Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

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goaheadualright
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Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby goaheadualright » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Hello! I was wondering if anyone has taken science classes during law school either through a nearby University or online (/if this is allowed) in order to become an IP lawyer & take the patent bar? I didn't know until coming to law school that this was a requirement but I also know it isn't too late. Was wondering if anyone had gone through this and any advice/recommendations! Thank you very much!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:12 pm

My law school allowed a maximum of 6 credits (usually 2 classes) of non-law courses to apply to the law degree. You have to submit a letter showing that the material isn't duplicated by a law school course, and that the material is "law-related." I have no idea how they'd react to pure science courses - obviously they'd be useful for IP but I don't think the LS would consider them "law-related" (I think the expectation is that you're taking something like a sociology course on the prison system or a political science course on the constitution or something).

If you're not looking to have the credits apply to your law degree, I don't think your LS could do anything about it. If you took them through the university where your LS is, you'd likely run up against maximum credits allowed and so on. If you took them at another school, I doubt your LS would even know. However, personally, I wouldn't want to take science courses on top of a full-time load of law courses, especially if you're talking about courses with labs. Certainly not during 1L - maybe a night course during the summer or something, depending on what kind of job you have. Getting the patent bar qualifications does not seem worth it if it's going to lower your LS grades.

dltripledouble
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby dltripledouble » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:54 pm

goaheadualright wrote:Hello! I was wondering if anyone has taken science classes during law school either through a nearby University or online (/if this is allowed) in order to become an IP lawyer & take the patent bar? I didn't know until coming to law school that this was a requirement but I also know it isn't too late. Was wondering if anyone had gone through this and any advice/recommendations! Thank you very much!


I was short a couple classes to sit for the patent bar but I was able to take a couple physics courses at a nearby community college during my 2L year, which allowed me to sit for the patent bar. Community colleges are relatively cheap and the courses are usually easier than taking the same course at a four-year university. Just make sure that the course qualifies as a course that the PTO will accept (has to be a course for science/engineering majors). I would definitely recommend this route if you are just 1 or 2 classes short of qualifying to sit for the patent bar. It worked for me.

I wouldn't recommend taking extra courses during 1L year because 1L grades are super important but I think it is definitely doable during 2L year and 3L year. But I would be careful about taking more than 1 science/engineering course per semester on top of a full load of law school classes.

Gorki
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby Gorki » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:07 am

goaheadualright wrote:Hello! I was wondering if anyone has taken science classes during law school either through a nearby University or online (/if this is allowed) in order to become an IP lawyer & take the patent bar? I didn't know until coming to law school that this was a requirement but I also know it isn't too late. Was wondering if anyone had gone through this and any advice/recommendations! Thank you very much!


http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/GRB_March_2012.pdf

See Chapter III on this. If you are a few credits short, this is doable. But take a look at how many credits are in fact required. Even the least credit intensive options require "24 credit hours" in "courses for [subject] majors." That is basically, at minimum, an entire extra year of school. Unless you are naturally great at science/math I can see it going very badly... But that is just me.

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spleenworship
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby spleenworship » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:15 am

IMO, I wouldnt take classes that require actual work during law school. Math and science requires weekly work way out of proportion to their credit hours. This will take time from the effort of law school and risk your grades there. And your law school grades are vitally important.

ATR
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby ATR » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:01 pm

I'm in the same situation -- I'm a 2L who may be able to gain eligibility through Option 2. I have 8 hours of general chemistry and 8 hours of biology from undergrad, so I need 16 hours of biology to qualify. I have a SA at an IP boutique next summer; should I contact the recruiting department to see if they would like for me to go ahead and try this? They did hire me without the eligibility, though.

(PS: sorry to hijack the thread with my own issue.)

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macattaq
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Re: Science Classes During Law School for IP Law

Postby macattaq » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:36 pm

Ineligibility for the patent bar only means that you can't prosecute patents. You can still litigate them, and handle other areas of IP. If you can show that you have subject matter expertise, you should be ok as far as finding a job, though most firms/corps. want patent prosecutors. So, is patent prosecution what you want to pursue? If not, then don't bother. I've several people that I graduated with who are doing IP in BigLaw without eligibility for the patent bar. Personally, I'm an associate at an entertainment and media law firm and I'm ineligible for the patent bar. So figure out exactly what you want to do before you consider whether to invest your time and energy into qualifying.

If you do decide that you want to qualify for the patent bar, then it is probably better to wait until after graduation and do a post-bacc at a university in something like biochem or CS or EE, as those are the areas that seem be going through the most growth right now, and for the foreseeable future. Figure two years to complete it, plus however long it takes to catch up on math before starting the program.

To be honest though, start by figuring out what your goal is with IP.

As for ATR, if you are already a SA at an IP firm, I wouldn't sweat it. Talk to them about patent prosecution, but again, determine if that's where you want to go before committing to it.




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