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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 343032 times)
guest
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #715 on: Oct 20th, 2006, 10:10pm »
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I started out as a GS-7 examiner 17 years ago, after being fed up with my dead end job as an engineer in the private industry.  I am so glad I made the move.  Of course, I may not have the same perspective as some other unlucky examiners who found the job a nightmare, because I really got some great mentoring and training from a great SPE/boss who knew the law as well as some primary examiners who really cared about what they were doing (not just putting a blue slip or passing out crap to get a count).
 
After becoming a primary, I went to law school at night.  Yes, it was really tough for 4 years, and I was always tired from the long days and No. VA commute.  But it opened up a lot of doors for me.  I spent some time as an attorney on the outside, but decided to return to the PTO after I was offered a position in one of the most prestigious organizations in the agency.
 
Yes, No. VA's traffic is pretty bad and has high home prices, but I think overall it's a great place to live and raise children.  Again, my perspective may be a bit different from others because I moved here from the NYC/NJ metro area, which in my humble opinion, is no place to live and raise children.
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #716 on: Oct 21st, 2006, 9:12am »
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Even though the training is 8 months long, it isn't 100% "training." You do get to work on cases (I believe every month has had it differently so far; the September class came in with one or two cases already, if i heard correctly), so the SPEs/trainers do have something with which to evaluate you. That in mind, only about 20% or so actually get promoted right at the 6 month mark. But it isn't a one time deal... you are eligible for the promotion beginning at 6 months. So if you meet the promotion-production quota at 7 months, you'll get it too.
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school
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #717 on: Oct 23rd, 2006, 8:20am »
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A few people have told me that going to law school while at the pto isn't worth it - it's better just to go to law school full time.  any thoughts?
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Isaac
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #718 on: Oct 23rd, 2006, 8:41am »
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on Oct 23rd, 2006, 8:20am, school wrote:
A few people have told me that going to law school while at the pto isn't worth it - it's better just to go to law school full time.  any thoughts?

 
There is no single answer to that question.
 
Law school can be expensive and many people generate a crushing debt load while going to law school full time.  While working and going to school is tiring and life style affecting, trying to pay off six figure school loans is also a life style affecting proposition.
 
Financial considerations aside, I'd recommend going to law school full time rather than part time plus working full time.  But for most of us, the financial considerations are not ignorable.
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Isaac
school
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #719 on: Oct 23rd, 2006, 9:25am »
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Thanks for your input.  Is the grind of working PTO+part time law comparable to being a new associate at a firm?
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