Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

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LAWYER2
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Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby LAWYER2 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:36 pm

phillydoucherocket wrote:Hey I am a 3L and telecom/Network engineer by trade who decided to go to law school for a change. I am not eligible for the Patent Bar because of my BA in undergrad [ although I do have 10+ years experience and certifications to boot] so I haven't really gave much thought to IP law. However, I keep envisioning some unique, self-created, Hyper-Niche market that can encompass both Technology and the Law.

Hmmm. I've got one of those 'collision of law and technology' jobs. While it doesn't suck, wandering around in the wilderness for a few years certainly did.

Had a non-science undergrad but was able to be a competent sysadmin and network engineer. Figured combining that with a law degree would be a good move. Graduated in '06 from a second tier law school in my market with average grades. No love at OCI. Large firms wouldn't talk to me because I wasn't top 15%/law review. Midlaw firms didn't hire new lawyers. Only offers were a suburban DA's office and an e-discovery vendor.

Took the e-discovery vendor job since I couldn't pay loans on the DA salary. Spent 5 years in some form of e-discovery- project manager, consultant, doc review, doc review manager. Did some side work in IT and law to stay sharp. Occasionally talked to headhunters about firm or corporate jobs using my skill-set. Kept running into the 'two headed monkey' problem- lawyers couldn't figure out if I was a 'real lawyer' because I still thought about technology. Non lawyers couldn't figure out why I wanted some 80k job doing IT compliance instead of making fat lawyer money.

Luckily, I found my current job at a law firm that's really an IT auditing firm owned by two lawyers. Half my job is doing legal work and the other half is technical. On a good day I get to research fun topics like "how could you get h.264 video discredited or ruled inadmissible" or pen-test a client's network.

Until I got this job, I often regretted my decision to go to law school. I still don't know if I'd have done it all over again.




That



Wow, thanks for sharing, reading your post sounds like my own inner thoughts!!
I too have thought about going the E-discovery route, or some sort of IT contract consulting route, however it's downright terrifying to think about blazing my own path. Is there good money in IT auditing and compliance from a legal prospective??

Can we chat offline sometime?

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fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby fl0w » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:13 pm

LAWYER2 wrote:
phillydoucherocket wrote:Hey I am a 3L and telecom/Network engineer by trade who decided to go to law school for a change. I am not eligible for the Patent Bar because of my BA in undergrad [ although I do have 10+ years experience and certifications to boot] so I haven't really gave much thought to IP law. However, I keep envisioning some unique, self-created, Hyper-Niche market that can encompass both Technology and the Law.

Hmmm. I've got one of those 'collision of law and technology' jobs. While it doesn't suck, wandering around in the wilderness for a few years certainly did.

Had a non-science undergrad but was able to be a competent sysadmin and network engineer. Figured combining that with a law degree would be a good move. Graduated in '06 from a second tier law school in my market with average grades. No love at OCI. Large firms wouldn't talk to me because I wasn't top 15%/law review. Midlaw firms didn't hire new lawyers. Only offers were a suburban DA's office and an e-discovery vendor.

Took the e-discovery vendor job since I couldn't pay loans on the DA salary. Spent 5 years in some form of e-discovery- project manager, consultant, doc review, doc review manager. Did some side work in IT and law to stay sharp. Occasionally talked to headhunters about firm or corporate jobs using my skill-set. Kept running into the 'two headed monkey' problem- lawyers couldn't figure out if I was a 'real lawyer' because I still thought about technology. Non lawyers couldn't figure out why I wanted some 80k job doing IT compliance instead of making fat lawyer money.

Luckily, I found my current job at a law firm that's really an IT auditing firm owned by two lawyers. Half my job is doing legal work and the other half is technical. On a good day I get to research fun topics like "how could you get h.264 video discredited or ruled inadmissible" or pen-test a client's network.

Until I got this job, I often regretted my decision to go to law school. I still don't know if I'd have done it all over again.

That



Wow, thanks for sharing, reading your post sounds like my own inner thoughts!!
I too have thought about going the E-discovery route, or some sort of IT contract consulting route, however it's downright terrifying to think about blazing my own path. Is there good money in IT auditing and compliance from a legal prospective??

Can we chat offline sometime?



This is too funny. My career before law school was using my computer science degree as an IT Auditor. Tech audits, penetration testing, e-discovery. So I did all of this on the non-law side. Mgt salary non-law side is 100-kish. Law jobs in this environment are not going to be big-law numbers, but the hours won't be either.

Small world

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togepi
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Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby togepi » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:34 am

As a future 1L with a Civil Engineering degree, what are the fields other than IP where my degree would give me an extra bump? Just want to weigh in all my options beforehand.

TYIA

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fl0w
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Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby fl0w » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:29 am

togepi wrote:As a future 1L with a Civil Engineering degree, what are the fields other than IP where my degree would give me an extra bump? Just want to weigh in all my options beforehand.

TYIA


IP is the only potential one. The others are just going to be how you can show good grades, work ethic and how you can relay applicable experience.

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englawyer
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Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby englawyer » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:38 pm

fl0w wrote:
togepi wrote:As a future 1L with a Civil Engineering degree, what are the fields other than IP where my degree would give me an extra bump? Just want to weigh in all my options beforehand.

TYIA


IP is the only potential one. The others are just going to be how you can show good grades, work ethic and how you can relay applicable experience.


+1. in fact, it could be a disadvantage. the interviewer will see engineering on your resume and might expect this.

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togepi
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Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby togepi » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:25 am

englawyer wrote:
fl0w wrote:
togepi wrote:As a future 1L with a Civil Engineering degree, what are the fields other than IP where my degree would give me an extra bump? Just want to weigh in all my options beforehand.

TYIA


IP is the only potential one. The others are just going to be how you can show good grades, work ethic and how you can relay applicable experience.


+1. in fact, it could be a disadvantage. the interviewer will see engineering on your resume and might expect this.


Probably doesn't help that I'm Asian haha. I'm looking at law schools in Louisiana/Texas. Would it benefit me at all in oil/gas/environmental areas?

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fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Former engineers... are you happy with your decision for law

Postby fl0w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:47 am

togepi wrote:
englawyer wrote:
fl0w wrote:
togepi wrote:As a future 1L with a Civil Engineering degree, what are the fields other than IP where my degree would give me an extra bump? Just want to weigh in all my options beforehand.

TYIA


IP is the only potential one. The others are just going to be how you can show good grades, work ethic and how you can relay applicable experience.


+1. in fact, it could be a disadvantage. the interviewer will see engineering on your resume and might expect this.


Probably doesn't help that I'm Asian haha. I'm looking at law schools in Louisiana/Texas. Would it benefit me at all in oil/gas/environmental areas?


answer doesn't really change. you just have to network to a niche market, use your ties, get good grades, take relevant courses, relay applicable experience, have good work ethic.... basically be an unstoppable force that they cannot say no to. gonna have to stand out from the herd.




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