What would you do in my shoes?

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EnglandPrevails1

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What would you do in my shoes?

Postby EnglandPrevails1 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:11 am

Hi, I have a bit of an unusual path to applying to law school and would love some outside perspective on what to do.

Background: I always wanted to be a lawyer growing up, but was discouraged by parents who pushed me into medicine. I applied to medical school and did a combined MD/PhD program (PhD in Biochemistry, both degrees took 8 years!!) and after graduating I finished a year of residency, but I really disliked medicine and quit the residency. No malpractice or failed exams, just hated the job and couldn't imagine doing it for 30+ years. I took a little time off and decided to pursue my childhood dream of law school. I came to my realization a little late in the cycle, so I only took the Nov 17th LSAT after about 6 weeks of study with the free Khan Academy.

Details requested in the forum posting instructions:
I am open to pretty much any school. Ideally I'd get into a T13, but any T1-T2 with scholarship support would be great too.

I would be financing the whole COA from loans. I have only have about 10k saved up so that would be a drop in the bucket.

I have lived in the North East my whole life but have no significant ties and would be willing to work wherever.

I think I'd enjoy IP and have the background for it (B.S. Chemistry, Ph.D. Biochemistry, interned at a pharma company during college summers) but I'm open to anything. I started applications for about 30 schools, but I am waiting until December 8th when the LSAT score comes back to pull the trigger on applications.

LSAT: Pending. In Khan's practices I'd get 170, but on the day of the test I did poorly in the games section, so I'm expecting lower.
GPA: 3.82

Took the LSAT that one time on 11/17/18. Is it too late to retake if applying this cycle?

tl;dr version:
32 year old former doctor wants law, likely IP law, 3.82 GPA, LSAT pending.
Q1. Can I realistically do IP law if not attending a T13 school?
Q2. What LSAT would I realistically need? If I don't get that, is it too late to retake if I want to get in this cycle?

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:29 pm

EnglandPrevails1 wrote:Hi, I have a bit of an unusual path to applying to law school and would love some outside perspective on what to do.

Background: I always wanted to be a lawyer growing up, but was discouraged by parents who pushed me into medicine. I applied to medical school and did a combined MD/PhD program (PhD in Biochemistry, both degrees took 8 years!!) and after graduating I finished a year of residency, but I really disliked medicine and quit the residency. No malpractice or failed exams, just hated the job and couldn't imagine doing it for 30+ years. I took a little time off and decided to pursue my childhood dream of law school. I came to my realization a little late in the cycle, so I only took the Nov 17th LSAT after about 6 weeks of study with the free Khan Academy.

Details requested in the forum posting instructions:
I am open to pretty much any school. Ideally I'd get into a T13, but any T1-T2 with scholarship support would be great too.

I would be financing the whole COA from loans. I have only have about 10k saved up so that would be a drop in the bucket.

I have lived in the North East my whole life but have no significant ties and would be willing to work wherever.

I think I'd enjoy IP and have the background for it (B.S. Chemistry, Ph.D. Biochemistry, interned at a pharma company during college summers) but I'm open to anything. I started applications for about 30 schools, but I am waiting until December 8th when the LSAT score comes back to pull the trigger on applications.

LSAT: Pending. In Khan's practices I'd get 170, but on the day of the test I did poorly in the games section, so I'm expecting lower.
GPA: 3.82

Took the LSAT that one time on 11/17/18. Is it too late to retake if applying this cycle?

tl;dr version:
32 year old former doctor wants law, likely IP law, 3.82 GPA, LSAT pending.
Q1. Can I realistically do IP law if not attending a T13 school?
Q2. What LSAT would I realistically need? If I don't get that, is it too late to retake if I want to get in this cycle?

