dreman510 wrote:Thanks for that info. I think a masters is unfortunately, out of the question. My undergrad science grades are nothing special, with two C's, and the rest A's and B's. I dont know what the lawyer you spoke to considered good grades, but I assume I dont have it.
I did research for 2 summers plus a half year while in school-do you think that qualifies for work experience?
If I went to a school like GW/GMU with strong patent programs, and did a significant patent internship my first summer, do you think that would help?
Or should I just give up on the patent field?
Edit: Also, are there any schools that offer joint JD/MS in biology programs?
First off, I don't think you should give up on the patent field. If you are really interested in going into patent law, you can make it happen. Patent attorneys are in demand. You will have a much easier time finding a job with your technical background when you graduate from law school. The lawyer had my resume, and he said my grades qualified as being good enough. He didn't tell me an exact number that he considered good. I don't know your exact GPA, but you could always email a patent attorney and mention your GPA and see what he/she says. Any research helps, so the work you have definitely done will help but I have no idea how much. Your patent internship might help compensate as well.
If you take the patent exam and pass before law school, you can apply for an internship during the summer after your 1L year. That's what he recommended me do. That way you will have your foot in the door somewhere when it comes time for looking for a job during your 2L and 3L years. I cannot reiterate how important passing the patent bar before law school really is. You will have a much easier time finding a summer internship.
So as I mentioned before, there aren't many schools out there that have an established JD/MS in Chem or JD/MS in Bio programs. I just checked UMN's joint degree website, and it seems they have a Conservation Biology JD/MS joint degree. I'm not sure if that is what you want. Some schools do allow you to create your own joint degree through their ad hoc program. Some of these schools I listed above (UMN, UF, Vanderbilt, Tulane, UC Hastings, UCLA, OSU) have these ad hoc joint degrees. Generally in order to pursue one of these, you would need to seek permission from both the law school and the other grad school (which in your case is the bio department.) Once you get approval from both disciplines, then you have to apply to both programs separately. This might be too late for you now if you havent applied to the bio departments yet because you will need to take the general GREs (possibly the subject ones too depending on the school. I fortunately did not have to take the subject test.) Once accepted to both programs, then they will create a program for you and they usually will waive some of the law school credits towards your other discipline. UMN and Tulane I believe allows up to 12 credits. I don't remember the waiver of credits for the rest of the schools I mentioned. UMN has a great joint degree program for the health and life sciences. I will most likely be attending there. Plus, they have that JD/MS in conservation biology. Here is a link to their joint degree website:
Also, you don't have to be accepted into both schools right now. As long as you are accepted to the law school that has the allowed joint degree, you can take the GREs now and send them an application next year. You won't be able to start the degree anyway because most joint degree programs require you to start off only taking classes at the law school. Your second, third, and possibly fourth years is when you take classes in both disciplines.
Wow. Sorry that was very verbose. If you have more questions about joint degrees, PM me and I can help you out more with specifics. I did a lot of research on this before applying.