggestions. I have been interested in NYC as well but am not quite sure if there are many tech companies/firms that will be hiring in my interested field. MY GPA is a 3.55 and my 1st LSAT was a 159, but I am retaking this October and will be taking my studies much more seriously as I am out of college and can focus on it more.

Thank you for your help!

Amoore114133
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Re: Tech Law

Postby Amoore114133 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:03 am

you don't necessarily need a tech background to do IP

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Nammertat
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Re: Tech Law

Postby Nammertat » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:11 pm

I'm in a similar boat, and also looking @ the California schools. One thing you should know is that you are not eligible to sit for the Patent bar. This means while yes you can do IP litigation, you will be limited in scope. Santa Clara & USF have absolutely dismal employment numbers. There is no scenario where I'd spend 3 years at either. Davis/Hastings have much better (albeit still not great) numbers if you could find a way to get in. With your LSAT/GPA it may not be in the cards yet. I heavily recommend studying/taking a class and sitting for the LSAT 1 more time.

giltzer14
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Re: Tech Law

Postby giltzer14 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:52 am

Gotcha.

You say that not being a patent-lawyer (i.e. taking the patent bar) will limit my job prospects. How much are we talking here?

jim-green
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Re: Tech Law

Postby jim-green » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:35 am

Nammertat wrote:One thing you should know is that you are not eligible to sit for the Patent bar. This means while yes you can do IP litigation, you will be limited in scope.
I am not sure about this. Getting conflicting advice from attorneys I talk to. I do have the patent bar, but what I hear is patent prosecution is a tier-2 track with no hope of becoming partner. Also less $$. Patent lit seems to be the prestigious, partner track with more $$.

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Nova
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Re: Tech Law

Postby Nova » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:50 pm

Clicked thread to talk about Texas Tech. Leaving because I know nothing about science.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Tech Law

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:08 pm

Nova wrote:Clicked thread to talk about Texas Tech. Leaving because I know nothing about science.


Commenting cause you're already here?

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Nova
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Re: Tech Law

Postby Nova » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:10 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
Nova wrote:Clicked thread to talk about Texas Tech. Leaving because I know nothing about science.


Commenting cause you're already here?


Yeah, also because the thread title tricked me two days in a row. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Nova on Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2012JayDee
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Re: Tech Law

Postby 2012JayDee » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:54 pm

jim-green wrote:
Nammertat wrote:One thing you should know is that you are not eligible to sit for the Patent bar. This means while yes you can do IP litigation, you will be limited in scope.
I am not sure about this. Getting conflicting advice from attorneys I talk to. I do have the patent bar, but what I hear is patent prosecution is a tier-2 track with no hope of becoming partner. Also less $$. Patent lit seems to be the prestigious, partner track with more $$.


That's because anybody with a science or engineering degree can be a patent agent at a law firm. Many law firms have non-lawyers in the IP dept doing patent prosecution or working as technical advisors. They don't have to pay them an attorney's salary to do this job. Therefor no reason to hire a law student that only wants to prosecute patents.
If you only want to prosecute patents go work for the USPTO they need people they're hiring, pay is good, benefits are good, work hours are good, and after a couple of years you can work from home. Save your money on law school.

If you want to do IP work that's not patent work you're looking mostly at litigation, which will be handled primarily by the litigation practice group. Some random litigation associate who may or may not have taken a trademark class in law school is going to be handling the case. Like any area of law when you don't know it you can simply look it up. There is little to no reason to hire someone strictly to do trademark applications and trademark infringement litigation. There are however exceptions. One being, you work for a firm that has lots of large corporate clients or lots of clients that are entertainers in that case the IP work may be heavy (infringement, rights of privacy, and various IP rights).

The problem with patent litigation is that patent attorneys (patent bar/admitted to practice before uspto) are usually not great litigators. So when it comes to a patent litigation case it'll usually take the patent agent, who speak geek-ese, and the litigation team, who speaks legal-ese, to work together to convince a jury/judge.

There are a number of other emerging field in IP.
@giltzer14
Cyber crimes, e-commerce, internet law, electronic communications, etc. are all becoming very popular. But again, they are usually melded with the larger practice are of IP or litigation.
There really is no school that will prepare you more than the other to do litigation. Law school generally is preparation to be in litigation and no law firm is going to be super impressed because you've had a couple of tech-law courses.
Especially considering the fact that at the time you interview with firm during OCI you wouldn't have had an opportunity to take those courses.

giltzer14
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Re: Tech Law

Postby giltzer14 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:37 am

@2012JayDee

Thanks for the detailed response! I feel like I have a much better grip on what IP work is like after graduating and I'm starting to get the sense that schools with special programs in "Tech law", etc. are not as special as I once thought. Going to the best possible law school I can get into is the best option (in a region with IP firms).

I guess my next question is: Besides the NorCal schools (*Davis, *Hastings, Santa Clara, USF) what other schools/regions should I be looking at?

humbugger
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Re: Tech Law

Postby humbugger » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:06 pm

giltzer14 wrote:I guess my next question is: Besides the NorCal schools (*Davis, *Hastings, Santa Clara, USF) what other schools/regions should I be looking at?