1.) Yes, but it's a matter of likely outcomes, where you'd be practicing and for what salary.
2.) With your GPA, probably about a 167 but the higher the LSAT, the higher in the T13 you can go and for less money.
3.) You can still take the January test to apply to most schools. It's late, but you don't want to take the LSAT once, score a 162 and go to a mediocre school for a lot of money when you know you can break a 170.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:06 pm

To answer your first question, I'd start studying for a retake. If the goal is to get a 170, you want to be consistently scoring well above a 170.

Something I've noticed in people in your scoring range is they sometimes struggle with distribution games, and get perfect games scores on the pre-80s tests that tended to have fewer such games. I haven't seen the November test yet, but LSAC has been consistently throwing in distribution games (September had 2). These games tend to be time-consuming unless you recognize a deduction that will allow you to solve it in 4-5 minutes (note the deduction is normally based on the number of variables that could be in each group). I'd firm up the grouping games before January.

One of the keys to breaking a 170 is a -0 logic game section. It's very difficult to get a 27/27 or even 26/27 on reading comp, or a 25/25 on reasoning. Games are the key.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby EnglandPrevails1 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:02 pm

Thank you very much @UBETutoring for the helpful advice regarding a retake.

I think my path to studying is easier since it's only the logic games that ever got me in trouble - I felt quite comfortable with the logic and reading sections, both in practice and on the actual test. I'll still do the other sections, but focus more on the games, particularly the distribution game you mentioned.

Should I apply anyway this cycle and then send the schools a polite message if/when I retake the test (assuming the score is indeed higher) or should I hold off until after the test results return?

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby Dads707 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:25 am

OP, I’m at a T20 school and we have someone who has followed a very similar path to yours. PM me if you’d like me to see if they’d be able to talk about their decision with you.

kellyjohnson

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:14 pm

OP, you can absolutely work in IP law given your background not having gone to a t13 school. Just as an example, here is a link to associates at one of the best/biggest patent firms. You can randomly click associates and see that there are a large number not from t13's. I actually randomly clicked like 5 associates and saw none from T13 firms.

http://www.oblon.com/our-people/?search ... school%5D=

The question for you is: why not get a job as a technical specialist now? Law firms hire Ph.D.'s in chemsistry, ESPECIALLY with pharmacy background, to do basically the same thing patent prosecution attorneys do, and will train you and possibly even pay for your law school. It will give you a chance to make sure you really like it, to make some money, and get connections. Some people even stay as a tech spec/patent agent their whole career and never go to law school...

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:59 pm

kellyjohnson wrote:Just as an example, here is a link to associates at one of the best/biggest patent firms.


I don't know the IP sector very well, but a firm with 22 associates doesn't strike me as being one of the biggest patent firms.

That said, you can easily find non-T13 students in plenty of biglaw positions. The question isn't whether it's possible, but whether it's likely. If a firm takes three quarters of its incoming associates from top schools and the other quarter from every school between 14 and 100, you're going to have to be a stand-out candidate to get the job offer from school number 78.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:17 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:Just as an example, here is a link to associates at one of the best/biggest patent firms.


I don't know the IP sector very well, but a firm with 22 associates doesn't strike me as being one of the biggest patent firms.

That said, you can easily find non-T13 students in plenty of biglaw positions. The question isn't whether it's possible, but whether it's likely. If a firm takes three quarters of its incoming associates from top schools and the other quarter from every school between 14 and 100, you're going to have to be a stand-out candidate to get the job offer from school number 78.

Agreed. Their "average" associate salary seems to be about $115k, which is way below a big law salary. It may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that you'll likely be expected to work 60 hours a week, and $115-post-tax is going to be about $70k.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby sev » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:25 pm

I'd study for 6 more weeks, get a 170-ish and go to Stanford. You have the resume for it.

Living in sunny CA as a well-paid biotech lawyer working on the latest and greatest advances in healthcare sounds nice.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:45 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:Just as an example, here is a link to associates at one of the best/biggest patent firms.


I don't know the IP sector very well, but a firm with 22 associates doesn't strike me as being one of the biggest patent firms.

