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   Law school prestige offset lack of advanced degree
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   Author  Topic: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced degree  (Read 1548 times)
Sean O'Rourke
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Law school prestige offset lack of advanced degree
« on: Nov 10th, 2005, 9:59am »
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I apologize if this has been covered a million times before, but I would really appreciate your help.
 
I'll be starting law school in Fall '06.  I'll have a BS in chemistry.  I'll be twenty six by the time I graduate from law school (undergrad took an extra year because of how our co-operative program works).  I really have no interest in going to school longer to get an advanced degree in chemistry, but...
 
I want to be a patent attorney.  I understand I can sit for the bar because I've taken 30+ hours of chemistry courses during undergrad.  I know I hear a lot of people saying (and it's probably true) that people with only bachelors will not find jobs.  Can a law degree from a school like Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley) offset this need for an advanced degree?
 
Again, thanks a lot for your help...
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Sean O'Rourke
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #1 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 10:11am »
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As an amendment to the above post:
 
I don't intend to say that Boalt Hall is some kind of a ultra-prestigous-holier-than-thou law school as compared to all others.  I only use it as an example of a well known, national law school.
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larkas
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #2 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 10:15am »
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What type of patent attorney work do you want to do? prosecute(acquire patents)? litigate? or transactional work?
 
If you want to litigate, there is less of a need for an advanced degree. If you want to prosecute, then there is more of a need especially in the chemistry area.
 
A law degree from a prestigious school can offset it especially if you want to litigate. However, in the biological/chemical fields it is still tough.
 
However, in other areas, like CS or EE, only a bachelor's would be needed to find a job, although advanced degrees will be looked at favorably.
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Jim Johnson
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #3 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 10:21am »
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Hi,
 
 
I wont BS you, there is a serious bias against Chem majors that dont have an advanced degree. It makes very little sense, but it is something you have to deal with. One way to offset this is to work for a while. I have a BS but worked for a while before going back to school and it made a huge difference when looing for work
 
That being said there are still plenty of jobs out there for non PhD chemists. If you want to work at a top firm, it may be preclusionary, but at others it is not.  Going to a top school will of course help you no matter what field you practice in. One thing that is more important to most employers is that you have potential to be a good lawyer...so excellent law school grades will also make up for the lack of a PhD. Finally a good move before going to law school would be to take and pass the patent bar. Have a registration number on your resume is huge to employers.
 
hope that helps
 
BTW -- Boalt Hall is a ultra-prestigous-holier-than-thou law school. If you get in there you will have MANY doors open for you, regardless of you undergraduate degree.
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Jim Johnson
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 10:24am »
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btw -- I assumed you were talking about patent proscution and strategy work. If you want to do litigation and advanced degree is not needed at all...
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