Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
sciencedude
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:38 pm

Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby sciencedude » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:46 pm

So I am a typical engineering graduate with a few years of work experience, a slightly less than 3.0 GPA and 170+ LSAT applicant
I will be applying to law school this coming year and it just dawned on me...what if my employment hinges on my undergrad GPA?
I studied my ass off for the LSAT to mitigate this very issue, and the prospect of having to deal with this issue once again really discouraged me.
So I figured I'd finally make my first thread in a forum i've been monitoring for the past few months

Is this number (undergrad GPA) gonna haunt me for the rest of my life? Is the hardship I'm about to face (once again) because of my GPA something that's not gonna be worth the trouble? As in, am I better off, financially, to just take an engineering job since the salary prospect for being a patent lawyer for me is not worth the price of law school?
Hypothetically, for the sake of the thread, let's say I maintain good grades in law school.

also i should add my engineering specialty's in structural mechanics/systems (making weapons for aerospace companies...) and I have been accepted (though I didn't go) for my masters from a respectable institution. I'm pretty sure I can always go if I want to.
Thank you

User avatar
wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby wiseowl » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:52 pm

from what 3Ls have told me, there are firms that care only about your undergrad transcript and don't even look at your law grades, and there are firms that care only about your law grades and don't even look at your undergrad.

~3.0 is not uncommon for engineers. you'll probably be fine, it will just limit the law schools you get into.

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby merichard87 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:57 pm

I don't think it will be a huge issue. Like the above poster said it would most like just affect the law schools you get into. A bigger problem could possibly arise because of your engineering specialty. From what other posters keep telling me EE and CompE are the more marketable backgrounds. Not sure how true that is or how hard it would be for anyone not in those to categories to get jobs but you might want to investigate. HTH.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:59 pm

sciencedude wrote:So I am a typical engineering graduate with a few years of work experience, a slightly less than 3.0 GPA and 170+ LSAT applicant
I will be applying to law school this coming year and it just dawned on me...what if my employment hinges on my undergrad GPA?
I studied my ass off for the LSAT to mitigate this very issue, and the prospect of having to deal with this issue once again really discouraged me.
So I figured I'd finally make my first thread in a forum i've been monitoring for the past few months

Is this number (undergrad GPA) gonna haunt me for the rest of my life? Is the hardship I'm about to face (once again) because of my GPA something that's not gonna be worth the trouble? As in, am I better off, financially, to just take an engineering job since the salary prospect for being a patent lawyer for me is not worth the price of law school?
Hypothetically, for the sake of the thread, let's say I maintain good grades in law school.

also i should add my engineering specialty's in structural mechanics/systems (making weapons for aerospace companies...) and I have been accepted (though I didn't go) for my masters from a respectable institution. I'm pretty sure I can always go if I want to.
Thank you



Have you put thought into where you want to go to school. I'm a 2.8/170+ EE. I got into Northwestern by applying ED.

User avatar
zreinhar
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby zreinhar » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:08 pm

sciencedude wrote:So I am a typical engineering graduate with a few years of work experience, a slightly less than 3.0 GPA and 170+ LSAT applicant
I will be applying to law school this coming year and it just dawned on me...what if my employment hinges on my undergrad GPA?
I studied my ass off for the LSAT to mitigate this very issue, and the prospect of having to deal with this issue once again really discouraged me.
So I figured I'd finally make my first thread in a forum i've been monitoring for the past few months

Is this number (undergrad GPA) gonna haunt me for the rest of my life? Is the hardship I'm about to face (once again) because of my GPA something that's not gonna be worth the trouble? As in, am I better off, financially, to just take an engineering job since the salary prospect for being a patent lawyer for me is not worth the price of law school?
Hypothetically, for the sake of the thread, let's say I maintain good grades in law school.

also i should add my engineering specialty's in structural mechanics/systems (making weapons for aerospace companies...) and I have been accepted (though I didn't go) for my masters from a respectable institution. I'm pretty sure I can always go if I want to.
Thank you