That said, you can easily find non-T13 students in plenty of biglaw positions. The question isn't whether it's possible, but whether it's likely. If a firm takes three quarters of its incoming associates from top schools and the other quarter from every school between 14 and 100, you're going to have to be a stand-out candidate to get the job offer from school number 78.


I just pulled it from the rankings of IP firms, based on patents issued last year. You can find the list here:
https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/02/28/t ... /id=94097/

I have no idea if they pay scale or not-- but I highly doubt their associates make on average 115K, as thats probably what tech specs or early career patent agents make, and there is no doubt they would get a bump after getting a law degree. Some of their associates probably went to law school through a firm sponsored program that pays for their schooling, so this may skew starting salaries when trying to compare with traditional legal fields.

In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.

Here, Fish definitely pays scale. I clicked about 15 associates and saw a couple t-13's and a bunch of non-t13's, including texas tech, SMU, suffolk, etc.
https://www.fr.com/fish-team/?last_name ... l=&degree=

Seriously though, your best bet would be to work as a technical specialist/patent agent right now, and then go to law school later.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:08 pm

kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:24 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.


Yeah, so I just checked life science associates, and its 11 to 5 in terms of non-T13 to T13 grads.

I dont know why it is so hard for you to accept that, while T13 or bust might generally be great advice, it is not necessary for patent prosecution for someone who otherwise has a PhD in a medical field and medical research. Which is the OP's question. He has a as good a shot getting a job in patent prosecution by being a tech spec now and going to Suffolk University (a tier 10 school), as he doesby going to Michigan now. You do not know what you are talking about here, and you will admit it, but then you will keep talking.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:26 pm

kellyjohnson wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.


Yeah, so I just checked life science associates, and its 11 to 5 in terms of non-T13 to T13 grads.

I dont know why it is so hard for you to accept that, while T13 or bust might generally be great advice, it is not necessary for patent prosecution for someone who otherwise has a PhD in a medical field and medical research. You do not know what you are talking about here, and you will admit it, but then you will keep talking.


Yes, your extensive research of "checking a random firm's website" clearly gives you expertise in this area. I yield to your superior knowledge.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:29 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.


Yeah, so I just checked life science associates, and its 11 to 5 in terms of non-T13 to T13 grads.

I dont know why it is so hard for you to accept that, while T13 or bust might generally be great advice, it is not necessary for patent prosecution for someone who otherwise has a PhD in a medical field and medical research. You do not know what you are talking about here, and you will admit it, but then you will keep talking.


Yes, your extensive research of "checking a random firm's website" clearly gives you expertise in this area. I yield to your superior knowledge.


You dont know anyone who has ever worked as a patent prosecutor. Certainly not in the life sciences. Just admit it. I did that to show the OP (and you), not because that is what I am basing my personal knowledge on.

TLS, where someone who "doesn't know the IP sector very well," somehow knows what it takes to get a job in the IP sector.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby albanach » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:41 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.


Like it or not, Cavalier is spot on here. Go take a look at actual large, market paying, IP firms. Say Fish and Richardson with over 150 associates. Or for a firm that's a bit broader, Ropes & Gray. See where the associates and partners come from and you'll get an idea as to the increased likelihood of success that comes from a T-13 school.

Could OP get a job without a T-13 education? Of course. But if OP wants to practice at the top of the field being mentored by the very best attorneys in the nation, a T-13 education is much more likely to get them there.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:43 pm

albanach wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:In any case, you can carry out this exercise with any of the large IP firms and find that probably at least half of associates working patent prosecution did not go to a t13. Including many firms that pay scale.And this is especially true if you have a Ph.D. and medical research.


But, again, this is a numbers game. Say that one of these firms takes a summer class of 25. If only half of that class comes from the T13, that leaves 12-13 slots for the other 200 law schools in the country. See how the odds might be different?

And this is just assuming you're correct; I'm too lazy to see if your random spot-checking of associates comes anywhere near a 50/50 ratio.


