Best NYC School for IP Law and Debt-Aversion

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ThreeFifty

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Best NYC School for IP Law and Debt-Aversion

Post by ThreeFifty » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:00 pm

Hi all, I'm a graduate mechanical engineering student who's interested in going to law school for IP law. I graduate this May.

I haven't taken the LSAT yet but I've been studying for a few months and getting consistent high 160's/low 170's. Planning to take it in August. My undergrad GPA was a 3.8 and my grad GPA is a 3.9

I've been reading some depressing stuff on here and on other forums regarding law schools and debt and things like that. I figured I could probably get into a T14 with my stats but assumed I wouldn't get a scholarship. I can probably live at home if I got into either Columbia or NYU (about 1 hr commute). That looks like about 200k in loans.

I figured with a salary of 200k+, this wouldn't be the end of the world, but it seems like a lot of people disagree.

Would it be better to look at a school like Fordham and try and get some scholarship money? Is going to law school even worth it right now? I'm starting to get really worried by some of the stuff I'm reading, and it would be great to hear from a recent grad or someone with experience.

Thanks in advance!

dvlthndr

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Re: Best NYC School for IP Law and Debt-Aversion

Post by dvlthndr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:31 pm

If you were interested in doing patent prosecution (i.e., writing patents, dealing with patent offices, and consulting tech companies on patent-specific issues), the right approach is getting a job as a patent agent with a firm that will *pay* your tuition and keep you on salary while in school. You walk away with 0 debt, cash in the bank, and a guaranteed job.

Most firms with formal patent agent / technical specialist programs pay for the part time program at Fordham, and the top firms will cover a full ride at Columbia/NYU.

If you want to do any other kind of “IP law,” you should apply broadly and see where you get in. The normal benefits of going to a high-ranking prestigious school (or taking a generous scholarship at a lower-ranked school) apply. Also, you should really consider applying to schools all across the country, and not just NYC. Even if you don’t plan to move outside of NYC, having other acceptances can help you negotiate better scholarships.

ThreeFifty

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Re: Best NYC School for IP Law and Debt-Aversion

Post by ThreeFifty » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I've looked into the patent agent ---> patent attorney route but I don't know how readily those jobs are available. I really don't see too many (especially with everything going on).

I wanted to do that originally but now I figured I'd get a head start on law school while I'll be (presumably) unemployed and unable to find work for the foreseeable future anyway.

dvlthndr

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Re: Best NYC School for IP Law and Debt-Aversion

Post by dvlthndr » Fri May 01, 2020 2:11 am

The job description you are looking for is "technical specialist," "technical advisor," or something along those lines. That's the entry level position for patent-agents in training. Decent firms will hire you and train you up before you have a registration number.

Off the top of my head, you should poke around the websites for Fish & Richardson, Wilmer Hale, Finnegan, Ropes & Gray, Foley & Lardner, and Wolf Greenfield. It's probably buried deep on their website, but my recollection is they have semi-formal programs. You could also check with Cooley, MoFo, Baker Bots, Fenwick, White & Case, etc. I think they've hired for similar positions in the past. You will also see job listings floating around linkedin or patentlyo. Hiring may be soft given the economic/virus situation, but it never hurts to check.

That said, you can (and should) apply to law schools in parallel. Having a job offer + an acceptance letter never hurt anybody. Worst case, some of these places might ask you to defer a year before you start school (or if you get a nice scholarship, you can just go to school directly and forget about the whole agent thing).

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