What chance do I have?

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:21 pm

Hi
I'm a 37 year old PhD scientist looking to make a career change to patent law/litigation. I know I can pass the patent bar and register as an agent without going to law school but I'm more interested in being able to practice/litigate etc.
I have a pretty strong undergrad GPA although it's from a UK university, equivalent of a 3.7. My PhD is also from a very good UK institution and I have a good work record of both academic institutions (Columbia University) and working in biotech.
I understand that a strong (170+) LSAT is critical to be successful in gaining admittance to a top law school, and my target schools are Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Cornell, and Berkeley.

Can anyone give me some perspective on likelihood of admission? Also as I'm not sitting on a large nest egg of money I'm trying to calculate the ROI of the degree given that I will have to borrow to pay for the degree. So I'm trying to calculate based on what debt load I will take on, and what I've been told a predictable starting salary would be for a patent attorney (assuming excellent performance in school) how long it will take me to pay down my debt. The figure I have been given by a friend who is a recruiter in the legal field is ~140K for a 1st year with my background if I came out of a good program. Is this reasonable?

Thanks.

User avatar
Smumps
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:37 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Smumps » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:19 pm

LSN (lawschoolnumbers.com) is going to be a valuable resource for you. Look at the schools you would like to attend and see what LSAT you will need. Because you are so far out of school, your situation may be different.

With a 3.7, Stanford and Berkeley are going to be difficult, as they place great emphasis on a high GPA. For Columbia I'd say you'd want at least a 175. For NYU at least a 172. For Cornell a 168+ should suffice.

I don't know much about salary - but generally, large firms all pay a standard rate (160k for the first year). Can't tell you much about the amount of loans you will need to take out. The better you do on your LSAT, the greater the chance of a good scholarship.

good luck!

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:41 pm

Smumps wrote:Because you are so far out of school, your situation may be different.


Can you explain what you mean by this? i.e. is this a negative factor.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:44 pm

No not negative off the bat. Just different. I think common wisdom of this site is further away from undergrad you are the more work experience is considered.

Your past work experience from
What I gather seems pretty badass btw.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Samara » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:49 pm

Have you received an official GPA from LSDAS yet? How your GPA gets translated will make a big difference.

Why are those your target schools? Are you looking for NYC biglaw?

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:54 pm

Samara wrote:Have you received an official GPA from LSDAS yet? How your GPA gets translated will make a big difference.


No, and forgive me if I'm ignorant about this but I'm not familiar with the US academic application system, I'm just getting the ball rolling on this.

I'm currently taking some part time evening classes in patent law to bolster my resume. That in addition to my academic credentials (BA, MSc, PhD) 5 years post doctoral work in both the UK (University College London) and Columbia University before being the 15th employee at a VC funded biotech company I hope will all stand in my favor.

I'm interested in either SF or NYC (possibly LA) to practice.

Thanks for the feedback.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:57 pm

cmocarroll wrote:
Samara wrote:Have you received an official GPA from LSDAS yet? How your GPA gets translated will make a big difference.


No, and forgive me if I'm ignorant about this but I'm not familiar with the US academic application system, I'm just getting the ball rolling on this.

I'm currently taking some part time evening classes in patent law to bolster my resume. That in addition to my academic credentials (BA, MSc, PhD) 5 years post doctoral work in both the UK (University College London) and Columbia University before being the 15th employee at a VC funded biotech company I hope will all stand in my favor.

I'm interested in either SF or NYC (possibly LA) to practice.

Thanks for the feedback.


Evening classes will he a waste from an admissions standpoint. Dont do it if that's why you were planning to

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Samara » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:06 am

cmocarroll wrote:
Samara wrote:Have you received an official GPA from LSDAS yet? How your GPA gets translated will make a big difference.


No, and forgive me if I'm ignorant about this but I'm not familiar with the US academic application system, I'm just getting the ball rolling on this.

I'm currently taking some part time evening classes in patent law to bolster my resume. That in addition to my academic credentials (BA, MSc, PhD) 5 years post doctoral work in both the UK (University College London) and Columbia University before being the 15th employee at a VC funded biotech company I hope will all stand in my favor.

I'm interested in either SF or NYC (possibly LA) to practice.

Thanks for the feedback.

You need to purchase the Credential Assembly Service from LSAC. Then, LSAC will ask for your undergrad transcripts and calculate your LSAC GPA, which may be different from your school's GPA. Foreign GPAs are usually given a rating, like Superior, but I think UK grades are sometimes converted to the 4.0 scale. If your grades don't get converted, that's probably better for your chances at Stanford, but you would still need at least a 173, if not 176+, on the LSAT.

I think you'll get a boost from your background, but don't expect a huge boost. With your academic credentials, you should be able to study for the LSAT and kill it. Come back with an official GPA and a few practice test scores, and we can give you a better idea of your chances.

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:21 am

Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Br3v » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:42 am

cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?


