Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

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johndoethethird
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Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby johndoethethird » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:25 pm

I'm currently in undergraduate and am in the second half of my sophomore year as a Political Science major. I have a 3.8 GPA (although everything's really being held down by one C from my careless first semester). I came into college knowing I wanted to be a lawyer, but I now have decided (after several months of real research; this is not a spur-of-the-moment decision) that I want to become a patent lawyer.

Of course, patent law requires a science background. Science and math is no particular difficulty for me. Most patent lawyers get an engineering degree, but I find chemistry much more attractive. I've studied chemistry on my own time and have done very well at it in high school. You can say that I have somewhat of a "passion" for chemistry, believe it or not. I'm fairly certain I will be able to get a GPA above 3.5 in chemistry if I do the courses required for the major. I believe there is a market for chemical patent attorneys, probably in the pharmaceutical industry--is there not?

Here's the dilemma: I'm in too deep in my political science major to simply switch to a chemistry major.

Here's my plan (which I want you to especially critique): Then I realized that I only have 6 more courses left for my political science major (after this semester). It's a ridiculously fast major. That is, I can finish the political science courses in the first half of my junior year. So the plan I have thought of is this: On the second half of my junior year, I'll pick up the B.A. Chemistry major. It will overlap with all of the liberal-artsy-G.E. sort of courses that I have taken, so all I'd have to do would be the chemistry major courses. These total to 54 credit hours; so at a rate of 18 credit hours per semester (very difficult for science work, I know; may split some up into summer school), it will take 3 semesters. Assuming that is possible, I will be able to finish my double major in Political Science and Chemistry in 4 years!

Issues this plan raises:
> What kind of GPA will I end up with, given the hard science courses I will take? GPA is a high factor for law school admissions. GPA-wise, I'd be better off with a straight Political Science degree, but then I won't be able to practice patent law.
> Am I underestimating the work involved in a chemistry degree?

Things to consider:
> I go to a state school. Tuition is relatively cheap.
> I have a lot of time on my hands to study. I don't need to continue my job and definitely will not if I do this plan (parents pay tuition, room and board, textbooks anyway).
> Is a chemistry background considered mediocre compared to an engineering background when it comes to patent/IP law? Or do they, as I suspect, have their own places in the industry, with engineering holding a larger market?

I want your opinions. Don't be kind. Don't hold back. I want your ungarnished advice. Thanks in advance if you've read through all this.

AC Vegas
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby AC Vegas » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:43 pm

I'd say its worth it if patent attorney in the chemical arts is a job that you actually, truly want to do. It really shouldn't be about if you would be able to get a job (which would be hard with only a BS) because you have to like the job or it will never work. You say chemistry is a "passion" but are you willing to devote your whole career to it? If not, I'd say just stick with the poli sci major and keep your gpa up because the lower grades possible from the science classes could stall you chance at being any kind of attorney.

johndoethethird
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby johndoethethird » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:51 pm

AC Vegas wrote:I'd say its worth it if patent attorney in the chemical arts is a job that you actually, truly want to do. It really shouldn't be about if you would be able to get a job (which would be hard with only a BS) because you have to like the job or it will never work. You say chemistry is a "passion" but are you willing to devote your whole career to it? If not, I'd say just stick with the poli sci major and keep your gpa up because the lower grades possible from the science classes could stall you chance at being any kind of attorney.


So I guess it will work if I do get good grades in chemistry...and nothing will work at all if I get poor grades in chemistry (bringing my overall GPA down). Everything comes down to those science classes, then.

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby deadpoetnsp » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:58 pm

For pharmaceutical industry, you will need a master's at the minimum, and PhD is the norm before a JD. Even for chemical fields, you will be competing with people who have advanced degrees in chemistry/chemical engineering

hurldes
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby hurldes » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:02 am

I think finishing up political science would be a waste if you do another major in chemistry. Law school admissions don't give extra weight to double majors (from what i've heard). The only thing it could be practically good for is to pad your gpa a little before you take the hard science courses.

