Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

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danquayle
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby danquayle » Sun May 27, 2012 7:37 pm

Cupidity wrote:Think about it this way. . . How many mechanical designs do you think people are patenting, versus how much Software do you think they are patenting?

Computer Science FTW.


I work with a guy who does IP for our legal department. He got his CS degree from Dartmouth, and complains all the time that "Computer Science" varies quite a lot across different school. At Dartmouth, for example, it was more laden with mathematics and quite a lot like engineering. At most schools, it is more of a soft science. He's left constantly explaining that his degree is equivalent to an engineering degree.

I got an undergrad degree in Economics from school that takes a more math heavy approach. I can appreciate the distinction.

The bottom line is many employers just see engineering majors are good at mathematics and logic. I know tons of engineering majors who ended up doing financial analysis. I don't know that the same would be true of computer science.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon May 28, 2012 9:48 am

I'm an EE major and nervous about interviewing for a 1L SA position. How technical are the EE questions they may ask me? I've been out of school for 15 years and don't remember all my textbooks on EE. As usual for engineers, after school, I have worked in only a narrow area of EE, so I know a lot about it, but not much about other areas.

hurldes
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby hurldes » Mon May 28, 2012 11:11 am

jim-green wrote:I'm an EE major and nervous about interviewing for a 1L SA position. How technical are the EE questions they may ask me? I've been out of school for 15 years and don't remember all my textbooks on EE. As usual for engineers, after school, I have worked in only a narrow area of EE, so I know a lot about it, but not much about other areas.


I was nervous about this too. But most all employers know that you aren't going to remember most of your EE courses. They will look at your UGPA to see if you can learn technical material. But the interviews will be primarily for fit -- to see if you are someone they want to work with. They won't ask you to analyze any circuit diagrams if that's what you are nervous about. Law firms likely won't ask you anything technical.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon May 28, 2012 11:57 am

hurldes wrote:I was nervous about this too. But most all employers know that you aren't going to remember most of your EE courses. They will look at your UGPA to see if you can learn technical material. But the interviews will be primarily for fit -- to see if you are someone they want to work with. They won't ask you to analyze any circuit diagrams if that's what you are nervous about. Law firms likely won't ask you anything technical.
Haha, analyzing ckts or doing Fourier series is exactly what I'm worried about! You hit the nail on the head. I chuckled when I clicked on your profile and saw your GPA. Finally someone with an EE GPA like mine. I get nausea when I see all the 3.99s on TLS getting into HYSCCN.
Anyway, my EE classes are As and Bs on my UGPA transcript, however, I did get 3 Cs in the 1st year in Advanced Math 1, Advanced Math 2, and Ckt Analysis. I'll have to spin that somehow. That was actually when I shifted majors to computer engineering (not CS), I mean comp architecture and digital design and started getting more As. Any advice on spinning Cs?

hurldes
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby hurldes » Mon May 28, 2012 12:38 pm

jim-green wrote:
hurldes wrote:I was nervous about this too. But most all employers know that you aren't going to remember most of your EE courses. They will look at your UGPA to see if you can learn technical material. But the interviews will be primarily for fit -- to see if you are someone they want to work with. They won't ask you to analyze any circuit diagrams if that's what you are nervous about. Law firms likely won't ask you anything technical.
Haha, analyzing ckts or doing Fourier series is exactly what I'm worried about! You hit the nail on the head. I chuckled when I clicked on your profile and saw your GPA. Finally someone with an EE GPA like mine. I get nausea when I see all the 3.99s on TLS getting into HYSCCN.
Anyway, my EE classes are As and Bs on my UGPA transcript, however, I did get 3 Cs in the 1st year in Advanced Math 1, Advanced Math 2, and Ckt Analysis. I'll have to spin that somehow. That was actually when I shifted majors to computer engineering (not CS), I mean comp architecture and digital design and started getting more As. Any advice on spinning Cs?


Haha... three Cs on an EE transcript might raise half an eyebrow... if it comes up, I would just try and come up with an honest but professional sounding answer. Maybe you had a job that demanded a lot of your time, or maybe those were just tough classes that you took early on in your major and you have since matured and learned how to handle tough courses. I was doing ncaa athletics throughout college; employers tend to like that excuse, haha.

More likely than not, all your As and Bs in your other EE courses (along with a good personality) will far outweigh those Cs. I got several Cs.. including a C- in a 300 level course. But a decent personality and decent law school grades have made up for that.

Also, there's some debate about this, but I leave my UGPA off my resume. When an interviewer asks me why I don't have my UGPA on there, I just say, "because it's not as good as I would've liked it to be." Then I tell them i have a 3.0. But a lot of times, people just assume it's high (~3.4) and it doesn't even come up.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby r6_philly » Mon May 28, 2012 1:04 pm

I was told that it isn't expected that you will be able to remember the technical details, but you should exhibit the aptitude that you can learn or follow it quickly.

