PATENT LAW degrees

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illiniKID9
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PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:04 pm

hey guys, was hoping somebody could help me out. i have a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics and am interested in patent law. however, i have been hearing from people (not sure if its true or not) that nowadays to practice patent law or to even be picked up by a decent sized firm (like 100+) you need a masters at least. i went straight from undergrad to law school..is this thing about masters degree true? if so, should i work on a masters after law school? thanks everyone!

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Kiersten1985
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:08 pm

No, you don't need a masters.

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:10 pm

for the biosciences, you typically need a PhD as the typical subject matter being patented is research level stuff. However you can get a job at a boutique and there are plenty of people who have only BS's in bio-sciences, just know, that barring a high ranking law school or high ranking undergrad, it will be harder

illiniKID9
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:36 pm

are there really that many PhDs that a BS holder would have competition to get a job. i couldnt imagine too many law firms getting phd applicants simply because i dont think there are a lot of PhD/JDs

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:10 am

look at some firms websites, id say over 85% of the life sciences people have PhDs (not talking about lititgation, but even then, a majority portion have PhDs) The primary reason is that these people graduate and make 50k doing research. They then go to law school in hopes of making 160k, the only caveat to this is if your undergrad was BME, or chem E, thats pretty much it, for hard sciences its alot rougher out there..

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:12 am

However, with reference to OP's question of a master's after law school. I'd say no, it will be too irrelevant to what youd be doing, (be it prep and pro or litigation) not to mention you prob wouldnt have time. But I know plenty of BS people in hard sciences who are doing well, its just harded because there are so many PhD/JDs out there

kgirl
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby kgirl » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:20 am

Hi -


Your situation sounds a lot like me except I have a Master's degree in the biosciences. As a 2L struggling to find work, I suggest that you consider doing a Ph.D. Ph.D is the threshold these days to get into patent law. This is how they filter out people unless you have tons of industry experience to make up for a lack of Ph.D. That's just been my experience. For those with only a B.Sc entering patent law (mostly litigation), they have had lots of worke experience and I guess that's what contributes to the law firm.
There are lots of people getting offers these days in patent law (to me, I think they are just special people). And there are jobs out there because my school's career website features lots of job postings looking for bioscience attorneys except they all require 1-5 years of attorney experience. The trick is to find that first job out of law school, and that's been increasingly hard across the board for everyone (unless you have a Ph.D or tons of experience).

illiniKID9
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:55 am

i just browsed kirkland & elliss LLPs website in the pharmaceuticals division and found mostly B.S. holders. granted i am sure this is not representative, but there seem to be some amount of starting associates that just pursued a bachelors. im from chicago, and i know northwestern has a M.S. in biotechnology part time program, would it be wise to do that?

http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... rch=Search

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:03 pm

A few things, with reference to my original post, Kirkland does patent lititgation, not patent application preparation. Hence the larger amount of BS's. Secondly with reference to my post on prestigous engineering or science schools. The first two I looked at were Northwestern and Columbia. Also, the guy from Miami of Ohio was summa cum laude. So if your grades are that good, or you went to a really presitgous or locally respected undergrad and want to do litigation, it is less of a worry. (not to mention most PhD people wouldnt make a great lititgator) All of this is moot if you are going to a t-20 or even better, t-14. the MS in biotechnology would be a plus, but in your situation moot. If you plan on going part time while having your first law job outside of school then you wont need it as you will already have your first law job, which is what employers will care more about than a PhD. However, when the partnership question comes around, anything like that does help. (though a great body of legal work is profoudnly more useful) So its really up to you, though if you are doing litigation I seriously doubt you will have time..

illiniKID9
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:55 pm

ok. i should have been more specific...i go to kent. for patent litigation, a bs in engineering or sciences is not required right? do you know of any firms that hire a great number of patent attorneys? ...im less interested in litigation and more of the review process.

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:34 pm

illiniKID9 wrote:ok. i should have been more specific...i go to kent. for patent litigation, a bs in engineering or sciences is not required right? do you know of any firms that hire a great number of patent attorneys? ...im less interested in litigation and more of the review process.


Correct, for patent lititgation a BS in sciences or eng is not required, however, they rarely let a lit major argue a case about semiconductors, they want someone with a good basic understanding, but that also presents well and is very off the cuff smart, hence the BS's and top law school represented at kirkland.

There are firms that hire a bunch of patent attorneys only, however if you are interested in patent application preparation keep in mind it will be difficult with only a BS, there are a crapload of people out there doing prep and pro with PhDs in life sciences, this will make competition hard, but not impossible. when you spoke about NWs program did you mean completing that concurrently with law school? also, passing the patent bar as soon as possible will really help alleviate alot of this as it will make you more employable (with refernece to your mention of wanting to do the review process)

illiniKID9
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:26 am

yes, i was thinking about taking the M.S. program along with my JD, ill talk to my advisor and see the likelihood of this. on another not, i will be taking my patent bar this coming summer..hopefully ill pass! i want to take a prep course to prepare for it, would you know of any good prep programs for it?

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zreinhar
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby zreinhar » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:31 am

illiniKID9 wrote:yes, i was thinking about taking the M.S. program along with my JD, ill talk to my advisor and see the likelihood of this. on another not, i will be taking my patent bar this coming summer..hopefully ill pass! i want to take a prep course to prepare for it, would you know of any good prep programs for it?


Are you doing your JD part time? (I forgot whether or not you were attending this fall or are currently) Either way yes, there is one particular prep program for the patent bar that everyone recommends (going through it myself now) its PLI (google it) but get yours off ebay. You wont get the guarantee, but you can turn around and re-sell it on ebay and not lose any money, I got mine from there for 550.00 and will probably sell it on there for the same, or maybe sell it at my Law School this fall for a little more and make some money off it, either way.But Im curious to see what Kent says about you doing the MS at NW (how far are the schools from each other?) so keep us posted

illiniKID9
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Re: PATENT LAW degrees

Postby illiniKID9 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:01 am

zreinhar wrote:
illiniKID9 wrote:yes, i was thinking about taking the M.S. program along with my JD, ill talk to my advisor and see the likelihood of this. on another not, i will be taking my patent bar this coming summer..hopefully ill pass! i want to take a prep course to prepare for it, would you know of any good prep programs for it?


Are you doing your JD part time? (I forgot whether or not you were attending this fall or are currently) Either way yes, there is one particular prep program for the patent bar that everyone recommends (going through it myself now) its PLI (google it) but get yours off ebay. You wont get the guarantee, but you can turn around and re-sell it on ebay and not lose any money, I got mine from there for 550.00 and will probably sell it on there for the same, or maybe sell it at my Law School this fall for a little more and make some money off it, either way.But Im curious to see what Kent says about you doing the MS at NW (how far are the schools from each other?) so keep us posted


yes, i will be starting in the fall. thank you so much for the recommendation on the PLI, i will definitely have to look into that. i will be doing full time. i know kent does combined degrees, but not sure of combined JD/MS in sciences. northwestern is about a 30-45min drive north from the loop so its not too bad, or you can take the L there. however, i have been reading that loyola in chicago and depaul, both offer part time masters programs too so i will look into that. i will have to talk to my advisor and see whats realistic and what isn't...my hope would be that if i was able to do a part time masters, they could wave some electives for me to take just so i could save some money haha.




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