Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

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anonmyuos
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:33 am

Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby anonmyuos » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:49 am

nylaboy wrote: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?


I'm not sure what to take out of your response here. On the one hand, you seem like you kind of understand that most of the commentators here aren't saying law school is going to end with you on Skid's Row. This is true. But your next question is focused on passing the patent bar, which is kind of weird.

Me, and most of the other commentators here, seem to agree that you need to get that LSAT score up before considering law school. This is the first step, and the only step which you should be concentrating on at this point. Even if your better-than-most position, applying to law school with a 163 LSAT is not good. It's not a downright failure either, but it's not ideal. So work on getting that up first.

And second, I can't emphasize this enough, really really really really (did I say really enough?) think about what you want to do in the future. Look hard into the details of patent prosecution and patent litigation, and figure out whether you want to do one, or the other, or neither. This is critical.

Law school is a half million dollar decision. I'm not kidding. Back of the envelope calculation: If you didn't go to law school you'd make minimum $180K in the next 3 years. If you do go, and pay full price, you'll be out around $200K at least. (+180 - (-200)) = 380K. And that doesn't include future earnings potential. Even at BigLaw salary, you'd probably need a full 4-5 years before you make up the difference. It's a major decision and you need to take it seriously. Figure out what exactly you want to do, and do it as cheap as possible. This is the key to your future.

I was told all of this prior to law school, and I ignored most of it because I thought I was different. I'm telling you now, and posting very heavily in this thread with long posts, because I don't want you to make the same mistake. It might work out for you - but you need to seriously consider the possibility that it won't as well. And plan for the worst. Hope it never comes, but plan for it because it can happen to even the most careful.

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rayiner
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby rayiner » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:56 am

I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. All the IP people I know at my T14 got a 2L SA, even with low grades, and including people who only qualified for the patent bar through Part B. But it's a stark contrast as you leave the T14. So if you can get into a T14, I say go for it.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:07 pm

rayiner wrote:I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. All the IP people I know at my T14 got a 2L SA, even with low grades, and including people who only qualified for the patent bar through Part B. But it's a stark contrast as you leave the T14. So if you can get into a T14, I say go for it.


Really? Says who?

clintone88
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby clintone88 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:47 pm

sky7 wrote:
rayiner wrote:I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. All the IP people I know at my T14 got a 2L SA, even with low grades, and including people who only qualified for the patent bar through Part B. But it's a stark contrast as you leave the T14. So if you can get into a T14, I say go for it.


Really? Says who?


I tend to agree. I'm sure it's better for T14, but I don't think it's a "stark contrast." All of the people who are patent bar eligible at my t30 are doing fine. I don't think anyone has offers from V10s, but then again, why would you want to work 2800 hours when you could work 1800 for the same salary.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:56 pm

clintone88 wrote:
sky7 wrote:
rayiner wrote:I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. All the IP people I know at my T14 got a 2L SA, even with low grades, and including people who only qualified for the patent bar through Part B. But it's a stark contrast as you leave the T14. So if you can get into a T14, I say go for it.


Really? Says who?


I tend to agree. I'm sure it's better for T14, but I don't think it's a "stark contrast." All of the people who are patent bar eligible at my t30 are doing fine. I don't think anyone has offers from V10s, but then again, why would you want to work 2800 hours when you could work 1800 for the same salary.


This is exactly correct. I'm certain that people at T14s are slaying the current market with a reg #. But most other decent schools seem to be IPSECURE as well.

It was for exactly the reason (hours) stated that I'm staying boutique and not going to a V100 - I get paid just as much, and work far less hours. #patentprosecutionFTW (of course, I'll never make 2.5M as a partner)

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rayiner
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby rayiner » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:52 pm

sky7 wrote:
rayiner wrote:I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. All the IP people I know at my T14 got a 2L SA, even with low grades, and including people who only qualified for the patent bar through Part B. But it's a stark contrast as you leave the T14. So if you can get into a T14, I say go for it.


Really? Says who?


Sorry that was worded inarticulately. I'm not just talking about IP. I know some below median T30 people who are getting jobs but had to really hustle. My below median T14 IP friends were picking between OCI offers. Moreover, my below median non-IP friends mostly got big law as well. Based on what I hear from the transfer class and the people they know, your job search at/below median is starkly different at a T30, though much less so for people who do well.

nylaboy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:24 am

Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby nylaboy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:00 am

anonmyuos wrote:
nylaboy wrote: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?


I'm not sure what to take out of your response here. On the one hand, you seem like you kind of understand that most of the commentators here aren't saying law school is going to end with you on Skid's Row. This is true. But your next question is focused on passing the patent bar, which is kind of weird.

Me, and most of the other commentators here, seem to agree that you need to get that LSAT score up before considering law school. This is the first step, and the only step which you should be concentrating on at this point. Even if your better-than-most position, applying to law school with a 163 LSAT is not good. It's not a downright failure either, but it's not ideal. So work on getting that up first.