But, if you do double, spread out your poli-sci courses throughout your chemistry semesters. Even with a passion for chemistry, 18 hours of straight chemistry will be hard on anyone. It would be nice to have a poli-sci course to break up the technical stuff.

Also, talk to as many patent attorneys as you can. Ask them what they majored in, if they know anyone at their firm who has a BS in chemistry, and how necessary an MS or PhD in chemistry is for patent law. From the research I've done, patent law firms seem to value electrical engineers more than others (partly why I'm majoring in it). You probably aren't interested in EE, but just do some research and make sure chemistry will fit with your patent law plans. Who knows, maybe law firms like chemE more than straight chemistry...

don't be afraid to take a 5th year to spread everything out and make sure your gpa is above a 3.5.

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AreJay711
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:03 am

The thing about getting a real job in chemistry is that you usually have to take classes above and beyond the minimum classes. The minimum classes qualify you for a lab assistant or high school teacher rather than as a researcher or scientist. I'm not sure if you need the extra classes for patent law or if the general degree will be ok but make sure the Chem degree you get will be able to get you where you want to go. I'm guessing at some schools all chem degrees are ACS certified but I know at mine this is not the case so be sure to check.

ptblazer
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby ptblazer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:18 am

I'm going to do my best to answer some of your questions. First of all, I have a B.S. in Chemistry and have decided to go to law school as well. Although patent law is maybe second on my desired law fields. Also, I too toyed around with the idea of double majoring. Hopefully I can provide some useful insight.

I would recommend looking at what it would take to get a B.S. Maybe this holds less weight since you are going to continue on to law school, but a B.A. in a science occupation is far less desired then a B.S. That being said, I know how hard it will be to try and fit that in. In fact I seriously doubt you will be able to do before your normal graduation year. Unlike most college degrees chemistry requires a VERY RIGID course sequence. There are a number of classes (gen chem, organic chem, physical chem, etc) that must be taken in sequence and are often a year long. So lets assume you stick with the B.A. If you are comfortable talking the math and sciences, it can only help from a "knowledge from degree" standpoint. From a GPA standpoint. I think you have to assume it is going to decrease some. While I don't want to generate a discussion about whether poli sci or chemistry is more difficult, although I have my opinons on it :), you will definitly have to take a high number of credits in a term and thus would have less time to study and finish course work. Now you have to ask yourself what a target law school is for you.... If your looking at T14 law school, the GPA ding will hurt. If your perfectly okay with with somewhere in the T40 (which is absolutely fine), a 3.5 isn't going to make a huge difference.

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:26 am

My two cents.....if you just want to be a lawyer, stick with poli sci and take courses and possibly double major in something else that is easy, you are comfortable with, and can get good grades in. Use this time to develop softs, such as working, volunteering, obtaining a leadership position, or writing a thesis. You will set yourself up with a very strong resume by doing this.

However, if your heart is set on IP, you could take chem and double major. BUT, you should make sure you won't lower your GPA by doing this! Plus, you'll prob need an advanced degree like many have said here to do IP. I don't know if IP requires this, but I'll take their word on it. You could into the requirements for IP, too.

Anyway, short path to being lawyer= no double major. HTH.

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northwood
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby northwood » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:37 am

if you are dead set on being an attorney, pick whatever major you like. you are a sophomore, so you may end up changing your mind, which is perfectly fine and normal. take classes that interest you, and pick a major that you are interested in. If you dont end up going to law school, make sure you are able to do soemthing ( either get a job in a field you like, or continue with your studies).

If you really like sciences- stick with them.( who knows, maybe you will go to med school??). If you really like poli sci- roll with that. The only major I would tell you to stay away from is prelaw. You will learn all that you need to learn ( textbook wise) about law in law school. If law school doesnt work out, your pre law major wont be much to fall back on.

just make sure you keep your grades up as best as you can, stay out of trouble, and enjoy undergrad. it will be over sooner than you think

ptblazer
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby ptblazer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:38 am

Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:45 am

ptblazer wrote:Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).