Like it or not, Cavalier is spot on here. Go take a look at actual large, market paying, IP firms. Say Fish and Richardson with over 150 associates. Or for a firm that's a bit broader, Ropes & Gray. See where the associates and partners come from and you'll get an idea as to the increased likelihood of success that comes from a T-13 school.
.


You realize thats the exact firm that I linked to (Fish), right?

Here are the principals at Fish that work in Life Science patent prosecution. I count about 1/5th that have T-13 law degrees. There are as many from Suffolk as from T-13's. https://www.fr.com/fish-team/?last_name ... l=&degree=


And Ropes and Gray has a patent prosecution business? (No they dont)... Oopsies. Maybe you can edit this to link to a firm that, you know, actually does Patent Prosecution and save some face. Now, the firm that actually took Ropes & Gray's prosecution business when they dumped it is here: http://www.hglaw.com/attorneys/ You will find ONE person on that list that got a JD from a t-13 (maybe two, if I counted wrong).

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby albanach » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:07 pm

kellyjohnson wrote:You realize thats the exact firm that I linked to (Fish), right?

And Ropes and Gray has a patent prosecution business? (No they dont)... Oopsies. Maybe you can edit this to link to a firm that, you know, actually does Patent Prosecution and save some face.


You posted that after your first one was identified as non-market and tiny. Sorry I missed that.

I picked Ropes & Gray because OP expressed an interest in IP. That's a field much broader than patent prosecution and one in which Ropes is absolutely a market leader.

But, since we agree on Fish as being a leader in the field, let's look at their stats.

1 Yale
9 Stanford
19 Harvard
11 U Chicago
1 Columbia
10 NYU
3 Penn
8 Michigan
14 UVA
3 Duke
3 Northwestern
9 Berkeley
2 Cornell
4 UT Austin

That's almost 100 attorneys from the T-14. Given those schools make up a small share of the number of JDs issued each year, it's beyond clear that your chances of employment are boosted.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:14 pm

albanach wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:You realize thats the exact firm that I linked to (Fish), right?

And Ropes and Gray has a patent prosecution business? (No they dont)... Oopsies. Maybe you can edit this to link to a firm that, you know, actually does Patent Prosecution and save some face.


You posted that after your first one was identified as non-market and tiny. Sorry I missed that.

I picked Ropes & Gray because OP expressed an interest in IP. That's a field much broader than patent prosecution and one in which Ropes is absolutely a market leader.

But, since we agree on Fish as being a leader in the field, let's look at their stats.

1 Yale
9 Stanford
19 Harvard
11 U Chicago
1 Columbia
10 NYU
3 Penn
8 Michigan
14 UVA
3 Duke
3 Northwestern
9 Berkeley
2 Cornell
4 UT Austin

That's almost 100 attorneys from the T-14. Given those schools make up a small share of the number of JDs issued each year, it's beyond clear that your chances of employment are boosted.


Yes, if you ignore the fact that we were specifically speaking about Life Sciences patent prosecution for someone with a Ph.D. in life sciences (with a focus on medical research), then going to a t-14 gives you a huge boost.

However, for patent prosecutors who have a Ph.D. in a life science, it does not.

This is not hard.
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed as alt of kellyjohnson. Alt abuse is not permitted on TLS. Alt has been perma-banned.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby albanach » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:48 pm

jdajdajda wrote:
albanach wrote:
kellyjohnson wrote:You realize thats the exact firm that I linked to (Fish), right?

And Ropes and Gray has a patent prosecution business? (No they dont)... Oopsies. Maybe you can edit this to link to a firm that, you know, actually does Patent Prosecution and save some face.


You posted that after your first one was identified as non-market and tiny. Sorry I missed that.

I picked Ropes & Gray because OP expressed an interest in IP. That's a field much broader than patent prosecution and one in which Ropes is absolutely a market leader.

But, since we agree on Fish as being a leader in the field, let's look at their stats.

