With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

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afitouri
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With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby afitouri » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:46 pm

So the news about the legal industry has been atrocious lately, as we've all seen. A lot of services that used to need lawyers are now automated, and a lot of common crimes have become more black-and-white. So, my question is:

What field of law should we go in to? What field of law should I personally go in to?

I was thinking something international because I may want to live over seas, but criminal defense has always been a dream (except that now its a great way to never pay off those loans).

What areas of law are thriving?

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blurbz
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby blurbz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:47 pm

Well there's no shortage of criminals in a recession....

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JamMasterJ
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:48 pm

International law isn't a thing. Go IP or tax

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chem
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby chem » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:49 pm

No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else

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Emma.
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby Emma. » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:49 pm

bankruptcy

WestOfTheRest
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:04 pm

chem wrote:No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else

This isn't true.

hurldes
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby hurldes » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:11 pm

CastleRock wrote:
chem wrote:No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else

This isn't true.


please elaborate.

areyouinsane
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby areyouinsane » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:20 pm

No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else



To sit the Patent Bar, you need a BS in a "hard science" area like bio, chem, physics- or engineering. Most law students majored in nonsense crap like poli sci, history or English, hence they cannot take the patent bar. W/out patent bar you can't really work in IP.

javancho
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby javancho » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:36 pm

CastleRock wrote:
chem wrote:No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else

This isn't true.

I think it is true. I know of a person (close friend of a close friend) with a PhD in Biochemistry from a highly regarded program who went to a T30s law school, just graduated and ended up middle of the pack. So far, no job, not even a patent agent job; and she is no slacker, she's tried hard, or so she claims. Now, she is looking into scientific jobs, but is having difficulty with those as well because after three years her science skills have become outdated, or so she is told.
Last edited by javancho on Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:38 pm

areyouinsane wrote:
No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else



To sit the Patent Bar, you need a BS in a "hard science" area like bio, chem, physics- or engineering. Most law students majored in nonsense crap like poli sci, history or English, hence they cannot take the patent bar. W/out patent bar you can't really work in IP.

Umm, except for the fact that IP is much more broadly sweeping term than just patents, and currently the quickest emerging field is copyright issues. You do not need a hard science degree to work in copyright. And copyright isn't the only "IP" field that doesn't require a hard science.

IP typically refers to:

Copyright;
Trademarks;
Trade Secrets; and
Patent.

Of those, you only NEED a hard science background for patent law. To work with trade secrets a hard science background is often essential but not always. As for trademarks and copyright, a hard science will not help you and is by no means necessary.

With the growth of our information based economy and the internet, copyright has become the emerging form of IP. Trademarks have also become a hot topic.

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minnbills
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby minnbills » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:39 pm

Family law and DWI are doing pretty well, according to two lawyer-friends of mine. FWIW

firemed
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:45 pm

Criminal law, divorce law, and bankruptcy law are all bread and butter and while both divorce and bankruptcy have been decreasing none of them is going away.

Also IP as Castlerock suggested is going to be good.

I personally am considering taking a class per summer in the hard sciences so I can take patent bar at the end of LS. Just in case.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby TJISMYHERO » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:46 pm

CastleRock wrote:
areyouinsane wrote:
No area of law is thriving. There are just areas of law with a smaller rate of decline. The one I know among these is IP, but its niche, you can't do it if you don't have an engineering background or a PhD somewhere else



To sit the Patent Bar, you need a BS in a "hard science" area like bio, chem, physics- or engineering. Most law students majored in nonsense crap like poli sci, history or English, hence they cannot take the patent bar. W/out patent bar you can't really work in IP.

Umm, except for the fact that IP is much more broadly sweeping term than just patents, and currently the quickest emerging field is copyright issues. You do not need a hard science degree to work in copyright. And copyright isn't the only "IP" field that doesn't require a hard science.

IP typically refers to:

Copyright;
Trademarks;
Trade Secrets; and
Patent.

Of those, you only NEED a hard science background for patent law. To work with trade secrets a hard science background is often essential but not always. As for trademarks and copyright, a hard science will not help you and is by no means necessary.

With the growth of our information based economy and the internet, copyright has become the emerging form of IP. Trademarks have also become a hot topic.


+1, and as a side note of anecdotal evidence, I currently work for an IP attorney specializing in copyright litigation who is raking in the dough that graduated from a TTT last year.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby TJISMYHERO » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:48 pm

On another note, anyone heard good (or bad) things about Oil and Gas?

firemed
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:49 pm

TJISMYHERO wrote:
+1, and as a side note of anecdotal evidence, I currently work for an IP attorney specializing in copyright litigation who is raking in the dough that graduated from a TTT last year.



Reminder to self: Take IP class during LS.

firemed
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby firemed » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:50 pm

TJISMYHERO wrote:On another note, anyone heard good (or bad) things about Oil and Gas?



Actually now that you mention it I hear natural resources law (Oil, Gas, and Water) are going to be huge for the foreseeable future.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:52 pm

TJISMYHERO wrote:On another note, anyone heard good (or bad) things about Oil and Gas?

Depends on where you plan on working. Where I currently live oil and gas is by far the biggest industy and by far the most lucrative.

