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(Message started by: UncleMo on May 30th, 2007, 7:34am)

Title: Lots of questions.
Post by UncleMo on May 30th, 2007, 7:34am
I'd like to first know if I'm posting in the correct place.  Would this be the correct place to ask about starting salaries, law school, etc.?

I'm toying with the idea of attending law school to become a trademark attorney.  I'm just trying to figure out what the starting salaries are, how much a summer associate gets paid, how much to expect to pay for law school, how much it takes to survive during law school (will I need to sell my house and live in a one bedroom apartment while surviving off of Spam).  I think I want to see the numbers on all of these questions so I can determine how long it will take me to pay off the student loans and get started in doing what I really want to do-invest all of my $.

Working at a regular salary it feels like it could take forever to get to where I want to be, so I'm hoping that practicing law will get me there faster.  Juts weighing options now.  Thanks.

Title: Re: Lots of questions.
Post by guest47 on May 30th, 2007, 11:42am
A lot of this is going to depend on the law school.  Opportunities are heavily dependent on the prestige of your school, at least for the first few years.  Supposedly this is not as true for patent law, where there is a higher demand for qualified employees, but you expressed an interest in trademarks.  Your school options in turn depend on your numbers.  Study hard for and take the LSAT, then decide what options are open to you.  A couple good sites for LSAT test preparation help (though I didn't know about them at the time!):

lawschooldiscussion dot org
top-law-schools dot com (use the forums)

Those sites will also have posts from people asking the same questions you are.  I empathize with your salary comment, but keep in mind law school is expensive and you will not be making money for those three years.  

Depending on your LSAT results and your willingness to compromise ranking for money, you can get significant scholarships from the schools.  It is rare for schools to pay for any cost of living expenses, though I believe GW does offer scholarships which do so for 1L.

Title: Re: Lots of questions.
Post by UncleMo on May 30th, 2007, 12:57pm

on 05/30/07 at 11:42:34, guest47 wrote:
A lot of this is going to depend on the law school. Opportunities are heavily dependent on the prestige of your school, at least for the first few years. Supposedly this is not as true for patent law, where there is a higher demand for qualified employees, but you expressed an interest in trademarks. Your school options in turn depend on your numbers. Study hard for and take the LSAT, then decide what options are open to you. A couple good sites for LSAT test preparation help (though I didn't know about them at the time!):

lawschooldiscussion dot org
top-law-schools dot com (use the forums)

Those sites will also have posts from people asking the same questions you are. I empathize with your salary comment, but keep in mind law school is expensive and you will not be making money for those three years.

Depending on your LSAT results and your willingness to compromise ranking for money, you can get significant scholarships from the schools. It is rare for schools to pay for any cost of living expenses, though I believe GW does offer scholarships which do so for 1L.


Thanks for your response.  I'm hoping that since I'm with a law firm now, and have been for a few years, I can come back and take any openings they have as a TM associate.  Plus, this isn't confirmed, I've heard they get started off at 130k a year.  So, I'm hoping the extreme pay starting out, coupled with some of Dave Ramsey's teachings, I can pay off the loans in a hurry.

Re: living expenses, I think the question is more less, are people able to pay for their rent, mortgage payment, etc, by using the loans?  My mortgage is pretty dirt cheap, in the low $800s.  I'm really concerned about that more than anything.  Well, that and what in the world do I do to replace my current income while being in law school.  Thanks for any responses, and for the one already.

Title: Re: Lots of questions.
Post by plex on May 30th, 2007, 1:16pm
The loans you would have to take at most schools, for tuition, are very substantial. Most law schools cost significantly more than undergrad. Cost of living is also a major consideration, some places, mostly cities like New York, have astronomically high living costs.

You should be able to get the loans you need, first through stafford loans, and if that is not enough, which it won't be unless you are supplementing the costs with your own income or a full scholarship, you can take out a grad plus loan for the rest of the costs, grad plus is credit based though, so you can't have a horrible credit score. The schools set a budget that limits how much you can borrow total, but it is easily enough for tuition, normal living costs, transportation, food and health care. Anything more than that though is not borrowable except through private loans and those have significantly higher interest rates.

Whatever you do, do not take a debt load you won't be able to handle coming out. That means don't take out more loans than you will make as a first year associate. The debt payments will be crushing otherwise and will limit your employment options.

Also keep in mind there is a fairly large supply of trademark attorneys, so you will have to make up for your lack of flexibility with good law schools grades or come from a very difficult to enter school.

Title: Re: Lots of questions.
Post by UncleMo on May 30th, 2007, 1:39pm
All good posts.  Thanks.
Glad there is a place like this site.



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