And second, I can't emphasize this enough, really really really really (did I say really enough?) think about what you want to do in the future. Look hard into the details of patent prosecution and patent litigation, and figure out whether you want to do one, or the other, or neither. This is critical.

Law school is a half million dollar decision. I'm not kidding. Back of the envelope calculation: If you didn't go to law school you'd make minimum $180K in the next 3 years. If you do go, and pay full price, you'll be out around $200K at least. (+180 - (-200)) = 380K. And that doesn't include future earnings potential. Even at BigLaw salary, you'd probably need a full 4-5 years before you make up the difference. It's a major decision and you need to take it seriously. Figure out what exactly you want to do, and do it as cheap as possible. This is the key to your future.

I was told all of this prior to law school, and I ignored most of it because I thought I was different. I'm telling you now, and posting very heavily in this thread with long posts, because I don't want you to make the same mistake. It might work out for you - but you need to seriously consider the possibility that it won't as well. And plan for the worst. Hope it never comes, but plan for it because it can happen to even the most careful.


Thanks and I know what you are saying.

But it's not like I woke up one morning and decided to go to law school. I was a Computer Science major in college, but also a pre-law as well. I have thought about whether or not I should go to law school thoroughly and that's why I didn't go to law school right off the bat. I mean the worst comes to the worst, I can always go back and become a software developer. Also, I don't think I am as optimistic as you think I am about being a lawyer. I am well aware of the possibility that this isn't gonna work out and that's part of the reason why I am a computer science major. It's not like I love developing software and coding all day long. I wanted security in case something doesn't work out. I worked really hard at college, and as a result I still receive job offer emails on a weekly basis.

Also you say that I need to reconsider real hard before I make that decision, but please tell me what I am supposed to do. I've gone to law school fairs at college and kept in touch with my friends who went to law school after they graduated. A lot of my friends' parents are lawyers and I have discussed pros and cons with them. My pre-law professors were lawyers from local firms and I personally went and talked to them too because I wanted to see if what I may be doing is worth my time and money. After all my pre-law classes, they can recognize my face and know me to the point where they can write me recommendation letters. Unfortunately, none of them are patent lawyers and don't have a similar background like mine (Computer Science and Japanese), but I want you to know that I am not one of those people who failed to find a job because he/she picked a wrong major and decided to go to law school just because it sounds cool to become a lawyer. I have thought about this for a long time.

Something else I noticed. Personally you can never tell whether or not you like the job until you actually do it. Some things may seem tough in the beginning, but as you do'em, they can become doable or even enjoyable. Also, the environment could be very different depending on which firm you work for. I am an application developer but my working environment would be very different if I was working for Apple.

You are right about the LSAT issue and I implied that I'd study for the LSAT in the beginning of the thread because 163 is not a good score. Ultimately, I am not gonna apply to law school unless I score above 170. Getting into T14 is super hard yet the only case I'd go to law school is when I get into one of them. Applying with a 163 makes no sense to me.

Lastly, I really appreciate every comment that you guys make on this thread. Thank you. It means a lot to me.

anonmyuos
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:33 am

Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby anonmyuos » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:47 am

nylaboy wrote:Thanks and I know what you are saying.

But it's not like I woke up one morning and decided to go to law school. I was a Computer Science major in college, but also a pre-law as well. I have thought about whether or not I should go to law school thoroughly and that's why I didn't go to law school right off the bat. I mean the worst comes to the worst, I can always go back and become a software developer. Also, I don't think I am as optimistic as you think I am about being a lawyer. I am well aware of the possibility that this isn't gonna work out and that's part of the reason why I am a computer science major. It's not like I love developing software and coding all day long. I wanted security in case something doesn't work out. I worked really hard at college, and as a result I still receive job offer emails on a weekly basis.

Also you say that I need to reconsider real hard before I make that decision, but please tell me what I am supposed to do. I've gone to law school fairs at college and kept in touch with my friends who went to law school after they graduated. A lot of my friends' parents are lawyers and I have discussed pros and cons with them. My pre-law professors were lawyers from local firms and I personally went and talked to them too because I wanted to see if what I may be doing is worth my time and money. After all my pre-law classes, they can recognize my face and know me to the point where they can write me recommendation letters. Unfortunately, none of them are patent lawyers and don't have a similar background like mine (Computer Science and Japanese), but I want you to know that I am not one of those people who failed to find a job because he/she picked a wrong major and decided to go to law school just because it sounds cool to become a lawyer. I have thought about this for a long time.

Something else I noticed. Personally you can never tell whether or not you like the job until you actually do it. Some things may seem tough in the beginning, but as you do'em, they can become doable or even enjoyable. Also, the environment could be very different depending on which firm you work for. I am an application developer but my working environment would be very different if I was working for Apple.

You are right about the LSAT issue and I implied that I'd study for the LSAT in the beginning of the thread because 163 is not a good score. Ultimately, I am not gonna apply to law school unless I score above 170. Getting into T14 is super hard yet the only case I'd go to law school is when I get into one of them. Applying with a 163 makes no sense to me.

