BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

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Aq9696

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BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby Aq9696 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:16 am

Hi guys, I'm new here to the forum and had a question regarding my degree and how it translates into law. I currently am an Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences major, my program is fairly interdisciplinary (taking classes in advanced geology, adv chemistry, genetics, lots of physics and sustainability type classes and a focus on biology). Post undergrad is it better for me to work for a couple of years as a biologist or do masters in biology to increase my chances of working in patent/IP law? Pros and cons? Also, for law school admissions, which looks better? Lastly, what does the future hold for patent/IP attorneys looking to work in possibly plant/biological patents versus other specialties (ie, tech/biochem). Thank you for your time.

sparkytrainer

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby sparkytrainer » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:59 am

For patent law, a BS is not enough. Generally need a masters at a minimum, some places only hire PHDs. Further, environmental science might not even be eligible for the patent bar. Would have to check, but generally need postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electric engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.

totesTheGoat

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:14 pm

sparkytrainer wrote: Would have to check, but generally need postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electric engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.


Whether or not it's required for a USPTO reg. number, you would be extremely limited in the market without a PhD in chemistry/chemical engineering/biochem/biomed. It's a non-negotiable prerequisite for most bigger law firms and in-house positions.

My recommendation is that you take a few hours and look at some job boards to see what the requirements are for patent attorneys in the "life sciences" field. I'm on the EE/CS side of things so I don't pay too much attention to the life sciences job reqs, but I don't recall ever seeing one that doesn't include a PhD or a PhD + work experience.

SplitMyPants

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby SplitMyPants » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:00 pm

for patent litigation, even though things are slowing down a bit due to the current climate as it relates to patent rights generally, you could get away with a bs in most patent bar eligible majors with a t14 degree or a high tier 1. i have seen it around both at places i have worked as well as on firm websites. however, an engineering (specifically electrical) or graduate studies in a more focused life science (bio / chem / bio-chem) would be far better, as the previous poster mentioned.

Post undergrad is it better for me to work for a couple of years as a biologist or do masters in biology to increase my chances of working in patent/IP law?

not sure if either is definitively better. also look into a masters in biology where you can work as a graduate researcher, killing two birds with one stone.
also consider learning about and looking into being a patent examiner for a while. it would give you both exposure to patent law and some meaningful experience.

Also, for law school admissions, which looks better?

for law school admissions, nothing matters but gpa/lsat---its 95% a numbers game.

Lastly, what does the future hold for patent/IP attorneys looking to work in possibly plant/biological patents versus other specialties (ie, tech/biochem).

I think if you wanted to go the patent law route, its most likely the work you will find at most firms that want your background would entail pharmaceutical and medical devices.

ClubberLang

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby ClubberLang » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:39 pm

The first thing to do is find out if you are interested in prosecution or litigation. If prosecution, an advanced degree in chemistry, biology, electrical engineering, or computer science is useful. For litigation, you don't need an advanced degree. It might be helpful, but if you can get into a good law school and know you want to do patent litigation, you are probably better off working for a year or two and going to straight law school. For either prosecution or litigation, an advanced degree in environmental science is almost worthless.

dubbadubs

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby dubbadubs » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:29 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:For patent law, a BS is not enough. Generally need a masters at a minimum, some places only hire PHDs. Further, environmental science might not even be eligible for the patent bar. Would have to check, but generally need postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electric engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.


I read this all over TLS to the point it discouraged me from even trying. I never mentioned my interest in IP unless the interviewer brought it up. I got 3 offers to do IP with only a BS Chem.

foregetaboutdre

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:06 pm

dubbadubs wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:For patent law, a BS is not enough. Generally need a masters at a minimum, some places only hire PHDs. Further, environmental science might not even be eligible for the patent bar. Would have to check, but generally need postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electric engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.


I read this all over TLS to the point it discouraged me from even trying. I never mentioned my interest in IP unless the interviewer brought it up. I got 3 offers to do IP with only a BS Chem.


For secondary markets (in the midwest at least) I see many pure BS people doing IP and getting biglaw IP jobs fwiw.

sparkytrainer

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby sparkytrainer » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:23 pm

I just want to point out doing biglaw IP is different than biglaw patent.

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Leo

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby Leo » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:25 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:For patent law, a BS is not enough. Generally need a masters at a minimum, some places only hire PHDs. Further, environmental science might not even be eligible for the patent bar. Would have to check, but generally need postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electric engineering, biomedical engineering, etc.

This is 100% wrong. I know plenty of people in patent lit with just a BS, and some of them are not even STEM degrees. Patent prosecution is a different story, of course. You'll need a technical degree, and a masters/PhD gives a huge boost. Still, I don't think it's necessary.

ClubberLang

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby ClubberLang » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:53 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:I just want to point out doing biglaw IP is different than biglaw patent.


What are you talking about? Others have already distinguished patent litigation requirements from patent prosecution requirements. You continue to be profoundly unhelpful. Stand down.

totesTheGoat

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:01 pm

Leo wrote: I know plenty of people in patent lit with just a BS, and some of them are not even STEM degrees.


