Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

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nylaboy
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Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby nylaboy » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:07 am

Hi,

Here's the summary of my background

I graduated with a highest distinction in Computer Science from a US Top 30 University. (BA)
I am currently working as an application developer (iOS and Android development) at a big company (just finished my first year).
My job requires a bilingual background (English and Japanese) and, although I am an engineer, I do a lot of management work as well.
I don't make much money as much as I'd hope, but $60,000 is my salary.

--

So I've always wanted to be an attorney, but I knew that the legal field is really crappy at the moment and law school tuition is so overpriced. For that reason, I was hesitant to pursue my dream and landed on a job as a Computer Scientist. Having a rather rare background - bilingual in Japanese and English with good GPA, I didn't even have to look for a job as a Computer Science major when I was in school. Many companies emailed me and I just had to take one of the offers that I received.

One of my friends from college recently graduated from law school (BC) and he seemed to have found a decent job in NY. I don't know his grades or any of his credentials but to be honest I was jealous because he pursued his dream and made it come true. Not to say that I hate my job or anything. I do like my job sometimes, but honestly I can't see myself doing this job for the rest of my life. So it crossed my mind that maybe I can apply to law school and become a patent attorney.

But when I go online, everyone says law school is like the worst decision one could ever make because of its absolutely hideous outlook. I would be making 30k-40k a year if I am lucky. If I stay in my current path as an application developer, within several (< 10) years it is reasonable to assume that I will be making > 100k a year.

I don't personally know anyone who's in my shoes. Maybe someone here can enlighten me? How hard is it really to be a patent attorney and find a job? Does being a bilingual help at all? Are attorneys with Computer Science background saturated in the legal field already? Would I be making 30-40k a year?

If I decide to go to law school, it'd be T14. Otherwise, I won't go.
(It's not impossible with my GPA. I took a previous year's LSAT and scored 163. It's not good, but I am pretty sure I can improve the score...)

CyLaw
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby CyLaw » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:58 am

My first question for you is "does your degree qualify for the patent bar?" Not all computer science degrees qualify. To qualify under Category A, your computer science degree must be accredited by either CSAC or ABET. If the you don't qualify under Category A, then you will need to meet the requirements of Category B, which I'm guessing you may not (having a BA instead of a BS implies you may not have taken enough science courses to qualify). But check the requirements here (LinkRemoved) to see if you meet them.

You can't be a Patent Attorney without qualifying for and passing the patent bar. You could still be a patent litigator, but I wanted to make sure that we frame your situation right before discussing career outlooks.

Edit: You can find if your program is accredited by looking on ABET's website. Note that your computer science program itself needs to be accredited, not just the school or department. Some schools have ABET accreditation for the BS in Com Sci but not the BA in Com Sci. I actually don't know of any BA Com Sci programs accredited by ABET, but that doesn't mean there is none. (Edit2: actually I just searched and I don't see any BA Com Sci programs in the accreditation list).

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wiseowl
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby wiseowl » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:20 am

CyLaw's post is the right question. If you aren't patent bar eligible, I'm not sure I would risk it.

Japanese language will be a plus, but won't be enough to get you solid confidence in a job without patent bar eligibility.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:50 pm

Step 1: Apply for and take the patent bar.
Step 2: Go to law school.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit.

CS/EE is pretty hot. I haven't heard of anyone who can't get a job doing patent prosecution.

I'd also consider applying to one of the DC area schools part-time, and working as an Examiner during the day. You'd be pretty much set.

nylaboy
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby nylaboy » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:08 pm

Thanks guys for the response.

I just looked it up and our University is not accredited by ABET. In fact, many other well-known Universities are unlisted and my safety schools are listed, which I find very odd.

But anyway I think when I talked to my advisor a while ago she did tell me that our Computer Science Department is NOT accredited by ABET because students can just take two Physics courses and will be qualified. So, I guess she was talking about Category B.

Is it that much harder to pass as Category B though? She didn't seem very concerned as some of the alumni have already taken the exam (hence, were qualified).

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fatduck
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:14 pm

nylaboy wrote:Thanks guys for the response.

I just looked it up and our University is not accredited by ABET. In fact, many other well-known Universities are unlisted and my safety schools are listed, which I find very odd.

But anyway I think when I talked to my advisor a while ago she did tell me that our Computer Science Department is NOT accredited by ABET because students can just take two Physics courses and will be qualified. So, I guess she was talking about Category B.