Dont worry at all about your GPA. Especially since you have work experience. Most patent lawyers know how hard engineering school is and in some instances how grade-defalted the GPAs are. (georgia tech for example) Given your numbers, you'll probably get into a good school with those numbers (especially if the LSAT is 173+) I dont know what your goals are for law school but a really nice thing about being an eng undergrad is that you can work at a legal job during law school. (patent agent, or if youre lucky, a student associate postion) The latter will pay ~90k and reimburse for law school, but you have to go part time. Either way, not to hijack the thread, dont worry about the GPA, go to a good law school and do well there. Your eng GPA wont matter.

sciencedude
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby sciencedude » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:11 am

well im glad some of the posts are encouraging
i guess i should really look into how my aerospace background will affect my future plans more than anything

as for law school i am considering applying to both northwestern and georgetown
haven't thought of any other places

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby 09042014 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:19 am

sciencedude wrote:well im glad some of the posts are encouraging
i guess i should really look into how my aerospace background will affect my future plans more than anything

as for law school i am considering applying to both northwestern and georgetown
haven't thought of any other places


If I were you, I'd ED to Northwestern. You'd get in almost for sure.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:04 am

In my experience, the GPA is gonna matter quite a bit looking for a job in IP at a firm your first summer (they're hard to come by anyway, so it might not be a big deal). The hiring partner at a large IP boutique I spoke to seemed almost entirely focused on undergrad grades, dropping people into tiers of above 3.5 or below. Below 3.0 he said he didn't bother discussing them with his board for callbacks. You'll be up against people all with stellar resumes outside their undergrad GPA, so the undergrad GPA is an easy threshold for narrowing down the people they have to consider. This may not be the case as much with a general practice firm (I spent much more time talking with boutiques because they were actually hiring).

I also have no idea how much it will matter once you're beyond your first year and you have law grades to show.

User avatar
ObviouslyMasochistic
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:29 am

sciencedude wrote:well im glad some of the posts are encouraging
i guess i should really look into how my aerospace background will affect my future plans more than anything

as for law school i am considering applying to both northwestern and georgetown
haven't thought of any other places


Not to be a downer, but from everything I've experienced and from talking to patent/IP attorneys, aerospace isn't at the tippity top of the IP hierarchy. I know that I've seen a general engineering major ranking posted up here at some point that was endorsed by several people. I'll try to reproduce from memory, but it could be off.

EE
CompEng = CS
Bio = Chem = ChemE (PhD req)
MechE = Civil
Aero = Materials = Industrial

User avatar
zreinhar
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby zreinhar » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:38 am

ObviouslyMasochistic wrote:
sciencedude wrote:well im glad some of the posts are encouraging
i guess i should really look into how my aerospace background will affect my future plans more than anything

as for law school i am considering applying to both northwestern and georgetown
haven't thought of any other places


Not to be a downer, but from everything I've experienced and from talking to patent/IP attorneys, aerospace isn't at the tippity top of the IP hierarchy. I know that I've seen a general engineering major ranking posted up here at some point that was endorsed by several people. I'll try to reproduce from memory, but it could be off.

EE
CompEng = CS
Bio = Chem = ChemE (PhD req)
MechE = Civil
Aero = Materials = Industrial



The above is correct except for a few things. There is practically nobody with a CivEng degree working in patent law (they all do construction law, imminent domain, etc.) and Aero falls under the exact same catefory as MechE

EE>CmpE>CS>>Bio(PhD)=ChemE(PhD)=Chem(PhD)>>Aero=MechE=MSE

But it depends on alot of things, that above ranking is for prep and pro, not litigation, and given OP's LSAT and work exp, he is likely to get into a T14 (I'd say 50/50 with a good shot at NU ED, especially given the WE) Generally those people go into GP litigation and the lower/regional T1/T2s go into prep and pro (though he might self select to prep and pro) so it really depends on what he wants.

User avatar
lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby lostjake » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:53 am

Ask the question here:

http://www.intelproplaw.com/

I'd make sure I got into a pretty good school with your work experience and undergrad GPA if you have your heart set on law.

rockstar4488
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:39 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby rockstar4488 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:30 am

I'm finding that studying engineering (and subsequently having a lower GPA) has most likely hurt my law school applications significantly. (170/3.0) I believe that other than at Northwestern, who, I gather has a reputation of being more splitter friendly, we're pretty much a long shot at T14's. Regardless, I believe that engineering was the right choice for me and I'm sure you feel the same way about your degree. Good luck with everything!

User avatar
zreinhar
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby zreinhar » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:23 am

rockstar4488 wrote:I'm finding that studying engineering (and subsequently having a lower GPA) has most likely hurt my law school applications significantly. (170/3.0) I believe that other than at Northwestern, who, I gather has a reputation of being more splitter friendly, we're pretty much a long shot at T14's. Regardless, I believe that engineering was the right choice for me and I'm sure you feel the same way about your degree. Good luck with everything!


It's more than made up for in the career prospects. trust me, look through here for the results of the last few OCIs, the kids with the most interview were typically the IP folk, especially the eng kids. Also, to make up for the low GPA messing with TLS admits, most IP firms dip lower in the rankings, for example, Finnegan a firm that starts out at a biglaw salary regularly hires from GMU... and at that, they will go deeper into the class than you would expect for a kid with a good eng degree

User avatar
lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby lostjake » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:59 am

Advice: Do not accept advice from someone with an EET degree in IP matters.

User avatar
zreinhar
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby zreinhar » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:03 pm

lostjake wrote:Advice: Do not accept advice from someone with an EET degree in IP matters.


haha, why is that?

notyou
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 5:05 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby notyou » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:16 am

I think that the patent market has been quite saturated recently. Tons of patent litigators were laid off. As for prosecution, supposedly the USPTO is letting more work through, meaning less office actions for attorneys. Lots of people who otherwise wouldn't even look at patent prosecution (laid off or no-offered patent litigators) are scrambling to try to get into it. There are a limited number of firms in the field, and the work seems to be shifting primarily into the hands of smaller and mid-size firms. There is some nervousness over Bilski, too.

I'm a T1 1L with an MSEE + work experience and I'm currently shut out for the summer. I know several 2Ls and 3Ls with similar credentials who are without jobs or internships.

IMO, you should think hard whether you want to enter the legal field. Personally, I'm thinking of quitting. I think that in the long-term engineering may be more viable and more financially secure with a higher quality of life. I was earning about $95k as an engineer working 40 hours a week. Engineers usually aren't enslaved to the billable hour. You can work smart and decrease your workload, but that doesn't seem to exist in law. Law is about working hard, not working smart.

Another thing to think about is the meritocracy of law vs. engineering. I feel that the field of law is not very merit-based. Coming from engineering, it's such a different experience. Most of the people who have internships in my class got them through family connections. That's extremely rare in my experience in engineering - at best, you would get an interview; usually family connections would just get your resume passed to the hiring manager and avoid HR. You're also recommended to put your hobbies/interests down on your legal resume so that you can relate to the interviewer on a personal level rather than a professional level.

I'm not sure if you care about that stuff, but I wish I knew more about it before I went to law school.

User avatar
zreinhar
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby zreinhar » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:30 am

If you go on the forums lostjake mentioned above you'll find alot of good info and alot of doom and gloom. There are certain ways to alleviate that but are pretty specific, for example, I'm staying in engineering while I go to Law school part time (at a cheap state school no less) to minimize the financial burden, also so I can have a job while I look for gainful legal employment (while the economy improves). As for the poster above me, I dont know if you get on intelproplaw.com at all, but look for the handle MSEE in the "becoming a patent agent/attorney" forum. that is my s/n there and it details how I got my first IP internship (unpaid) I had to leverage nearly everything I have (and thats not much) just to get them to let me work for free, but it was a really good experience and it got me my second job in IP and gave me a good understanding of what will be tested on the Patent Bar, which im sitting for next month. Im also in a smaller market, so that may have helped as well. pm me or post on here if you have any questions

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:57 am

OP, in regards to your original post, I think that whether you should go to law school depends on how much you enjoy engineering. I have a PhD (not engineering, but science) and while I could live a comfortable life continuing what I'm doing, I wouldn't be happy. It also depends on whether the prospect of law (provided you do your research) excites you. When I look at job postings for IP, I get genuinely excited. I can't say the same for postings in my current field.

Good luck with your decision. I wouldn't worry about your UGPA, especially if you can pass the patent bar.

User avatar
pu_golf88
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 1:34 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby pu_golf88 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:47 am

Aerospace Engineering FTW

Glad to see another one of us on here.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:49 am

pu_golf88 wrote:Aerospace Engineering FTW

Glad to see another one of us on here.


They have air planes in West Lafayette?

dajja15
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:41 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby dajja15 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:47 pm

pu_golf88 wrote:Aerospace Engineering FTW

Glad to see another one of us on here.


I'm an aero here also! Almost went to Purdue but choose cal poly instead. Anyway, I was really excited to go to law school but now I am reconsidering working 60+ hours a week, not to mention the job market being horrible. I would hate to go to a T14 and not be able to get a job or getting in and saying good bye to my friends and family. But the work does sound pretty cool!

notyou
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 5:05 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby notyou » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:30 pm

zreinhar wrote:If you go on the forums lostjake mentioned above you'll find alot of good info and alot of doom and gloom. There are certain ways to alleviate that but are pretty specific, for example, I'm staying in engineering while I go to Law school part time (at a cheap state school no less) to minimize the financial burden, also so I can have a job while I look for gainful legal employment (while the economy improves). As for the poster above me, I dont know if you get on intelproplaw.com at all, but look for the handle MSEE in the "becoming a patent agent/attorney" forum. that is my s/n there and it details how I got my first IP internship (unpaid) I had to leverage nearly everything I have (and thats not much) just to get them to let me work for free, but it was a really good experience and it got me my second job in IP and gave me a good understanding of what will be tested on the Patent Bar, which im sitting for next month. Im also in a smaller market, so that may have helped as well. pm me or post on here if you have any questions


I'll look into your posts there.

I've had interviews with a BigLaw firm and have some in-house internship interviews scheduled. However, I still have some doubts on going into the legal field.

User avatar
lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby lostjake » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:48 pm

notyou wrote:I think that the patent market has been quite saturated recently. Tons of patent litigators were laid off. As for prosecution, supposedly the USPTO is letting more work through, meaning less office actions for attorneys. Lots of people who otherwise wouldn't even look at patent prosecution (laid off or no-offered patent litigators) are scrambling to try to get into it. There are a limited number of firms in the field, and the work seems to be shifting primarily into the hands of smaller and mid-size firms. There is some nervousness over Bilski, too.

I'm a T1 1L with an MSEE + work experience and I'm currently shut out for the summer. I know several 2Ls and 3Ls with similar credentials who are without jobs or internships.

IMO, you should think hard whether you want to enter the legal field. Personally, I'm thinking of quitting. I think that in the long-term engineering may be more viable and more financially secure with a higher quality of life. I was earning about $95k as an engineer working 40 hours a week. Engineers usually aren't enslaved to the billable hour. You can work smart and decrease your workload, but that doesn't seem to exist in law. Law is about working hard, not working smart.

Another thing to think about is the meritocracy of law vs. engineering. I feel that the field of law is not very merit-based. Coming from engineering, it's such a different experience. Most of the people who have internships in my class got them through family connections. That's extremely rare in my experience in engineering - at best, you would get an interview; usually family connections would just get your resume passed to the hiring manager and avoid HR. You're also recommended to put your hobbies/interests down on your legal resume so that you can relate to the interviewer on a personal level rather than a professional level.

I'm not sure if you care about that stuff, but I wish I knew more about it before I went to law school.


Did you pass the patent bar yet?

notyou
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 5:05 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby notyou » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:59 pm

lostjake wrote:Did you pass the patent bar yet?


No. I've been told by numerous people that it doesn't factor much into hiring. You're generally not allowed to sign off on any work with your USPTO credentials until you have several years of experience. It's quite common to have practicing attorneys prosecute patents w/o their reg number.

I know several 2Ls and 3Ls who have passed the patent bar and are without internships or jobs.

The market is suffering so much that people are scrambling to get patent examiner positions.

pekkle
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:30 am

Re: Questions to patent lawyers or people who know about it

Postby pekkle » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:16 pm

Posting b/c I'm facing this dilemma as well (currently options are hastings vs santa clara).

Notyou - is your market the SF bay area?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.