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   Environmental Engineer going into IP law
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   Author  Topic: Environmental Engineer going into IP law  (Read 1680 times)
xyha4
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Environmental Engineer going into IP law
« on: Feb 8th, 2007, 9:22am »
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I have a question that I was hoping someone on this board could help me with. I have a B.S. in environmental engineering from Northwestern University and an MS in chemical/environmental engineering from Yale and I will be starting law school in the Fall of 2007. Prior to beginning law school I would like to take the patent bar. Even though environmental engineering is not one of the qualified degrees according to USPTO, I am E.I.T. certified which qualifies me to take the exam.  
 
Although my degrees are in environmental engineering, my four years of experience as an engineer have been primarily in civil engineering, specifically design and construction of public utility infrastructure such as water and wastewater conveyance and treatment systems. I would really like to pursue a career in IP law but I'm wondering if my degrees in environmental engineering will create an obstacle on that path despite the fact that (hopefully) I will be registered to practice in front of the USPTO.  
 
Any insight would be appreciated.  
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Wiscagent
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Re: Environmental Engineer going into IP law
« Reply #1 on: Feb 8th, 2007, 9:34am »
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As an environmental engineer you should have sufficient technical background to handle most mechanical applications, and many chemical, bio-related, and process cases.  Not that I'm in a position to hire anyone, but I think environmental engineering (especially if you have some industrial experinence) would be a good technical background for a patent attorney.
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Richard Tanzer
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xyha4
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Re: Environmental Engineer going into IP law
« Reply #2 on: Feb 8th, 2007, 5:14pm »
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Wiscagent, thank you for your reply. I hope you are right. I feel that if I was able to pass the general FE/EIT exam that demonstrates sufficient technical knowledge, at least according to the USPTO. Plus a lot of my experience is in process applications and we have a couple ChemE's in the company doing the same thing and I don't feel less competent than they are.
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dsnutter
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Re: Environmental Engineer going into IP law
« Reply #3 on: Feb 28th, 2007, 12:42am »
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xyha, I have/had the same concern as yourself. I am a Civil Engineering student with some practical experience and will hopefully be starting law school in the fall. I think I will be trying to take the Patent Bar this summer and then leave myself open to either patent, environmental, or construction law just in case.
 
I am actually really scared that if I go into law I will have a hard time finding a decent paying job. Right now I will be making a fair amount of money, but obviously engineers wont ever make too much over 100k.
 
I am just confusing myself more. Crap.
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Bill Richards
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Re: Environmental Engineer going into IP law
« Reply #4 on: Feb 28th, 2007, 4:54am »
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on Feb 28th, 2007, 12:42am, dsnutter wrote:
[B]ut obviously engineers wont ever make too much over 100k.

Seventeen years ago, I was an engineering manager making over $100,000 and some of my staff were pushing that figure.  I suspect by now the good ones are well over $100,000.  Find out what you like to do and figure out a way to make money at it.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
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