Is it that much harder to pass as Category B though? She didn't seem very concerned as some of the alumni have already taken the exam (hence, were qualified).

category B applications do take longer to process, and more paperwork can be required (course descriptions of the various courses you took to meet the reqs, etc), so keep that in mind.

and law school P/T (whether working at your current company or for the USPTO) is a solid plan.

johndhi
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby johndhi » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:40 pm

I know patent litigation firms in the Bay Area that would almost physically fight with each other to hire you assuming the following:

-you go to a T-14 school and do well. if it's one of the lower T-14 schools, you'll need to do increasingly well at that school to be desirable.

if you're in that situation, you'll be a goddamn stud and there are many 160K jobs for you. you're wise in only going to a T-14, and I'd recommend trying to get up the ladder as high as possible. If you can't pull off top 30% at the lower T-14s, your chances start to diminish.

everyone seems to assume you're interested in patent prosecution (applying for patents with the patent and trademark office on behalf of inventors). but patent litigation is another path. litigators feel more like "lawyers" in the traditional sense you might be attracted to: they go to court and argue before judges and with other lawyers. this isn't the case for patent prosecutors.

Get a 170 on the LSAT. Work your fucking ass off until you get a 170 on the LSAT and you'll get into a good law school. you'll also know that you have what it takes to work hard enough to do well in law school and put you into this pool of coveted applicants. if you're in that pool, law school is well worth it and everything will be groovy.

hope it helps. work your ass off.

anonmyuos
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby anonmyuos » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:56 pm

I have a very similar background to you (minus the bilingual part and having a bit more work experience prior to law school). I have thoughts similar to you as well; I didn't want to stay in the job for a long time and I had always been interested in going to law school but was scared about cost/jobs post-grad. So I'll try to be as helpful as I can because I think my experience can be fairly instructive to you.

Law school worked out for me, but if I had to make the decision again knowing all I know now, it would be a very close call on whether I'd go. You are absolutely right not to go to a non-T14. 100%. Additionally I wouldn't even go to a T14 without a decent scholarship. The thing you have to realize is that you are in a position that is better than 99% of people that go to law school. Most people (not all, but most) give up basically a glorified internship ("entry level" work for an English major) to go to law school. You are giving up a very lucrative career to take on a lot of debt for sketchy career prospects. It could work out - you could snag a great career that you enjoy for not a lot of debt, but I'm telling you - you really need to think long and hard about this.

So I'd take a few steps back at this point. First, you want to improve your LSAT score. 163 is OK, but it's probably not what you want it to be. And you can probably improve some. So be serious about that. Second, seriously start investigating patent litigation/prosecution and see if it's something you really want to do. I am always available for PMs if you want, but you should really start to build out a career plan and map out what you want to do. It's a serious decision and has long term consequences that are probably way beyond what you expect. So really be dedicated.

In order to really be successful, you'll need to get into a T14 with some money (paying full price is CRAZY) and do well your first year. And 1L grades are somewhat random. You might hit it out of the park, or you might not. In my experience computer science people are slightly better at picking up what law school is about because it's very logical (lots of logical flow maps basically) and confuses people who have been trained to write eloquent essays for the past four years. But people pick it up quick, and sometimes CS people can't write, so it's just really hard to predict. This is the risky part.

If you really do like patent prosecution, you can probably do OK for yourself on another path: getting a full scholarship to your closest reasonable BigStateU school. Patent prosecution at smaller firms are a little less focused on big name schools and would probably love to hire you. You might not ever be able to break into BigLaw IP Lit cases, but you'd find a GREAT niche writing patents for Japanese technology companies. And if that really is what you want to do, you might as well do it at no cost to yourself.

My honest opinion is that you shouldn't do it unless you are super-ultra-sure. I think I had a similar fear of looking at these 35/40 year old developers doing their job and thinking "man, I just can't see myself doing that." But really that's just a feeling everyone right out of college has. There are many other options out there, and a lot of them (in fact, almost every other one) does not involve taking on six figures of debt. I'd think outside the box, join a startup if you want to really cause some upheaval in your life. But be for sure - for sure, for sure - before you go to law school.

