Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

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confusedprelaw
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Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:30 pm

So, I'm in the process of choosing schools and thinking about long-term plans, but I'm a little confused about future employment prospects of lawyers. Clearly, the field is pretty saturated and the sentiment around here is "T14 or bust." Unfortunately for me, that leaves me in the bust category, given my numbers (166, 3.82).

My academic background (BS Molecular & Cellular Biology, BA Economics, Masters in Public Health) seems to seamlessly fit into either IP or health law. I also have a relatively equal interest in both of those, as well. I was wondering if the employment prospects of health lawyers and patent lawyers is significantly different and what other factors I should consider in choosing a concentration?

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luxxe
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby luxxe » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:32 pm

You don't need a concentration. They are irrelevant. You should seriously consider retaking the LSAT,though. A 3.82 is an amazing GPA, especially with a hard science major. T14 + your background would give you some phenomenal job options, and just 3 points higher would easily get you into the T14.

If you are set on this cycle, go to the best school you can in a market you want to practice in.

09042014
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby 09042014 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:18 pm

You are going to have a hard time getting patent law with just a BS in MCB degree. I have a classmate with that and he only got two interviews at the loyola patent fair. He got a V5 firm offer at NU's OCI, which means he had excellent grades. It was easier for him to get an elite firm than it was to get patent.

If you go to law school, doing patent law probably won't make getting a job any easier. It might be harder. If you end up doing law school, defintely try for patent by applying to the Loyola Patent Fair. Even if you don't want patent, it's free interviews. Never pass taht up.

Other than that, you really don't specialize in law school. If you really want to do health care law, find a firm that does it. Get an offere there, and you can probably try it. But really, you don't get much liberty in choosing a specialty.

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ColtsFan88
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby ColtsFan88 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:01 pm

I'm not sure if it does, but if your major allows you to take the IP bar or whatever you should look into IP law at George Washington. Seems like people who do that end up with great jobs.

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sky7
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby sky7 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:37 pm

Patent is never a bad idea, especially at GW, but only a BS in a health science (as opposed to EE/CS) is shakey. You will be competing with Ph.D's.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby confusedprelaw » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:41 pm

Thanks for the responses -- I appreciate the feedback :). Would you guys recommend getting an MS/JD dual degree in order to enhance future opportunities? I'm not married to the idea of being a patent lawyer, but I'd certainly like a secure future.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:49 pm

confusedprelaw wrote:Thanks for the responses -- I appreciate the feedback :). Would you guys recommend getting an MS/JD dual degree in order to enhance future opportunities?


Generally, no. With exceptions.

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sky7
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby sky7 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:21 pm

confusedprelaw wrote:Thanks for the responses -- I appreciate the feedback :). Would you guys recommend getting an MS/JD dual degree in order to enhance future opportunities? I'm not married to the idea of being a patent lawyer, but I'd certainly like a secure future.


Is that MS a hard science?

Also, I do know of people with health science BS who have landed patent gigs. It just isn't as easy as EE/CS.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby confusedprelaw » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:26 pm

sky7 wrote:
confusedprelaw wrote:Thanks for the responses -- I appreciate the feedback :). Would you guys recommend getting an MS/JD dual degree in order to enhance future opportunities? I'm not married to the idea of being a patent lawyer, but I'd certainly like a secure future.


Is that MS a hard science?

Also, I do know of people with health science BS who have landed patent gigs. It just isn't as easy as EE/CS.


It would be an MS in one of Chemistry, Molecular Biology, or Biomedical Engineer (if I choose the right school); while I enjoy all of those fields, if I'm not certain I want to do IP, it might not be extremely useful. But, it is encouraging to here that people w/ a health science BS are finding jobs as patent lawyers -- at least the door isn't completely shut on me.

r6_philly
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:23 pm

confusedprelaw wrote:
It would be an MS in one of Chemistry, Molecular Biology, or Biomedical Engineer (if I choose the right school); while I enjoy all of those fields, if I'm not certain I want to do IP, it might not be extremely useful. But, it is encouraging to here that people w/ a health science BS are finding jobs as patent lawyers -- at least the door isn't completely shut on me.