1 Yale
9 Stanford
19 Harvard
11 U Chicago
1 Columbia
10 NYU
3 Penn
8 Michigan
14 UVA
3 Duke
3 Northwestern
9 Berkeley
2 Cornell
4 UT Austin

That's almost 100 attorneys from the T-14. Given those schools make up a small share of the number of JDs issued each year, it's beyond clear that your chances of employment are boosted.


Yes, if you ignore the fact that we were specifically speaking about Life Sciences patent prosecution for someone with a Ph.D. in life sciences (with a focus on medical research), then going to a t-14 gives you a huge boost.

However, for patent prosecutors who have a Ph.D. in a life science, it does not.

This is not hard.


A brand new account suddenly joins the ruckus. Suspicious...

OK, so despite OP not specifying they want to do patent prosecution, you're going to determine that based on their UG degree (ignoring things like medical and pharmaceutical regulation despite OP having an MD, health care and other areas ancillary to IP that OP would be well qualified for) .

Even then we see that about 25% of employees at the firm you picked came from one of fourteen schools who produce around 10% of all law graduates. And this is in the most favorable market for a non-T14 graduate. If they wanted to work in NY at a big firm's IP practice, the importance of law school rank will be magnified.

From a non-T14, their class rank will be much, much more important. Yes, even in patent prosecution. And, as we frequently remind visitors to these forums, simply attending a lower ranked school than you could otherwise achieve does not mean you will graduate with a higher class rank. Indeed, lower ranked schools may sometimes be even more competitive because of the employment outlook.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:14 pm

A few thoughts:
  • OP, with his MD/PhD, would be extraordinarily well-qualified to do patent prosecution. I'd go so far as to say that OP could attend a T2 and snag a top-flight patent prosecution gig. HOWEVER...
  • There's more to IP than just patent prosecution. What if OP finds out they'd prefer to litigate? Or practice copyright/trademark law? Or do IP transactions? Law school prestige would be critically important for all of these areas of IP law. OP would likely not be able to land such a position from a T2, and it'd be very difficult even from a non-T20 T1 (with a few exceptions). Why should OP lock themselves prematurely into patent prosecution?
  • Even for patent prosecution, OP would certainly benefit from attending a more prestigious law school.
  • Moreover, with a 3.82 GPA and a 170+ LSAT, not to mention the incredible soft of having both an MD and a PhD... OP would be in line for a full-ride at the T13. If OP proves to have underperformed on the last LSAT, why shouldn't they retake so they can attend a T13 for low or no tuition? I know TLS always says "retake", but substantial underperformance on the LSAT relative to practice LSATs is pretty much the cardinal reason for a retake, as there is proof the taker is capable of achieving a higher score.

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby EnglandPrevails1 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:46 pm

Thank you so much for the information and different perspectives. I'm sorry if it turned into an overly spirited discussion, but I appreciate all the input. Truly and sincerely, thank you!

I am gearing up for a retake for the 1/26/19 test. For the few schools I'm interested in with deadlines that are rapidly approaching, I'm going to submit the application but put in a notation that I'm taking a repeat, and let them decide how they want to handle things. If it means I lose out on an application fee or two, so be it. The vast majority of schools are fine with a January test, even if not ideal, and I really feel I can get those extra points, so I'm going for it.

One great advantage to getting the first LSAT done, even if the score was disappointing, was that a few schools that I wanted to apply to sent me nice e-mails with fee waivers, enough that the second LSAT will be more than paid for. Not that a couple of hundred bucks means much in the grand scheme of things, but it was a nice boost.

Although I'm confident I can and will do better, as a scientist I also know to be objective, and if I get a similar score, I'll just apply broadly and let the chips fall where they might.

Thanks again!

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby Marmalade » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:59 am

OP, this might be a bit late in the game, but I’d actually suggest looking into getting a job at a law firm as a patent scientist/patent agent before going to law school. I have a PhD in bio and am a patent agent at BigLaw in the Bay Area. It’s a pretty unique experience, I basically do everything the associates do, but have a slightly reduced billable hour requirement (1800 vs 1950) and still make 4x what I did in grad school.

