Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

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penncon
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Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby penncon » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:51 pm

Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone could give me any information on my situation. I am very interested in patent litigation and intellectual property law. I'm currently applying to law school in the fall and plan to sit for the patent bar before I start 1L. My question is that my UG degree is actually in English but I have a minor in Biology and thus have the requirements to sit for the patent bar. But because my degree is not in a typical STEM field, will this hurt my job prospects as a patent attorney? Should I attend a Masters program before law school? Is it enough to have the requirements to sit for the patent bar or do I need an actual degree to be competitive? I understand which law school I attend will be an important factor.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:57 pm

Well, I think it's self-evident that all else being equal, someone with a STEM degree will be more attractive to patent law employers than someone who qualified as a "Category B" by taking Biology courses, but if you know you want to end up in law, I wouldn't spend the time/money getting a master's degree just to try to get a leg up.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:05 pm

Yes, your major absolutely will hurt your chances. There are plenty of IP firms and bigger firm IP departments that only hire certain degrees, whether that's engineering/comp sci in general or even a very small list like CS/EE/bioE/mechE/chemE. I have an environmental engineering degree and chemistry minor (I qualify under categories B and C) and got no love from IP firms because everyone assumed my major was bullshit environmental science and not something closer to chemE. You'd be even further away from what they look for. That doesn't mean you would have zero chance, but certainly significantly reduced odds.

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Yardbird
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby Yardbird » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:50 pm

If you're open to IPR and litigation as opposed to prosecution, the minor (if it satisfies Category B) should be enough provided you get into a good school and get good grades. I interviewed with a bunch of parent firms and they generally liked non-STEM people for litigation (less so for IPR, but still interest).* Prosecution is likely out without a masters in your case.

*though I won't be doing patent law, though, so take this with a grain of salt.

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Attax
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby Attax » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Shitty STEM here and have been having a hard time going after IP stuff, but I am just a 1L. If I had the time, I'd go get a higher degree.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:16 pm

You need a PhD if your undergrad degree is not CS or EE.

InTheHouse
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby InTheHouse » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:21 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:You need a PhD if your undergrad degree is not CS or EE.


For lit?

ClubberLang
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby ClubberLang » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:50 pm

penncon wrote:Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone could give me any information on my situation. I am very interested in patent litigation and intellectual property law. I'm currently applying to law school in the fall and plan to sit for the patent bar before I start 1L. My question is that my UG degree is actually in English but I have a minor in Biology and thus have the requirements to sit for the patent bar. But because my degree is not in a typical STEM field, will this hurt my job prospects as a patent attorney? Should I attend a Masters program before law school? Is it enough to have the requirements to sit for the patent bar or do I need an actual degree to be competitive? I understand which law school I attend will be an important factor.


A minor in biology does not independently satisfy the requirements to sit for the patent bar. You should study the requirements, but I don't see a patent career working out for an English major. You could do lit, but it'd be a tough sell. If this is your dream job or something, maybe think about getting a second bachelors in bio or EE.

Jchance
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 am

Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby Jchance » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:24 pm

ClubberLang wrote: If this is your dream job or something, maybe think about getting a second bachelors in bio or EE or CS.

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L’Étranger
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby L’Étranger » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:30 pm

Getting an advanced science degree just to practice IP lit seems super over the top. What's wrong with other types of lit? Would recommend putting efforts towards rocking the LSAT instead if you haven't taken it yet.

Anonymous User
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:44 pm

If you're going to get another degree, get EE especially if you have any interest in prosecution. EE can do CS (and some ME), but CS often can't do EE or ME. Just more flexible and more in demand. Also, Alice decision may slow CS work.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Information on a Career as a Patent Attorney (Degree Quest.)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:45 pm

InTheHouse wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:You need a PhD if your undergrad degree is not CS or EE.


For lit?


Your undergrad degree matters for patent litigation, but not nearly as much as it does for pros. Just browse through some of the lateral listings on BCG Search, for example. Firms want people with tech backgrounds for patent lit these days.




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