Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

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NorCalLaw
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby NorCalLaw » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:34 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
NorCalLaw wrote:
siddhishah wrote:Thanks for your reply. Yeah I am making six figures in Arizona but this is not what I want to do for rest of my life. The Code I write can be pretty much outsourced to someone in India or China for 1/4th of my salary. I may not get anywhere in life being an engineer unless I am genius or start my own business.

As far as my writing skills go, I am taking legal writing course online right now and preparing myself about how to take law school essay exams. Deciding school has become really difficult for me. I have 1k deposit due on 1st June and I can't waste any more money on deposits.

In nutshell:
- I do want to start school this year - Options: GWU, Santa Clara Or ASU
- All three have part time program. Also being part time student, I won't be leaving my current job. My boss said, I can work remotely for my current job from wherever I decide to go.
- Hoping to get patent agent/tech advisor job either in DC or Bay after taking patent bar in July
- My worry is if I am not in top 20% of class, are my chances better to get good job as attorney if I am from Santa Clara or GWU?

Thanks again guys for your help,


You know, while your background makes you competitive for one of the few "growing" areas of law (patent), I think you'd be crazy to walk away from a $100k+ salary to enter the legal field. You say that your coding could be outsourced, but the fact of the matter is that programmers are actually in demand, while lawyers are NOT and are also being outsourced/replaced in many ways. The reality is that the US does not produce enough programmers to meet the demand of employers, but produces a large excess of attorneys. Given what I know about both of these fields today, I think you would be crazy to go to law school under any circumstances.

I have a lot of friends in programming, and while they are often overworked, they have incredible job security/competitiveness, ongoing earning potential that doesn't drop off after 5-7 years, and they can often work from home and/or manage their work in a meaningful fashion. Most active, private-practice attorneys are more or less "on-call" in some manner for the majority of their career.


Patent law is not "growing." HTH


OK well as of last year there are more patents being filed and (generally) more litigation taking place, you can characterize that as you choose. Your condescension is noted and ignored, HTH.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... YCG0ceqbmg

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rpupkin
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:56 pm

NorCalLaw wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
NorCalLaw wrote:
You know, while your background makes you competitive for one of the few "growing" areas of law (patent), I think you'd be crazy to walk away from a $100k+ salary to enter the legal field. You say that your coding could be outsourced, but the fact of the matter is that programmers are actually in demand, while lawyers are NOT and are also being outsourced/replaced in many ways. The reality is that the US does not produce enough programmers to meet the demand of employers, but produces a large excess of attorneys. Given what I know about both of these fields today, I think you would be crazy to go to law school under any circumstances.

I have a lot of friends in programming, and while they are often overworked, they have incredible job security/competitiveness, ongoing earning potential that doesn't drop off after 5-7 years, and they can often work from home and/or manage their work in a meaningful fashion. Most active, private-practice attorneys are more or less "on-call" in some manner for the majority of their career.


Patent law is not "growing." HTH

OK well as of last year there are more patents being filed and (generally) more litigation taking place, you can characterize that as you choose. Your condescension is noted and ignored, HTH.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... YCG0ceqbmg


That link is from a 2014 publication, but it's relying on 2013 data. Since then, several developments--mostly doctrinal--have reduced patent litigation. Here's an article from late last year, noting that patent cases were down 40% in 2014:

http://www.biotech-now.org/public-polic ... 40-in-2014

For what it's worth, the conventional wisdom among most litigators is that the current trends will continue. It really isn't accurate to identify patent law as a "growing area of law."

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:42 am

NorCalLaw wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
NorCalLaw wrote:
siddhishah wrote:Thanks for your reply. Yeah I am making six figures in Arizona but this is not what I want to do for rest of my life. The Code I write can be pretty much outsourced to someone in India or China for 1/4th of my salary. I may not get anywhere in life being an engineer unless I am genius or start my own business.

As far as my writing skills go, I am taking legal writing course online right now and preparing myself about how to take law school essay exams. Deciding school has become really difficult for me. I have 1k deposit due on 1st June and I can't waste any more money on deposits.

In nutshell:
- I do want to start school this year - Options: GWU, Santa Clara Or ASU
- All three have part time program. Also being part time student, I won't be leaving my current job. My boss said, I can work remotely for my current job from wherever I decide to go.
- Hoping to get patent agent/tech advisor job either in DC or Bay after taking patent bar in July
- My worry is if I am not in top 20% of class, are my chances better to get good job as attorney if I am from Santa Clara or GWU?

Thanks again guys for your help,


You know, while your background makes you competitive for one of the few "growing" areas of law (patent), I think you'd be crazy to walk away from a $100k+ salary to enter the legal field. You say that your coding could be outsourced, but the fact of the matter is that programmers are actually in demand, while lawyers are NOT and are also being outsourced/replaced in many ways. The reality is that the US does not produce enough programmers to meet the demand of employers, but produces a large excess of attorneys. Given what I know about both of these fields today, I think you would be crazy to go to law school under any circumstances.

I have a lot of friends in programming, and while they are often overworked, they have incredible job security/competitiveness, ongoing earning potential that doesn't drop off after 5-7 years, and they can often work from home and/or manage their work in a meaningful fashion. Most active, private-practice attorneys are more or less "on-call" in some manner for the majority of their career.


Patent law is not "growing." HTH


OK well as of last year there are more patents being filed and (generally) more litigation taking place, you can characterize that as you choose. Your condescension is noted and ignored, HTH.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... YCG0ceqbmg


As the other poster noted, that link is based on old data. The only kind of patent work that *may* be growing is ANDA work. Everything else is either flat or way down. Overall, there's been a big decrease in litigation in particular because of Alice. Unless you have a PhD in biochem/chemistry etc., I would think very carefully before going into patent law.

collegebum1989
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:36 am

Post-grant work is also expanding, but that may also be due to creation of new IPR practices after AIA. Patent litigation is definitely on the decline, prosecution remains steady and constant (but with decreasing budgets).

Historically, biglaw firms never practiced patent law because there wasn't a steady supply of law students with the technical credentials at top schools. This changed in the 90's with rise in Internet technology and corresponding increase in patent litigation. However, as others have mentioned, new case law and statutory regulations have reduced the incentive for clients to litigate patents. As such, expect patent law practices to decrease at biglaw firms since most biglaw firms only have litigation practices.

With the reduction in patent litigation, there has been significant budget decreases in patent prosecution. Ultimately, biglaw firms are too big and too expensive to produce patent applications due to their overhead costs. As such, patent prosecution primarily remains to be carried out by smaller firms, or large IP boutiques that have Patent Agents with lower billing rates to meet budgets.

If one is interested in patent law, then the only advantage the field still has compared to other fields of law is in patent prosecution. However, as noted above, most patent prosecution is done by smaller firms and not biglaw firms, and requires a particular technical background. Therefore, "biglaw patent law" is bit of a pipe dream given the nature of the industry for the foreseeable future.


To summarize, without a Patent Bar eligible background, or even a marketable one (EE/CS) at the right level (MS/PhD for biochem), Santa Clara (or any TTT law school) is not even worth consideration for IP Law, because regardless of their IP program, firms will only recruit students for their technical background, not their law school credentials.

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orangered
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby orangered » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:54 am

Adding to this, as someone who has helped hire prosecutors at a large firm in the Bay Area, a candidate's technical expertise is far more important than the law school they graduated from. There are plenty of successful prosecutors from what TLS considers "bad" law schools. Unlike many in this thread, I don't think SCU is a horrible school for a future prosecutor. However, you should aim to graduate with as little debt as possible. Ideally, if you retake and gets a 170+, SCU will give you an "IP Fellow" full scholarship. Otherwise, working and going to school part-time is not a bad option. Prosecutors value industry experience, so the time working won't be a waste.
Last edited by orangered on Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:14 pm

Yes, The reason i am not admitted to any other good schools is that I only applied to part time programs. I am planning to work as patent agent or tech specialist or engineer while I go to law school. Software world is complicated - unless you are in bay area, it could be very hard to reach where you want in the industry. It took me 6 years to reach 6 figures in Arizona. I thought doing masters may help, but it didn't do much for me. Agree, that you may make decent low 6 figures for rest of your life, you won't really get to any higher positions unless you have MBA from good school or Law. If you just want to be engineer for rest of your life, you constantly have to study, keep yourself upto date with latest technology and coding languages. Even languages like ROR is new for me even though i graduated just few years ago. I am thinking when I am 40+, how will I even keep up with languages/platforms used during that time if I am looking for new job. Getting well paid to learn the technology that will come out in future sounded good alternative to me. Its just not about patent, there are lot of patent attorneys who work at president/director level, are involved in business strategies and management. Lot of universities have JD/MBA option which I may consider after law school.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:48 pm

not worth it.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:52 pm

Haha You are really scaring me. I am about to put out my house for rent and getting ready to move to DC. Why is it not worth it?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:25 pm

siddhishah wrote:Haha You are really scaring me. I am about to put out my house for rent and getting ready to move to DC. Why is it not worth it?


DC? Which school are you going to attend in DC?

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:30 pm

George Washington

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rpupkin
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:47 pm

siddhishah wrote:Haha You are really scaring me. I am about to put out my house for rent and getting ready to move to DC. Why is it not worth it?

There are several posts in this thread that explain why your choice is a mistake. You soldier on with your plan. But then, when a single poster writes the phrase "not worth it," you become "really scared." I thought you were a real person at first, but now I am beginning to suspect a troll.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:58 pm

of course I am real person. initially the posts were about GW or Santa Clara being bad choices. Now last few posts suggest my decision of going law school itself is a mistake. when I took lsat, I went back and forth between phd, mba and law options. Law seemed to be best choice that time and still I am sticking to it but as day of moving out comes closer, I am scared. I worked hard to build this life without any help and don't have any back up if I screw it up but have to take my chances and learn from mistake if it turns out to be one. :)

konoha
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby konoha » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:34 pm

Examiner here...

