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   1L Starting to rethink things
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Ian
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1L Starting to rethink things
« on: Oct 15th, 2006, 11:57am »
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I am about 8 weeks into my first year of law school and I'm starting to have second thoughts.  
 
I have a BSCS from a good school and I was planning to go into IP/Patent law.  I am just starting to question whether or not all the work is worth it.  I work at least 12-14 hours a day and then maybe 5-6 each weekend day and I still don't feel like I'm keeping up.  Is this whats it is going to be like when I'm in practice?  I have a wife and we plan to start a family after I get out of school.  Can I expect to be working 60-70 hours a week once I'm a lawyer?  I don't care about making a lot of money at all.  I would rather make 60-80k and work less hours and have time to spend with my family then make 150k and work 70 hours a week.  Is this even possible as a lawyer?  I enjoy the law MUCH more then I enjoy computer science.  I find it really interesting and intellectual.  Its just that when I'm in the library at 8-9PM and my wife has dinner ready and I'm trying to find out if a municipality has immunity against a negligence claim, I don't enjoy it at all.   Is it possible to work for yourself say filing patents with USPTO and working like 40-45 hours a week?  Maybe I should just cut my losses and go back to doing something else?  I just can't go back to being a cubicle monkey writing software.  I really like the law and I want to make this work, but I don't want to trade in my life for money.  Am I just in the wrong profession?
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biopico
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Re: 1L Starting to rethink things
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15th, 2006, 12:20pm »
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I am not a lawyer, but I have substantial experience working with lawyers.  
 
It varies:  some lawyers work crazy, and some lawyers work like average (9-5). I have also seen few laywers working only 4-6 hours a day.  I guess time will come when you can control your time after graduating law school and having some experience.
 
To  answer your question, YES or NO.  It would be YOU who should be able to control the pace of your life in your legal profession.  This is my opinion.
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Ian
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Re: 1L Starting to rethink things
« Reply #2 on: Oct 18th, 2006, 7:52am »
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Can anyone else put in their 2 cents?  Maybe how many hours you work?  What is your job satisfaction?
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Isaac
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Re: 1L Starting to rethink things
« Reply #3 on: Oct 18th, 2006, 8:08am »
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I don't think expecting to work a 40-45 hour week is a reasonable expectation for an entry level patent practitioner.   The learning curve for a new practitioner is pretty steep which means that you might expect long hours while your employer tries to recoup his investment in your training.    
 
There may be a few 9-5 entry level jobs out there, but the competition to get *any* job is fairly high in this field.  That said, you can probably avoid working 60-70 hours routinely at jobs offering less than the top pay.
 
After you've pushed your way up the learning curve, I think it becomes a bit easier to make salary/life style tradeoffs.  
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Isaac
ChrisWhewell
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Re: 1L Starting to rethink things
« Reply #4 on: Oct 18th, 2006, 8:17am »
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"Seven Simple Steps to Personal Freedom"  by the lawyer Gerry Spence.
« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2006, 11:38am by ChrisWhewell » IP Logged

Chris Whewell, M.S.
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