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   Phd EE going to IP
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   Author  Topic: Phd EE going to IP  (Read 1761 times)
mosfet
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Re: Phd EE going to IP
« Reply #5 on: Apr 28th, 2007, 11:09am »
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thank you Ian and Zinger for your valuable insight.
 
honestly, i am in a greater state of confusion right now about this thing.
 
do you guys mind telling me a bit about your personal experiences (work before law, degrees, age before doing law, stuff like that).
 
when i first posted a question, i was hopping that someone one with a similar background as mine would clear it out for me.
 
200k+ would be really nice, but as i understand that is not going to happen unless i join a big hotshot law firm that only hires 25 yr olds from Yale.
does that sum it up correctly?
 
if this is the case, then i have to agree with zinger.
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Zinger
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Re: Phd EE going to IP
« Reply #6 on: Apr 28th, 2007, 2:06pm »
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"200k+ would be really nice, but as i understand that is not going to happen unless i join a big hotshot law firm that only hires 25 yr olds from Yale.  does that sum it up correctly?"
 
mosfet, I hope I did not offend you with my previous post.  I've noticed a tendency for people to exaggerate (not necessarily intentionally) on Internet message boards.  I try to be as realistic as possible with my responses.
 
You can do whatever you want to do given your current credentials.  Is it impossible for you to get a "BIGLAW" position? No.  Will it be harder at the age of 40 than 30?  Yes.  Age aside, a PHD in EE with a law degree from a Tier 1, 2, and even  a Tier 3 law school is certainly employable.  You can find a job.  Only you can answer the question of whether or not it is worth it to do what it takes to get to that point.
 
If you want to make $200k/yr , you can do it.  But there is no guarantee that you will.  So much depends on where you want to work, what you want to do (litigation vs prosecution), what kind of firm you work at, etc.  Don't let anyone paint this magical picture that all you have to do is go to law school, work for 6-8 years and BOOM you'll be a partner making boatloads of cash.  Partnership is not guaranteed.  It is a combination of doing quality work, billing a lot of hours, generating clients, and being in the right place at the right time.
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plex
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Re: Phd EE going to IP
« Reply #7 on: Apr 28th, 2007, 3:15pm »
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My advice is to take a bit of time to figure out if it is something you will enjoy compared to what you are doing. The money will come, it may be less, it has the potential to be more, as others have noted. You have a very good background, so it is very likely you will be able to successfully make the move, but, you need to make sure you know what you are getting into first so you don't regret it later.  
 
The biggest cause of unhappiness in a profession, from what I have read and seen while working, is people tend to jump into it without really looking, stick with it because they didn't want to waste the time they had devoted to going down that path, and then find out it is not something they want to do at all.
 
It will be a lot of hours, how many you decide to commit yourself to will be a big factor in your pay. The big firms mentioned require enormous amounts of work hours. They are just paying proportionally to the amount of work they demand of their associates, also some of the differences in pay have to do with location, it is very expensive living in California/New York, so the "highest" offers come from there. Keep in mind 70-80 hours+ when you are looking at the upper range of pay scales. I don't know how this compares to what you were working before, perhaps it was comparable. EE's do have the ability to consult for fairly high rates though once they have a good amount of experience, so that option is open to you as well.
 
Once again, do it because you find IP law interesting and have some sort of idea what you would like to practice coming out of law school.
 
I am an EE, 23, with about four years of industry experience (I went to a top engineering school with an amazing co-op program). I started considering IP law when I was 18, and didn't make a firm decision until I graduated as an EE at 22, I had been thinking and researching it for years. I will have the patent bar done shortly, have spoken with numerous IP lawyers and interviewed/visited six IP law firms in my area, two of which were the biggest ones in my state. I am going to a decent state school (did fairly poor on the LSAT, the test is very hard) where I expect to at least have a moderate amount of success, since writing/reading are my specialties, despite my strong interest in technology/engineering, I am used to curves and I have a focused goal going into law school, which reduces the stress I will feel in needing to make major decisions while dealing with my coursework.
 
Good luck, you have time to figure this out, just keep asking questions and looking for information.
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2007, 3:17pm by plex » IP Logged
asdfg
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Re: Phd EE going to IP
« Reply #8 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 12:50am »
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I have a Ph.D, Postdoctoral for few yrs and worked in a semiconductor industry for about a yr. I took the patent bar last month and passed.  
 
Here are the reasons based on which I made my decision:
 
-I enjoy writing - i personally wrote all my publications some of which received excellent comments. I enjoyed writing my thesis too which again was highly commended.
- I like  reading publications and can read endlessly. I like digging the internet to find out anything I dont understand. I like reading and finding out about something new (scientific) though not totally unrelated to my fiel.
- I made sure  this field has scope/job oppportunities.
- I read in general about the patent process, what it involves and made sure that I was interested.
- I went through old papers in a relaxed mood and found it very interesting.  By this time I was sure that this was what I wanted and I can do it. 2-3 months later I decided to go for it and started the application process.
 
I think  interest is the key - you have to make sure you know what the job involves and that you will like it especially if you are not young enough to be groomed. I know a person who had a Ph.d from stanford,worked as a patent agent, probably did not like it and went back to research after a yr or so.
If it is just money you are thinking about,  your present work is good enough -  change jobs, work up the ladder- director/VP whatever.  
 
If you are certain you do not want to go back to engineering at all (inspite of the money) my feeling is  you should attempt the bar exam 1st,get a job as patent agent and then later decide about a JD.  It makes life less stressful. Some firms hire patent agents with advanced degrees and allow them to pursue a JD and pay for law school.  
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mosfet
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Re: Phd EE going to IP
« Reply #9 on: Apr 29th, 2007, 2:25pm »
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guys thank you all for your extremely valuable comments.
 
and no zinger, you did not offend me at all.
 
its just that i have to be 1000% sure about the law thing, otherwise i would screw myself 1000000%. i am just being extra critical and cautious.
 
actually one of my prime motivations for going to IP law is the  possibility of upward mobility, my impression is that even if i start a little guy, if i do the job nicely then i might make it big, this is the primary difference between engineering/scientific professions and other jobs.
« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2007, 2:31pm by mosfet » IP Logged
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