Let me know if you've got questions. Like I said, we have similar backgrounds (CS degree with no ABET qualifications despite the fact that many worse schools have it, some work experience, approximately same career path, similar feelings about making the jump).

patentlybored
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby patentlybored » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:23 pm

I'm in your position too, making similar $$ as an engineer and considering LS, except

1. I think my engineering job is a little more exciting than developer
2. On the other hand, I won't be making >100K in 10 years - it'll be another 13 years before i break 6 figures at this company. And I've already been at it for 2. That's why the patent law money is so enticing.

But one thing that deters me from law is the heavy workweek - 80 hours per week is pretty standard in biglaw from what I've read. Whereas, in my current job, I work only 45 hours per week, with the occasional crazy week to meet a project deadline. I like having time for hobbies/gf/drinking heavily.

This post probably wasn't that helpful, but good luck with whatever you do.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:18 pm

anonmyuos wrote:
If you really do like patent prosecution, you can probably do OK for yourself on another path: getting a full scholarship to your closest reasonable BigStateU school. Patent prosecution at smaller firms are a little less focused on big name schools and would probably love to hire you. You might not ever be able to break into BigLaw IP Lit cases, but you'd find a GREAT niche writing patents for Japanese technology companies. And if that really is what you want to do, you might as well do it at no cost to yourself.



This. Prosecution likely won't net you the millions that litigation might, but it's a much more stable platform, the hours are far less, and you get to enjoy writing really bad science-fiction all day. Strangely, that appeals to me, along with the fact that you still earn tons of money.

I agree with everything the quoted poster said - if you want litigation, go to a T14. If you think you'll be happy not being in the court room, making good money, and not working 80 hours a week, get the best scholarship you can and do patent prosecution. If you are choosy about where you work, it doesn't have to entail all foreign work - even many patent boutiques that make their money on foreign filing have a good amount of domestic drafting work if you ask for it.

Also, re: Type B. I was in the opposite boat. My program was "Information Technology", but it was very rigorous (lots of EE, coding, and architecture) and was ABET/CAC, but since it wasn't "Computer Science" I had to do Type B. It was a pain in the butt, but it was obviously worth the trouble.

Edit:
everyone seems to assume you're interested in patent prosecution (applying for patents with the patent and trademark office on behalf of inventors). but patent litigation is another path. litigators feel more like "lawyers" in the traditional sense you might be attracted to: they go to court and argue before judges and with other lawyers. this isn't the case for patent prosecutors.


I don't disagree with this, but I figure I should at least contribute to the lit/pros debate. In prosecution, there is plenty of client interaction, where you counsel them on their patent portfolio and strategy based upon their goals and the industry and legal landscape. Secondly, you do plenty of interpersonal litigation with the Examiners at the PTO, and may spend time doing appeal briefs for the BPAI. It is by no means the same thing as patent litigation; but I find it similar to the different between corporate work and litigation. Just because you aren't in a court room doesn't mean you aren't being a lawyer.

clintone88
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby clintone88 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:03 pm

patentlybored wrote:I'm in your position too, making similar $$ as an engineer and considering LS, except

1. I think my engineering job is a little more exciting than developer
2. On the other hand, I won't be making >100K in 10 years - it'll be another 13 years before i break 6 figures at this company. And I've already been at it for 2. That's why the patent law money is so enticing.

But one thing that deters me from law is the heavy workweek - 80 hours per week is pretty standard in biglaw from what I've read. Whereas, in my current job, I work only 45 hours per week, with the occasional crazy week to meet a project deadline. I like having time for hobbies/gf/drinking heavily.

This post probably wasn't that helpful, but good luck with whatever you do.


Small patent shops usually pay market salary and don't have the 80 hour work week. At the boutique I'm at the place is basically empty by like 6:30 every night. I don't about NY/DC, but if you're in a secondary market at a prosecution shop, I would be astonished if you consistently worked 80 hours or anywhere near that.

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KevinP
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby KevinP » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:20 pm

sky7 wrote:Also, re: Type B. I was in the opposite boat. My program was "Information Technology", but it was very rigorous (lots of EE, coding, and architecture) and was ABET/CAC, but since it wasn't "Computer Science" I had to do Type B. It was a pain in the butt, but it was obviously worth the trouble.
.

I have a question. Since your program wasn't officially Computer Science, which courses did you apply towards eligibility? Did they accept your courses prefixed with "Information Technology?"

