Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

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Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:23 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Firms hire patent agents all the time. They don't hire attorneys without a degree.


Are you saying that firms prefer less knowledge by way of a patent agent, than a patent attorney w/o JD?

Think of it this way, say you're a patent agent already and are looking for an edge over other patent agents, so you pass the CA Bar and are now a patent attorney.

You're saying that now that this patent agent has passed the Bar he/she becomes undesirable even though patent agents are in demand?

Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:26 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:My guess is that this is some elaborate California non-ABA troll trying to drum up business. He's put quite a bit of work into his background for us today and trying damn hard to come off as credible. Unfortunately, like all the trolls before him, he comes off like an overzealous, biased shill.


Sorry to disappoint Matlock, but I'm no troll and I'm not drumming up any business, and of course I'm not a member of the ABA, don't you have to pass the Bar for that? :D

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nealric
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby nealric » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:33 pm

1. Patrick Henry (1736-1799), member of the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia

2. John Jay (1745-1829), first chief justice of the Supreme Court

3. John Marshall (1755-1835), chief justice of the Supreme Court

4. William Wirt (1772-1834), attorney general

5. Roger B. Taney (1777-1864), secretary of the treasury, chief justice of the Supreme Court

6. Daniel Webster (1782-1852), secretary of state

7. Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873), senator, chief justice of the Supreme Court

8. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president

9. Stephen Douglas (1813-1861), representative, senator from Illinois

10. Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), defense attorney in Scopes trial of 1925. [While Clarence Darrow attended a law school for one year, he did not distinguish himself and preferred to study law on his own. He received the greater part of his education in a law office in Youngstown, Ohio.]

11. Robert Storey (b. 1893), president of the American Bar Association (1952-1953)

12. J. Strom Thurmond (b. 1902), senator, governor of South Carolina

13. James O. Eastland (b. 1904), senator from Mississippi

Wallechinsky, David, "The Book of Lists," 1977

Clarence Darrow, did go to law school for one year before he quit. He became the most famous. Hmmmm....maybe it does pay to go to law school.



You will be in excellent company should you use your engineering skills to go back and time and study law in the 19th century.

--ImageRemoved--

d-cannon
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby d-cannon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:45 pm

The OP's actions are pure troll:

He comes onto a forum named top LAW SCHOOLS and posts about being successful without attending law school, while posting info from blogs (very credible) about post JD failures.

Why are you guys and gals feeding him?

Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:12 am

So according to you d-cannon, anyone that is going through the process of considering LS and evaluating options towards their objectives should just put on the horse blinders take the LSAT, apply to LS, and hope for the best?

I prefer to look at as many angles as possible, discuss them, study them, etc. weigh the pros and cons of various options, look at potential outcomes, and so on before making a decision as to how to proceed.

If that makes me a troll, so be it.

I just found the ABA info on only 40% of JDs working as lawyers. Those kind of numbers are surprising to me, perhaps because I haven't looked into law in the past. Maybe it's old hat to all of you, but not to me. I put it out there for discussion. Specially given the fact that I sit here evaluating this LS option because my job went to India. So you better believe I'm going to look at the end of the pipeline and see what's coming out in terms of options, odds, chances, etc. to make some money, specially when weighing the $200k+? cost of a T14 law school.

EDIT: And yes, in this process, I found out - today - that one can become a patent attorney without LS. So I just threw it out there for discussion. If nothing else, it's a pretty amazing option if you're poor, no means, no possibility of law school, etc.

Renzo
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:36 am

Cloud9 wrote:So according to you d-cannon, anyone that is going through the process of considering LS and evaluating options towards their objectives should just put on the horse blinders take the LSAT, apply to LS, and hope for the best?

I prefer to look at as many angles as possible, discuss them, study them, etc. weigh the pros and cons of various options, look at potential outcomes, and so on before making a decision as to how to proceed.

If that makes me a troll, so be it.

I just found the ABA info on only 40% of JDs working as lawyers. Those kind of numbers are surprising to me, perhaps because I haven't looked into law in the past. Maybe it's old hat to all of you, but not to me. I put it out there for discussion. Specially given the fact that I sit here evaluating this LS option because my job went to India. So you better believe I'm going to look at the end of the pipeline and see what's coming out in terms of options, odds, chances, etc. to make some money, specially when weighing the $200k+? cost of a T14 law school.

