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(Message started by: IPW on Aug 9th, 2005, 8:46am)

Title: Should I take the patent bar before law school?
Post by IPW on Aug 9th, 2005, 8:46am
I am a Ph.D. student in molecular genetics. I should be finishing up in Jan '06.

Would it be advantageous for me to study for the patent bar and (hopefully) pass it prior to law school?

I've read that those 1Ls who have passed the patent bar stand a much better chance of landing the more prestigious summer internships. Furthermore, it'd be nice to not have to worry about it along with the state bar at the end of law school.

I should have ~ 7 months from the end of my dissertation to the start of law school. Would it be feasible for me to spend those months studying for the exam and pass it?

Has anybody on this board taken this route before? Did you find it to be a better alternative to taking it after law school?

Thanks for any advice,
IPW

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Eliz on Aug 9th, 2005, 9:02am
Hi--I am starting law school in about a week and a half, so it is yet to be seen whether having passed the exam will help me land a job next summer, BUT I am VERY glad that it is out of the way.  7 months is more than enough time to study and pass.  If it were me, I would take a week or two after defending to relax and then get started on studying right away, and maybe take then exam after 2-3 months (it sounds like you would pretty much be able to focus on studying exclusively).  This may be overkill, and you might feel comfortable taking it sooner.  The reason I say to take it sooner within the 7 months rather than later is that if for some reason you didn't pass, you would still have time to take it again before school starts.  

Even if the exam wasn't likely going to help you land a good job after 1L (which I think/hope it will), I would still say get it out of the way...the other logical time to take it would be the summer after 1L, but 1L will not really teach you anything that you need for the exam.  Also (and anyone actually in law school or finished with it please feel free to disagree if I am wrong here) I felt that even if I was unable to get a firm job after 1L, my summer would be better spent e.g. as a research assistant to a prof than studying fo the exam, because then you are at least developing a relationship with someone who can be a good reference/resource for you in your job search the following summer.

Good luck!
Elizabeth

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by IPW on Aug 9th, 2005, 9:10am
Congrats on passing the exam!

I would definitely think it should help your chances of landing a 1L internship, provided that your grades are good enough.

Is there any type of recertification necessary for the patent bar? Would I have to take it again down the road at some point?

Thanks,
IPW

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Eliz on Aug 9th, 2005, 9:27am
As far as I know, no recertification is required.  

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Wiscagent on Aug 9th, 2005, 10:26am
Eliz is correct.  At this time no recertification is required to maintain US patent agent/attorney status.  

Two or three years ago when the current computer-based certification procedure was announced, the same announcement mentioned requiring periodic exams to maintain certification.  The exams would focus on changes in patent practice.  I haven't seen any time line for their introduction.

Rich

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by PiP on Aug 9th, 2005, 1:47pm
I will be so depressed if I have to return to the lab for a job after 1L.  :(

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by BTP on Aug 9th, 2005, 2:04pm
My history: B.A. in Chemistry '92, M.S. in Chemistry '95, J.D. '05, and just took the exam.  I would almost give a fingertip to turn back time and take it much earlier.  Three reasons:

1) It'll be an asset during law school hiring.
2) It'll give you a leg up if you take a patent class in law school (and you should).
3) You don't need to deal with it while you're otherwise adjusting to firm life.

Do it.

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Eliz on Aug 9th, 2005, 2:15pm

on 08/09/05 at 13:47:12, PiP wrote:
I will be so depressed if I have to return to the lab for a job after 1L. :(


I meant a research assistant for a LAW prof, not in a lab.  It is my understanding that this is pretty common for 1Ls because not many firms hire 1Ls.  Yeah, I would be pretty depressed too if I had to go back to the lab...I am DONE with that.  I would do almost anything law-related after 1L over going back to the lab (including volunteer work).    

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by 54 on Aug 9th, 2005, 2:24pm
A research assistant position is common for first years...

From reading these posts I gather that PIP is neither a lawyer nor has attended law school so that may be the reason for the confusion.

