Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

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santiagom2
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Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby santiagom2 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:28 am

I don't need any of the "law school is suicide" crap honestly, Ive seen it all. I want to be a lawyer and I gotta do the best with what I got, end of story, so help me out here please!

I have a bachelors degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. Most law school advice online seems to be tailored towards BigLaw. Personally, I want to be involved in a kind of law that allows me to utilize my science background and combine it with my love for writing and speaking. I have an honest passion for rhetoric, and I am seriously considering getting into patent law (Plan B, health care). I am currently on my year off, working as a paralegal, trying to get into primarily a school in my state of PA.

Okay, now here's the catch. I'm never going to make it into the T14. I can retake the LSAT a bajillion times, but my GPA is always going to hold me back. I was taking 21 credits a semester, taking stuff like Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology, and Organic Chemistry, and had to deal with divorce and custody battles in my family. The best I can do is get into a decent law school, stay local, try to play up my science background, and hope that specializing will help me stand out in the job market in 3 years. But that is okay with me, I want to be a lawyer. I don't mind just staying in Pennsylvania, and Im not striving to work in a general BigLaw firm. I don't mind gradually chipping away student debt if it means I get to have a good education and do something I love.


Realistically for me, my number one school is Temple. I would love to live and work in Philly. Im waiting to hear from them as well as Penn State, Rutgers, Villanova, Drexel, Syracuse, and Catholic U. Ive been accepted into Creighton and Duquesne so far, my back up schools. From what I understand, Creighton is a better school (but Nebraska suuuuuuucks!). Duquesne has jumped up in ranking and is at least in state, Pittsburgh is a good city.


SO I NEED INPUT HERE, is it going to help me out that I have my Biochem degree? Am I going to be playing by different rules since I am going to take a Patent bar most likely?? And if WORST CASE SCENARIO I need to choose between Creighton and Duquesne, which would be better and would they be even worth considering in my specific case??

Thanks guys!

BigZuck
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby BigZuck » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:38 am

In order to receive feedback in this forum, please provide all of the following:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT

We got a couple but we need all of it if you want help:

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antiworldly
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby antiworldly » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:57 pm

As a patent bar eligible student, you will be playing by slightly different rules but it's still the same game. Grades in law school will matter slightly less because for IP jobs you'll be competing against other patent bar eligible students, not the whole population. Having the degree won't help you outperform your numbers with getting into law school. If your goals are to stay in PA and can get into Temple for a reasonable price, it's an option. Something you can also look into is passing the patent registration examination and working in the field for a few years and then have your employer pay for law school.

A word of warning though: you're considering regional schools, and USNWR rankings fail hard at regional schools. If you don't want to end up in Nebraska, Creighton is the worst decision possible since that's where there connections are, even though they have a slightly higher numerical score. Stick to schools where you'd be ok working in the area for your career. USNWR rankings only really apply to schools with national reach, see http://abovethelaw.com/2015/03/who-should-and-should-not-pay-attention-to-the-u-s-news-law-school-rankings/.v

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Cocoblues
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby Cocoblues » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:00 pm

This one is a non-starter! I know you don't want to hear it, but as a fellow biochem, I'm advising you to rethink your school options.
Dude, don't do it. Unless you are from a family of lawyers and have solid job connections, you'll only be joining a pile of unemployed law grads from TTTs.
A biochemistry Bachelor no longer gives you a significant boost for hiring. BigLaw firms se to be looking for PhDs these days, and these are with T14 applicants.
Duquesne, Temple, Creighton, all those schools should not even be under consideration. If your GPA is so low that the T14 will never be attainable, don't go to law school.

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pancakes3
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:34 pm

santiagom2 wrote:I don't need any of the "law school is suicide" crap honestly, Ive seen it all. I want to be a lawyer and I gotta do the best with what I got, end of story, so help me out here please!

