Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

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lawafa

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Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby lawafa » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:35 pm

Hi Everyone:

I got my JD four years ago and since then I have been practicing as immigration attorney which I very much enjoy. Since I will probably have to relocate to another state for family and personal reason where immigration does not have a good job market, I am thinking on going after my second option which is patent law. In undergrad, I took couple of science courses but my undergrad major is not science related. I thought about going back to an engineering school after passing the bar, but being busy with work I just kept postponing it. At this point, I would like to finally enroll into a program and give it a try.

Does anyone have any information about the online computer science programs? My understanding is that in order to take Patent Bar, it either has to be ABE accredited or take certain classes. How is the job market for attorneys? Does having an online degree from an engineering school look bad even if I pass the Patent bar? I did speak with the school admission who told me the degree does not say online. But me living in the east coast, and having a degree from west coast, it would be obvious from my resume that is an online degree.

I would appreciate any insight or help especially from those who have taken this path... computer science after law school. Thank you in advance.

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pancakes3

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:49 pm

it'll make you technically eligible for the patent bar but i don't think an UG CS degree (from an online program) would move the needle as far as patent lit/pros jobs go.

1styearlateral

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:29 pm

From my experience and own research CS isn't really the degree firms look for in patent pros since I believe the software industry is trying to move away from patent protection and into copyright and trade secret. Most patent pro positions look for biology/chemistry or some combination thereof for pharma, or some flavor of engineering (mechanical, EE, etc.).

A CS degree would be good for software lit or privacy or something along those lines, though.

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:33 pm

Most of my firm's patent pros. hiring is for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. V100 IP Firm. Some clients may also be looking at using copyright law to protect their software, but for the clients who want patent protection, you'll have more work trying to fight Alice rejections.

lawafa

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby lawafa » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Most of my firm's patent pros. hiring is for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. V100 IP Firm. Some clients may also be looking at using copyright law to protect their software, but for the clients who want patent protection, you'll have more work trying to fight Alice rejections.


Thanks for the response! So is it safe to conclude that even though most jobs posts state "electrical engineering or computer science" the employees give more weight to those with electrical engineering background?

The two job markets I have in mind are Washington DC area (Where I am now) or Austin, Texas.

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elendinel

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby elendinel » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:55 pm

lawafa wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Most of my firm's patent pros. hiring is for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. V100 IP Firm. Some clients may also be looking at using copyright law to protect their software, but for the clients who want patent protection, you'll have more work trying to fight Alice rejections.


Thanks for the response! So is it safe to conclude that even though most jobs posts state "electrical engineering or computer science" the employees give more weight to those with electrical engineering background?

The two job markets I have in mind are Washington DC area (Where I am now) or Austin, Texas.


It's going to be firm-specific; some firms do a lot of software, some don't. Some know how to write software patents that the USPTO won't kill with 1000 cuts, some don't, which also contributes to whether or not a particular firm is going to see a lot of software patents or not. Some have more than enough agents/attorneys who can do the CS work and not enough that can do the EE work, which may be why they prefer the latter over the former; some will be the reverse. You can do a search by firm of patents on sites like Free Patents Online, to get a feel for what kinds of patents they do (it won't be exhaustive but it may help you see what firms do a lot of the work you want to do, outside of their generally hiring for that field). Of the two markets you specified, TX will be the better one.

It also depends on what you want to do; lit and transactions could almost not care less what your degree is (it's a bonus but not a requirement), while pros will definitely care more about what degree you have and what field it's in.

Whether or not your online program will be sufficient for the patent bar is going to depend on where you plan on doing it. In terms of marketability it's going to depend on what kinds of firms/etc. you're looking to apply for (do you want to land in biglaw? a boutique? a small practice with maybe a handful of other agents/attorneys?) and what type of law you want to get into (lit/transactions/pros).

Also be sure to think back on why you took those science classes and decided not to pursue a science degree, and to be able to articulate what (if anything) has changed to make you want to take them, other than job prospects (mainly just to make sure you're not spending a bunch of money on something you're going to hate, but this may also be something you get asked if you want to go into pros).

haus

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby haus » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:14 pm

If you are interested in a degree related to software development, you might want to look at the IT/Software Engineering degree from Harvard's Extension School. The program does require one class in residency, but the remainder of the program can be taken online. Also the overall cost related to this program are less than many of its peers.

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elendinel

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby elendinel » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:57 pm

haus wrote:If you are interested in a degree related to software development, you might want to look at the IT/Software Engineering degree from Harvard's Extension School. The program does require one class in residency, but the remainder of the program can be taken online. Also the overall cost related to this program are less than many of its peers.


Don't think this is ABET accredited though, so IIRC you'll also have to take chem/physics courses (in-person) if you go that route for the patent bar. You can take them at a local community college, but just FYI.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Computer Science (Online) Program After JD

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:37 pm

pancakes3 wrote:it'll make you technically eligible for the patent bar but i don't think an UG CS degree (from an online program) would move the needle as far as patent lit/pros jobs go.


If OP has excellent law school credentials, I think an online CS degree would move the needle for patent lit/privacy work.



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