Why not the life sciences?

rundoxierun
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:52 am

I think you might be severely underestimating the amount of outside of class work it would take to maintain a high gpa with that course load. No social life, no activities. Just a couple of upper level science courses with labs makes all these people complaining about how much work law school is look absolutely ridiculous. Five/Six courses (with 3-4 of them potentially having labs) would take up every minute of every day. Im a fairly smart person, very good at science compared to the average person, and last semester I decided it would be ok to slack off a bit. I had an upper-level bio course w/ lab that easily took upwards of 10-12 hours of outside classwork on a standard non-test week with it taking about 20 hrs/wk when tests/scientific papers were coming up (3 tests/3 scientific papers plus periodic lab reports) and god knows how many for finals. All this for one course, and this was with me slacking relative to usual.

Some upper-level science labs often end up taking much more time than the actual lecture. If you happen to have more than two test dates fall in the same 2-3 day period you can give up on sleep for a few weeks. Plus, your course timing, pre-reqs, etc. will have to line up perfectly for this to be near feasible. Unless your school has dozens of sections of everything and about a dozen different classes at every pre-req level I dont see how this will be possible in 3 semesters.

Basically, if you could survive that schedule for 3 consecutive semesters with a top law school level gpa, not end your life, graduate in 4 years and still apply to law schools you are my hero (or your school has an absolute joke of a science program).

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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:55 am

DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).


Why not the life sciences?


Useless for patent law w/o a PhD

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:58 am

tkgrrett wrote:I think you might be severely underestimating the amount of outside of class work it would take to maintain a high gpa with that course load. No social life, no activities. Just a couple of upper level science courses with labs makes all these people complaining about how much work law school is look absolutely ridiculous. Five/Six courses (with 3-4 of them potentially having labs) would take up every minute of every day. Im a fairly smart person, very good at science compared to the average person, and last semester I decided it would be ok to slack off a bit. I had an upper-level bio course w/ lab that easily took upwards of 10-12 hours of outside classwork on a standard non-test week with it taking about 20 hrs/wk when tests/scientific papers were coming up (3 tests/3 scientific papers plus periodic lab reports) and god knows how many for finals. All this for one course, and this was with me slacking relative to usual.

Some upper-level science labs often end up taking much more time than the actual lecture. If you happen to have more than two test dates fall in the same 2-3 day period you can give up on sleep for a few weeks. Plus, your course timing, pre-reqs, etc. will have to line up perfectly for this to be near feasible. Unless your school has dozens of sections of everything and about a dozen different classes at every pre-req level I dont see how this will be possible in 3 semesters.

Basically, if you could survive that schedule for 3 consecutive semesters with a top law school level gpa, not end your life, graduate in 4 years and still apply to law schools you are my hero (or your school has an absolute joke of a science program).


This is all true as far as time commitment. However, as a person who has a bachelors and masters in a biology/physical geography combo, I believe chem takes WAY more time than bio. But, I think it really comes down to what comes to you naturally. Either way OP, tkgrrett is right, these degrees are time consuming and often have to be taken in sequence.

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:59 am

tkgrrett wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).


Why not the life sciences?


Useless for patent law w/o a PhD


Really? I thought Bio was eligible, or that you have to have a certain amount of hours in bio/chem/other sci classes.

ptblazer
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby ptblazer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:02 am

DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).


Why not the life sciences?


Are you asking because you feel it doesnt make a difference or are you just curious? It is my opinion that all life sciences lack the math and physics that patent law offices look for. Which is why they target engineers, which is very heavy in math and physics.

