Engineering to Law School

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Taekwondo113

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Engineering to Law School

Post by Taekwondo113 » Fri May 22, 2020 2:58 am

I am around 3 semesters away from graduating with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and have been thinking about going to law school afterwards for about the past year. I want to be a lawyer because I find law incredibly interesting and I love the nature of debating. The two fields that interest me the most are patent law and criminal law.

I see that the law field is very saturated, many lawyers struggle to find a job that requires a JD, and the price of attending law school is higher than ever before, while those few lawyers who do land careers in law aren't compensated enough to pay off their loans (generally). Unless you go to a top law school, breaking "even" on the investment necessary for law school seems very difficult.

I want to accomplish my dream of becoming a patent lawyer, and maybe do some criminal defense pro bono.

My GPA is 3.2 and I am hispanic (URM). The two law schools I'm interested in attending are Fordham and GW because I would love to practice in the areas those schools are located in and I believe they can help me land a job with enough compensation to pay off the loans of a law school education. I am about a year away from taking the LSAT. I would like advice on how to proceed career-wise. I was also wondering what my chances would be if I applied Early Binding Decision to these schools with an LSAT of around 162-165 (aim).

Sorry for the long post, it is my first one on the forum, so please be easy on me!

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cavalier1138

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Re: Engineering to Law School

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri May 22, 2020 8:59 am

A few recommendations:

1. Don't go straight through to law school. You will benefit immensely from taking some time to live/work after college.

2. Do not apply early decision to any school that doesn't offer a guaranteed full scholarship (or close to full) for ED admits.

3. Take some time to figure out what you want to do (at least broadly) before committing to law school. A lot of people think they want to be lawyers because they like debating, and a lot of those people are extremely disappointed once they get into practice. Take some time to talk to lawyers about their actual jobs, especially lawyers in the fields you already have some interest in.

dvlthndr

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Re: Engineering to Law School

Post by dvlthndr » Sat May 23, 2020 9:35 pm

Taekwondo113 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 2:58 am
I want to accomplish my dream of becoming a patent lawyer, and maybe do some criminal defense pro bono.

My GPA is 3.2 and I am hispanic (URM). The two law schools I'm interested in attending are Fordham and GW because I would love to practice in the areas those schools are located in and I believe they can help me land a job with enough compensation to pay off the loans of a law school education. I am about a year away from taking the LSAT. I would like advice on how to proceed career-wise. I was also wondering what my chances would be if I applied Early Binding Decision to these schools with an LSAT of around 162-165 (aim).

You have the right undergrad degree for patent prosecution (i.e., writing patents, dealing with patent offices, and consulting tech companies). If that's the work you want to do, the right approach is getting an entry-level job as a patent agent / technical specialist with a firm that will *pay* for your school. Most firms will cover the part-time evening program at Fordham/GW (both of those schools are very popular with NY/DC patent prosecutors). The top firms also cover full-time programs at various T14 schools.

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. 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.com. Hiring may be soft given the economic/virus situation, but it's something to consider.

In any case, I would try reaching out to some patent lawyers and getting a feel for what the work is like.

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