071816
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby 071816 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:59 pm

Why are people on here so fucking ignorant about IP? I feel like I see this same exact crap posted every other day. A tech background is not necessary for patent lit. (depending on firm), copyright, trademark, or trade secrets work. Yes, these are very niche practice areas, but it is amazing how misinformed people are about the various areas of Intellectual Property law. You don't need a fucking PhD in biochem or engineering to do most of the work in the IP field. You do, however, need a math/science background (which relatively few lawyers have) to take the patent bar, but this only applies to some patent work e.g. prosecution.

Check this out: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=316
Last edited by 071816 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby TJISMYHERO » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:00 pm

CastleRock wrote:
TJISMYHERO wrote:On another note, anyone heard good (or bad) things about Oil and Gas?

Depends on where you plan on working. Where I currently live oil and gas is by far the biggest industy and by far the most lucrative.


I'm planning on working in Houston, as I'm about to start at UH this fall, and I know oil and gas is a big deal there. I guess I am just fishing for reassurance that my plan is a good one. haha.

barry
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby barry » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:19 pm

most employers on symplicity usually ask for an advanced degree for IP (ie master, phd) i dont know if they're lying (i'm not IP myself) but i think that it is fairly standard.....

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ahduth
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby ahduth » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:48 pm

chimp wrote:Why are people on here so fucking ignorant about IP? I feel like I see this same exact crap posted every other day. A tech background is not necessary for patent lit. (depending on firm), copyright, trademark, or trade secrets work. Yes, these are very niche practice areas, but it is amazing how misinformed people are about the various areas of Intellectual Property law. You don't need a fucking PhD in biochem or engineering to do most of the work in the IP field. You do, however, need a math/science background (which relatively few lawyers have) to take the patent bar, but this only applies to some patent work e.g. prosecution.

Check this out: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=316


Because half of them are fresh out of college, and don't actually know any real lawyers. Chill.

afitouri
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby afitouri » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:31 am

TJISMYHERO wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
TJISMYHERO wrote:On another note, anyone heard good (or bad) things about Oil and Gas?

Depends on where you plan on working. Where I currently live oil and gas is by far the biggest industy and by far the most lucrative.


I'm planning on working in Houston, as I'm about to start at UH this fall, and I know oil and gas is a big deal there. I guess I am just fishing for reassurance that my plan is a good one. haha.


A friend of mine is an accountant in the Oil and Gas industry in Houston. He said that many of his clients (Exxon Mobile is one that I can recall by name. Big corporations) are hiring in many areas.

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yuzu
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby yuzu » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:28 am

chimp wrote:Why are people on here so fucking ignorant about IP? I feel like I see this same exact crap posted every other day. A tech background is not necessary for patent lit. (depending on firm), copyright, trademark, or trade secrets work. Yes, these are very niche practice areas, but it is amazing how misinformed people are about the various areas of Intellectual Property law. You don't need a fucking PhD in biochem or engineering to do most of the work in the IP field. You do, however, need a math/science background (which relatively few lawyers have) to take the patent bar, but this only applies to some patent work e.g. prosecution.

Check this out: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=316


While there are certainly patent litigators who aren't registered to practice with the USPTO, their lack of a technical background strikes me as having several disadvantages. First, patent litigation is usually fairly technical, and to do a good job requires a good understanding of the prior art and the detailed workings of the infringing product. Depending on the technology, it can be much more difficult to get this understanding without a technical background. Second, patent litigation often involves patent prosecution (e.g. reexamination proceedings for the patents-in-suit, or continued prosecution of a pending family member to address issues that may arise in litigation), and someone else would have to be do this. Third, client relationships are sometimes formed during prosecution, with the client returning to the same attorney for litigation or licensing. A non-prosecuting attorney will not make these connections so easily.

I just did a count of the professionals listed on the Finnegan website (the second largest IP firm). Of the 429 listed, 296 are listed as USPTO-registered, and 91 others have an engineering or science degree. That means only 42 of them (10%) lack a technical background. And of these 42, only 12 got their law degree in the past 10 years. So this huge firm is hiring maybe one or two nontechnical IP attorneys each year.

Basically - it's a very small market for nontechnical IP attorneys. You might be successful, but it's not nearly as simple as it is for patent attorneys, and the competition is presumably tougher.

071816
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby 071816 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:34 pm

ahduth wrote:
chimp wrote:Why are people on here so fucking ignorant about IP? I feel like I see this same exact crap posted every other day. A tech background is not necessary for patent lit. (depending on firm), copyright, trademark, or trade secrets work. Yes, these are very niche practice areas, but it is amazing how misinformed people are about the various areas of Intellectual Property law. You don't need a fucking PhD in biochem or engineering to do most of the work in the IP field. You do, however, need a math/science background (which relatively few lawyers have) to take the patent bar, but this only applies to some patent work e.g. prosecution.

Check this out: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=316


Because half of them are fresh out of college, and don't actually know any real lawyers. Chill.


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nealric
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Re: With all this bad news, what field of law to go into?

Postby nealric » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:31 pm

Why are people on here so fucking ignorant about IP? I feel like I see this same exact crap posted every other day. A tech background is not necessary for patent lit.


Technically this may be the case, but my firm won't take someone in IP without a science or engineering background. Someone looking for a "safe" area of law is not going make their life easier by tailoring themselves to IP if they don't have any sort of technical background.

The biggest battle for any law student or new graduate is acquiring the skills and experience that will make you marketable in the long term. The only way to become safe is to acquire those skills to a degree that you can use them to acquire your own clients.




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