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fatduck
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby fatduck » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:00 pm

btw, if you end up being patent bar-eligible, you should really consider working for the USPTO. patent examiner might be the greatest job in the world. as a primary examiner you do your own thing with basically no supervision (until you allow an application), and now you can work from home and live wherever you want. hit six figures after a couple years, i know guys who work like 4 hours a day MAXIMUM. it's mind-numbing (so is prosecution), but it'd be super easy to go to law school part-time if you wanted to, and getting hired as a prosecutor with examiner experience would be ridiculously easy.

Anonymous User
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:47 pm

sky7 wrote:
anonmyuos wrote:
If you really do like patent prosecution, you can probably do OK for yourself on another path: getting a full scholarship to your closest reasonable BigStateU school. Patent prosecution at smaller firms are a little less focused on big name schools and would probably love to hire you. You might not ever be able to break into BigLaw IP Lit cases, but you'd find a GREAT niche writing patents for Japanese technology companies. And if that really is what you want to do, you might as well do it at no cost to yourself.



This. Prosecution likely won't net you the millions that litigation might, but it's a much more stable platform, the hours are far less, and you get to enjoy writing really bad science-fiction all day. Strangely, that appeals to me, along with the fact that you still earn tons of money.

I agree with everything the quoted poster said - if you want litigation, go to a T14. If you think you'll be happy not being in the court room, making good money, and not working 80 hours a week, get the best scholarship you can and do patent prosecution. If you are choosy about where you work, it doesn't have to entail all foreign work - even many patent boutiques that make their money on foreign filing have a good amount of domestic drafting work if you ask for it.



This advice, that is, to go to a regional T1 over T14 for patent pros, is in direct contradiction to the results of my poll in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=189775&view=viewpoll

Can someone provide an answer which, if true, would best explain the discrepancy given above?

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fatduck
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby fatduck » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sky7 wrote:
anonmyuos wrote:
If you really do like patent prosecution, you can probably do OK for yourself on another path: getting a full scholarship to your closest reasonable BigStateU school. Patent prosecution at smaller firms are a little less focused on big name schools and would probably love to hire you. You might not ever be able to break into BigLaw IP Lit cases, but you'd find a GREAT niche writing patents for Japanese technology companies. And if that really is what you want to do, you might as well do it at no cost to yourself.



This. Prosecution likely won't net you the millions that litigation might, but it's a much more stable platform, the hours are far less, and you get to enjoy writing really bad science-fiction all day. Strangely, that appeals to me, along with the fact that you still earn tons of money.

I agree with everything the quoted poster said - if you want litigation, go to a T14. If you think you'll be happy not being in the court room, making good money, and not working 80 hours a week, get the best scholarship you can and do patent prosecution. If you are choosy about where you work, it doesn't have to entail all foreign work - even many patent boutiques that make their money on foreign filing have a good amount of domestic drafting work if you ask for it.



This advice, that is, to go to a regional T1 over T14 for patent pros, is in direct contradiction to the results of my poll in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=189775&view=viewpoll

Can someone provide an answer which, if true, would best explain the discrepancy given above?

well, you gave basically no information in that thread - what degree/work experience? what market do you want to work in? etc. so makes sense that people just picked the T14.

patentlybored
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby patentlybored » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:00 pm

fatduck wrote:
well, you gave basically no information in that thread - what degree/work experience? what market do you want to work in? etc. so makes sense that people just picked the T14.



Fair enough, except i think its pretty obvious that i want chicago market based on the 3 schools i gave in the hypo.

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fatduck
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby fatduck » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:04 pm

patentlybored wrote:
fatduck wrote:
well, you gave basically no information in that thread - what degree/work experience? what market do you want to work in? etc. so makes sense that people just picked the T14.



Fair enough, except i think its pretty obvious that i want chicago market based on the 3 schools i gave in the hypo.

yea but even if you want to work in chicago, you might be pretty fucked out of Kent without local ties. without much info people are just gonna say go to northwestern because it's the "safe" (lol) choice.

anonmyuos
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby anonmyuos » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This advice, that is, to go to a regional T1 over T14 for patent pros, is in direct contradiction to the results of my poll in this thread:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... w=viewpoll

Can someone provide an answer which, if true, would best explain the discrepancy given above?


