Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

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lawbird
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Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby lawbird » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:26 am

Options:

Chicago - Kent College of Law ($75,000 scholarship total)
Loyola University Chicago ($78,000 scholarship total, will apply for IP fellowship which is another $7,500, possibly totaling $85,500)
Ohio State University - ($0 in scholarship offered so far)

Background:
I'm studying software engineering at a school that's top 10 in the field. I am hoping to work as a patent attorney after law school. I really want to live in Detroit after graduation. I have family in Detroit and would not mind going back to Michigan.

Side note: I know rank is important in law school, but I can't seem to let go of Loyola/Kent because I think I would like living in Chicago more than Columbus for law school (I have a sister who lives in Columbus and a brother who lives in Chicago. So I've been to both a few times and like Chicago a lot more).

People (not professionals in the field, just random people) keep telling me that if I do patent law it doesn't matter where I go to for law school. They think because I went to a top 10 engineering school it's enough to get a job as a patent attorney. But I'm not entirely sure how important rank is in getting a job as a patent attorney. I really want to live in Chicago for law school but I also do want a job after graduation.

What are your thoughts, and if anyone has experiences at any of the three schools can you share? Thank you! :)

EDIT: 3.1/4.0 GPA and 159 LSAT.
Last edited by lawbird on Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AnonymousAlterEgoC
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:33 am

Retake.

Columbus is a terrible city. Chicago is a great city. There simply isn't a comparison there

Edit: people may request your GPA/LSAT for context. It makes little sense to blindly recommend something

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L’Étranger
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby L’Étranger » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:34 am

lawbird wrote:People (not professionals in the field, just random people) keep telling me that if I do patent law it doesn't matter where I go to for law school. They think because I went to a top 10 engineering school it's enough to get a job as a patent attorney. But I'm not entirely sure how important rank is in getting a job as a patent attorney. I really want to live in Chicago for law school but I also do want a job after graduation.


I wonder if the "doesn't matter where" you go to law school advice is actually only true if you have an advanced science degree (i.e. a PhD).

What are your numbers? Are UC and NU not an option?

lawbird
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby lawbird » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:04 am

I got a 159 on the LSAT and 3.1 GPA in Computer Science and Engineering.

lawbird
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby lawbird » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:06 am

L’Étranger wrote:
lawbird wrote:People (not professionals in the field, just random people) keep telling me that if I do patent law it doesn't matter where I go to for law school. They think because I went to a top 10 engineering school it's enough to get a job as a patent attorney. But I'm not entirely sure how important rank is in getting a job as a patent attorney. I really want to live in Chicago for law school but I also do want a job after graduation.


I wonder if the "doesn't matter where" you go to law school advice is actually only true if you have an advanced science degree (i.e. a PhD).

What are your numbers? Are UC and NU not an option?


Neither are an option. I have a 3.1 and 159, but I only had one month to study for the LSAT and if possible I want to avoid a gap year.

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sesto elemento
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby sesto elemento » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:47 am

lawbird wrote: Neither are an option. I have a 3.1 and 159, but I only had one month to study for the LSAT and if possible I want to avoid a gap year.


You should take a gap year and retake.

InTheHouse
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby InTheHouse » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:57 am

lawbird wrote:People (not professionals in the field, just random people) keep telling me that if I do patent law it doesn't matter where I go to for law school. They think because I went to a top 10 engineering school it's enough to get a job as a patent attorney. But I'm not entirely sure how important rank is in getting a job as a patent attorney. I really want to live in Chicago for law school but I also do want a job after graduation.


Not sure why you're mentioning what randos have to say. These people are idiots.

1) Sure, where you go to law school matters less for patent prosecution (that is what you will be limited to at these schools) than it does for other fields. But it matters. Especially if you want to have any control over where you work.

lawbird wrote:I have a 3.1 and 159, but I only had one month to study for the LSAT and if possible I want to avoid a gap year.


You're going to make a decision that will cost a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars and that will affect the rest of your professional life without putting in your best effort on the LSAT?

You're not some Arts & Flowers major who can't get a job upon graduation. You have the option of doing one of any number of things to make your more attractive to law firms/clients in the future. Upon graduation you could (a) work at a law firm as a technology specialist (maybe even get your firm to pay for a patent bar course), (b) get industry experience, or (c) work for the patent office. I'd recommend (a) since I think it helps to understand how boring patent prosecution is before committing to it for life.

kcdc1
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby kcdc1 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:42 am

(1) Get some WE. Preferably somewhere where you'll work with hardware and not just software (better for finding a patent law job later).

