Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

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Schang1
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Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby Schang1 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:03 pm

If you want to practice IP law, but don't have a science/engineering background -- could you still do it? Is a science background necessary to practice IP law in the future?

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cinephile
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby cinephile » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:33 pm

In theory there are areas of intellectual property that could can practice without a science background, but in reality it's pretty rare. I think I only met one person who's doing that and he said he was just in the right place at the right time and fell into it.

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paul34
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby paul34 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:07 pm

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Last edited by paul34 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Schang1
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby Schang1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:55 pm

Thanks for the great comments! I really appreciate it :)

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MormonChristian
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby MormonChristian » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:01 am

[quote="Schang1"]If you want to practice IP law, but don't have a science/engineering background -- could you still do it? Is a science background necessary to practice IP law in the future?[/quote

Only the patent bar requires a science engineering background. Nothing else does. Without a science degree you can do anything except prosecute patents and litigate some patent cases.

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MormonChristian
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby MormonChristian » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:02 am

paul34 wrote:. Also note that not all science and engineering backgrounds qualify for all patent law positions. .


That is something that a lot of people don't realize. Especially Computer Science people.

FlyingReality
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby FlyingReality » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:10 pm

Also note that not all science and engineering backgrounds qualify for all patent law positions.

What science backgrounds do qualify?

c3pO4
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:18 pm

FlyingReality wrote:
Also note that not all science and engineering backgrounds qualify for all patent law positions.

What science backgrounds do qualify?


Jedi science.

baller
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby baller » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:19 pm


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kalvano
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:33 pm

Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Most IP firms tend to only want people with a science background so they can do all types of IP work and not be restricted.

If you had plenty of candidates who could do all the possible work for your firm, why take a candidate who can only do 50% of it?

c3pO4
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:35 pm

kalvano wrote:Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Most IP firms tend to only want people with a science background so they can do all types of IP work and not be restricted.

If you had plenty of candidates who could do all the possible work for your firm, why take a candidate who can only do 50% of it?


if you were right then all IP litigators would have science backgrounds. many don't, so your reasoning clearly doesn't hold up in real life. It is more accurately to say, theoretically no, but realistically yes if you want to do litigation.

LockBox
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby LockBox » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:48 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Most IP firms tend to only want people with a science background so they can do all types of IP work and not be restricted.

If you had plenty of candidates who could do all the possible work for your firm, why take a candidate who can only do 50% of it?


if you were right then all IP litigators would have science backgrounds. many don't, so your reasoning clearly doesn't hold up in real life. It is more accurately to say, theoretically no, but realistically yes if you want to do litigation.


Perhaps this is because there are not enough lawyers with science backgrounds to begin with?

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kalvano
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:49 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Most IP firms tend to only want people with a science background so they can do all types of IP work and not be restricted.

If you had plenty of candidates who could do all the possible work for your firm, why take a candidate who can only do 50% of it?


if you were right then all IP litigators would have science backgrounds. many don't, so your reasoning clearly doesn't hold up in real life. It is more accurately to say, theoretically no, but realistically yes if you want to do litigation.



How many of those IP litigators were hired recently? Most IP work seems to be moving towards specialized firms, and trying to get hired on now (not back when everything was peachy) is a very different story.

c3pO4
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:25 pm

kalvano wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Theoretically, yes. Realistically, no. Most IP firms tend to only want people with a science background so they can do all types of IP work and not be restricted.

If you had plenty of candidates who could do all the possible work for your firm, why take a candidate who can only do 50% of it?


if you were right then all IP litigators would have science backgrounds. many don't, so your reasoning clearly doesn't hold up in real life. It is more accurately to say, theoretically no, but realistically yes if you want to do litigation.



How many of those IP litigators were hired recently? Most IP work seems to be moving towards specialized firms, and trying to get hired on now (not back when everything was peachy) is a very different story.


Actually IP is booming. Many IP litigators hired today don't have science backgrounds. Look it up. The conventional wisdom on this is so prevalent, and it's wrong. I encountered many science phd's and ma's who discouraged me from pursuing IP during 1L and they were very snooty about it. However, during my job search, I found the lay of the land to be completely different. If you have a persuasive story about why you are interested in IP litigation, you can do it with a political science BA. In fact, many IP litigators (i.e. Partners) will say that a science background is a detriment to explaining technical concepts to a lay person.

Don't scare people off it.

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kalvano
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:26 pm

c3pO4 wrote:Actually IP is booming. Many IP litigators hired today don't have science backgrounds. Look it up. The conventional wisdom on this is so prevalent, and it's wrong. I encountered many science phd's and ma's who discouraged me from pursuing IP during 1L and they were very snooty about it. However, during my job search, I found the lay of the land to be completely different. If you have a persuasive story about why you are interested in IP litigation, you can do it with a political science BA. In fact, many IP litigators (i.e. Partners) will say that a science background is a detriment to explaining technical concepts to a lay person.

Don't scare people off it.



Every firm I applied to that worked with IP (both big and small, national and local) said they aren't interested in people who can't take the patent bar. Every single one.

c3pO4
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Re: Practicing IP law w/out a science background?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:32 pm

kalvano wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:Actually IP is booming. Many IP litigators hired today don't have science backgrounds. Look it up. The conventional wisdom on this is so prevalent, and it's wrong. I encountered many science phd's and ma's who discouraged me from pursuing IP during 1L and they were very snooty about it. However, during my job search, I found the lay of the land to be completely different. If you have a persuasive story about why you are interested in IP litigation, you can do it with a political science BA. In fact, many IP litigators (i.e. Partners) will say that a science background is a detriment to explaining technical concepts to a lay person.

Don't scare people off it.



Every firm I applied to that worked with IP (both big and small, national and local) said they aren't interested in people who can't take the patent bar. Every single one.


OK, you must have applied to prosecution heavy boutiques. I think that says more about the firms you applied to than whether you can do IP litigation without a science background.

Look at the 1st and 2nd year associates in IP lit at Irell, Quinn, etc etc etc etc and tell me what their undergrad majors were.




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