If a negative, I don't see it being a big negative bit you may want to post this question in the "old
School 30+" thread

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Samara » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:39 pm

cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?

I've heard this is a problem for biglaw in general, but I've also heard that patent law is a stronger job market. I think if you can get into a top school, get good grades, and be convincing in the interview that you want to do this for the foreseeable future, you should be okay. A lot of it may come down to the interview and finding a good fit. I would definitely investigate other threads on this topic though.

Emu Flu
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:21 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Emu Flu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:16 pm

cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?


It's usually not an issue for patent law. Many patent attorneys are second career attorneys, so they tend to be older than the typical law school graduate.

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:05 pm

cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?


:shock:
since when is 30 young?

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Samara » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:06 pm

t14fanboy wrote:
cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?


:shock:
since when is 30 young?

I'll be 29 shortly after I graduate. Does that mean I'll be old?! :shock:

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:08 pm

Maybe I need more perspective on life...forgot that professional school doesn't work like consulting/finance where a bunch of my friends are already working and 22...

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Samara » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:13 pm

t14fanboy wrote:Maybe I need more perspective on life...forgot that professional school doesn't work like consulting/finance where a bunch of my friends are already working and 22...

I have a friend from high school who went into consulting. He worked at McKinsey and now makes bank at some mutual fund group in SF. Makes me feel kind of inadequate. Oh well, at least I'll be going to NU, where I'll be at the median age. :mrgreen:

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:45 pm

Samara wrote:I have a friend from high school who went into consulting. He worked at McKinsey and now makes bank at some mutual fund group in SF.


All of my friends who made the 'right' choice and got out of science right after their PhDs are doing various jobs earning twice what I'm making. Part of my motivation of switching now is to try and move into a higher earning role. Science is not the place to make it rich sadly. Consider the following, with a PhD from Harvard in biomedical science your first job as a post doc you'll be making about 40K...and you could be in your 30s.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:26 pm

Samara wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:
cmocarroll wrote:Okay now a more tricky question.

I'll be approaching 40 when I graduate (assuming of course I will). Will this be a negative factor getting a job? I know I'm going to be competing with a bunch of young whipper snapper 25-30 yr olds.

Thoughts?


:shock:
since when is 30 young?

I'll be 29 shortly after I graduate. Does that mean I'll be old?! :shock:


24+ makes you a Baby Boomer, right?

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:13 pm

Do you guys know whether once you get offered a job, is it possible to select the office from which you will be based out of? Once in a firm do people move around or do you tend to stay put lets say in New York for as long as you remain with that firm?

I know that San Francisco/Silicon Valley is a hot market for IP law but I'm interested in moving to LA or back to NYC. Would this be reasonable?

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:26 pm

I think you'll get a boost from your background, but don't expect a huge boost. With your academic credentials, you should be able to study for the LSAT and kill it. Come back with an official GPA and a few practice test scores, and we can give you a better idea of your chances.[/quote]

I've been taking a few practice LSATs and doing a little study, scoring either a 170 or 172 every time. I reckon I can bump this up as I just bought the PowerScore books and I can already see where I have been making mistakes.

Therefore, assuming a greater than 170 score, what do you reckon?

desertlaw
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby desertlaw » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:39 pm

Above a 170 and you'll be competitive in the Top 10 schools. The higher you go, the more competitive you'll be and the more scholarship money you'll get.

Until you get an official score, we can't answer more than what this thread has already given you. Perhaps sign up for the June LSAT and take it. See what you get. Then come back here and everyone can help you with where to apply.

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby t14fanboy » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:40 pm

There's actually a big difference between a 170 and a 173 for the T6. A 170 would make you competitive MVP on down, but even with your softs I think you'll need at least a 173 for HYS.

EDIT: saw desertlaw's post too late - echo what he said.

cmocarroll
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby cmocarroll » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:46 pm

Sorry, I'm not familiar with some of the acronyms. What does 'MVP' stand for?

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby t14fanboy » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:51 pm

Michigan, Virginia, UPenn.

User avatar
echamberlin8
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: What chance do I have?

Postby echamberlin8 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:56 pm

Also, HYS=Harvard, Yale, and Stanford (the traditionally accepted top three law schools in the US).

Are you getting a 170+ while doing the tests with a time limit? If so, I'm pretty envious. I started studying several weeks back, and my initial test was only a 155 (this was with a time limit, which was definitely the hard part). My goal schools are pretty similar to yours: Columbia, NYU, Cornell, and University of Pennsylvania. I think Stanford/Harvard (possibly not Harvard, since it's a little less strict on the GPA and focuses more on work experience, from what I hear) are probably out of the picture for me. Yale definitely is. I have a 3.73 GPA, too, which is right where yours is at.

Anyways, I hope you the best. PM me if you ever want to talk sometime. I'm studying the Powerscore books myself. I'm planning on taking either the June or October LSAT (or both).




Return to “What are my chances?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: funzies and 2 guests