Personally, I want to be involved in a kind of law that allows me to utilize my science background and combine it with my love for writing and speaking. I have an honest passion for rhetoric, and I am seriously considering getting into patent law (Plan B, health care).


I think it's condescending to be giving this advice but:
1) Not everyone gets to be exactly they want to be.
2) It doesn't make a shred of difference if you're honestly passionate about something if you're not good at it.

iliketurtles123
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:45 pm

Cocoblues wrote:This one is a non-starter! I know you don't want to hear it, but as a fellow biochem, I'm advising you to rethink your school options.
Dude, don't do it. Unless you are from a family of lawyers and have solid job connections, you'll only be joining a pile of unemployed law grads from TTTs.
A biochemistry Bachelor no longer gives you a significant boost for hiring. BigLaw firms se to be looking for PhDs these days, and these are with T14 applicants.
Duquesne, Temple, Creighton, all those schools should not even be under consideration. If your GPA is so low that the T14 will never be attainable, don't go to law school.


This is correct

Biochem/Chem/Bio/etc. are all in the "awkward zone".
Although they count as a "hard science", you don't get much of a boost for patent litigation hiring with only a bachelors degree. If you are going to get hired in patent lit, either you were going to be hired at a biglaw firm in the first place (top school or top grades), or you have a masters/phD/work experience. Work experience means extensive experience, equivalent to a phD

As for patent pros., there is a boost if you have a phD/work experience (actually, not really a "boost" but more of a "requirement")

In any case, a bachelors in biochem is NOT IP secure. You will barely get a boost

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:54 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:
Cocoblues wrote:This one is a non-starter! I know you don't want to hear it, but as a fellow biochem, I'm advising you to rethink your school options.
Dude, don't do it. Unless you are from a family of lawyers and have solid job connections, you'll only be joining a pile of unemployed law grads from TTTs.
A biochemistry Bachelor no longer gives you a significant boost for hiring. BigLaw firms se to be looking for PhDs these days, and these are with T14 applicants.
Duquesne, Temple, Creighton, all those schools should not even be under consideration. If your GPA is so low that the T14 will never be attainable, don't go to law school.


This is correct

Biochem/Chem/Bio/etc. are all in the "awkward zone".
Although they count as a "hard science", you don't get much of a boost for patent litigation hiring with only a bachelors degree. If you are going to get hired in patent lit, either you were going to be hired at a biglaw firm in the first place (top school or top grades), or you have a masters/phD/work experience. Work experience means extensive experience, equivalent to a phD

As for patent pros., there is a boost if you have a phD/work experience (actually, not really a "boost" but more of a "requirement")

In any case, a bachelors in biochem is NOT IP secure. You will barely get a boost


Yep, this is right. You'd probably need to have a PhD to have any kind of boost with bio/chem/biochem. The only patent pros./IP litigators at my firm with a bio/chem/biochem background have at least master's degrees from top programs in bio/chem plus top law school JDs. Most of them are former computer engineers with CS/electrical engineering backgrounds.

Persia
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby Persia » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:00 pm

OP, I was a biochem/chem undergrad with a 3.8 undergrad GPA and actual work experience in the biochem world. I went to a T20 law school and only received one offer from a patent firm, at below market pay. You should also know that every patent firm I interviewed with requested my undergrad transcript. I would not advise going to any of those schools. A biochem degree is not going to help you that much.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:10 pm

OP, you might find this interesting: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=242723

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby zombie mcavoy » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:24 pm

We need the information Zuck asked for in order to give you truly helpful advice, but law school does not sound like a good idea here.

A school like Temple/its peers in Philly are fine if you have close to a full ride and have very modest, local goals. If your GPA is so bad that a T14 would never look at you even with a 170+ LSAT, you're probably not going to get enough money at these schools to make it worth it, and if you still haven't been accepted to most of the schools listed in mid-March, you must have a pretty bad LSAT, too. As others have said, your UG degree is probably not going to do you many favors, especially if you had an atrocious GPA.