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:06 am

ptblazer wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:Sorry I had more to add. I can't say for certain if you are underestimating a chem degree, but it is definitly time intensive. Labs especially. Labs are often one credit (semester schedule), but end up talking much more time outside of the lab each week than you anticipate. I'm not familiar with patent law as an industry (or at least what they require from their employees), but as some others have indicated that a masters or PhD is needed, I am a bit skeptical. I'm sure there are patent law offices where lawyers with any sort of formal education in the sciences is highly sought after. I know of one in my hometown that hires engineering as well as chemistry students to work there after graduation. One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps. If you have more questions about chemistry in particular I'd be happy to help. I had a 3.5 degree GPA (3.7 overall) and have a good handle on what students feel/expect/experience during their first couple years in the major (I tutored and taught).


Why not the life sciences?


Are you asking because you feel it doesnt make a difference or are you just curious? It is my opinion that all life sciences lack the math and physics that patent law offices look for. Which is why they target engineers, which is very heavy in math and physics.


Curious. I am interested in IP and I have majors in bio and physical geography. I took a lot of science and math, but virtually no chem (1 or 2 classes) and only 1 physics class for geomorphology. I was under the assumption that I had taken enough "hard science," but I am not exactly sure what IP requires.
Last edited by DeeCee on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

ptblazer
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby ptblazer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:06 am

tkgrrett wrote:

Basically, if you could survive that schedule for 3 consecutive semesters with a top law school level gpa, not end your life, graduate in 4 years and still apply to law schools you are my hero (or your school has an absolute joke of a science program).


Haha

+1

ptblazer
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby ptblazer » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:11 am

DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote: One last thing. If you consider other science degrees instead of chemistry, do not pick biology or any other life science. Stick to physical sciences, seriously. Hope this helps.


Why not the life sciences?


Are you asking because you feel it doesnt make a difference or are you just curious? It is my opinion that all life sciences lack the math and physics that patent law offices look for. Which is why they target engineers, which is very heavy in math and physics.


Curious. I am interested in IP and I have majors in bio and physical geography. I took a lot of science and math, but virtually no chem and only 1 physics class for geomorphology. I was under the assumption that I had taken enough "hard science," but I am not exactly sure what IP requires.


I don't think not having any chemistry is an issue, unless your employer works heavily in chemical situations. I was speaking more about the requirement for math and physics, which physical sciences contain, but life sciences often don't. But if you have those skills already, i don't see it mattering.

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:12 am

ptblazer wrote:
I don't think not having any chemistry is an issue, unless your employer works heavily in chemical situations. I was speaking more about the requirement for math and physics, which physical sciences contain, but life sciences often don't. But if you have those skills already, i don't see it mattering.


Gotcha. Sorry to derail.

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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:13 am

DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
Why not the life sciences?


Are you asking because you feel it doesnt make a difference or are you just curious? It is my opinion that all life sciences lack the math and physics that patent law offices look for. Which is why they target engineers, which is very heavy in math and physics.


Curious. I am interested in IP and I have majors in bio and physical geography. I took a lot of science and math, but virtually no chem (1 or 2 classes) and only 1 physics class for geomorphology. I was under the assumption that I had taken enough "hard science," but I am not exactly sure what IP requires.


Most IP law hiring goes to engineering people and chem people(usually with graduate degrees). There are, apparently, a few firms that specialize in biological sciences but not a lot compared to the entire IP market. You can sit for the patent bar w/ bio but not sure how easy it would be to get a job.

My gf's dad works in medical device design/VC/incubation and he works almost exclusively with engineers and surgeons.

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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby johndoethethird » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:16 am

AreJay711 wrote:The thing about getting a real job in chemistry is that you usually have to take classes above and beyond the minimum classes. The minimum classes qualify you for a lab assistant or high school teacher rather than as a researcher or scientist. I'm not sure if you need the extra classes for patent law or if the general degree will be ok but make sure the Chem degree you get will be able to get you where you want to go. I'm guessing at some schools all chem degrees are ACS certified but I know at mine this is not the case so be sure to check.


What if I do take the extra classes--and am not afraid to take a 5th (or--eek--6th) year?

