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.