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(Message started by: IPNewbie on Aug 7th, 2006, 7:48am)

Title: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by IPNewbie on Aug 7th, 2006, 7:48am
I have an interview with an IP firm tomorrow (Tuesday).  If I go to work there, I would probably take the necessary courses to satisfy Part B of the Patent exam requirements.

My question is, is it stupid to become a patent litigator/IP lawyer without a *degree* in a technical field?  Will I be able to move to another firm if I decide to do so?  I'm concerned about getting "stuck" if I don't get a B.S. in a technical field.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by Isaac on Aug 7th, 2006, 1:20pm
There are probably some firms that look for litigators with technical backgrounds, but that is not universally true.   The best litigators are those who can get a collection of lay people (judge and jury) to understand technical issues in a way favorable to the client.  

From what I've been able to observe there are many litigators with non technical backgrounds who are better at getting a story over to the judge or jury than are most patent attorneys (given the right help which might include an assist from a patent attorney).


Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by IPNewbie on Aug 7th, 2006, 2:01pm
That is very, very good to hear.  It's what I plan to tell the firm during my interview tomorrow, actually--that my key strength for them is being able to assimilate a difficult concept and explain it simply and cogently to a non-techie.

Thanks, Isaac.  In this and my other questions, you've been a real life-line.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by florida on Aug 17th, 2006, 10:33am
I don't understand how someone who isn't category A eligible, and hasn't passed the patent bar has interviews with IP law firms.

I am a Mechanical Engineer, registered to practice before the USPTO and it is hard for me to get interviews.  All the firms want someone with 2-5 years experience.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by Isaac on Aug 17th, 2006, 10:48am

on 08/17/06 at 10:33:33, florida wrote:
I don't understand how someone who isn't category A eligible, and hasn't passed the patent bar has interviews with IP law firms.


Because he is interviewing for a litigation position which does not require registration and he has litigation experience?

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by florida on Aug 17th, 2006, 11:05am
yet if he gets the job he would work part time, go back to school part time, "get the necessary courses to satisfy part B," when there are plenty of people who are part A eligible or have already passed the bar and have litigation experience.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by Isaac on Aug 17th, 2006, 11:44am

on 08/17/06 at 11:05:31, florida wrote:
yet if he gets the job he would work part time, go back to school part time, "get the necessary courses to satisfy part B," when there are plenty of people who are part A eligible or have already passed the bar and have litigation experience.


They want a litigator.   He's a litigator.  That's reason enough to interview him, particularly if he is not going to be doing any prosecution.   I know litigators with history and political science degrees.  The litigator with the political science degree appears to be an excellent one based on talks I've heard him give at the PTO and at a CLE.

If he wants to further his education, more power to him.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by IPNewbie on Aug 17th, 2006, 4:14pm
Actually, I'm a she, and they do want me for my litigation skills.  Even without the patent bar, I can do three of the four types of work the firm does (patent litigation, trademark prosecution, trademark litigation).

The fact that I do not have a tech. background is a sticking point with at least some of the partners; the question of whether to hire someone like me will be the subject of the next partners meeting, and I won't know until after that whether I have a job with them.

Those in favor of hiring me argue that as a non-technical litigator with strong writing and communication skills, I can explain difficult concepts to lay juries and judges, something the hard-core science guys sometimes find difficult.

Had I done a cold mailing, I doubt I would have gotten much of a response.  However, I got the interview through networking contacts.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by florida on Aug 17th, 2006, 8:10pm

on 08/17/06 at 16:14:48, IPNewbie wrote:
 However, I got the interview through networking contacts.



I hear thats pretty common.  Good for you.  I just with I had some of those contacts.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by jeff on Aug 17th, 2006, 10:16pm

on 08/17/06 at 20:10:26, florida wrote:
I hear thats pretty common. Good for you. I just with I had some of those contacts.

florida, if you are in law school, you should have avenues to get interviews: it is called OCI.  I just had 10 interviews this week with IP firms.

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by Isaac on Aug 18th, 2006, 6:04am

on 08/17/06 at 16:14:48, IPNewbie wrote:
Actually, I'm a she, and they do want me for my litigation skills. Even without the patent bar, I can do three of the four types of work the firm does (patent litigation, trademark prosecution, trademark litigation).


Oops.  Sorry about the gender error.  

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by IPNewbie on Aug 18th, 2006, 6:31am
No worries.  :)

Title: Re: Seriously, is this a stupid idea?
Post by florida on Aug 20th, 2006, 9:41pm

on 08/17/06 at 22:16:49, jeff wrote:
florida, if you are in law school, you should have avenues to get interviews: it is called OCI.  I just had 10 interviews this week with IP firms.


Where do you go to school?  I go to FSU, ranked 53.  Being in the top 50% of my class, I am excluded from about 90% of on campus interviews.  On top of that, not many IP firms interview at FSU.

On a positive note, I do have a couple interviews with IP firms in Tallahassee through my own efforts.  If I can get 10 months of patent prosecution experience during the school year, I think I will be golden.  



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