Best Law School Concentration financially.

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hellster
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Best Law School Concentration financially.

Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:47 pm

I was wondering what concentration in law school would be the most financially viable regardless of which school you attended. I am not looking for arguments as to if you attend a certain school, this concentration would be better. I understand if you attend a T14 school, almost any concentration would be highly desirable, but lets say you attend a Tier 2, or even Tier 3 school, what concentration in law can have the most lucrative jobs after graduation.

awesomepossum
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Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:48 pm

Patent. But you need a science/engineering background.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:50 pm

Really, patent law??? I have a good science background, as I was a biochemistry major in undergrad. But, on average do you know how much a corporate lawyer makes, and likewise for a patent lawyer. From my limited research, it seems to me corporate lawyer makes the most money, but the problem is the law school you attend really matters in that case.

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BlueDevilSarah
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Postby BlueDevilSarah » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:55 pm

Patent, definitely. GW Alums told me that I could expect at least 125k/yr first coming out.

patentlaw
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Postby patentlaw » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:13 pm

At a biglaw firm everyone gets paid the same. A corporate lawyer at a top firm gets paid the same as a patent lawyer. Salaries are lockstep which means everyone in the same class gets paid the same amount, if you take a look at salary charts for top firms, it's all based on what year you graduated law school in.

That said, it's easier to get a job in patent law than other fields (in my opinion). There's high demand and a finite supply, because only qualified lawyers can sit for the patent bar.

Some big shot corporate lawyers can switch over to hedge funds or other banking type positions where they can make a lot of money, but a plaintiff's lawyer can get some huge settlement and make a ton of money as well. If you're talking strictly within the confines of a law firm, there's really no different until you make partner.

As far as after partner goes, I have no idea, but I'd think it would really depend on how well you can generate business which would have more to do with your networking/people skills than your specialty.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:31 pm

Well,

Personally I am kinda stuck on what to do, and I have a major decision to make over the next month. Financially, I am very bad off, with no parental support, so all expensive will have to be covered with loans. My two options on where to attend law school are Albany Law(w/ 5k in tuition +living) or George Mason(25k tuition + living, which is more expensive than Albany). In any case, even with strong discouragement from many people on this forum, I am leaning towards Albany, even though its T3, and the prospects of the school really aren't good. So, I was trying to see what concentration I can do at Albany, which would yield the most money. I was hoping to do maybe corporate, family, or criminal..depending on which has a highest yield of pay. I know the prospect of getting a big law firm job is close to impossible, so I was considering my options. But, if patent law is really that impressive in the pay, I might just go to GMU and pay all that extra money for loans, since they have a good reputation in Patent Law. Are there any websites or places where you guys are getting these salary figures.

seanpatin
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Postby seanpatin » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:34 pm

check these....

http://www.princetonreview.com/law/default.asp
just search for whatever school and you will have to register (free), but then you can look at quite a bit of stuff.

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings.html
Choose how to rank... click on whatever school for more details.

some people use Vault and stuff, which is a great source, but can be costly.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:55 pm

Yea, I have tried using those but they are not really that helpful. They give the median salary, but that can be very misleading. For T14, it does not really matter for the concentration because they can easily find a job in big law, but what about other slightly less prestigious schools. Like, GM has a median salary of 100k, but is that for all concentrations..or is it just their high paying jobs come from the patent law, and maybe other concentrations from the top of the class. I'm looking for a slightly more detailed view of the financial options after law school for free.

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orangeswarm
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Postby orangeswarm » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:57 pm

There aren't really any good places to look for that type of information. Schools differ greatly in their reporting so you will never be comparing apples to apples.

seanpatin
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Postby seanpatin » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:00 pm

What he said... those and a few others are really the only options, and none are quite as detailed or reliable as we might like.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:04 pm

Ok, well back to the main topic of discussion. Do most people agree that if not working at biglaw firm, since they have a standardized pay scale, the best concentration to make the most money coming out of law school is patent law?? Any other concentrations would like to weigh in???

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wakama
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Postby wakama » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:43 pm

hi
Last edited by wakama on Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BlueDevilSarah
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Postby BlueDevilSarah » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:44 pm

Specifically, if you have an Electrical Engineering degree, patent law is extremely lucrative.


Woo hoo! I knew this thing would come in handy for something.

pedens
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Postby pedens » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:41 pm

Patent Law...or anything in the Intellectual Property field is probably a good area to specialize in.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:50 pm

How will a biochemistry degree work out in Patent Law? Will that be as lucrative, as say EE degree.

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Vasia
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Postby Vasia » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:58 pm

How will a biochemistry degree work out in Patent Law? Will that be as lucrative, as say EE degree.

I read many time that Bio and chem IP law requires PhD minimum to be competitive.