I was asked extensively about my technical experience, but not technical ability during interviews. Now that I have started as an SA, I understand the point of needing a tech background a little more. Having a CS bg, it is not easy for me to go through expert witness reports or depos for chem or pharma stuff because I don't know half the terminology they use. However, it is much easy and natural for me to work on CS/EE stuff because I know what they talk about even though I don't exactly remember precisely the technical details or processes. Having familiarity and a good foundation to follow along is basically the most important part.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon May 28, 2012 1:29 pm

How intense are the classes and reading the 3L year? The reason I am asking about how intense 3L classes are is to ask whether I can work part-time, say in patent prosecution in SV, and make some $$$ to reduce my loans and financial hit. And how much could I hope to make? I'm just calculating my overall financial hit to decide, "law school or not?".

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon May 28, 2012 1:32 pm

hurldes wrote:
jim-green wrote:
hurldes wrote:I was nervous about this too. But most all employers know that you aren't going to remember most of your EE courses. They will look at your UGPA to see if you can learn technical material. But the interviews will be primarily for fit -- to see if you are someone they want to work with. They won't ask you to analyze any circuit diagrams if that's what you are nervous about. Law firms likely won't ask you anything technical.
Haha, analyzing ckts or doing Fourier series is exactly what I'm worried about! You hit the nail on the head. I chuckled when I clicked on your profile and saw your GPA. Finally someone with an EE GPA like mine. I get nausea when I see all the 3.99s on TLS getting into HYSCCN.
Anyway, my EE classes are As and Bs on my UGPA transcript, however, I did get 3 Cs in the 1st year in Advanced Math 1, Advanced Math 2, and Ckt Analysis. I'll have to spin that somehow. That was actually when I shifted majors to computer engineering (not CS), I mean comp architecture and digital design and started getting more As. Any advice on spinning Cs?


Haha... three Cs on an EE transcript might raise half an eyebrow... if it comes up, I would just try and come up with an honest but professional sounding answer. Maybe you had a job that demanded a lot of your time, or maybe those were just tough classes that you took early on in your major and you have since matured and learned how to handle tough courses. I was doing ncaa athletics throughout college; employers tend to like that excuse, haha.

More likely than not, all your As and Bs in your other EE courses (along with a good personality) will far outweigh those Cs. I got several Cs.. including a C- in a 300 level course. But a decent personality and decent law school grades have made up for that.

Also, there's some debate about this, but I leave my UGPA off my resume. When an interviewer asks me why I don't have my UGPA on there, I just say, "because it's not as good as I would've liked it to be." Then I tell them i have a 3.0. But a lot of times, people just assume it's high (~3.4) and it doesn't even come up.
Exactly, those were just tough classes that I took early on in my major and I have since matured and learned how to handle tough courses.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby r6_philly » Mon May 28, 2012 3:34 pm

jim-green wrote:How intense are the classes and reading the 3L year? The reason I am asking about how intense 3L classes are is to ask whether I can work part-time, say in patent prosecution in SV, and make some $$$ to reduce my loans and financial hit. And how much could I hope to make? I'm just calculating my overall financial hit to decide, "law school or not?".


Depending on the school, you can pretty much choose whatever you want for 2L/3L. So you can absolutely work part-time. I worked during 1L and I will be working more during 2L/3L.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon May 28, 2012 7:43 pm

r6_philly wrote:Depending on the school, you can pretty much choose whatever you want for 2L/3L. So you can absolutely work part-time. I worked during 1L and I will be working more during 2L/3L.
Wow, you worked in 1L? i heard that's impossible! Where did u work? And what did u do? And what do you plan for 2L/3L? I know one can choose classes, but doe that mean I can choose between an easier or tougher schedule? I thought the number of classes is fixed for the degree so only the content will vary. If I can do patent prosecution for 20 hrs a week in 2L, that'll REALLY help my loans. 20 hrs is a lot of time a week to be away from studying though.

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sky7
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby sky7 » Mon May 28, 2012 10:38 pm

My two cents:

Generally, no one really cares about UGGPA. I know tons of people with horrible UGGPAs, and they are doing fine.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 29, 2012 12:26 am

sky7 wrote:My two cents:

Generally, no one really cares about UGGPA. I know tons of people with horrible UGGPAs, and they are doing fine.


I disagree with half of this.

First I agree that if your UGGPA is not great, it's not going to sink you. Next, I disagree with your notion that no one cares when it is great. On the contrary, having great UG GPA can either help you stand out or help overcome so so law grades. Four or more years of GPA still speaks to your work ethics and abilities more than two semesters.