Lastly, I really appreciate every comment that you guys make on this thread. Thank you. It means a lot to me.


Fair enough. Like I said - you sound a lot like me, and I personally think I am awesome so that's gotta be good, right? Anyway, good luck - I agree it's tough to know what you want to do until you do it. Which blows, but what are you gonna do. Sounds like you got a great attitude.

pinetree
Posts: 1
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby pinetree » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:17 am

I am also bilingual software engineer with many years of experience. I graduated from a top 40 law school in the bottom half of my class. I passed the Patent Bar. I have been looking since last year and so far I got nothing. All the positions requires at least 2 years experience. I also know another guy graduating from a T-14 school. He also passed the Patent Bar. He has been looking for a year. He got nothing either.

You have to get good grades to be competitive in this market.

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dood
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby dood » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:56 am

nylaboy wrote: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?


finding a job as a patent lawyer is easier than non-patent attorney. you're absolutely correct in that u must go to T14 or GW or not at all (if you want a patent law job with big paycheck). bilingual helps if all other things are equal, but will not make up for lack of top school or shitty grades. the risk of law school is its either $160K or almost nothing at all; but you'll make $160K if u go to a T14 and get good 1L grades.

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sky7
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Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby sky7 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:21 am

dood wrote:
nylaboy wrote: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?


finding a job as a patent lawyer is easier than non-patent attorney. you're absolutely correct in that u must go to T14 or GW or not at all (if you want a patent law job with big paycheck). bilingual helps if all other things are equal, but will not make up for lack of top school or shitty grades. the risk of law school is its either $160K or almost nothing at all; but you'll make $160K if u go to a T14 and get good 1L grades.


So, we're starting to hear from Dood and others in this thread that the outlook for those who didn't go to a T14 or GW (a very prominent IP program) are having problems finding high paying patent jobs.

This is news to me - please read my previous posts accordingly.

Has the OP ever commented regarding whether he was willing to do prosecution?

nylaboy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:24 am

Re: Outlook for Patent Lawyer with Computer Science BA

Postby nylaboy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:53 pm

sky7 wrote:
dood wrote:
nylaboy wrote: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?


finding a job as a patent lawyer is easier than non-patent attorney. you're absolutely correct in that u must go to T14 or GW or not at all (if you want a patent law job with big paycheck). bilingual helps if all other things are equal, but will not make up for lack of top school or shitty grades. the risk of law school is its either $160K or almost nothing at all; but you'll make $160K if u go to a T14 and get good 1L grades.


So, we're starting to hear from Dood and others in this thread that the outlook for those who didn't go to a T14 or GW (a very prominent IP program) are having problems finding high paying patent jobs.

This is news to me - please read my previous posts accordingly.

Has the OP ever commented regarding whether he was willing to do prosecution?


Hey sky7. Thank you so much for your continuous comments that you've made on this thread. They really encouraged me and that my outlook is not an absolute disaster.

After reading your detailed helpful comments, it appears that you are already a lawyer and doing pretty well. With that in mind, you say that going to a T14 does NOT have to be the only way for someone like me to become successful in securing a job. Part of the reason why I overly emphasize T14 comes from the rumors I hear that graduates outside of T14 will not find a decent job unless they have a killer GPA.

So how would that be a problem? I will tell you the truth. Frankly, I am a little scared. I am not so sure if I can really excel at law school. Here's the reason. I graduated from a reputable school with honors and my friends looked at me as a hard working student. My friends often had straight A's and really high SAT scores from high school, but I still did well among them. But at law school, everyone is like me. They excelled at other reputable schools and I have to complete against them. Undergrad weeded out academically not hard working students somewhat, but high school was not very hard and neither was SAT. College? It was really hard to me. I sometimes had no sleep just to finish my assignments. The average engineer GPA was much lower than the average overall GPA. When I compete against people like that, am I really going to have a killer GPA? Can I be in the top 10%? I don't know.

If I go to a T14, maybe I don't have to be in the top 10%. If I stay in the top 30%, maybe I can find a decent job. It's so much harder to get into a T14, but I can be a little more certain that I will find a job after graduation. Maybe being in the top 30% at a T14 requires as much work as being in the top 10% at a T30, but I'd feel somewhat relieved that I don't have to do super well when I compare myself with other students. I am going to work real hard during law school, but I am who I am. I am good at memorizing, but it often takes longer when I understand hard concepts. I am not genius. :(

As to whether I wanna do prosecution or litigation, I haven't decided. But working 80 hours a week won't work for me. I want to have a family and do not want to miss out on family events. Money is important, but I would not want to sacrifice things that matter to me for money. Some of you may tell me to quit thinking about law school if I say this and it is a cliche, but family comes first at least for me.

Also, sky7 - you must be busy with your own legal work every day. I truly appreciate taking your valuable time for leaving comments on my thread. You are awesome. :)




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