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   Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law school?
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   Author  Topic: Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law school?  (Read 1046 times)
Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law school?
« on: Mar 28th, 2007, 2:46pm »
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This question is regarding advanced degrees.
I have heard that you only need a PhD in the chemical or biosciences and that if you are a EE, then a bachelor's is good enough. Is this still true? Will it still be true in a few years. There has been a huge push to lure engineers into law school in the recent years. Part of me worries that there will be a glut of electrical patent lawyers looking for jobs in a few years.
I have the opportunity to go to grad school at Georgia Tech with a full ride. I am also admitted to a top10 law school. I am thinking of doing Georgia Tech and declining law school since it will give me more time to think if I really want to be a lawyer, and if it turns out I don't, then I've got a good degree in engineering, and if I do, then I will have only lost time.
My question is whether there is any advantage to getting a graduate degree in EE from a top school like GT if you already have a BSEE and can go to a top10 law school.
Thank you.
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Re: Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law sch
« Reply #1 on: Mar 28th, 2007, 3:57pm »
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The MSEE isn't going to change things much for you.
Biotech is very different from EE, it draws from multiple degrees, and there is a much larger pool of people interested in those degrees as well. Because of this, law firms can set a much higher standard of PhD, simply because there are so many people interested in going into biotech, and then decide they don't like research so much and jump at IP.
In time, some day, EE may fill in, but it isn't looking like there is a large rush of EEs, it is not exactly like people think about going into IP law even before they have begun undergrad, most people use undergrad to figure out what they want to do, or they believe they want to go into law, and don't realize choosing  something like political science will block them off from one of the more interesting types of law.  
Actually, it has been a slow year for the law schools, there have been a noticeably low amount of applications this year. Whether this means that the amount of IP bound 1Ls isn't really something discernible, since only a tiny percentage of lawyers have the ability to go into IP, so it isn't really predictable from that.
What DOES matter, aside from the EE degree and your GPA from it, is going to be the school you went to for law, the GPA you got and the connections you are willing to make in order to get the job you want. A masters in EE isn't anywhere on the same level as any of these.
However, if you want more time to decide your path, and really have no clue after considering it carefully for months, gathering first hand information so you won't be wasting years of your life, go ahead and get the MS, if its free, you at least won't be wasting money. It will be a lot easier for you to decide if you get some actual advise from IP lawyers and get a feel of what they do. It involves a lot of reading/writing, meeting with people and once in awhile, unless you go into litigation, preparing for and eventually presenting cases in court. Engineering, involves taking things apart, creating inventions and putting together data sheets/documentation and presentations, unless you go into management, which is mostly just the data sheets and presentations.
« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2007, 4:01pm by plex » IP Logged
Re: Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law sch
« Reply #2 on: Apr 14th, 2007, 9:38am »
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If you are admitted to top ten law school, then go to law school.  Being top ten with technical background will be sufficient.
I am in top 15 with MSEE degree and they could care less about the MSEE.  In fact, I think the MSEE hurts because they want to shove me into patent prosecution rather than litigation.  
Now that I think about it, if you do go to top ten, get some kind of masters in english.  I have heard that some firms specifically like to have a top JD with a english undergrad to do litigation because it is presumed that engineers don't know english.  
I think I might do that myself.  thanks for the help.
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Re: Is it worth it to get an MSEE prior to law sch
« Reply #3 on: Apr 14th, 2007, 10:42am »
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You will have no problem getting a good job with a BSEE and a law degree.  I'd say even with a law degree from a lower ranked law school.  Take those 2 years that would be required for an MSEE and instead apply them to the partnership track.  You'll get paid for those two years and will be two years closer to partnership which has a much higher value than any degree.
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Deepak Malhotra, JD, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
Malhotra Law Firm
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