So while people won't pick on your for bad UG GPA, it will still put you at a disadvantage because firms will probably favor people with better UG GPA. Saying that no one cares is a little misleading.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 29, 2012 12:30 am

jim-green wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Depending on the school, you can pretty much choose whatever you want for 2L/3L. So you can absolutely work part-time. I worked during 1L and I will be working more during 2L/3L.
Wow, you worked in 1L? i heard that's impossible! Where did u work? And what did u do? And what do you plan for 2L/3L? I know one can choose classes, but doe that mean I can choose between an easier or tougher schedule? I thought the number of classes is fixed for the degree so only the content will vary. If I can do patent prosecution for 20 hrs a week in 2L, that'll REALLY help my loans. 20 hrs is a lot of time a week to be away from studying though.



I taught and did contract work. I will be taking on more in both for 2L/3L. We have to take a minimum of 12 credits (compare to 18 for first semester and 16 for second), and there are many classes that only meet once a week.

The trick is to not take study time to go work. I mean, how many law students are nearing 90-100% efficiency? Take 5-10 hours out of your downtime to do work, that's the secret. If you can't manage to not sacrifice study time, then don't work. My line of work, I can work at night and on weekends, so that helps.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Tue May 29, 2012 8:47 am

r6_philly wrote:I taught and did contract work. I will be taking on more in both for 2L/3L. We have to take a minimum of 12 credits (compare to 18 for first semester and 16 for second), and there are many classes that only meet once a week.

The trick is to not take study time to go work. I mean, how many law students are nearing 90-100% efficiency? Take 5-10 hours out of your downtime to do work, that's the secret. If you can't manage to not sacrifice study time, then don't work. My line of work, I can work at night and on weekends, so that helps.
Teaching, huh? Guys at Cal told me I could be a TA for an undergrad EE class. I think I'll probably forget about working in 1L, it'll be too tough. But maybe 2L? How does one get contract work and would it be tougher than patent prosecution? I think for patent prosecution, I'll have to go in to a firm, so that'll be harder than contracts at night at my home, right? What do you think?

So you're saying 5-10 hrs per week?

hurldes
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby hurldes » Tue May 29, 2012 3:51 pm

jim-green wrote:
r6_philly wrote:I taught and did contract work. I will be taking on more in both for 2L/3L. We have to take a minimum of 12 credits (compare to 18 for first semester and 16 for second), and there are many classes that only meet once a week.

The trick is to not take study time to go work. I mean, how many law students are nearing 90-100% efficiency? Take 5-10 hours out of your downtime to do work, that's the secret. If you can't manage to not sacrifice study time, then don't work. My line of work, I can work at night and on weekends, so that helps.
Teaching, huh? Guys at Cal told me I could be a TA for an undergrad EE class. I think I'll probably forget about working in 1L, it'll be too tough. But maybe 2L? How does one get contract work and would it be tougher than patent prosecution? I think for patent prosecution, I'll have to go in to a firm, so that'll be harder than contracts at night at my home, right? What do you think?

So you're saying 5-10 hrs per week?


I agree that you probably shouldn't work during 1L. Working 2L can be very beneficial though. I guess it depends on whether you want to litigate or prosecute patents. If you want to prosecute, working 20 hours a week is a great way to gain experience, and law firms won't care too much if your grades drop, especially if you are planning on working for that firm full time when you graduate. If you can work on a few dozen patent applications before you become a full time employee, you'll be that much more valuable when you start.

Litigation, I think, requires better grades and the normal law school extra-curricuclars (journal, moot court, mock trial etc.) To excel in those areas and be a good candidate for a litigation group, you probably won't have too much time to work. Then again, gaining real world experience with patents could be very valuable-- on par with better grades and extra curriculars.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Tue May 29, 2012 4:08 pm

hurldes wrote:I agree that you probably shouldn't work during 1L. Working 2L can be very beneficial though. I guess it depends on whether you want to litigate or prosecute patents. If you want to prosecute, working 20 hours a week is a great way to gain experience, and law firms won't care too much if your grades drop, especially if you are planning on working for that firm full time when you graduate. If you can work on a few dozen patent applications before you become a full time employee, you'll be that much more valuable when you start.

Litigation, I think, requires better grades and the normal law school extra-curricuclars (journal, moot court, mock trial etc.) To excel in those areas and be a good candidate for a litigation group, you probably won't have too much time to work. Then again, gaining real world experience with patents could be very valuable-- on par with better grades and extra curriculars.
Thanks, this is very helpful.

jim-green
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Re: Computer Science or Eletrical Engineering for IP Law?

Postby jim-green » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:52 am

hurldes wrote:I agree that you probably shouldn't work during 1L.
How important is a legal-related job in the 1L summer? How about if I do my old job in engineering so I can make some $$ in case I do not get a 1L SA? Will this look bad on resume later?




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