(2) Retake the LSAT in a year or two. You'll get into better schools.

(3) Read this thread. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=242383

Patent law had a boom and anyone could get jobs. But software probably isn't patentable anymore, so you're gonna have a tougher time finding a job in 2019 than you would have in 2014.

(4) Your low GPA and poor LSAT due to lack of studying suggests a maturity problem. I'm not saying this to be mean. I also had a low GPA and scored 11 points lower than my ultimate score because I didn't study.

The trick is that even poor #'s won't prevent you from being admitted into trap schools, so you'll have to take a step back and look big picture to avoid getting caught. If you do enroll, your maturity problem is going to kill you in law school. Your LSAT tells me that you aren't going to outperform your classmates on pure aptitude. And 75% of the class works hard in 1L.

Take a step back, get some WE, then reassess whether law is a good path for you. Then take the LSAT seriously, score a 170, and go to Northwestern.

timbs4339
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:07 am

Piling on here- you absolutely need to get WE while you study for the LSAT. It'll make you more marketable, you'll get more money, and you'll be able to figure out the state of the software patent law market in a few years when the results of Alice shake out. In two years, it may not be a field where someone at median from Kent with a STEM degree can get biglaw, and you don't want to be left holding 200K of debt when that happens.

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Rigo
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby Rigo » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 pm

You're studying software engineering and are settling for a 159? Crazy.

Retake. Seriously. It will be the best thing you will ever do. You can either go to all of these schools for free or a much better one.

But if you're stubborn and insist on going to one of these, go to whichever has the lowest cost of attendance once you factor in scholarships, cost of living, etc.

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RZ5646
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby RZ5646 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:13 pm

Why not get rich as a software engineer from a top 10 school? You'll want technical WE for patent law anyway, so I'd work before heading to law school.

And like the others have said, 159 is a bad LSAT score, especially with your low GPA. Retake.

Also, first time in history these words have ever been spoken—"I really want to live in Detroit after graduation."

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rondemarino
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby rondemarino » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:15 pm

This isn't really important, but I'm just curious if "top 10" means a top CS program (MIT, Stanford, UIUC, etc ...) or a top "software engineering" program (Rochester Inst. of Tech, Rose-Hulman). If its the former, I have a hard time seeing how you don't have better options than resigning yourself to a middling law school.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:44 pm

You'll probably find some sort of prosecution work from those schools, that is if you had graduated now. But the recent SCOTUS Alice decision throws that in jeopardy. In 4 years when you are graduating, software patents might be essentially worthless.

I wouldn't go to law school.

To be honest, I'm in biglawl, IP lit, making market. I'd trade places with you in a heart beat and never go to school.

mindthegap
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby mindthegap » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:47 pm

First of all, I highly recommend working for a firm in the field you want to practice in; I've spent two years working at IP firms and it solidified my interest in going the soft IP route - plus, you'll pad your resume and have a chance to retake the LSAT, which I def recommend as your GPA is a bit lower and a higher LSAT score could help you land some better acceptances. However, I thought that I'd just weigh in on this because I have a potentially relevant anecdote to refute the randoms who've told you where you go doesn't matter.

I worked for a year at a mid-sized IP firm in Los Angeles and became good friends with the two summer clerks. One of them was a rising 3L at OSU and was literally at the top of his class, involved with journals, and had his master's in some hard science (engineering, I want to say) - however, he was having a nearly impossible time getting any offers outside of Ohio and definitely no offers from any big law firms despite going to interviews constantly. He flat out told me that he'd basically had to beg our managing partner for the opportunity but at the end of the summer, the clerk from CA got asked to come back while the OSU student (who had done the bulk of the work) was passed over due to his lack of CA ties. :(

I think that, even in IP law, you need to really think about the realistic portability of your degree. Admittedly, I don't know much about schools you've listed aside from OSU but if your goal is to return to Detroit, I believe the answer is to do better on the LSAT and aim for the schools that have a better chance of placing you there.

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fats provolone
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby fats provolone » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:35 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You'll probably find some sort of prosecution work from those schools, that is if you had graduated now. But the recent SCOTUS Alice decision throws that in jeopardy. In 4 years when you are graduating, software patents might be essentially worthless.

I wouldn't go to law school.

