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   Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
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   Author  Topic: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?  (Read 62990 times)
EE
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Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« on: Apr 13th, 2005, 1:54pm »
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Hello,
I am a 38 year old electrical engineer with an MSEE. I am thinking about a career switch to patent attorney. I have hit the glass ceiling salary wise and am always concerned about layoffs. I would like a little more stability and job opportunity. More salary wouldn't hurt either Wink  
 
If I entered law school in Jan 2006 (going at night) that would put me on track to graduate in 2009 at the age of 41-42. I had several questions:
 
1) Would my age be a detriment as a new patent attorney?
2) In the NYC/DC area what kind of salary could I command?
3) How rough is law school at night? I got my masters in EE at night but that was 10 years ago.
4) Is there anything I can do now job wise to prepare me for life as a patent attorney? Patent agent?
5) Are there any good resources for someone considering a career as a patent attorney?
 
Thanks for any help.
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Jurjen
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17th, 2005, 3:41am »
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Hi,
 
Check out this page:
http://www.payscale.com/salary-survey/vid-19197/fid-6886
 
Cheers
 
Jurjen
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CDMA
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Posts: 1
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 21st, 2005, 10:39pm »
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I am facing the similar situation as you.  I plan to take the LSAT next year and get into law school in 2006 (hopefully). The whole SW/IC industry is outsourcing to India or China.  There isn't many choices left for our EE.
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EE patent lawyer
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 22nd, 2005, 4:07am »
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I am a 43 year old patent attorney that went to night law school 17 years ago, after spending 7 years as an EE.   I am now a partner in a small law firm.  I will try answering your question.
 
1) Age.  You aren't going to be a prime candidate for a job at a big prestigious law firm, unless you manage to go to a top 10 law school or are first in your class.  But many corporations and small firms will see your age and experience as an asset.
 
2)  Salary.  First year salaries range from $80k to $150k, depending on the size of the firm.  Government pays the least.  Big law firms pay the most but make you work much much harder.    
 
3) How rough is law school?  For me it was easy but hey I was a youngster with no family committments when I went at night.  You'll need the stamina for 8 hours on the job and then 4-5 hours every night at school or studying.  Do you have a wife? A growing family?  There won't be much time left for them..  
 
4) Is there anything you can do now job wise?  You can take the patent agents exam any time you want to.   I suspect an entry level patent agent job will pay less than your current senior level EE job.  Otherwise, I'd hang on to my good paying job until I have a year or two of law school under my belt.
 
5) Are there any good career resources?  I cannot think of a single place-- you can alway do some google searching.  Better still, find your local patent bar association.  Go to a few of their meetings and talk to people who have already gone through what you are thinking about.  
 
6) Let me ask a few more questions.  How good are your writing skills?  Do you enjoy writing?  I mean, really, do you truly enjoy writing?   Are you able to quickly understand and appreciate how things work?  Because to be a successful patent lawyer, either as a prosecutor or a litigator, these skills are an absolute requirement.
 
Hope that helps and good luck!
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Shahid Khan
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 29th, 2005, 10:05am »
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Hi ,  
 
I have a very similar question. I am 33 now and have admission at tulane . I have a bachelors in EE and worked for the last 10 years in IT.  I would like to find work at a large firm for at least a few years after i graduate. How realistic are my expectation ? Please help.
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