To be fair, there are zero requirements to work in patent lit. I know people with journo, psych, creative writing and philosophy degrees that are patent litigators. Of course, your job prospects in patent lit are no different than in any other type of lit. There may be a little bit of a plus for having a STEM degree, but it's certainly not probative.

Many of us see "BS in STEM" and "patent law" and automatically assume patent prosecution, which, in hindsight, may not be the best assumption to make.

Patent prosecution is a different story, of course. You'll need a technical degree, and a masters/PhD gives a huge boost. Still, I don't think it's necessary.


It's not "necessary" just like how it's not "necessary" in certain states that you go to law school to sit for the bar exam. Sure, there are some successful people who have gone that path, but you're putting yourself at a huge disadvantage by trying to follow them.

sparkytrainer

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby sparkytrainer » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:03 pm

ClubberLang wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I just want to point out doing biglaw IP is different than biglaw patent.


What are you talking about? Others have already distinguished patent litigation requirements from patent prosecution requirements. You continue to be profoundly unhelpful. Stand down.


Alright there buddy. Some, if not most of the biglaw groups I am familiar with separate IP work and patent work in distinct ways. At a lot of places, you have a general IP practice that focuses more on trademark and copyright stuff. Those people may have a science BS, but might not.

Then there are the people that do more patent stuff. Generally, the strict patent people have a stronger science background, usually with a minimum of a masters in a hard science, but mostly with a PHD. Obviously the distinction amongst patent lit and patent pros has been made above.

But the people with hard science graduate degrees are usually doing much more direct patent work, while people without that background do more general IP, i.e. copyright work.

Maybe some firms don't work like this, but at the biglaw firms I am familiar with, there is a distinction between the two groups even if they are under the same large umbrella.

But keep spouting nonsense yourself asshat.

SplitMyPants

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby SplitMyPants » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:19 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I just want to point out doing biglaw IP is different than biglaw patent.


What are you talking about? Others have already distinguished patent litigation requirements from patent prosecution requirements. You continue to be profoundly unhelpful. Stand down.


Alright there buddy. Some, if not most of the biglaw groups I am familiar with separate IP work and patent work in distinct ways. At a lot of places, you have a general IP practice that focuses more on trademark and copyright stuff. Those people may have a science BS, but might not.

Then there are the people that do more patent stuff. Generally, the strict patent people have a stronger science background, usually with a minimum of a masters in a hard science, but mostly with a PHD. Obviously the distinction amongst patent lit and patent pros has been made above.

But the people with hard science graduate degrees are usually doing much more direct patent work, while people without that background do more general IP, i.e. copyright work.

Maybe some firms don't work like this, but at the biglaw firms I am familiar with, there is a distinction between the two groups even if they are under the same large umbrella.

But keep spouting nonsense yourself asshat.


outside of proskauer and a handful of others (i.e., a lot of firms doing entertainment work in LA), for the vast majority of firms, IP = patents and technology transactions. To the extent it can be said to include copyright for most firms, its usually copyright and software as it relates to technology transactions. Further, to the extent that it relates to trademarks for such firms, its trademark diligence for transactions (trademark prosecution is as commoditized as patent pros). this has been the general rule from what ive seen, anyways

ClubberLang

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby ClubberLang » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:38 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I just want to point out doing biglaw IP is different than biglaw patent.


What are you talking about? Others have already distinguished patent litigation requirements from patent prosecution requirements. You continue to be profoundly unhelpful. Stand down.


Alright there buddy. Some, if not most of the biglaw groups I am familiar with separate IP work and patent work in distinct ways. At a lot of places, you have a general IP practice that focuses more on trademark and copyright stuff. Those people may have a science BS, but might not.

Then there are the people that do more patent stuff. Generally, the strict patent people have a stronger science background, usually with a minimum of a masters in a hard science, but mostly with a PHD. Obviously the distinction amongst patent lit and patent pros has been made above.

But the people with hard science graduate degrees are usually doing much more direct patent work, while people without that background do more general IP, i.e. copyright work.

Maybe some firms don't work like this, but at the biglaw firms I am familiar with, there is a distinction between the two groups even if they are under the same large umbrella.

But keep spouting nonsense yourself asshat.


Thanks for setting me straight.

OP, don't listen to this guy.

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Roy McAvoy

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby Roy McAvoy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:50 pm

You can do pros with just a BS in chem or bio but it'll be tough - don't know about environmental science if it's even patent bar eligible. The more research, etc. you can do in the field the better, but I'd suggest getting a masters if you can to increase your chances. I have a biochem background and will be doing pros (mostly) in an unrelated tech field when I graduate (current 3L). PM me if you want to discuss.

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Re: BS in Environmental Sci---Patent Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:56 pm

I know multiple people at my T6 with BS degrees who are going into patent litigation. I really would not get an MS just to increase your chances in one particular biglaw field.

Rather, if you have the GPA and the LSAT to get into a T-14 school, you will likely be qualified for a number of different biglaw jobs just because of your JD, and possibly more competitive than usual for some subset of those jobs (eg enviro regulatory work or patent litigation). But you'd have the backstop of having a marketable JD.

If you can't get into a T-14 then the calculus changes substantially, and it seems like it might not be worth it to go into law at all, much less to add the debt from an MS degree onto JD debt.



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