EDIT: And yes, in this process, I found out - today - that one can become a patent attorney without LS. So I just threw it out there for discussion. If nothing else, it's a pretty amazing option if you're poor, no means, no possibility of law school, etc.

40% seems about right. That's how over-saturated the job market for lawyers is. When 40% of law school grads can't get jobs, do you really think that 63 people in the entire state of California who have passed the bar by reading the law means it's "an amazing option?"

Law4U
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Law4U » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:00 am



You are assuming that everything you need to know as a lawyer you can gain from studying for the bar; many attorneys will tell you that the bar has very little to do with practicing law, assuming you have gained the knowledge. Practical knowledge will be gained by working in a law firm; however, will you learn all the substantive law on your own?

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tinman
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby tinman » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:51 pm

Cloud9 wrote:
tinman wrote:
loser148 wrote:patently stupid...get a scholarship and degree...


I second this idea (and appreciate the pun). As you seem not to care very much at all about the law degree, why not go for a scholarship at a school slightly lower ranked than the best to which you are admitted? If you are really as motivated as you portray, you can easily work while you go to law school (which you apparent think will be easy), and then you don't have to worry about not having a law degree.

Also, a lot of places will pay for your law school if you work for them as a patent agent during law school, at least this was the case for people with science Ph.D.s in Boston. I met a few people that had their firm pay for their law school (Harvard, BU, or Suffolk) while also paying their salary. I think it usually took them 4-5 years. I am not sure how common these arrangements might be in California, but it's worth looking into.


Tinman,

To your first comment, I know exactly what it takes to work while attending school. I worked full-time while doing my undergraduate full-time at night, and worked full-time while attending grad school in the evenings.

I have never attended college full or part-time at any level without also working full-time.

The companies I worked for paid for both of my degrees while I worked for them (tuition reimbursement).

If you mean a company that will pay you while you attend law school full-time instead of working, I hadn't heard of that, but would imagine those are about as rare an arrangement as becoming a lawyer without going to law school.


I mean a law firm that will pay for your degree while you work for them as a patent agent. This was pretty common with the IP firms in Boston a few years ago. Maybe it has changed with the bad economy. And maybe these jobs were always hard to get. I decided to go to law school and pay for it myself for a few reasons 1) I didn't want to work full time while becoming a lawyer, sounded like hell; 2) most people who went this route didn't go to the best law school the could have, and often did not do particularly well; 3) I would pretty much have been stuck in Boston and stuck as a patent attorney. But if it appeals to you, you should inquire at some patent firms.

I actually think it's great you are considering becoming a lawyer without a degree. My resume looks tradition but I have always pushed limits within the systems. I do not think it dumb to do want you are proposing. I just think you should start by getting a job as a patent agent. If you like it, then start going to law school part time
while working full time (perhaps with a scholarship).

Working as a patent agent should also count toward your four year training if you do decide not to go to law school.

Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:00 pm

Renzo wrote:
Cloud9 wrote:So according to you d-cannon, anyone that is going through the process of considering LS and evaluating options towards their objectives should just put on the horse blinders take the LSAT, apply to LS, and hope for the best?

I prefer to look at as many angles as possible, discuss them, study them, etc. weigh the pros and cons of various options, look at potential outcomes, and so on before making a decision as to how to proceed.

If that makes me a troll, so be it.

I just found the ABA info on only 40% of JDs working as lawyers. Those kind of numbers are surprising to me, perhaps because I haven't looked into law in the past. Maybe it's old hat to all of you, but not to me. I put it out there for discussion. Specially given the fact that I sit here evaluating this LS option because my job went to India. So you better believe I'm going to look at the end of the pipeline and see what's coming out in terms of options, odds, chances, etc. to make some money, specially when weighing the $200k+? cost of a T14 law school.

EDIT: And yes, in this process, I found out - today - that one can become a patent attorney without LS. So I just threw it out there for discussion. If nothing else, it's a pretty amazing option if you're poor, no means, no possibility of law school, etc.


40% seems about right. That's how over-saturated the job market for lawyers is. When 40% of law school grads can't get jobs, do you really think that 63 people in the entire state of California who have passed the bar by reading the law means it's "an amazing option?"


That 40% that the ABA mentions isn't LS grads, it's all JD holders. I'm not disputing the ABA's numbers, I just find them almost incredible to believe. That's an enormous number of JD holders that don't work as lawyers.

