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(Message started by: aggieip on Sep 20th, 2006, 2:08pm)

Title: Summer jobs for full-time 1L's
Post by aggieip on Sep 20th, 2006, 2:08pm
I took the patent bar this past Sunday and passed!! Yippee!!  I'm a full-time 1L law student in Houston.  My question is about summer job opportunities.  My impression is that most summer jobs are offered to 2L's & 3L's and maybe the occasional exceptional 1L.  Would having passed the patent bar improve my chances?  Unfortunately, I don't have any patent or law experience having just come from working in chemical engineering for the past 10 years.  

Also, there's some ABA restriction that prevents 1L's from using on-campus career services (I guess I could always send out resumes on my own).  If I can't work, I could always take some courses in the summer to lighten my load later.  However, since I'm a full-time student, I'd really rather work to make some $$ and get some pratical patent prosecution experience at the same time.  Any suggestions???  Thanks.

Title: Re: Summer jobs for full-time 1L's
Post by Isaac on Sep 21st, 2006, 11:51am
I don't think your impression concerning summer jobs for 1Ls is completely correct.   For some firms, most of the 2Ls were first 1L summer associates.   Also, wouldn't a 3L have already graduated and be looking primarily for full time employment rather than a summer job?

I'm not familiar with the ABA requirement you cited.   It sounds a bit goofy.   I went to law school part time and did not have an opportunity for summer employment.

Title: Re: Summer jobs for full-time 1L's
Post by tonyp on Sep 21st, 2006, 12:43pm

on 09/21/06 at 11:51:43, Isaac wrote:
I'm not familiar with the ABA requirement you cited.   It sounds a bit goofy.   I went to law school part time and did not have an opportunity for summer employment.


I think it's actually a National Association of Law Placement (NALP) requirement.  The way I understand it, 1Ls can't even set foot in the career services office until 11/1, and can't submit resumes for summer employment until 12/1.  The general intent is to provide a distraction-free fall semester for 1Ls, but I think the effect is to make them even more paranoid about trying to find summer jobs during the spring semester.

Just looking at the hiring profiles of firms that report data to NALP, it does appear that summer jobs are generally harder to come by for 1Ls.  

As for the OP's questions, I think it goes without saying that passing the patent bar would distinguish one 1L summer applicant over another who hadn't, but it might be a toss-up between the registered 1L and the unregistered 2L.  My perception is that ChemE is also a tougher area for patent employment than EE/CS/pharma/bio.

You might consider trying to leverage your work experience to get an in-house patent-related summer job at one of the oil/chemical companies in Houston.  You'd almost certainly have to do legwork for this, though.

Title: Re: Summer jobs for full-time 1L's
Post by Shannon Powers on Sep 27th, 2006, 11:31am
The traditional law school model puts an extremely heavy emphasis on first year grades. For those lucky enough to be in the top 10% at the end of the first year, the purpose of Career Services is to help pick among several employers, rather than help find at least one employer (which is what the other 90% must do).

Therefore, in your 1L year, you should focus your career ambitions on getting into the top 10%. Make that your absolute top priority.

If that doesn't work out, there are plenty of Houston law firms looking for both summer and part time law student/patent agents. (Remember that there is another ABA restriction which prevents full time students from working more than 20 hours/week.) Start talking to the 2Ls and 3Ls who are in IP. For those not in the top 10%, networking is a more efficient method than Career Services for getting your resume into the right hands.



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