part-time JD - patent prosecution

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part-time JD - patent prosecution

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:29 pm

Hi all,

Just received an admissions offer from a part-time JD program in DC (GW/GULC) and interested in other part-time law students' perspectives on full-time employment while in law school.

Background: By the time I begin law school, I will have:
-BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering (MS from Ivy)
-1 year international engineering research fellowship
-1 year WE in tech consulting for fed govt (IT and Operations)
-Active govt. clearance (hopefully)

I am interested in pursuing the Student Associate programs that IP firms have for Technical Specialists in evening law school programs (Finnegan, Fish, Oblon Spivak, etc).

Can anyone who has pursued this path provide some feedback on how their experiences were? Am I competitive for the Student Associate programs at these firms?

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Re: part-time JD - patent prosecution

Postby ClubberLang » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:29 pm

Actually getting the student associate position will be the tough part. You sound competitive, but probably would be more competitive with passing the patent bar and if you can defer admission for a year and work with the PTO you'd be ultra competitive.

That said, working full time while going to school part time sucks. There's not much else to say there, just know it is awful. If you're able to get the student associate position, though, you probably won't have to stress about grades as much.

The worst part about going part time is not being able to do many of the activities your peers are doing to make you competitive for jobs. Having the student associate position though solves all that, so you should gun hard.
Last edited by ClubberLang on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: part-time JD - patent prosecution

Postby patogordo » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:30 pm

why not just work as a patent examiner while going to GW PT?

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Re: part-time JD - patent prosecution

Postby collegebum1989 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:15 pm

Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the feedback. I would rather not defer for a year since I've waited so long to go to law school (I'm three years out of UG). However, if it makes sense financially, I will explore that option.

patogordo, I've definitely considered working at USPTO while going to GW PT. I've heard of TONS of people pursuing this option at GW PT, and many who've successfully navigated it to some good job prospects after school. However, USPTO no longer provides tuition reimbursement for examiners in evening law school, while working for a firm provides a financial advantage (even though work-life balance sucks) since your law school costs are covered.

I have a good position at a federal consulting firm right now. Salary is great (~80k), but I do more business operations and IT work, which I don't feel would help me build experience for patent jobs after finishing law school.

Any idea on the best way to approach firms for Student Associate positions? Should I just email their recruiting departments after I pass the patent bar and say that I've gotten into evening law school, passed the patent bar, etc.?

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Re: part-time JD - patent prosecution

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:04 pm

In a somewhat similar position at one of those schools, with a few years of school under my belt.

I stayed in my tech job -- good pay, less stress (provided they'll be flexible). You'll have plenty of time to network, etc. and summer associate positions, if you're strictly interested in IP/Patent stuff, w/ your background are a slam dunk down the road from GW/GULC provided you're not at the lowest 10% or something.

RE: student associate positions -- most students I know working at those firms were actually in place working at the firms prior to starting law school (firm helps pay etc.). That said, you can apply, and I believe you are competitive -- and I think you generally have the application process down. Work your contacts though--if you know someone working at the firm, that helps. Alternatively, you can wait until you start school; other students in your class will be working at those firms, and can hook you up. It's just a demanding lifestyle, and you don't want to burn out too quick -- I've seen it happen. You also don't want to sacrifice grades for a firm that you may not choose to work at after graduation.

Like I said, I decided against it, got top grades, and actually decided to not pursue IP/patent work though I passed the patent bar.

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