How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

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togepi
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How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:54 am

I have a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from a decent school. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions of how beneficial it will be for employment. I'm well aware that having EE/CS is exponentially better in terms of IP work, but if I wanted to pursue patent prosecution/litigation, am I out of luck? Also, if I wanted to pursue something non patent related, will having an engineering degree be more of a detriment? (Interviewers constantly asking me why I'm not doing IP, etc).

Thank you in advance.

(Also, I've already looked it up and I qualify for Applicant A)

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Lawquacious
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:25 am

togepi wrote:I have a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from a decent school. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions of how beneficial it will be for employment. I'm well aware that having EE/CS is exponentially better in terms of IP work, but if I wanted to pursue patent prosecution/litigation, am I out of luck? Also, if I wanted to pursue something non patent related, will having an engineering degree be more of a detriment? (Interviewers constantly asking me why I'm not doing IP, etc).

Thank you in advance.

(Also, I've already looked it up and I qualify for Applicant A)


I think it will help you get employment, but you've got to find employers who do work where expertise in civil engineering is relevant (e.g. construction or land use firms etc). This background probably will give you a boost IMO at many civil litigation firms, because they often have sections (or attorneys) who do this type of work, although I'm not sure how much of a boost it would be.

For IP work you should be fine, as long as you are "patent-bar eligible" and put that on your resume. In other words, you should be competitive, as long as you have good grades and decide you want to practice IP. For non-patent work it won't be a detriment, but won't necessarily help unless the firm does work relating to your background (e.g. construction etc, as mentioned in above paragraph). Just my speculations.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:37 am

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately my undergrad gpa was pretty terrible due to the curve. I heard that many employers ask for transcripts and despite high law school grades, they'll turn you away =/

09042014
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:48 am

Lawquacious wrote:
togepi wrote:I have a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from a decent school. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions of how beneficial it will be for employment. I'm well aware that having EE/CS is exponentially better in terms of IP work, but if I wanted to pursue patent prosecution/litigation, am I out of luck? Also, if I wanted to pursue something non patent related, will having an engineering degree be more of a detriment? (Interviewers constantly asking me why I'm not doing IP, etc).

Thank you in advance.

(Also, I've already looked it up and I qualify for Applicant A)


I think it will help you get employment, but you've got to find employers who do work where expertise in civil engineering is relevant (e.g. construction or land use firms etc). This background probably will give you a boost IMO at many civil litigation firms, because they often have sections (or attorneys) who do this type of work, although I'm not sure how much of a boost it would be.

For IP work you should be fine, as long as you are "patent-bar eligible" and put that on your resume. In other words, you should be competitive, as long as you have good grades and decide you want to practice IP. For non-patent work it won't be a detriment, but won't necessarily help unless the firm does work relating to your background (e.g. construction etc, as mentioned in above paragraph). Just my speculations.


Agree on the construction firm.

I'm not so confident on the patent front. Civil engineering doesn't create many patents at all. There may be some niche firm, but I suspect that firms would just a random civil patent to an EE, instead of having an civE on staff. I could be wrong. I think you'll have a better time at GP firms looking for IP people. I know people who don't really have good specific backgrounds do pretty well. Things like Applied Mathematics. They just want to tell their clients they got an engineer on the case.

I'd definitely try to find patent jobs at the Loyola Patent Fair.

But I wouldn't factor on you being IP SECURE because you probably aren't.

@ your question about grades

Yea, most patent botiques will ask. Most general practice firms with IP litigation groups don't (but some do). Virtually anyone looking to give you a patent prosecution job will ask. So ur probably fucked on that front.

If you go to a good school, get decent grades you can probably do IP lit. But it's not a guarantee.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:04 am

Thanks for the input DF

I've heard that a lot of firms don't really understand engineering and are overly picky for no apparent reason. We all take the same class (roughly) for the first two years, then branch off into specialties.

Patent litigation/something construction related would be optimal, but I heard you don't even need a hard science for lit.

Should I try to pass the patent bar asap or just keep myself as patent bar applicant a eligible?

09042014
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:10 am

togepi wrote:Thanks for the input DF

I've heard that a lot of firms don't really understand engineering and are overly picky for no apparent reason. We all take the same class (roughly) for the first two years, then branch off into specialties.

