Patent Law Worth it?

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collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Patent Law Worth it?

Postby collegebum1989 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:04 pm

I have a BS and MS in non-EE engineering field, with 1-2 years experience in my field and deciding whether law school will be worth it in this economy.

Ppl say IP/Patent market is great, but folks over at intelproplaw forums, which is a IP-specific firm dont seem to be as optimistic.

Taking October LSAT, I'll probably be a splitter looking to attend lower T14 schools.

anonymouse2828
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:14 am

Re: Patent Law Worth it?

Postby anonymouse2828 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:13 pm

Depends on where you want to practice, and what your prior WE is.

law school can be worth it if it's free, you kick ass and get into the top tiers of your class, and you interview well.

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sky7
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Patent Law Worth it?

Postby sky7 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:17 pm

Go be an examiner for 4 years while going to a law school part time DC.

Then profit.

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Patent Law Worth it?

Postby collegebum1989 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:06 pm

sky7, you mean take patent bar asap, then work for USPTO/firm and go to law school part-time?

From what I understand, this is usually the route taken by older individuals (PhD's and tech specialists) who already have ties to a law firm after graduation from undergrad/grad school. Although it is interesting (lower debt, stable salary, ties to firm after law school), I'm not sure if I want to do PT law school since your employment is restricted to one firm upon graduation. I also want to finish school as fast as possible as opposed to working couple years as an examiner/tech specialist, then getting a firm to support PT law school...like 4-6 years total.

Here's what I don't get...everyone I've spoken to (professors, 1Ls, 2Ls, even recent grads) say an engineering background is golden for IP/Patent work. All the employment and science articles I've read suggest that its a very niche field and high in demand. However, ONLY on TLS and intelproplaw forums are people still skeptical and pessimistic. Is it because of these forums are self-selecting process to join? Or is everything I've read and heard about IP/Patent Law exaggerated by those not in the field?

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fatduck
Posts: 4186
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Patent Law Worth it?

Postby fatduck » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:26 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:sky7, you mean take patent bar asap, then work for USPTO/firm and go to law school part-time?

From what I understand, this is usually the route taken by older individuals (PhD's and tech specialists) who already have ties to a law firm after graduation from undergrad/grad school. Although it is interesting (lower debt, stable salary, ties to firm after law school), I'm not sure if I want to do PT law school since your employment is restricted to one firm upon graduation. I also want to finish school as fast as possible as opposed to working couple years as an examiner/tech specialist, then getting a firm to support PT law school...like 4-6 years total.

Here's what I don't get...everyone I've spoken to (professors, 1Ls, 2Ls, even recent grads) say an engineering background is golden for IP/Patent work. All the employment and science articles I've read suggest that its a very niche field and high in demand. However, ONLY on TLS and intelproplaw forums are people still skeptical and pessimistic. Is it because of these forums are self-selecting process to join? Or is everything I've read and heard about IP/Patent Law exaggerated by those not in the field?

that's because news articles are 90% fluff - they take a few anecdotes, some eye-catching statistic, glue it together with inferences and make it sound neat and interesting. IP firms/groups have a lot of work right now and were less affected by the economic collapse than most other practice areas. an engineering degree, especially EE/CS, will make you more likely to get a job (especially patent prosecution). but, just like the rest of law, only a small portion of these jobs pay the very high salaries that are necessary to service the six-figure debt you'll accumulate at many law schools. if you don't go to a good school, you're still going to have a very hard time getting a biglaw job. all the other factors: grades, target markets, ties, and so on are still extremely important.

IP lawyers may be in demand but there are still a ton of students at T14 schools who want to do IP work, especially litigation. you'll have an easier time getting a job than your non-IP classmates, but don't be stupid. it's still a brutal job market.




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