Your PhD is actually the best thing going for your job prospects post-law school if you decide you want to do prosecution, but IP is a different type of law than corporate or litigation and it’s not for everyone. I recognize that putting law school on hold for a few more years in order to work as a patent agent might not be attractive, but you should seriously consider it if you don’t like the schools you get accepted into this cycle. Partly to give yourself time to reapply with a better LSAT score, but also to get actual experience of what IP is actually like.

In terms of the school you do attend, law firms are very much still prestige driven and you need to attend the highest ranked one possible. The advice one of the partners recently gave me is that if I go to law school, I need to attend a school my firm recruits from. I could go to a lesser ranked school (and there are many options in the Bay Area) and they would still hire me after law school since I’m known to them, but lateraling to somewhere else would be much harder. Basically I would likely be tying myself to this BigLaw firm or maybe a few boutiques for my career due to my law school choice. Since you don’t already have a relationship with a firm, going to a lower ranked school still puts you at a disadvantage to be hired initially even with the PhD. Especially if you don’t summer with a good firm if they don’t recruit from said law school.

I’m definitely not saying T14 or bust for you since you have the PhD, but I’d try to stay at top 30 ish, and network a lot to get good summer offers if that’s where you end up.

Feel free to DM me if you want more info.

EnglandPrevails1

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby EnglandPrevails1 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:55 am

Thanks @Marmalade for your excellent response.

While I definitely want to get things moving, if my LSAT retake does not go well, I would definitely follow your advice. My plan for this summer, regardless of what happens, is to pass the "USPO bar" which would let me be a patent agent, and then I would look for a job, both to get experience and hopefully bank a little money before law school.

I appreciate your input and I'll update this thread based on what transpires.

QContinuum

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:03 pm

EnglandPrevails1 wrote:Thanks @Marmalade for your excellent response.

While I definitely want to get things moving, if my LSAT retake does not go well, I would definitely follow your advice. My plan for this summer, regardless of what happens, is to pass the "USPO bar" which would let me be a patent agent, and then I would look for a job, both to get experience and hopefully bank a little money before law school.

I appreciate your input and I'll update this thread based on what transpires.

While it'd certainly help, you don't have to have passed the patent bar prior to seeking work as a patent agent. BigLaw firms will commonly hire folks with a life sciences Ph.D. as a technical specialist or technology specialist, then pay for a patent bar review course and the patent bar fees. PLI (the leading patent bar prep course) runs almost $3k, and the patent bar fees will add another several hundreds, so you'd be looking at $3500-4000 of out-of-pocket expenses if you were to take the patent bar on your own. (There are cheaper courses than PLI, of course, but unless you have a prior background in patent prosecution, I'd recommend PLI.)

Of course, already being a licensed patent agent will help in your job search. But it's not a requirement. Especially with your M.D. on top of your Ph.D. - that's so rare in the legal field that I think firms would bend over backwards to add you to their ranks. At my former firm I think there was a single patent prosecutor with an M.D. and that person was treated like a rockstar.

HamlinMcgill

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Re: What would you do in my shoes?

Postby HamlinMcgill » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:28 pm

I do think OP's background would make it more justifiable to go to a lower ranked school if necessary than it is for most people. The supply and demand for IP lawyers with science backgrounds is different than it is for the general legal market. Firms have to be willing to hire someone from a non-T13 or someone with mediocre grades because there are just lots of IP job openings and not that many people with the right background. Obviously, it's still better to go to a higher ranked school, but IP-focused students at lower ranked schools do have a big edge over their classmates in landing biglaw jobs.

I do think it could make sense to get a job as a patent agent though. They do basically the same work as patent prosecution attorneys without a law degree. It could be a good way to be sure you want to go to law school, figure out whether you want to do patent prosecution or litigation or something else entirely, and give you time to retake the LSAT if you want.



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