Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

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stargre6811
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Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:26 pm

Hi! I am a newbie here. I want to thank you all for reading and (hopefully) contributing to the discussion.

I am a mid-30s PhD in biology. I am tired of what I am doing now (even though I did it pretty well) and decided to try patent law. I got a full ride for JMLS evening program. (Full-time is out of the question because I am not confident that I will be doing fine in law school/career, and I need my current salary to get by.) I am trying to decide whether to do it or no.

I am aware that it has a terrible overall rankings. Now my question to you guys are:
1) JMLS has a #12 ranking in patent law (which, due to my PhD, will be my career path without question). Does it help with job perspective? How do employers weigh the overall ranking vs specialty ranking?
2) For patent law, is big law preferred or not? And how does JMLS fair in getting in the preferred type of firms? (Again, I am a total newbie, so any info will be appreciated!)
3) Will I be tied to Chicago area for my whole career?
4) Does patent law firms value the ranking of PhD program more or the law school ranking more?

And alumni please provide some insights:
1) What will be the course/work load for the part-time program? How much time commitment is needed to remain in top 1/3 (so as to keep the scholarship)?
2) What is the likelihood to maintain the full scholarship? Particularly for part-time students who have less time to commit.
3) Any particular study/exam and assignment suggestions and comments are very well appreciated.

Thank!
Last edited by stargre6811 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:37 pm

stargre6811 wrote:Hi! I am a newbie here. I want to thank you all for reading and (hopefully) contributing to the discussion.

I am a mid-30s PhD in biology. I am tired of what I am doing now (even though I did it pretty well) and decided to try patent law. I got a full ride for JMLS evening program. (Full-time is out of the question because I am not confident that I will be doing fine in law school/career, and I need my current salary to get by.) I am trying to decide whether to do it or no.

I am aware that it has a terrible overall rankings. Now my question to you guys are:
1) JMLS has a #12 ranking in patent law (which, due to my PhD, will be my career path without question). Does it help with job perspective? How do employers weigh the overall ranking vs specialty ranking?
2) For patent law, is big law preferred or not? And how does JMLS fair in getting in the preferred type of firms? (Again, I am a total newbie, so any info will be appreciated!)
3) Will I be tied to Chicago area for my whole career?
4) Does patent law firms value the ranking of PhD program more or the law school ranking more?

And alumni please provide some insights:
1) What will be the course/work load for the part-time program? How much time commitment is needed to remain in top 1/3 (so as to keep the scholarship)?
2) What is the likelihood to maintain the full scholarship? Particularly for part-time students who have less time to commit.
3) Any particular study/exam and assignment suggestions and comments are very well appreciated.

Thank!


1) No. Specialty rankings are massive flame.
2) There are plenty of biglaw firms that value science degrees, but also a lot of boutiques that mostly do IP (patent prosecution) work. However, there are a lot of candidates who will be much higher ranked than you, who are also patent bar eligible. I did a quick search of every associate at the top few Chicago biglaw firms and found literally ONE associate who got his JD from John Marshall- this includes non-IP people. Government work might actually be your best option.
3) Yes.
4) Law school.

stargre6811
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks for the response! Just curious, did you check the website of the firms one by one, or is there an online tool to do the search?

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Dr. Review
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:53 pm

Have you considered sitting for the patent bar and/or seeking work as a patent agent or technical specialist? The pay is going to be lower than it might be for a patent attorney, but so is the cost (i.e., no law school). Much of the work is the same, and at the very least you'll find out whether patent law is for you.

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:58 pm

Bedsole wrote:Have you considered sitting for the patent bar and/or seeking work as a patent agent or technical specialist? The pay is going to be lower than it might be for a patent attorney, but so is the cost (i.e., no law school). Much of the work is the same, and at the very least you'll find out whether patent law is for you.


I have a friend who did this. Made good money for a few years then went to law school for free PT. At least he knows he can get his old job back if it doesn't work out.

stargre6811 wrote:Thanks for the response! Just curious, did you check the website of the firms one by one, or is there an online tool to do the search?


I searched the sites of Sidley Austin, Jenner & Block, Mayer Brown, Kirkland & Ellis, and Schiff Hardin. There are a few more big Chicago firms but you get the point.

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midwest17
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby midwest17 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:11 pm

You should not attend a school like JMLS on a scholarship with a top 1/3 stip.

stargre6811
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:43 pm

Could you elaborate, why? I thought all scholarship will have this type of requirement.
midwest17 wrote:You should not attend a school like JMLS on a scholarship with a top 1/3 stip.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:47 pm

stargre6811 wrote:Could you elaborate, why? I thought all scholarship will have this type of requirement.

Generally, a scholarship without stipulations is desired. If stipulations exist, you ideally want them to be "good academic standing" or somewhere below median. Law school grades are generally considered to be largely arbitrary. Combined with the fact that many schools put scholarship recipients against one another in the same section, schools often set the scholarship receiving students to be in a poor position to retain the scholarships.

You don't want to find yourself in the top 34% of the class and paying full sticker price. Statistically speaking, you are most likely to be around median (~50th percentile).

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midwest17
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby midwest17 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:50 pm

stargre6811 wrote:Could you elaborate, why? I thought all scholarship will have this type of requirement.
midwest17 wrote:You should not attend a school like JMLS on a scholarship with a top 1/3 stip.


No. They're a trick used by bad schools to lure people in and then take away the scholarship and leave them paying sticker.

Whatever your past grades or success in school, you should expect that you have a 2/3 chance of losing a scholarship with a top 1/3 stip. Probably more, actually, given the existence of section stacking, though I don't know if JMLS is known for section stacking.

Personally I wouldn't take any scholarship that required more than median or above. And reputable schools usually don't have a requirement other than good standing.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:52 pm

Here's a helpful guide to stipulations that Nova assembled in 2012. Some of the stipulations may have changed, but you can at least see what you might expect at various schools, and whether it is a reasonable stip:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=189178

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rpupkin
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:00 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
stargre6811 wrote:Thanks for the response! Just curious, did you check the website of the firms one by one, or is there an online tool to do the search?


I searched the sites of Sidley Austin, Jenner & Block, Mayer Brown, Kirkland & Ellis, and Schiff Hardin. There are a few more big Chicago firms but you get the point.

That's not very helpful. Those are general litigation firms with patent practice groups that focus mostly on patent litigation. That's not the market for the OP, who--with his Bio PhD--is a better candidate for a patent prosecution practice.

OP: I doubt you're going to find much useful advice on TLS. Contact JMLS and ask them to put you in touch with alumni who work in patent law in Chicago. Also, seriously look into Bedsole's suggestion about finding work as a patent agent. If you still want to go to law school after doing patent agent work for a year or so, you'll have a much more sophisticated perspective about what you want to do in patent law. Best of luck!

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:26 pm

rpupkin wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
stargre6811 wrote:Thanks for the response! Just curious, did you check the website of the firms one by one, or is there an online tool to do the search?


I searched the sites of Sidley Austin, Jenner & Block, Mayer Brown, Kirkland & Ellis, and Schiff Hardin. There are a few more big Chicago firms but you get the point.

That's not very helpful. Those are general litigation firms with patent practice groups that focus mostly on patent litigation. That's not the market for the OP, who--with his Bio PhD--is a better candidate for a patent prosecution practice.

OP: I doubt you're going to find much useful advice on TLS. Contact JMLS and ask them to put you in touch with alumni who work in patent law in Chicago. Also, seriously look into Bedsole's suggestion about finding work as a patent agent. If you still want to go to law school after doing patent agent work for a year or so, you'll have a much more sophisticated perspective about what you want to do in patent law. Best of luck!


OP asked about biglaw. I gave him the answer. The onus is on you to find some boutiques that have hired JMLS associates in patent pros.

LOL @ Kirkland being a "general litigation firm" that only specializes in IP lit. That's so off the mark it's insane. You must be a JMLS shill.

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... &section=1

Run the same search for the top IP-only firms, like Fish & Richardson or Finnegan if you don't believe me.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:33 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Those are general litigation firms with patent practice groups that focus mostly on patent litigation.


LOL @ Kirkland being a "general litigation firm" that only specializes in IP lit. That's so off the mark it's insane. You must be a JMLS shill.

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... &section=1

Go through that list and count the number of people in the Chicago office who do patent prosecution, and compare it to the number of people who do patent litigation. I believe you will find that it is a patent practice group that focuses mostly on patent litigation.

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:38 pm

Bedsole wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Those are general litigation firms with patent practice groups that focus mostly on patent litigation.


LOL @ Kirkland being a "general litigation firm" that only specializes in IP lit. That's so off the mark it's insane. You must be a JMLS shill.

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... &section=1

Go through that list and count the number of people in the Chicago office who do patent prosecution, and compare it to the number of people who do patent litigation. I believe you will find that it is a patent practice group that focuses mostly on patent litigation.


Yes, and it's still far larger than the average patent boutique. If there were jobs there for JMLS students it would be obvious. That it doesn't focus on it is irrelevant, I've already given you two IP only firms- not a single JMLS associate to be found.

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rpupkin
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:40 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
LOL @ Kirkland being a "general litigation firm" that only specializes in IP lit. That's so off the mark it's insane. You must be a JMLS shill.

Glad you got a good laugh. I'm quite familiar with KE. They pride themselves on being an excellent overall litigation firm with several strong practices, including IP. I stand by my characterization.

stargre6811
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:42 pm

Thanks all for inputs! That's what I want to hear.
A somewhat unrelated question: JMLS rank part-time together with full-time. In such situation, are part-time students always at disadvantage due to the lack of time? Their do take fewer courses which is why I am not so sure. Any ideas how it typically play out? Someone you know?

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:45 pm

rpupkin wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
LOL @ Kirkland being a "general litigation firm" that only specializes in IP lit. That's so off the mark it's insane. You must be a JMLS shill.

Glad you got a good laugh. I'm quite familiar with KE. They pride themselves on being an excellent overall litigation firm with several strong practices, including IP. I stand by my characterization.


And I'm familiar with KE, and they pride themselves on being an excellent all-purpose firm, with a corporate group equal to or better regarded than the lit group. In fact none of those are "general lit firms" so much as they are just general biglaw firms (except for perhaps J+B).

jumpingjack
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby jumpingjack » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:45 pm

http://www.jmls.edu/students/scholarshi ... n-data.php

About half of JMLS Chicago students with schollies lose them or have them reduced.

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unodostres
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:29 am

Jesus. What a TTTT.

nebula666
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby nebula666 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:51 am

don't go under any circumstance

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romothesavior
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:55 am

nebula666 wrote:don't go under any circumstance

This. JMLS is probably one of the 10-20 worst law schools in the country. OP, please do some research on their job statistics:

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=johnmarshal-chicago

Only 2.7% of JMLS graduates got jobs in firms of 100+ attorneys. Limit that to firms of 250+, and you're talking about 5 graduates out of 414. The school is a joke in Chicago.

If you want to go to law school, you need to dedicate yourself to the LSAT and improve your score drastically. The only schools in Chicago you should even consider going to are Northwestern and Chicago, especially given your age and background. JMLS would likely be a catastrophically bad financial and career move for you.

stargre6811
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:06 am

Anybody can comment on this? Obviously not specific to JMLS.
stargre6811 wrote:Thanks all for inputs! That's what I want to hear.
A somewhat unrelated question: JMLS rank part-time together with full-time. In such situation, are part-time students always at disadvantage due to the lack of time? Their do take fewer courses which is why I am not so sure. Any ideas how it typically play out? Someone you know?

stargre6811
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby stargre6811 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:11 am

Thanks all for the cautioning. I realize it will not be worth it at all were it not for the scholarship. The statistics certainly shows a low retention rate as well. However, JMLS sent a FAQ which contains the following information:

2. What is the likelihood that I will retain my scholarship?
You must remain in the top third of the class after each academic year to retain your scholarship. The overall retention rate for scholarships is about 50%, but that varies dramatically depending on the size of the scholarship. Students with scholarships at your level have been retaining them at the rate of 85-90%. Your odds of retaining the scholarship are really good!

4. Will I be competing with all of the other high scholarship awardees in my section?
Absolutely not! We divide our day students into four divisions, and we “sprinkle” each section with an even number of high scholarship awardees such as yourself. We aim to get a true bell curve of LSAT scores and UGPAs in each section.

Do you think this is trustworthy? If it is, my major concern will be how does my part-time status hurt/help me in retaining the scholarship.

jumpingjack wrote:http://www.jmls.edu/students/scholarships/scholarship-retention-data.php

About half of JMLS Chicago students with schollies lose them or have them reduced.

timbs4339
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:49 am

stargre6811 wrote:. Will I be competing with all of the other high scholarship awardees in my section?
Absolutely not! We divide our day students into four divisions, and we “sprinkle” each section with an even number of high scholarship awardees such as yourself. We aim to get a true bell curve of LSAT scores and UGPAs in each section.


Very interesting phrasing there. Notice that they limit it to "high scholarship awardees" not "scholarship awardees." Leaves out the possibility that they could put the lower scholarship awardees in a single section. I'm not sure you're going to see much of a difference between a half-ride and full-ride person, or a full-ride and quarter-ride.

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romothesavior
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Re: Patent law at JMLS-Chicago

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:40 pm

I wouldn't go there even with a guaranteed full ride. It's a rancid law school with little respect in Chicago and very frightening job prospects.




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