You might have misunderstood what I meant by "amazing option". What I find amazing about becoming a lawyer without law school is that the option is available at all. If you're dirt poor and have no options whatsoever, but happen to be a hard, dedicated worker, this may be your only venue. For those 63 people it became their only viable option.

Maybe other fields have such an option to skip engineering school and become an engineer, or medical school and become a doctor, I've just never heard of it before. Don't you find the idea (even if it's not for most and few pass) that one can become a lawyer without law school "amazing"?

I think it's great that it presents an opportunity for those that otherwise would have no option.

I also find it "amazing" that so few (40%) work as lawyers after the JD. I would have thought it to be much, much higher. I can't imagine that it would be so few in other professions such as an MD. Then again, they probably owe a ton more money than a LS.....

Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:05 pm

Law4U wrote:You are assuming that everything you need to know as a lawyer you can gain from studying for the bar; many attorneys will tell you that the bar has very little to do with practicing law, assuming you have gained the knowledge. Practical knowledge will be gained by working in a law firm; however, will you learn all the substantive law on your own?


Actually, many attorneys have told me that the Bar and law school have very little to do with practicing law.

Which isn't much of a surprise to me because I've heard the same thing from people in most fields, and I can relate to my own experiences between education and working in the real world.

d-cannon
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby d-cannon » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:04 am

Cloud9 wrote:So according to you d-cannon, anyone that is going through the process of considering LS and evaluating options towards their objectives should just put on the horse blinders take the LSAT, apply to LS, and hope for the best?


Yikes! I have NO idea where you pulled that idea from... When you set up shop as an attorney, please identify yourself as "cloud 9" from TLS... this info will be more useful than knowing you did not attend LS.

BTW, your quote is not how I feel.

Anytime someone logs on to a forum frequented by like-minded individuals and creates threads suggesting that what they are interested in is not so great (why go to law school? only 40% of JDs are attorneys), they are trolling.

Look at the title of this forum. It is for people who are planning to go to school. We don't need any more Chicken Littles running around telling us how the sky is falling. There are plenty of those people on here already.

Go to a forum exclusively for engaged people (and newlyweds) and start creating threads about how most marriages fail. That is what you are doing here.

Renzo
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:48 pm

Cloud9 wrote:
That 40% that the ABA mentions isn't LS grads, it's all JD holders. I'm not disputing the ABA's numbers, I just find them almost incredible to believe. That's an enormous number of JD holders that don't work as lawyers.

I also find it "amazing" that so few (40%) work as lawyers after the JD. I would have thought it to be much, much higher. I can't imagine that it would be so few in other professions such as an MD. Then again, they probably owe a ton more money than a LS.....
Before I came to law school, I knew 11 law school graduates, and all had passed the bar. Of those ten, two worked as lawyers, and a third was a JD/MD who practiced law a little part time, and a fourth had left biglaw for something less stressful. So over 60% of the JD's I knew, all of whom were admitted to the bar, were not practicing law; all but one (the former biglaw lawyer) were not practicing law because they could make more money doing something else, or couldn't find law jobs at all. The job market for lawyers is that over-saturated.

Cloud9
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Cloud9 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:50 am

Renzo wrote:
Cloud9 wrote:
That 40% that the ABA mentions isn't LS grads, it's all JD holders. I'm not disputing the ABA's numbers, I just find them almost incredible to believe. That's an enormous number of JD holders that don't work as lawyers.

I also find it "amazing" that so few (40%) work as lawyers after the JD. I would have thought it to be much, much higher. I can't imagine that it would be so few in other professions such as an MD. Then again, they probably owe a ton more money than a LS.....
Before I came to law school, I knew 11 law school graduates, and all had passed the bar. Of those ten, two worked as lawyers, and a third was a JD/MD who practiced law a little part time, and a fourth had left biglaw for something less stressful. So over 60% of the JD's I knew, all of whom were admitted to the bar, were not practicing law; all but one (the former biglaw lawyer) were not practicing law because they could make more money doing something else, or couldn't find law jobs at all. The job market for lawyers is that over-saturated.


What kind of jobs pay better than law for those with JDs? What do all these non practicing lawyers do?

rookhawk
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby rookhawk » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:04 am

I think the guy's plan is viable with the following issues:

-Opportunity cost (you're wasting a lot of time to do this plan in the unconventional way that is just as valuable as $)
-Opportunities lost (If you're really as super as you think, which you might be, law school is a networking opportunity for you to leverage)
-What if (there is always a chance that they will tighten bar regulations while your plan is in flight, results would be a total waste of your investment)

Lastly:

Character and fitness - Should you ever (if you don't now) have assets you are a bullseye for lawsuits on any legal advice you give. You will be sued often by disgruntled clients that state to the bar/judge "this guy claimed he was qualified but he's not even a JD!" and then they'll go through the case to find a nuance where you needed more formal training to give advice to your client than you did and you'll lose. Again, and again.