To be honest, I'm in biglawl, IP lit, making market. I'd trade places with you in a heart beat and never go to school.

yea definitely don't go

trust me a "top 10" CS/engineering degree provides no additional benefit in IP unless it's MIT. you should be going to ur on campus recruiting/job fairs/use you career services. i went to a similarly situated school and everyone i know ended up with great jobs and 0 debt unlike me.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:37 pm

fats provolone wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You'll probably find some sort of prosecution work from those schools, that is if you had graduated now. But the recent SCOTUS Alice decision throws that in jeopardy. In 4 years when you are graduating, software patents might be essentially worthless.

I wouldn't go to law school.

To be honest, I'm in biglawl, IP lit, making market. I'd trade places with you in a heart beat and never go to school.

yea definitely don't go

trust me a "top 10" CS/engineering degree provides no additional benefit in IP unless it's MIT. you should be going to ur on campus recruiting/job fairs/use you career services. i went to a similarly situated school and everyone i know ended up with great jobs and 0 debt unlike me.


My friend graduated from Chicago Kent had an engineering degree and worked in nonmarket paying biglaw for 4 years. She just quit and went back to being an engineer because biglaw blows. Get an engineering job. She's in a worse position than she would have been had she just gotten a job without law school because she still has some debt left from law school and is low man on the totem pole at the new job.

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rondemarino
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby rondemarino » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:46 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:My friend graduated from Chicago Kent had an engineering degree and worked in nonmarket paying biglaw for 4 years. She just quit and went back to being an engineer because biglaw blows. Get an engineering job. She's in a worse position than she would have been had she just gotten a job without law school because she still has some debt left from law school and is low man on the totem pole at the new job.


Oh noes! A former engineering grad hated BigLaw! Run!

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fats provolone
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby fats provolone » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:50 pm

yea except several former engineers in biglaw IP have posted in this thread w/ pretty good reasons not to go, or at least try an alternate path

but fuck that, "oh noes!!1"

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:54 pm

ok maybe try this - why go into six figures of debt and give up 3 years of salary to make very similar money in future years.

edit - and work more hours in law. so don't be a financial idiot also applies

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rondemarino
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby rondemarino » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:05 pm

fats provolone wrote:yea except several former engineers in biglaw IP have posted in this thread w/ pretty good reasons not to go, or at least try an alternate path

but fuck that, "oh noes!!1"


Right. And there's really no reason to add some rando anecdote. Someone from Kent had a lousy experience as a patent attorney? Really? I can't believe it!!!!

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fats provolone
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby fats provolone » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:07 pm

rondemarino wrote:
fats provolone wrote:yea except several former engineers in biglaw IP have posted in this thread w/ pretty good reasons not to go, or at least try an alternate path

but fuck that, "oh noes!!1"


Right. And there's really no reason to add some rando anecdote. Someone from Kent had a lousy experience as a patent attorney? Really? I can't believe it!!!!

wut

why would you be more likely to have a bad experience from kent? shit i think you'd be counting your lucky stars that you got a biglaw job at all so the fact that they bailed is pretty telling.

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rondemarino
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby rondemarino » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:25 pm

fats provolone wrote:why would you be more likely to have a bad experience from kent? shit i think you'd be counting your lucky stars that you got a biglaw job at all


Huh? Doesn't the second sentence answer the question? If you're doing prosecution, it can matter a great deal where you work (if I had to work at Knobbe, I would have just quit the profession that day). I'm guessing Kent grads have to accept what they're given.

Again, I'm not really seeing the value of an anecdote about some random person that another random person on the internet knows.

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rondemarino
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby rondemarino » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:30 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:ok maybe try this - why go into six figures of debt and give up 3 years of salary to make very similar money in future years.

edit - and work more hours in law. so don't be a financial idiot also applies


I'm curious. What do you think the average engineer is making three years after graduation.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby ChemEng1642 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:19 pm

rondemarino wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:ok maybe try this - why go into six figures of debt and give up 3 years of salary to make very similar money in future years.

edit - and work more hours in law. so don't be a financial idiot also applies


I'm curious. What do you think the average engineer is making three years after graduation.


Definitely not the same as a lawyer (esp. with only a B.S)

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Desert Fox
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Re: Want to do IP Law, not sure where to go

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:20 pm

ChemEng1642 wrote:
rondemarino wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:ok maybe try this - why go into six figures of debt and give up 3 years of salary to make very similar money in future years.

edit - and work more hours in law. so don't be a financial idiot also applies


I'm curious. What do you think the average engineer is making three years after graduation.


Definitely not the same as a lawyer (esp. with only a B.S)


Compared to an average lawyer though?




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