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by PiP on Aug 9th, 2005, 9:05pm
Ha, I didn't even consider that kind of research!...  I've clearly been in the laboratory way too much.  I'm too tired from all this work to even make fun of 54 for not reading all my other posts in which I repeatedly point out that I haven't gone to law school.  Or, posts in which I've specifically asked what is a good law school to attend, is it possible to be a parttimer and still have a life, or what is the correct spelling of the Yeshiva law school? [Note: It's Benjamin Cardozo.  I totally had to look it up, tho.]

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by rizz98 on Aug 10th, 2005, 5:33am
Like Eliz, I am starting law school in a week and a half, and I just took the patent bar last week (and fortunately passed it!). I talked to a couple patent attorneys about taking it before school before I signed up for it, and both gave me the same type of advice as BTP's, although not in such colorful terms. I'm hoping that it gives me a leg up in summer jobs, for sure, but like Eliz said, it just feels great to have it out of the way regardless.

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by gregm170 on Sep 18th, 2005, 3:59am
I would take the patent bar as soon as you can.  I would also start networking and finding your own clients.  This is the most important thing that they don't teach you in law school.  In fact, I'm convinced they don't teach you how to make money as a lawyer, no matter what your practice area is, so that the law firms get cheap labor until you realize that you don't need them.  

Make damn sure you don't lose contact with all of the people you meet in engineering.  They will hopefully be putting money in your pocket.  

Greg L. Martinez
SolidStateIP
www.solidstateip.com

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Isaac Clark on Sep 18th, 2005, 5:27am
I don't believe someone who has just passed the patent bar is ready
to handle clients on his own.  I know I wasn't.

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by gelpatents on Oct 11th, 2005, 9:54pm
If I can remember correctly from 25 years ago, my answer would be a definitive "yes" for the reasons stated above, plus ....  as a patent agent, you may be able to deduct some or all the cost of law school as a legitimate expense related to job training / career enhancement. (caveat, I am a patent attorney, not a tax attorney)

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by IPW on Oct 12th, 2005, 2:57pm

on 10/11/05 at 21:54:16, gelpatents wrote:
If I can remember correctly from 25 years ago, my answer would be a definitive "yes" for the reasons stated above, plus .... as a patent agent, you may be able to deduct some or all the cost of law school as a legitimate expense related to job training / career enhancement. (caveat, I am a patent attorney, not a tax attorney)


How would this work? I have never heard of such a thing.

IPW

Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Isaac Clark on Oct 12th, 2005, 10:10pm
The tax code allows deductions for some employment related training however training required to qualify the tax payer for a new profession is not deductible.  The tax code actually cites as an example of non deductable education experience tuition expenses of an engineer attending law school.

Almost certainly law school tuition for a patent agent to become a patent attorney would not be deductible.     In fact there is case law suggesting that an attorney who studies for a bar exam in a new state is preparing for a new profession.  

At best it might be possible for a patent agent attending law school to deduct the expense for a course that was not required for graduation from law school (including not required to meet a minimum credit requirement) and that was also patent related.  


Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by patento on Nov 3rd, 2005, 8:40pm
How about a patent agent going to law school? could this be treated as "further training for advancement of profession"?


on 10/12/05 at 22:10:58, Isaac Clark wrote:
The tax code allows deductions for some employment related training however training required to qualify the tax payer for a new profession is not deductible. The tax code actually cites as an example of non deductable education experience tuition expenses of an engineer attending law school.

Almost certainly law school tuition for a patent agent to become a patent attorney would not be deductible. In fact there is case law suggesting that an attorney who studies for a bar exam in a new state is preparing for a new profession.

At best it might be possible for a patent agent attending law school to deduct the expense for a course that was not required for graduation from law school (including not required to meet a minimum credit requirement) and that was also patent related.


Title: Re: Should I take the patent bar before law school
Post by Isaac Clark on Nov 3rd, 2005, 8:57pm
Generally speaking, a patent agent could *not* deduct law school tuition because the course work qualifies him for a new profession.   The fact that the training is also useful in the current position is subordinate to the fact that the education is qualifying for a new profession.  

Maybe the cost and expenses associated with an elective patent law course not required for graduation might be deductable.




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