Before every interview, I check the attorney's linkedin profile. I have yet hosted an interview with an attorney who graduated from a top school. Most, if not all, have graduated from 3rd tier. I then check lawfirmstats and most of those attorneys are earning 160+. Bay area, DC, boston, atlanta, texas, and nyc are where most of them are located.

collegebum1989
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby collegebum1989 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:06 am

OP - Tech Spec/Agent and PT GWU student here. PM me for more specific details.

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orangered
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby orangered » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:55 am

siddhishah wrote:of course I am real person. initially the posts were about GW or Santa Clara being bad choices. Now last few posts suggest my decision of going law school itself is a mistake. when I took lsat, I went back and forth between phd, mba and law options. Law seemed to be best choice that time and still I am sticking to it but as day of moving out comes closer, I am scared. I worked hard to build this life without any help and don't have any back up if I screw it up but have to take my chances and learn from mistake if it turns out to be one. :)


Look, I don't think law school itself is necessarily a mistake, but going now probably is. Think about it this way: if your boss paid you a $130k bonus on the condition that you worked an extra year, would you? Because that's how much you stand to save attending the same schools with a better LSAT score. EDIT: more like a $180k bonus when you consider tax.

This is probably biased of me, but in my experience someone who can get a 3.9 at any decent engineering school should be able to do well on the LSAT with practice. You mentioned that English is your second language. That's understandable, but if that's why your score is bad, you have to ask yourself whether law is the right career. I work in prosecution - all we do is read and write, and one of the first things we look at when reviewing a candidate is their writing sample. If your reading comprehension and writing quality are bad, you're going to have problems in this career long after law school.

I get that you feel limited in your engineering career. Similar feelings are what got me into patent law. But it's important that you find a career that suits you. If you can do better on the LSAT, do so and attend SCU or GW (or better) next year with a full scholarship. If you can't, then you have to ask yourself if there are better options (e.g., an MBA).

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:02 am

Hey Guys, I do have a random question. Has any of you given timed written test while interviewing for tech spec or patent agent positions at law firm? I have interview on Monday and all they told me is that I will have to write essay type answers and draw sketches if required in one hour but they didn't tell me the subject or technology the questions will focus on. I am kind of freaking out as I haven't given a writing technical document test before. How should I prepare for it?

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orangered
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby orangered » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:07 pm

siddhishah wrote:Hey Guys, I do have a random question. Has any of you given timed written test while interviewing for tech spec or patent agent positions at law firm? I have interview on Monday and all they told me is that I will have to write essay type answers and draw sketches if required in one hour but they didn't tell me the subject or technology the questions will focus on. I am kind of freaking out as I haven't given a writing technical document test before. How should I prepare for it?


Practice explaining technical subject matter in plain English. For example, I have asked interviewees to explain to me what a hash table is in plain English, and to draw a diagram of hash table on a whiteboard.

Overall, I would not spend much time reviewing anything technical -- they probably won't ask you anything you don't already know. Rather, be comfortable with your communication skills.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:27 pm

Thank you. It is written test - I will have one hour to write answers to those questions/draw sketches. Maybe I should review how to draft technology patents? Or since I am not in law school yet or have passed patent bar, they wouldn't expect me to explain technical detail similar to drafting patents? Anyway, I just hope none of the subjects are purely electrical. Its been really long time since I drawn a circuit diagram.

collegebum1989
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby collegebum1989 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:36 am

You should've taken this exam already but here's some feedback - drafting styles vary extremely between individual attorneys within the same firm and especially between different firms. As such, there is no "correct" drafting technique as long as you clearly describe the technology.

Because the clarity of technical descriptions are often the skills needed to have a productive dialogue with inventors, in-house counsel, and examiners, this is likely how you will be evaluated on in the exam.

The biggest difference between being an engineer and being a patent prosecutor is distinguishing between details that are relevant and details that are extraneous and may cause confusion. Just because you have the most technically adept patent specification may not necessarily mean it's the most effective.

Finally - patent bar and law school also do not teach you how to draft and prosecute patents. They provide you with some introductory skills, but the real skills come through practice.

siddhishah
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby siddhishah » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Guys can someone help me pick right firm for student associate position today? if you can give me ur number or gmail ID, that will be great.

Jchance
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby Jchance » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:08 pm

double post
Last edited by Jchance on Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jchance
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Re: Is Santa Clara Worth it for IP Law?

Postby Jchance » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:56 pm

Jchance wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
NorCalLaw wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Patent law is not "growing." HTH

OK well as of last year there are more patents being filed and (generally) more litigation taking place, you can characterize that as you choose. Your condescension is noted and ignored, HTH.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... YCG0ceqbmg


That link is from a 2014 publication, but it's relying on 2013 data. Since then, several developments--mostly doctrinal--have reduced patent litigation. Here's an article from late last year, noting that patent cases were down 40% in 2014:

http://www.biotech-now.org/public-polic ... 40-in-2014

For what it's worth, the conventional wisdom among most litigators is that the current trends will continue. It really isn't accurate to identify patent law as a "growing area of law."


Actually, the trend is more like patent litigation is increasing again in 2015.

See http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=120272838 ... 0721180143.

But it's true that patent litigation hiring has decreased drastically.




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