If you can't get into Stanford/Berkeley, you probably shouldn't go to school in Cali. I've seen people on the forum mention that some top 10%ers at UCH don't have jobs lined up.

Even Berkeley grads have trouble getting jobs in Cali: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=186864

Be wary.

edit:
Look in here for more details: (1/3 of the way down) viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181929&start=100

timbs4339
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Re: Tech Law

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:00 pm

People with a science or tech degree can find work at specialized boutiques and with the government, so they get a noticeable hiring bump because their degree is in higher demand. Non-tech degree holders can still work in IP, but they need to join the litigation group at a large firm, which is going to require you to go to a school with decent biglaw placement. I know plenty of people with dreaded social science degrees going to work on IP litigation- but they had the school rank/grades for biglaw.

There are also a few non-profits that do tech law but they usually require pretty extensive experience along with being picky about grades/school.

dudeimsocool
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Re: Tech Law

Postby dudeimsocool » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:08 pm

any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech

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Nammertat
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Re: Tech Law

Postby Nammertat » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:09 pm

dudeimsocool wrote:any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech


I highly disagree with this.... it'd be like going to a "State" school like North Dakota State because you'd like to be governor someday who runs the state....

Do the research and find out which schools have the best IP programs. USNWR has a fairly comprehensive list.

dudeimsocool
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Re: Tech Law

Postby dudeimsocool » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:25 pm

Nammertat wrote:
dudeimsocool wrote:any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech


I highly disagree with this.... it'd be like going to a "State" school like North Dakota State because you'd like to be governor someday who runs the state....

Do the research and find out which schools have the best IP programs. USNWR has a fairly comprehensive list.


umm no dude, everyone knows thats what your supposed to do, if you don't go to the state school people will wonder whether or not your even loyal to that state, who goes out of state unless they hate the state there in

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Tech Law

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:58 pm

dudeimsocool wrote:
Nammertat wrote:
dudeimsocool wrote:any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech


I highly disagree with this.... it'd be like going to a "State" school like North Dakota State because you'd like to be governor someday who runs the state....

Do the research and find out which schools have the best IP programs. USNWR has a fairly comprehensive list.


umm no dude, everyone knows thats what your supposed to do, if you don't go to the state school people will wonder whether or not your even loyal to that state, who goes out of state unless they hate the state there in


Obvious troll is obvious.

2012JayDee
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Re: Tech Law

Postby 2012JayDee » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:08 pm

dudeimsocool wrote:
Nammertat wrote:
dudeimsocool wrote:any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech


I highly disagree with this.... it'd be like going to a "State" school like North Dakota State because you'd like to be governor someday who runs the state....

Do the research and find out which schools have the best IP programs. USNWR has a fairly comprehensive list.


umm no dude, everyone knows thats what your supposed to do, if you don't go to the state school people will wonder whether or not your even loyal to that state, who goes out of state unless they hate the state there in



Which schools have the best IP programs is useless information.

"you're" and "they're" were the words you were looking for

dudeimsocool
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Re: Tech Law

Postby dudeimsocool » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:30 pm

2012JayDee wrote:
dudeimsocool wrote:
Nammertat wrote:
dudeimsocool wrote:any school with a "tech" is probably good, i.e. texas tech, georgia tech, cal tech


I highly disagree with this.... it'd be like going to a "State" school like North Dakota State because you'd like to be governor someday who runs the state....

Do the research and find out which schools have the best IP programs. USNWR has a fairly comprehensive list.


umm no dude, everyone knows thats what your supposed to do, if you don't go to the state school people will wonder whether or not your even loyal to that state, who goes out of state unless they hate the state there in



Which schools have the best IP programs is useless information.

"you're" and "they're" were the words you were looking for


didn't know proper grammar was necessary when trolling but thanks lol

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sky7
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Re: Tech Law

Postby sky7 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:38 am

2012JayDee wrote:
jim-green wrote:
Nammertat wrote:One thing you should know is that you are not eligible to sit for the Patent bar. This means while yes you can do IP litigation, you will be limited in scope.
I am not sure about this. Getting conflicting advice from attorneys I talk to. I do have the patent bar, but what I hear is patent prosecution is a tier-2 track with no hope of becoming partner. Also less $$. Patent lit seems to be the prestigious, partner track with more $$.


That's because anybody with a science or engineering degree can be a patent agent at a law firm. Many law firms have non-lawyers in the IP dept doing patent prosecution or working as technical advisors. They don't have to pay them an attorney's salary to do this job. Therefor no reason to hire a law student that only wants to prosecute patents.
If you only want to prosecute patents go work for the USPTO they need people they're hiring, pay is good, benefits are good, work hours are good, and after a couple of years you can work from home. Save your money on law school.



If you're worried about being second tier because you do prosecution, you can go to any number of the IP boutiques (think Fish/Fitz/Finn, or Oblon/Sughrue/BSKB) and make partner there. It's comparable money.

As for a GP firm, I am more inclined to think that prosecution IS a second tier partner track. But I've never actually heard it said that way - it just seems to make sense.

jim-green
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Re: Tech Law

Postby jim-green » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:30 pm

T
Last edited by jim-green on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Tech Law

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:33 pm

Don't forget UCI if you want California. Plenty of tech firms in Orange County.




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