What fatduck said. No information = go the safe route. "Patent law" isn't very specific. Additionally, OP here speaks Japanese; in an industry that has a ton of Japanese companies, and not many Japanese-English-speaking patent lawyers, this is no small deal. Also, 50K isn't exactly a full ride. And Kent is definitely not a BigStateU school. If you posted "Illinois 120K vs. NU at sticker" it would probably be different. And even then, 120K isn't exactly full ride - but it's close enough to be within the realm I guess. Barely anyone provided any real information in your thread - probably because your original post provided nothing. A bunch of random answers to a poll doesn't tell you much.

nylaboy
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby nylaboy » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:05 am

Wow thanks guys. :)

I didn't think that you guys would be this helpful. I thought many people would tell me to forget law school because I wouldn't find a job. I am happy to hear that going to law school doesn't have to the end of the world.

So after reading all these comments, do you think it's better to become eligible for Category B first? I am actually missing two consecutive courses of chem/physics to be eligible (I feel dumb coz I took a ton of unnecessary Bio classes). And should law school be after I pass the patent exam?

CyLaw
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby CyLaw » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:18 am

nylaboy wrote:So after reading all these comments, do you think it's better to become eligible for Category B first? I am actually missing two consecutive courses of chem/physics to be eligible (I feel dumb coz I took a ton of unnecessary Bio classes). And should law school be after I pass the patent exam?


For what it is worth, one of my classmates took the required physics classes he needed for Category B during 2L year. I do not think the key is passing the patent exam before law school, but instead only making sure you will eventually will be patent bar eligible. You may not even need the patent bar (say if you are going into patent lit), but it is helpful to note to employers that you are patent bar eligible.

I would recommend working on those LSAT practice tests first, and not worrying about the patent bar for now. Assuming you can eventually become eligible, you don't really need the patent bar before law school. Having a registration number will help somewhat with finding an SA position, but I doubt it really helps that much more than simply being patent bar eligible. The only reason I could see for passing the patent bar before law school would be if you wanted to attend law school part time and work as a patent agent or patent law clerk during the day.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:15 am

KevinP wrote:
sky7 wrote:Also, re: Type B. I was in the opposite boat. My program was "Information Technology", but it was very rigorous (lots of EE, coding, and architecture) and was ABET/CAC, but since it wasn't "Computer Science" I had to do Type B. It was a pain in the butt, but it was obviously worth the trouble.
.

I have a question. Since your program wasn't officially Computer Science, which courses did you apply towards eligibility? Did they accept your courses prefixed with "Information Technology?"


Yes. If you read closely in the Type B section, networking/coding/architecture classes of any designation seem to count.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:21 am

CyLaw wrote:
nylaboy wrote:So after reading all these comments, do you think it's better to become eligible for Category B first? I am actually missing two consecutive courses of chem/physics to be eligible (I feel dumb coz I took a ton of unnecessary Bio classes). And should law school be after I pass the patent exam?


For what it is worth, one of my classmates took the required physics classes he needed for Category B during 2L year. I do not think the key is passing the patent exam before law school, but instead only making sure you will eventually will be patent bar eligible. You may not even need the patent bar (say if you are going into patent lit), but it is helpful to note to employers that you are patent bar eligible.

I would recommend working on those LSAT practice tests first, and not worrying about the patent bar for now. Assuming you can eventually become eligible, you don't really need the patent bar before law school. Having a registration number will help somewhat with finding an SA position, but I doubt it really helps that much more than simply being patent bar eligible. The only reason I could see for passing the patent bar before law school would be if you wanted to attend law school part time and work as a patent agent or patent law clerk during the day.


I sort of disagree with this advice. If possible, I'd try to pass the patent bar before you went to law school. Obviously, do the LSAT first. But after the LSAT and before law school, knock out the patent bar. It will have a huge effect on your prospects of getting an SA. If you want to do litigation instead, just make sure you demonstrate some interest in litigation, or you may get pigeon-holed in prosecution.

I only say this because I had the misfortune of trying to pass the Patent Bar during law school - it wasn't a lot of fun. If I could have knocked it out beforehand, I would have. Also, I couldn't score a gig at ANY law firm before my reg #. Once I put my reg # on the top of my resume, I almost immediately had multiple firms competing for me. And I was a pretty poor law student academically.

So my advice is to just knock it out beforehand.

CyLaw
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby CyLaw » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:30 am

sky7 wrote:
CyLaw wrote:
nylaboy wrote:So after reading all these comments, do you think it's better to become eligible for Category B first? I am actually missing two consecutive courses of chem/physics to be eligible (I feel dumb coz I took a ton of unnecessary Bio classes). And should law school be after I pass the patent exam?