Patent litigation/something construction related would be optimal, but I heard you don't even need a hard science for lit.

Should I try to pass the patent bar asap or just keep myself as patent bar applicant a eligible?


Firms are overly picky, there is no reason you couldn't do a CS patent. But what are you going to do.

You don't need an background for lit, but it's pretty damn helpful. Not many firms hiring for IP Lit directly without requiring a background. There are exceptions (try not doing IP Lit at Quinn LA, I dare you). The people who do it just kinda move into it after they land at a firm.

I don't know about the patent bar. If the cost doesn't hurt your wallet, just do it I guess.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:06 am

If anyone else has any insight on how Civil Engineers fare after law school, I would greatly appreciate the input

midwesTT
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby midwesTT » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:30 am

FWIW i'm a mech. eng. i did Loyola PLIP... some of my callbacks had nothing to do with mech. eng. work. e.g. "we do a lot of software patents, telecom patents, banking/business methods patents, etc." this happened at multiple firms.

i think that a background desired by firms (EE/CS) can help, but i don't think that not having one precludes you from getting an IP firm-job.

while firms will care (maybe) about your undergrad transcripts, it's your 1L grades that get you the interview in the first place. keep that in mind.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:33 am

midwesTT wrote:FWIW i'm a mech. eng. i did Loyola PLIP... some of my callbacks had nothing to do with mech. eng. work. e.g. "we do a lot of software patents, telecom patents, banking/business methods patents, etc." this happened at multiple firms.

i think that a background desired by firms (EE/CS) can help, but i don't think that not having one precludes you from getting an IP firm-job.

while firms will care (maybe) about your undergrad transcripts, it's your 1L grades that get you the interview in the first place. keep that in mind.


Yeah, I'll be hoping to have a strong 1L year to overcome past mistakes. So there's a chance I'll be able to do some intellectual property work, I feel better about that. An uphill battle I'm sure, but I can live with that.

ajr
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby ajr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:09 am

Any engineering degree is a huge plus over any non-engg degree. Within engineering, EE is the most sought after. Everything else is kind of the same excluding minor differences. The reasons big firms are picky have more to do with selling you to the client than with whether you can actually understand the material in patents (which can often be quite challenging even for the right majors).

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Mr. Frodo
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby Mr. Frodo » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:26 am

I'm graduating in June with a degree in structural (civil) engineering and have been told that such a degree is desirable to some mechanically-based IP work. I love mechanical systems and find them very intuitive. The benefit of civil engineering, if you do a structural concentration, is that a good portion of your work is basically either analogous or exactly the same as a mechanical engineering curriculum. You'd be surprised how similar these two fields can be. I worked at one civil engineering firm and my boss was a mechanical engineer, because honestly these majors are to an extent interchangeable in industry.

I think you will be fine.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:09 am

Mr. Frodo wrote:I'm graduating in June with a degree in structural (civil) engineering and have been told that such a degree is desirable to some mechanically-based IP work. I love mechanical systems and find them very intuitive. The benefit of civil engineering, if you do a structural concentration, is that a good portion of your work is basically either analogous or exactly the same as a mechanical engineering curriculum. You'd be surprised how similar these two fields can be. I worked at one civil engineering firm and my boss was a mechanical engineer, because honestly these majors are to an extent interchangeable in industry.

I think you will be fine.


Thanks. After the third year, we all had to pick specialties for the design project (transportation, geotechnical, structural, etc). Fortunately, I did structural, so hopefully that will help. Unfortunately, my grades were terrible.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:04 am

bump.

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togepi
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby togepi » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:45 am

Also, are there any other fields where having a Civil Engineering degree would give me a leg up? (Environmental, Construction, etc?)

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Lawquacious
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:58 am

togepi wrote:Also, are there any other fields where having a Civil Engineering degree would give me a leg up? (Environmental, Construction, etc?)



In Civil Engineering? :wink:

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cahwc12
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Re: How useful will a Civil Engineering degree be?

Postby cahwc12 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:59 am

togepi wrote:Also, are there any other fields where having a Civil Engineering degree would give me a leg up? (Environmental, Construction, etc?)


This sounds like a question for your career adviser.




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