An alternative plan:

If you have the influence you do in IP why not hire a schmuck lawyer to work for you doing your bidding as you direct him/her? Can't tell you how many CFOs and CEOs I've known that are practically lawyers that dictate to their counsel what they want in very precise legal detail.

Renzo
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby Renzo » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:45 am

Cloud9 wrote:
Renzo wrote:Before I came to law school, I knew 11 law school graduates, and all had passed the bar. Of those ten, two worked as lawyers, and a third was a JD/MD who practiced law a little part time, and a fourth had left biglaw for something less stressful. So over 60% of the JD's I knew, all of whom were admitted to the bar, were not practicing law; all but one (the former biglaw lawyer) were not practicing law because they could make more money doing something else, or couldn't find law jobs at all. The job market for lawyers is that over-saturated.


What kind of jobs pay better than law for those with JDs? What do all these non practicing lawyers do?

Two were working in regular corporate-type jobs you might get with a BA/BS. The rest had all previously worked in a healthcare trade, two used that specialty knowledge along with the JD to find quasi-academic jobs (adjunct prof, journal staffer), the rest went back to the same healthcare trade as before law school.

berenjilaw
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby berenjilaw » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:58 am

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shastaca
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby shastaca » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:29 am

I'm from Washington state so I looked seriously at the Washington option for passing the bar without law school. It requires working in a law office with a sponsoring attorney who is willing to help you study so many hours a week, regular evaluations and extensive study. And then when/if you pass the bar, Federal Rules will not allow you practice in Federal Courts--just state courts.
This might be a problem for patent law.

Don't know anything about the California market, but I can't imagine the patent market there is anything close to what it is within a half hour of the PTO.
I have personally met patent agents who work for firms who specialize in patent prosecution here in the DC area who are making 80+k a year who have passed the "patent bar" but not the regular bar. They've told me of more experienced people who are making 100k plus--some without even an undergrad degree, just high school and connections to get into the right job and study and work excellently from there.

Passing the "patent bar" will allow you to do patent prosecution with or without bar passage. But patent litigation where most of the money is requires the Bar and given that patent litigation is a federal issue, I'd be very careful about just following a path that gets you past the California Bar without checking on whether 9th Circuit rules will allow you to appear for patent litigation.

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vamedic03
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:55 am

shastaca wrote:I'm from Washington state so I looked seriously at the Washington option for passing the bar without law school. It requires working in a law office with a sponsoring attorney who is willing to help you study so many hours a week, regular evaluations and extensive study. And then when/if you pass the bar, Federal Rules will not allow you practice in Federal Courts--just state courts.
This might be a problem for patent law.

Don't know anything about the California market, but I can't imagine the patent market there is anything close to what it is within a half hour of the PTO.
I have personally met patent agents who work for firms who specialize in patent prosecution here in the DC area who are making 80+k a year who have passed the "patent bar" but not the regular bar. They've told me of more experienced people who are making 100k plus--some without even an undergrad degree, just high school and connections to get into the right job and study and work excellently from there.

Passing the "patent bar" will allow you to do patent prosecution with or without bar passage. But patent litigation where most of the money is requires the Bar and given that patent litigation is a federal issue, I'd be very careful about just following a path that gets you past the California Bar without checking on whether 9th Circuit rules will allow you to appear for patent litigation.


This is BS. Explain how someone with a high school education and "connections" gets "the right job" to allow them to pass the Patent bar. Unless high school is dramatically different now, you don't get the BS + hard sciences that's required for the patent bar.

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fatduck
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:13 pm

can we get an update on your progress, OP?

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EvilClinton
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby EvilClinton » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:19 pm

This is literally the worst idea I have ever heard.

No one will hire you with these credentials. You will get no work and no experience. You will basically waste several years of your life trying to do things your own way.

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nealric
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Re: Becoming a Patent Attorney / Lawyer without Law School

Postby nealric » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:50 pm

RE: famous lawyers without law school. Almost all born in the 19tg century. Many doctors didn't go to medical school either back then.




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