Really Interested in Patent Law, BUT.....

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Re: Really Interested in Patent Law, BUT.....

Postby yuzu » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:02 pm

I think you should take the patent bar now and look for patent agent jobs. The job search will be an uphill battle, of course, but you won't be out $100k. If you get a job, then you should go to law school part-time, retaking the LSAT if necessary to get in to a decent part-time program.

Assuming you don't get a job, you might consider an MSEE or MSCS, and potentially EE/CS work experience. If you still want to do law school, you can do it part-time as an engineer - or, you can keep looking for patent agent jobs as you gain engineering experience. An MSEE is low risk because it will translate into a high-paying engineering job and costs much less than a law degree. And to many firms, engineering experience is just as important as an engineering degree.

Another option is trying to get >168 on the LSAT - this would give you T14 options, which would be a lower-risk way of going to law school. Even a slightly better LSAT score could give you a scholarship at lower schools and eliminate the $100k cost.

I've worked with a sole practitioner from Franklin Pierce on transactional IP matters. He also did some prosecution work for a large software company. At the time he was doing well, but later we moved a lot of work in-house and I am not sure if he found more work. In any case, I think he was fairly lucky. As others have mentioned, it will be difficult in this economy to find a good job from Franklin Pierce with no technical background.

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Re: Really Interested in Patent Law, BUT.....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:24 pm

Just for people generally interested in this topic, it is definitely possible to get patent litigation without a technical degree. It happened to me and the only "science" class I took in undergrad was statistics.

If you are gunning for patent litigation without a technical degree, I think there are a few things you should do.

1) Top grades from a T20 school. The worse the school the better your grades should be. Basically you need good enough grades to get a job at a top 50 law firm/IP boutique where almost all of the top IP lit work happens.
2) Don't shoot for boutique patent firms like Fish & Richardson as they will only want students with technical degrees.
3) Instead, shoot for firms that will hire anyone with top grades from a top school and do a lot of patent lit. The best two are probably Irell and Quinn (in that order). Both of these firms do a ton of patent lit and have plenty of non-technical degree candidates doing IP work.
4) As for other firms, it depends on the office and the firm. Firms that focus on lit are better than corporate focused firms. Just use NALP to find firms that have a big IP lit departments.
5) Don't tell firms you only want to IP lit. Instead, tell them that you want to do litigation and that you're interested in their IP department. You don't have a tech degree, but you're a big tech nerd.
6) Ask for an assignment or two during the summer and do a great job. If the IP department is as busy as most, they'll remember you when you start as a first year.
7) This should be obvious, but take IP classes in law school. Most importantly take patent law before your summer. It's a tough subject and you don't want to have to learn it while trying to do an assignment.

As for the OP, either go back to school and get a technical degree or retake LSAT and get into a much better school. Preferably both. Even mediocre grades at a T20 with an EE degree will give you great job prospects. You only have one shot at law school and if you don't do this right you'll regret it.

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Re: Really Interested in Patent Law, BUT.....

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 05, 2012 4:01 pm

raiderrobert wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why the fuck are you so interested in patent law? Because you know someone who made a lot money doing it?

Spending two years getting a minor in Physics when you didn't even know if it was worth it? This seems like a really shitty plan bro.

Actually, while I was in my MBA program, we had strategic management class. A core project of the class was to build a 5-plan for ourselves. I was interested in IP law. So I interviewed some IP lawyers in the NW, where I was originally from. Talked to a guy in litigation and two in prosecution. The job sounded interesting.

So I built my plan around becoming viable to take the bar. It never entered my head until recently that I'd need to compete to get the jobs afterwards because I understood from the other attorneys that the field had a shortage.

And no, money wasn't a driving factor. It became a nice perk after talking to those attorneys. And yes, I'm going to talk to some more patent attorneys now to verify what I'm hearing from you guys.

As to what I find interesting about patent law: I've always enjoyed inventions and understanding how things work. I go out of my way to read patents that are being litigated and IP blogs, like Patently-O.

Perhaps, I'm idealistic, but I want to join some business incubator like Y-Combinator as an in-house, full-service attorney. And yes, I've been involved in a handful of start ups already. So I know what I'm doing that way.

I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, but start-ups are really popular right now - one of my friends was at Stanford and really involved with the incubators there. Some really top notch Silicon Valley firms are showing up at demo days, offering X amount of free services for start-ups and so on. If it's your dream, go for it, but you should recognize you're going up against firms like Cooley and Wilson Sonsini and the lawyers that come with them.

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Re: Really Interested in Patent Law, BUT.....

Postby Gps » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:05 am

Hi All -

Please give me your suggestions:

I have been accepted into UNH (without $$),. i am interested in patent law and have masters degree in life science and an engineering in biotechnology.

With regard to the debt: I have arrangements for the first two years and will depend on a bank loan for the last year.

Considering the TTT status of the school & Ok (or probably decent but not sure) job prospects after UNH. What shud be the ideal next step.

One soln is: LSAT retake but have to spend another year.

profile: LSAT 154 and international status

Please share your views


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