How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Remix101
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:17 pm

How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby Remix101 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:59 pm

I have had 3 engineering internships and have been working full time as an engineer for a little over 6 months now. By the time I go to law school I will probably have an additional 1-2 years of full time W/E as an engineer.

If I ultimately want to get into IP Law, will an MS in EE help? I have a BS in ECE from a USNews T100 school with ~3.4 gpa. Should I do the MS first, then go to law school or just study my butt off for the LSAT now, and then apply to law school directly (then hopefully I can start either fall of 2011 or 2012).

If I were to do the MSEE it would probably take ~3 years part time, and that will put law school on hold until fall of 2013/2014.

My main concern: I want a job at a big law firm in NYC/DC/LA.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:17 pm

Remix101 wrote:I have had 3 engineering internships and have been working full time as an engineer for a little over 6 months now. By the time I go to law school I will probably have an additional 1-2 years of full time W/E as an engineer.

If I ultimately want to get into IP Law, will an MS in EE help? I have a BS in ECE from a USNews T100 school with ~3.4 gpa. Should I do the MS first, then go to law school or just study my butt off for the LSAT now, and then apply to law school directly (then hopefully I can start either fall of 2011 or 2012).

If I were to do the MSEE it would probably take ~3 years part time, and that will put law school on hold until fall of 2013/2014.

My main concern: I want a job at a big law firm in NYC/DC/LA.


I'm not sure, but if it does, I'd consider getting the MSEE in one year full time, instead of dicking around for 3 years.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:20 pm

ask Rayiner or CE2JD

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Remix101 wrote:I have had 3 engineering internships and have been working full time as an engineer for a little over 6 months now. By the time I go to law school I will probably have an additional 1-2 years of full time W/E as an engineer.

If I ultimately want to get into IP Law, will an MS in EE help? I have a BS in ECE from a USNews T100 school with ~3.4 gpa. Should I do the MS first, then go to law school or just study my butt off for the LSAT now, and then apply to law school directly (then hopefully I can start either fall of 2011 or 2012).

If I were to do the MSEE it would probably take ~3 years part time, and that will put law school on hold until fall of 2013/2014.

My main concern: I want a job at a big law firm in NYC/DC/LA.


I'm not sure, but if it does, I'd consider getting the MSEE in one year full time, instead of dicking around for 3 years.


+1

Go full time if you're going to get the MSEE and bang it out in a year or a year and a half. Engineering work experience is an asset, but not nearly as big of an asset as an MSEE for IP law firms. Given the fact that there appears to be a flood of EEs coming into the IP market (much more so than ever), I think an MS would give you a definite edge. In the past, a BSEE was all you needed to be competitive for patent prosecution work of the highest pay grade, but that might be changing as firms hire less, become more picky, and more electrical engineers wander into law school.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:50 pm

More engineers are going to law school (see bottom part of the article):

http://www.graduatingengineer.com/articles/20090305/This-Company--Needs-Me

Remix101
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby Remix101 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:55 pm

Alright..the problem is I just bought a condo (hoping in a couple years it will get me some profit to help pay for school) so I cannot convert to full time, I have to keep my job..So part time is the only option. What do you think about the situation now?

Thanks.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:41 pm

Remix101 wrote:Alright..the problem is I just bought a condo (hoping in a couple years it will get me some profit to help pay for school) so I cannot convert to full time, I have to keep my job..So part time is the only option. What do you think about the situation now?

Thanks.


Well, I sure as hell wouldn't go to law school unless I got a full ride scholarship if I were in your situation.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:44 pm

CE2JD wrote:
Remix101 wrote:Alright..the problem is I just bought a condo (hoping in a couple years it will get me some profit to help pay for school) so I cannot convert to full time, I have to keep my job..So part time is the only option. What do you think about the situation now?

Thanks.


Well, I sure as hell wouldn't go to law school unless I got a full ride scholarship if I were in your situation.


And that is unlikely...as far as I can tell most PT programs are light on scholarships.

What kind of condo is this? What region?

Remix101
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby Remix101 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:01 pm

I think you guys misunderstood. I meant I cannot do a Master's full time since I own a condo (SoCal region). I was hoping to study for the LSAT/work for a year, then apply. I want to do law school full time for sure.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:06 pm

Remix101 wrote:I think you guys misunderstood. I meant I cannot do a Master's full time since I own a condo (SoCal region). I was hoping to study for the LSAT/work for a year, then apply. I want to do law school full time for sure.


I would sell the condo, go full time to get an MSEE and THEN go to law school.

kdawg666
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:54 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby kdawg666 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:16 pm

There are no IP jobs for EE anymore. To many Attorney/EE people now. If I were you, I would stay in engineering.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:29 pm

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=96237&p=2233810#p2233810

kdawg666 wrote:If you have an engineering background and somewhat decent grades, both in undergrad and in law school, you will easily get a job for 100k+ starting (EASILY).

kdawg666
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:54 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby kdawg666 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:36 pm

Trying to keep the advantage alive....can you blame me.

I learned this tactic as a first year law student.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:39 pm

kdawg666 wrote:Trying to keep the advantage alive....can you blame me.


No. But at least use an alt to prevent people from seeing the glaring contradictions in your posts.

Cloud9
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:00 pm

I've been wondering the same thing recently.