At the very least, you're probably going to have to substantially increase your score before TLS would be able to bless one of your options.

Whatever you do, cross Creighton off your list. At the very least, go to school in the immediate region where you want to practice.

science burner
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby science burner » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:55 am

Persia wrote:I was a biochem/chem undergrad with a 3.8 undergrad GPA and actual work experience in the biochem world. I went to a T20 law school and only received one offer from a patent firm, at below market pay.


Off topic of the OP.

Just curious, what was your work experience in biochem? Do you have an advanced degree or publication(s)? If no, do you think that significantly affected your offers/opportunities negatively?

Thanks for your input.

OP this doesn't sound like what you want to hear, but I agree with the others. When it comes to the life sciences I wouldn't expect a positive outcome with anything less than a master's degree and realistically a PhD.

If you really want to see what the prospects for employment are (for someone with your stats) I'd check out this forum too http://www.intelproplaw.com/ip_forum/index.php/board,23.0.html?PHPSESSID=39b64d0d7da4f6d9ea378f6503e8e80b

santiagom2
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby santiagom2 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:47 pm

Hey thanks for the input so far guys, my GPA is a 3.0 and my LSAT is a 153. If it matters, Im also Puerto Rican lol. I actually didnt apply to the schools until end of February because I took a late LSAT. I applied to the following schools

Penn State, Penn State Dickinson, Temple, Villanova, Rutgers Camden, Drexel, Duquesne, Pitt, Syracuse, Catholic U, and Creighton

Im probably most interested in Temple, Pitt, and Penn State right now. My city of choice would be Philly. My goals are patent law, but I am seriously considering health care as well

Its been two weeks and Ive been accepted to Duquesne and Creighton so far. Creighton gave me 20,000 because Im Puerto Rican lol. Duquesne wont give me any money info until after the date of first deposit, which sucks!

adil91
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby adil91 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:59 pm

Retake

santiagom2
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby santiagom2 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:03 pm

And then what about my student loans? And the fact im already taking a year off right now. Idk if i have the luxury to take another year off in all honesty

adil91
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby adil91 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:09 pm

santiagom2 wrote:And then what about my student loans? And the fact im already taking a year off right now. Idk if i have the luxury to take another year off in all honesty


Dude you'll have a shit ton of loans from law school COA if you apply with those stats and you'll also have terrible job prospects. Take a year off, try to get a job at a clinic or doing pharm sales or something. Retake, try to get a 165+ , apply to t14s you might get in one or two considering your URM status. You'll probably get t20s with $$$$, maybe even look at schools that offer a combined JD/MA in biochem. I doubt you'll be able to get into Temple with those numbers but even if you do you'll probably be paying sticker and will be taking out atleast 200k more in loans.

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rpupkin
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby rpupkin » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:14 pm

santiagom2 wrote:And then what about my student loans? And the fact im already taking a year off right now. Idk if i have the luxury to take another year off in all honesty

Alright...do you know the anxiety you're feeling right now at the prospect of trying to pay off your undergrad loans—anxiety that is, apparently, so great that it's making you hesitate to take a single year off before law school? Imagine how anxious you'll feel with an additional $150K or so of debt. Because that's where your lofty goals are taking you.

Considering the options you have right now with your GPA and LSAT, you face the very real possibility of no legal job after law school. And if you do manage to secure a job, it will likely be low paying. You're about to take your current situation and make it much worse. Don't do it.

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pancakes3
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby pancakes3 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:18 pm

Is... "taking a year off" actually taking it off as in you don't have a job?

santiagom2
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby santiagom2 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:21 pm

I have a paralegal job right now in Scranton, PA. I get shit money right now, about 250 a week, and its arranged that Im giving this job to somebody else after the summer. My opportunities in this area are extremely limited. Its frickin NEPA lol

BigZuck
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:23 pm

Once again:
BigZuck wrote:In order to receive feedback in this forum, please provide all of the following:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT

We got a couple but we need all of it if you want help:

adil91
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby adil91 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:24 pm

santiagom2 wrote:I have a paralegal job right now in Scranton, PA. I get shit money right now, about 250 a week, and its arranged that Im giving this job to somebody else after the summer. My opportunities in this area are extremely limited. Its frickin NEPA lol

Move and try to find a job elsewhere

santiagom2
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby santiagom2 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:29 pm

To BigZuck, idk what else you want from me thats basically all the information i have! lol

And I cant move away, once again I dont have that luxury. I live in a low income single family household in NEPA, we can hardly pay the bills in our own household. I can hardly pay off the car I use to drive to Scranton to work my crappy low paying job right now. I dont have the ability to just pick up and go somewhere else, I cant even afford to buy an apartment and live on my own in my own neighborhood. My father could hardly even help scrape the finances for me to register for CAS and do all these applications. This is not something i can just do over again, im sorry if everyone else here has that luxury but i dont. This is a straight shot for me, sometimes in life you gotta deal with the best you got, work hard, and have some faith

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Ramius
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby Ramius » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:32 pm

santiagom2 wrote:To BigZuck, idk what else you want from me thats basically all the information i have! lol

And I cant move away, once again I dont have that luxury. I live in a low income single family household in NEPA, we can hardly pay the bills in our own household. I can hardly pay off the car I use to drive to Scranton to work my crappy low paying job right now. I dont have the ability to just pick up and go somewhere else, I cant even afford to buy an apartment and live on my own in my own neighborhood. My father could hardly even help scrape the finances for me to register for CAS and do all these applications. This is not something i can just do over again, im sorry if everyone else here has that luxury but i dont. This is a straight shot for me, sometimes in life you gotta deal with the best you got, work hard, and have some faith


And $250k in debt helps with this problem how?

adil91
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby adil91 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:34 pm

santiagom2 wrote:To BigZuck, idk what else you want from me thats basically all the information i have! lol

And I cant move away, once again I dont have that luxury. I live in a low income single family household in NEPA, we can hardly pay the bills in our own household. I can hardly pay off the car I use to drive to Scranton to work my crappy low paying job right now. I dont have the ability to just pick up and go somewhere else, I cant even afford to buy an apartment and live on my own in my own neighborhood. My father could hardly even help scrape the finances for me to register for CAS and do all these applications. This is not something i can just do over again, im sorry if everyone else here has that luxury but i dont. This is a straight shot for me, sometimes in life you gotta deal with the best you got, work hard, and have some faith


I honestly think trying to get a masters in Biochem would be a better option for you try that.

BigZuck
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:35 pm

I recommend tracking down a TLS poster named DaRascal and reading through not only his entire post history, but also the advice everyone has given him over the years and how people react to him.

If that doesn't help you figure out exactly what you need to do then there is nothing we can do to help you.

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Mullens
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Re: Biochem Student Interested in Patent Law, Need Honest Help!

Postby Mullens » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:37 pm

santiagom2 wrote:To BigZuck, idk what else you want from me thats basically all the information i have! lol

And I cant move away, once again I dont have that luxury. I live in a low income single family household in NEPA, we can hardly pay the bills in our own household. I can hardly pay off the car I use to drive to Scranton to work my crappy low paying job right now. I dont have the ability to just pick up and go somewhere else, I cant even afford to buy an apartment and live on my own in my own neighborhood. My father could hardly even help scrape the finances for me to register for CAS and do all these applications. This is not something i can just do over again, im sorry if everyone else here has that luxury but i dont. This is a straight shot for me, sometimes in life you gotta deal with the best you got, work hard, and have some faith


As unlikely as it sounds, your situation will likely get worse if you attend any of the schools you listed. Also, are you being paid under minimum wage right now? Find a full-time job that pays more than $250/week and retake the LSAT.




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