How realistic is it to get a >3.5 GPA with hard chemistry courses (assuming you have an aptitude for chemistry)? As another poster said, my science grades would be fluffed up by my higher poli sci grades. But still...

I'm going to discretely crash some chemistry and calculus lectures during this semester so that I have a real understanding of the difficulty of this major, so that I don't have go off hearsay so much.

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DeeCee
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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:18 am

tkgrrett wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
ptblazer wrote:
DCLaw11 wrote:
Why not the life sciences?


Are you asking because you feel it doesnt make a difference or are you just curious? It is my opinion that all life sciences lack the math and physics that patent law offices look for. Which is why they target engineers, which is very heavy in math and physics.


Curious. I am interested in IP and I have majors in bio and physical geography. I took a lot of science and math, but virtually no chem (1 or 2 classes) and only 1 physics class for geomorphology. I was under the assumption that I had taken enough "hard science," but I am not exactly sure what IP requires.


Most IP law hiring goes to engineering people and chem people(usually with graduate degrees). There are, apparently, a few firms that specialize in biological sciences but not a lot compared to the entire IP market. You can sit for the patent bar w/ bio but not sure how easy it would be to get a job.

My gf's dad works in medical device design/VC/incubation and he works almost exclusively with engineers and surgeons.


I see. I originally intended to become a professor in the "biogeography" field (which is what my current thesis is in) but I switched gears because I found teaching to be un-fulfilling (and I secretly wanted to do enviro law for several years). So here I am, considering both enviro and IP. I appreciate your comments.

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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:20 am

johndoethethird wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:The thing about getting a real job in chemistry is that you usually have to take classes above and beyond the minimum classes. The minimum classes qualify you for a lab assistant or high school teacher rather than as a researcher or scientist. I'm not sure if you need the extra classes for patent law or if the general degree will be ok but make sure the Chem degree you get will be able to get you where you want to go. I'm guessing at some schools all chem degrees are ACS certified but I know at mine this is not the case so be sure to check.


What if I do take the extra classes--and am not afraid to take a 5th (or--eek--6th) year?

How realistic is it to get a >3.5 GPA with hard chemistry courses (assuming you have an aptitude for chemistry)? As another poster said, my science grades would be fluffed up by my higher poli sci grades. But still...

I'm going to discretely crash some chemistry and calculus lectures during this semester so that I have a real understanding of the difficulty of this major, so that I don't have go off hearsay so much.


Can you do a chem minor? Start with that and then you might only be committed for 18 or so hours of chem classes. If you find you love it, you could continue in it. Plus, I think it never hurts to take science, no matter what major you get.

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Re: Your seasoned opinion: Double major for patent law

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:26 am

johndoethethird wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:The thing about getting a real job in chemistry is that you usually have to take classes above and beyond the minimum classes. The minimum classes qualify you for a lab assistant or high school teacher rather than as a researcher or scientist. I'm not sure if you need the extra classes for patent law or if the general degree will be ok but make sure the Chem degree you get will be able to get you where you want to go. I'm guessing at some schools all chem degrees are ACS certified but I know at mine this is not the case so be sure to check.


What if I do take the extra classes--and am not afraid to take a 5th (or--eek--6th) year?

How realistic is it to get a >3.5 GPA with hard chemistry courses (assuming you have an aptitude for chemistry)? As another poster said, my science grades would be fluffed up by my higher poli sci grades. But still...

I'm going to discretely crash some chemistry and calculus lectures during this semester so that I have a real understanding of the difficulty of this major, so that I don't have go off hearsay so much.


The 5th or 6th year method should be fine. Its just not a good idea/possible to take all those classes at once. If you have the aptitude for the science/math it shouldnt be too difficult to get the >3.5 GPA. It just takes an insane amount of time. Crashing in on courses really doesnt at all give you an idea of the difficulty (again its the time that makes it hard once you have the aptitude).




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