Patent Law Possibilities?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

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Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 11:45 am

Patent Law Possibilities?

Postby GoIllini » Tue May 07, 2019 2:55 pm

Forgive my ignorance as I do not know a lot about Patent Law.

I don't have a STEM degree, and I know for 100% certainty you need that to get into patent law.

Would it be a poor idea to achieve a STEM degree after law school and try to transition into patent? I am currently self-studying IT and will likely try to get a CS Master's no matter what, even if I went to law school - however, for obvious reasons that advancement would take a serious dent in Law School.

Is patent law only possible right out of law school? Would it be advisable to get the Master's before I get any sort of JD?



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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:49 pm

Re: Patent Law Possibilities?

Postby Mecheman » Thu May 09, 2019 2:18 pm

I'm in a similar situation where I am getting my Master's before attending law school. I think that that's the best way to do it, unless you are 1000% sure that you can handle the rigor of doing a joint degree program. Question though; what do you mean by self-studying "IT"? Because if you are indeed teaching yourself various programming languages and learning more about data structures, then that's great! However, if it's more so along the lines of A+ certification things and that side of IT, then that would be close to useless if you're wanting to get into the patent law world. The CS Master's would definitely be necessary though if you're at all looking at prosecution; a little less so for litigation.


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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:19 am

Re: Patent Law Possibilities?

Postby LikelyThrowaway » Wed May 15, 2019 12:38 am

"Patent law" is really two things: patent prosecution and patent litigation. You need a hard science background for prosecution, but not for litigation.

Patent prosecution is about getting a patent. You go back and forth with a government agency (the PTO). It's steady work, though some find it boring.

Patent litigation is about fighting over whether a patent is valid, whether it was infringed, etc. It's way more like traditional litigation – you have court proceedings, you file briefs, etc.

You should know which one you're interested in before you go about getting any STEM degrees unnecessarily.

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