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   Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questions
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   Author  Topic: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questions  (Read 2135 times)


Posts: 48
Re: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questi
« Reply #5 on: Aug 10th, 2006, 7:19am »
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on Aug 9th, 2006, 1:51pm, sdpowers wrote:
Permit me to mention an additional consideration: retirement planning.
Any financial planning seminar you may attend will discuss "the power of compounding" and how important it is to start saving early. Ideally, you should fund a good portion of your 401k before you are 30. Early funding permits long-term compounding, which thereby reduces the total amount you need to divert from your paycheck over your lifetime.
Unfortunately, many folks who pursue PhD's do not get into a position where they can begin retirement planning until after they are 30.
If possible, mix some work years into the school years so that your savings grow commensurate with your knowledge. That will also give you the context of real world experience to help you make better education decisions.

OK, who let the accountant in.  lol
This guy is still in high school. It is impressive enough that he knows "what he wants to be when he grows up", and you start talking to him about his retirement. Grin
Waffle:  You have 4 years undergrad, 5-8 years PhD and 3 years JD ahead of you. Although it is always a good idea to save for retirment, the sooner you finish school the sooner you can start making enough money to save for retirement.  
Do not attempt a PhD unless you really want, and not need, one. You asked about the possibility of "not making it", from my experience, those that don't make it tend to be the ones who quit. (which almost included me, luckily my wife kicked me in the a$$ and convinced me to finish the thesis)
Simply put, you do not NEED anything more than a BSc, however, higher degrees will make things easier to get you foot in the door. I agree with smokie, and recommend at least a Masters degree.
I also feel you are getting ahead of yourself. You should not decide if you want a PhD until your final year of your BSc. You simply don't know enough about the field you will be studying.
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Posts: 3472
Re: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questi
« Reply #6 on: Aug 10th, 2006, 7:58am »
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on Aug 7th, 2006, 10:33am, smokie wrote:
1.- you need some sort of a life science or engineering degree to be qualified for the Patent bar exam given by the USPTO (just go to the site [] and look at the requirements for registering for the exam - this will give you an idea of what major fields you need to play in).

Non engineering/non life science degrees such as chemistry, physics, and computer science degrees qualify you to take the patent bar exam.
It is true that most of the majors listed under category A are life science or engineering degrees, but there are some significant exceptions.
My recommendation for selecting a major in college is that your first priority should be something you enjoy and have an aptitude for.   You'll want to do well in undergraduate school if you want to get into a well regarded law school.
As far as flexibility goes, how flexible being a physics major makes you depends on what curriculum you select.
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Posts: 843
Re: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questi
« Reply #7 on: Aug 10th, 2006, 11:10am »
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Re "How important is the difference between a BA and a BS?  The reason I ask is because if I go to a liberal arts college, they might not offer a BS."
The BS/BA should not be a consideration.
Where I went to college during the Paleolithic era, the BS degree was intended mainly for education majors.  As chemistry major I qualified for the BA.  Science & math courses were counted as "liberal arts" and a BA required some minimum number of liberal arts credits.  I thought that I might be better off with a BS degree ... so I spoke to the dean, he signed some paperwork, and I got a BS.
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
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Posts: 96
Re: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questi
« Reply #8 on: Aug 10th, 2006, 12:48pm »
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My undergrad school offered BA or a BS for computer science.  I believe that the difference between the two was that BS required engineering physics (as opposed to "regular" physics) along with more required science and math classes.  I believe the comp sci curriculum was essentially the same, however.
Here's the rub.  My diploma states a "bachelor of science in computer sciences."  My friend who took the same exact comp sci classes I did, well, his diploma states a "bachelor of arts in natural sciences" with no mention of comp sci.  
Practically speaking, I think it makes no difference.  But I know my friend wanted the paper recognition of being a comp sci major from a top comp sci program.
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Re: Interested in Biotech Patent Law - Many Questi
« Reply #9 on: Aug 10th, 2006, 2:25pm »
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I'll throw my two cents in on a couple of things that have been mentioned.  
First, I've never seen anyone take 10 years to do a PhD.  In fact, my school kicks you out after eight.  Five years is a good estimate.  That being said, your field may dictate how much schooling you should have.  You used to be able to do biotech patent law with a BS and a JD.  Now, biotech newbies pretty much have to have a PhD.  Currently, the CS and EE folks can get away with a BS and a JD.  In the future, I think they'll be forced to have an advanced degree as well because of market saturation.  My advice is to do as much as you can handle and then get out.
Second, you mentioned the BA/BS question and going to a liberal arts school.  Wiscagent mentioned that it doesn't matter about BA/BS anymore, but I would like to add that if you're going into a science undergrad major, you should try to get into the best science school that you can.  There are few careers where what school you went to matters more than in the field of law (it's more important for lawyers than for even physicians/surgeons).  I went to a liberal arts school and in retrospect, I wish I would have gone to the big science school next door that I turned down.
I hope these help.  Best of luck!!!
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