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   Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
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   Author  Topic: Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?  (Read 2382 times)
vivienleigh
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Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
« on: Dec 12th, 2006, 8:32am »
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Hi Everyone!  I'm just curious how important it is what area your Ph.D. is in vs. just the fact that you have one.  I'm interested in becoming a patent attorney focusing on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and will complete a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics before starting law school.  I've been looking at law firm websites and notice that most people working in the area I'm interested in have Ph.D.s in organic chemistry and other non-pharmaceutics disciplines.  I don't know if it is just because there aren't many pharmaceutics Ph.D.s looking for jobs in law firms or if they're being passed up in favor of Ph.D.s from other areas.  Any thoughts you might have would be very much appreciated!  Thanks!
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ChrisKnight
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Re: Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 22nd, 2007, 9:19pm »
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This question is exactly what led me to this forum.  Do any of you guys have input?
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forest
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Posts: 59
Re: Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:41am »
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vivien:
 
I am in a similar position as you. I am finishing up my PhD and have all my law school apps out and pending.
 
I've done quite a bit of research on the lawyers in many IP firms in the NY/Boston/DC areas. From what I can tell, what your PhD is in does have some importance. However, there are a large spectrum of disciplines one can get their PhD in if they want to practice in pharma/biotech. I think a degree in Pharmaceutics would be more than OK.  
 
That said, a PhD isn't necessary to practice IP either, especially if you are going to get your JD and have other experience in the hard sciences. However, it seems that more and more attorneys entering IP have advanced degrees, so a PhD could only help to provide greater leverage when trying to secure a position.
 
If you are EE or CS, it seems a lot less necessary to have an advanced degree. Perhaps they get greater UG training or are just a real hot commodity right now.
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"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it." ~Albert Einstein
vivienleigh
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Posts: 16
Re: Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:50am »
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Thanks for replying, forest, and best of luck with applying to law school!
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LJP
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Posts: 48
Re: Does it matter what your Ph.D. is in?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 23rd, 2007, 12:02pm »
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on Dec 12th, 2006, 8:32am, vivienleigh wrote:
Hi Everyone!  I'm just curious how important it is what area your Ph.D. is in vs. just the fact that you have one.  I'm interested in becoming a patent attorney focusing on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and will complete a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics before starting law school.  I've been looking at law firm websites and notice that most people working in the area I'm interested in have Ph.D.s in organic chemistry and other non-pharmaceutics disciplines.  I don't know if it is just because there aren't many pharmaceutics Ph.D.s looking for jobs in law firms or if they're being passed up in favor of Ph.D.s from other areas.  Any thoughts you might have would be very much appreciated!  Thanks!  

 
 
I wouldn't say organic chemistry is a non-pharmaceutics discipline.  Pharmaceutical research starts with synthesis of novel compounds, followed by various levels of testing and eventually to dosage regimes. The reason organic chemists are often sought is because patents are applied for as early as possible in the drug discovery process, quit often right after initial enzyme screens.  
 
A PhD in pharmaceutics would be more relevant to inventions developed in the latter stages of the drug development process. Each will have its niche.
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