The door isn't shut since you are eligible for the patent bar, but the line into the door may be very long. I am getting more attention with a BS in CS than my friends with PhD in life sciences.

As for the MS, it depends on how much money/work it requires for you to get it. Also, it's still not a PhD. I'd say some WE in the field will be better than a MS.

Ultimately, going to a really good law school may help you more. Going to a T14 or T10 will open doors to many biglaw firms with patent groups. In that context, you are quite competitive as a top law student with patent eligibility, instead of someone who went to any law school to try to get into patent law. So, I hate to say the usual line: retake if you can. Getting 3 more points will do you wonders.

confusedprelaw
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby confusedprelaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:24 pm

r6_philly wrote:
confusedprelaw wrote:
It would be an MS in one of Chemistry, Molecular Biology, or Biomedical Engineer (if I choose the right school); while I enjoy all of those fields, if I'm not certain I want to do IP, it might not be extremely useful. But, it is encouraging to here that people w/ a health science BS are finding jobs as patent lawyers -- at least the door isn't completely shut on me.


The door isn't shut since you are eligible for the patent bar, but the line into the door may be very long. I am getting more attention with a BS in CS than my friends with PhD in life sciences.

As for the MS, it depends on how much money/work it requires for you to get it. Also, it's still not a PhD. I'd say some WE in the field will be better than a MS.

Ultimately, going to a really good law school may help you more. Going to a T14 or T10 will open doors to many biglaw firms with patent groups. In that context, you are quite competitive as a top law student with patent eligibility, instead of someone who went to any law school to try to get into patent law. So, I hate to say the usual line: retake if you can. Getting 3 more points will do you wonders.


Thank you for the advice. I know this has been covered ad nauseum, but is there a significant difference between T14 schools and schools just outside the range? I recently got into USC, surprisingly, and their employment numbers, though worse, don't seem too far off when compared to some of the lower t14s, but perhaps I'm interpreting the statistics incorrectly. Sorry if this question is too frequently asked, but I'm just trying to gauge what I should do for next year/avoid having to take a test as daunting as the LSAT again.

r6_philly
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Re: Choosing a Concentration? Health Law vs. Patent Law

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:49 pm

confusedprelaw wrote:
Thank you for the advice. I know this has been covered ad nauseum, but is there a significant difference between T14 schools and schools just outside the range? I recently got into USC, surprisingly, and their employment numbers, though worse, don't seem too far off when compared to some of the lower t14s, but perhaps I'm interpreting the statistics incorrectly. Sorry if this question is too frequently asked, but I'm just trying to gauge what I should do for next year/avoid having to take a test as daunting as the LSAT again.


Looking at USC's stats
67/178 employed at law firm 100+ for 38%
Assuming the 9 Fed clerks actually was near the top of the class, that increase the chance for big/mid law to 67/169 = 40%

Looking at Penn's stats
162/276 employed at law firm 100+ for 59%
Counting 35 Fed + DE Chancery + SSC clerks who should be top half of class, increase chance for big/mid law to 162/241 = 67%

So basically, if you go to USC, you should be in top 1/3 - 1/2 to have a decent shot at biglaw assuming you are decent at interviews, with a plus for patent. Where as at Penn, you only need to stay out of bottom 1/3 - 1/4 to have a chance. And I assume at Penn you have a much wider variety of firms nationally.

This is obviously making a lot of generalization, but you should have a round about idea. Law school curves try to normalize distribution to group everyone around median, so getting into top 1/3 is much harder than staying out of bottom 1/3.

Also look at it as a numbers game. Suppose there are x number of people with patent eligibility in the T14. So you are 1 of the x. But if you now you expand to T20, you are probably now 1/3x or more (think GW). It is simply harder to stand out. Now imagine you are at HYS and with patent eligibility. How easy is it to get noticed?

BTW I think law school exams are much worse than LSAT. You don't really know what they are looking for, how they are graded, and you only have 1 shot, and you only have limited time to prepare for it. If you get a job for a year to gain some WE while prepping the LSAT, it's win win. Unless you have a compelling reason to go to law school right now.




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