Kitty_

Postby Kitty_ » Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:55 am

George Mason gives residents a tuition discount (~$13K/yr full time, instead of $24.5k) so if you can qualify then that would certainly help. You can find information about qualifying as a resident through their website -- I didn't keep the link, but when I looked at this before, it was easy to find. Basically you need to demonstrate that you are planning to make your home in VA after you finish school; e.g. get a job, buy a condo, or marry a VA resident (or if you're already married, your wife has to get a job in the area).

hellster
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Postby hellster » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:16 pm

I read many time that Bio and chem IP law requires PhD minimum to be competitive.


So, from what I have gathered from this discussion is that, only engineering majors, or maybe PhD science majors can enter patent or IP law. Are there people with no science or engineering background that go into IP and patent law and be successful. Aren't you suppose to focus on the law, and if you need any help with the science aspect of it, you can hire consultants. I was thinking patent law would be similar to health law, where you do not need to be an MD to practice, but it definitely wont hurt. Am I wrong with my assumptions???

hellster
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Postby hellster » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:19 pm

I have read about qualifying for Virgina residency, and supposedly people say its one of the hardest states to qualify for residency just because they have so many requirements, and are very picky. And, if you include the cost of living in Arlington..its at least 20,000 per year on top of tuition, whereas most other places is 6,000-8000.

Kitty_

Postby Kitty_ » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:57 pm

Are there people with no science or engineering background that go into IP and patent law and be successful. Aren't you suppose to focus on the law, and if you need any help with the science aspect of it, you can hire consultants. I was thinking patent law would be similar to health law, where you do not need to be an MD to practice, but it definitely wont hurt. Am I wrong with my assumptions???

Your faulty assumption regards the requirements for elgibility to take the Patent Bar. To practice law before the USPTO (i.e. to apply for patents on behalf of clients) you must take the patent bar, and to take the Patent bar, you must have at least a bachelor's degree or better in science or engineering. Actually, Patent law is a unique specialty in that permission to sit for the Patent bar exam has absolutely no relationship to whether you graduated law school.

I'd be surprised if you could get one of these high paying IP law jobs without passing the patent bar (it may be possible at a firm that specializes in patent litigation; can anyone confirm this?). Without a science or engineering degree, IP law careers are largely unavailable.

littleone
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Postby littleone » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:17 pm

With a bachelor's in biochemistry, you can sit for the patent bar and do patent litigation or one of the other IP areas (trademarks, etc.). Technically you could also do patent prosecution, but it is true that you would have more competition from attorneys with Ph.D.s in that area, and clients would most likely opt for them over you to write their patents. Also, with patent prosecution, you have to compete with people with science backgrounds but no law degree who have taken the Patent Bar and are patent agents. Litigation actually pays more than prosecution, though, so you could still do very well financially, which was your original concern.

patten
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Postby patten » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:36 pm

Kitty -

IP law careers, rather than being extremely unavailable as you mentioned, are extremely available -- as long as you can sit for the patent bar.

If you can sit for the patent bar and pass you will almost certainly find a job.

Over the last few months I've spoken with multiple patent law experts from litigators to prosecutors to the former Dean of GW Law. All of them emphasized that patent law jobs are extremely available to those who sit for and pass the patent bar.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:37 pm

So, if I understand the previous two posts correctly. With my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I can sit for the patent bar exam, and possibly have a good chance of passing??(or, would take require a MS or PhD). But, let's assume I sit for the patent exam and pass, I can practice some sort of patent litigation, and most likely get a lucrative salary of 100k+. I can also go into patent prosecution, but that is where I would run into trouble where clients would prefer PhD over me?? Is that correct, or am I still misinterpreting information?

P.S. - Thank you all so much for the help by the way.

patentlaw
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Postby patentlaw » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:39 pm

I'd be surprised if you could get one of these high paying IP law jobs without passing the patent bar (it may be possible at a firm that specializes in patent litigation; can anyone confirm this?). Without a science or engineering degree, IP law careers are largely unavailable.


Well plenty of law firms hire people who haven't passed the patent bar and then during your first few years you take it. In fact, of the 4 closest friends of mine that went into four different IP departments none of them (nor I) had taken the patent bar before joining our respective firms. A couple of them went to boutiques and do mostly IP prosecution, but haven't yet passed the bar (you just have to have someone that passed the bar look over your work which they do in the beginning anyway).

Also there are a lot of people in patent litigation that aren't engineers at all. They mostly come in through general litigation experience and move over to IP. I'd say almost half of the partners in my IP group don't have science backgrounds, but did spend a number of years as general litigators before specializing in patent cases. That said, it seems a lot harder to get into in the beginning of your career.

hellster
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Postby hellster » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:47 pm

That said, it seems a lot harder to get into in the beginning of your career.


So, what do you think my prospects of getting hired by firm in DC in patent law litigation after graduating from George Mason University, and BS in Biochemistry. Also, how much did you friend's start out making in their new jobs, and what schools did they attend?




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