In '93 I finished a CS degree from a top 40 university (while working full-time) and took the LSAT on a dare / bet with no intention of going to law school. I scored a 179, won my bet, and didn't give it another thought.

From my perspective, it didn't seem to matter as I was too broke to not work and all the serious law school programs were full-time. A couple of years after that I was recruited by a Fortune 20 technology company and was making six figures, so the opportunity cost of attending full-time just seemed too great.

I agreed to work for them on the condition that they pay for my MBA, but they wouldn't sponsor for the executive MBA program, so again, that limited my options to part-time programs, so I attended NYU in the evenings and obtained 4 majors (though they limit my majors to 3 on the transcript.)

Again, the thought of law came up as I met a few JD/MBA students, but upon further research, I found out those students were in the full-time program and there was no part-time option.

Last year I was laid off as my position was outsourced, and began thinking about what to do next. With my degrees I'm a 21 credits short of a MS in computer engineering, and 30 credits short of an MS in electrical engineering.

Since I can attend either program part-time at a regional college in California where I now live, and it'll take about a year giving me some time to mull over a JD once again.

I'm in my 40s now after working for a top tech company for over a decade, so the three key questions rattling around my head are:

1. Whether a CE or EE will help pursuing a legal career in IP and Patent Law...
2. Is it just too late for full-time law school at my age with a wife and kids...and
3. Will my 3.4 GPA undergrad and grad (both earned while working full-time) limit my options for a top school.

The biggest question of all which I haven't really thought through completely yet is whether any top law firm will actually want a 40 something old lawyer regardless of what law school I graduate from.

I was considering MD for a while, but that's much, much longer path than law, so I've completely ruled that out.

Thoughts, comments, and opinions welcome.

Is J.D. for Just Dreaming...?

User avatar
erico
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:56 am

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby erico » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:11 pm

Cloud9 wrote:I've been wondering the same thing recently.

In '93 I finished a CS degree from a top 40 university (while working full-time) and took the LSAT on a dare / bet with no intention of going to law school. I scored a 179, won my bet, and didn't give it another thought.

From my perspective, it didn't seem to matter as I was too broke to not work and all the serious law school programs were full-time. A couple of years after that I was recruited by a Fortune 20 technology company and was making six figures, so the opportunity cost of attending full-time just seemed too great.

I agreed to work for them on the condition that they pay for my MBA, but they wouldn't sponsor for the executive MBA program, so again, that limited my options to part-time programs, so I attended NYU in the evenings and obtained 4 majors (though they limit my majors to 3 on the transcript.)

Again, the thought of law came up as I met a few JD/MBA students, but upon further research, I found out those students were in the full-time program and there was no part-time option.

Last year I was laid off as my position was outsourced, and began thinking about what to do next. With my degrees I'm a 21 credits short of a MS in computer engineering, and 30 credits short of an MS in electrical engineering.

Since I can attend either program part-time at a regional college in California where I now live, and it'll take about a year giving me some time to mull over a JD once again.

I'm in my 40s now after working for a top tech company for over a decade, so the three key questions rattling around my head are:

1. Whether a CE or EE will help pursuing a legal career in IP and Patent Law...
2. Is it just too late for full-time law school at my age with a wife and kids...and
3. Will my 3.4 GPA undergrad and grad (both earned while working full-time) limit my options for a top school.

The biggest question of all which I haven't really thought through completely yet is whether any top law firm will actually want a 40 something old lawyer regardless of what law school I graduate from.

I was considering MD for a while, but that's much, much longer path than law, so I've completely ruled that out.

Thoughts, comments, and opinions welcome.

Is J.D. for Just Dreaming...?


That sucks you'll have to take the LSAT again. I would venture to say that CE and/or EE would help you in IP/PL but I'm no expert. If you get a 179 again your GPA may be a slight hinderance but only at the very best schools.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby CE2JD » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:49 pm

A EE degree is slightly? better than a CE degree which is a LOT better than a CS degree for IP job placement.

Good luck! Unfortunately, I've seen your type of situation play out all too many times in this economy with some of my coworkers.

Cloud9
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: How much does an MS in EE help for a prospective IP lawyer?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:09 pm

CE2JD wrote:A EE degree is slightly? better than a CE degree which is a LOT better than a CS degree for IP job placement.

Good luck! Unfortunately, I've seen your type of situation play out all too many times in this economy with some of my coworkers.


It's a tough call between the CE and EE with one being 21cr and the other 30cr. I've been thinking of perhaps doing both by getting 20+ credits as EE and transferring to another MS program and then using those credits to apply for graduation as CE (while it's largely the same coursework, you can only use the credits towards CE or EE for the purposes of graduation at that school).

The other university will accept the MS level credits toward their EE program, but I have to take a minimum of 12 credits at that school. They don't care what those credits are in as long as I take them at that school. So I was planning on taking some law classes as preparatory work for law school.

Unfortunately, you're right, I've not only seen many of my coworkers go (even those with PhDs in engineering), but I also have a lot of friends in the legal profession that are warning me that they're seeing the same trend of offshoring a lot of legal work to places like India, and then just having a NY/LA/DC lawyer checking the documents.

My wife thinks I should go for Physician's Assistant instead since there's no way to offshore that work.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest