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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 1546 times)
Sean O'Rourke
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #5 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 10:41am »
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Thanks for the replies.
 
I think Boalt is a really fantastic school, I just didn't want it to sound like I was trying to degrade any non-Boalt alumni...
 
Back on topic:  why is advanced coursework not as necessary in litigation vs proscution?  Sorry for such a newbie question, but I'm currious.
 
I have some full-time work experience directly in the chemistry field, but it was in a co-op program (alternating semesters of full-time student and full-time work).  I'm afraid it might look a little sophomoric to include it on a resume after law school because it was during undergrad.  Do you think it could still help?
 
One last question:  does the patent bar ask law specific questions?  I guess I don't really know what questions it asks...I'll do a search...
 
Thanks again.
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #6 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 11:04am »
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For litigators, skill at presenting things a case in court is far more important than the litigators technical ability.  Lots of patent litigators have no technical background, and it is not unusual even for those litigators with a technical background to litigate cases way out of their technical speciality.
 
Given that, it should not be surprising that an lack of an advanced technical degree is not the deal breaker that it can be in prosecution.
 
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Isaac
Sean O'Rourke
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Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #7 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 1:05pm »
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Okay, so there is less need for an advanced degree to be a successful litigator, but is it still hard to actually get a job as a patent litigator without an advanced degree?
 
I was already more interested in litigation before reading your responses, but now I'm curious as to why it an advanced degree is almost a requirement to pratice prosecution or strategy work but not to practice as a patent litigator.
 
Does patent litigation simply pay less (so competition isn't as fierce for the jobs), are there more job opportunities (again, reducing competition), are skilled litigators harder to come by than IP specialists with advanced degrees, or is it something else entirely?
 
Thanks for helping me out.
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Law school prestige offset lack of advanced de
« Reply #8 on: Nov 10th, 2005, 1:27pm »
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My only slightly informed opinion is that litigators make the big bucks.   There is lots of competition.  It's just that degree level is not an issue in sorting out that competition.
 
I don't believe a technical degree is much of an issue at all.   If a litigator with a background in chemistry is arguing a software based infringement case to a jury, would it seem to you that the education of level of the litigator would be highly relevant?  It helps if the litigator appreciates technical concepts, but litigators with backgrounds in political science seem to manage just fine.  Litigators who need access to PhD levels of understanding tap experts who have that knowledge.
 
In an analogous situation, medical malpractice lawyers are not doctors.  The lawyers rely on experts to give them the skinny on the science.  Malpractice lawyers then present the case to a judge or jury full of people who almost certainly are not medically trained either.
 
Also you are overstating the case for advanced degrees in prosecution.  In a few fields (for example life sciences, pharmaceuticals) PhDs are the rule.  In engineering fields, practitioners with only BS degrees are very employable.
« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2005, 2:29pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
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