For what it is worth, one of my classmates took the required physics classes he needed for Category B during 2L year. I do not think the key is passing the patent exam before law school, but instead only making sure you will eventually will be patent bar eligible. You may not even need the patent bar (say if you are going into patent lit), but it is helpful to note to employers that you are patent bar eligible.

I would recommend working on those LSAT practice tests first, and not worrying about the patent bar for now. Assuming you can eventually become eligible, you don't really need the patent bar before law school. Having a registration number will help somewhat with finding an SA position, but I doubt it really helps that much more than simply being patent bar eligible. The only reason I could see for passing the patent bar before law school would be if you wanted to attend law school part time and work as a patent agent or patent law clerk during the day.


I sort of disagree with this advice. If possible, I'd try to pass the patent bar before you went to law school. Obviously, do the LSAT first. But after the LSAT and before law school, knock out the patent bar. It will have a huge effect on your prospects of getting an SA. If you want to do litigation instead, just make sure you demonstrate some interest in litigation, or you may get pigeon-holed in prosecution.

I only say this because I had the misfortune of trying to pass the Patent Bar during law school - it wasn't a lot of fun. If I could have knocked it out beforehand, I would have. Also, I couldn't score a gig at ANY law firm before my reg #. Once I put my reg # on the top of my resume, I almost immediately had multiple firms competing for me. And I was a pretty poor law student academically.

So my advice is to just knock it out beforehand.


^ Good advice. We are in different situations, thus my experience was different. I am glad I didn't get my reg number before law school because my firm from last summer will likely pay for the patent bar and patent review course. But your advice seems very sound for a prospective law student.

Personally, I did not want to feel forced into doing intellectual property law until I tried it during the summer. Thus, my own hesitation in taking the patent bar until necessary.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:57 pm

CyLaw wrote:
sky7 wrote:
CyLaw wrote:
nylaboy wrote:So after reading all these comments, do you think it's better to become eligible for Category B first? I am actually missing two consecutive courses of chem/physics to be eligible (I feel dumb coz I took a ton of unnecessary Bio classes). And should law school be after I pass the patent exam?


For what it is worth, one of my classmates took the required physics classes he needed for Category B during 2L year. I do not think the key is passing the patent exam before law school, but instead only making sure you will eventually will be patent bar eligible. You may not even need the patent bar (say if you are going into patent lit), but it is helpful to note to employers that you are patent bar eligible.

I would recommend working on those LSAT practice tests first, and not worrying about the patent bar for now. Assuming you can eventually become eligible, you don't really need the patent bar before law school. Having a registration number will help somewhat with finding an SA position, but I doubt it really helps that much more than simply being patent bar eligible. The only reason I could see for passing the patent bar before law school would be if you wanted to attend law school part time and work as a patent agent or patent law clerk during the day.


I sort of disagree with this advice. If possible, I'd try to pass the patent bar before you went to law school. Obviously, do the LSAT first. But after the LSAT and before law school, knock out the patent bar. It will have a huge effect on your prospects of getting an SA. If you want to do litigation instead, just make sure you demonstrate some interest in litigation, or you may get pigeon-holed in prosecution.

I only say this because I had the misfortune of trying to pass the Patent Bar during law school - it wasn't a lot of fun. If I could have knocked it out beforehand, I would have. Also, I couldn't score a gig at ANY law firm before my reg #. Once I put my reg # on the top of my resume, I almost immediately had multiple firms competing for me. And I was a pretty poor law student academically.

So my advice is to just knock it out beforehand.


^ Good advice. We are in different situations, thus my experience was different. I am glad I didn't get my reg number before law school because my firm from last summer will likely pay for the patent bar and patent review course. But your advice seems very sound for a prospective law student.

Personally, I did not want to feel forced into doing intellectual property law until I tried it during the summer. Thus, my own hesitation in taking the patent bar until necessary.


Credited.

Also - looks like the OP needs to finish Physics/Chem (PS, definitely do Physics!). In that situation, I'd do those classes before law school. Just find a local CC to go to.

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KevinP
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby KevinP » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:59 pm

sky7 wrote:Yes. If you read closely in the Type B section, networking/coding/architecture classes of any designation seem to count.

Awesome! Good to know.




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