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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 62963 times)
EMastro
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 17th, 2005, 1:23am »
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Hi, I am a 21 year old EE/CPE (comp eng) double major at NC State with about a year left.  I currently have a co-op position (alternating full time work with full time school) at Intel as a Field Applications Engineer.  After I have completed my co-op, I will have worked for 12 months at Intel.  I have been considering  becoming a Patent Attoney for what I believe is all the wrong reasons.  After working directly with engineers and customers (IBM engineers), I have decided that **** engineering seems a bit dry to me.  Being an outgoing person, I figured that the business aspect of engineering (ie what I'm doing now) would suit me well, combining my technical skills with my personal/sales skills).  Wrong again.  The FAEs I work with seem to be stressed out all the time, especially if there is a hipcup in milestone achievement.  The overall notion seems to be that being a Patent Lawyer will provide a greater income (especially entry level) than will an EE or CPE, not to mention job security and outsourcing.  
 
Basically my position is this, if I am going to pursue a career in EE or Patent Law, why not chose the job that pays better?  
 
1.)  So this question is directed to all of you who have experienced an EE/CPE profession as well as a Patent Attorney profession...
Considering that I have a lot of technical experience, but writing is not my favorite thing to do, should I stick with EE/CPE or try Patent Law?  Which do you like better?  Should I go through law school anyway?
 
2.)  This question is directed to those considering the switch from EE to Patent Law...
What is it about your job that makes you want to switch?  I feel that I am in the same shoes as you at this point (minus the x years of experience) and am trying to figure out what to expect as an EE.
 
Any advice you can give would be truly appreciated as you all are an extremely valuable resource to me.  
 
Thanks in advance.
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kchida
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:15am »
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I've been quite depressed and confused lately.  A couple years ago, I was a "gung ho" EE ready to debut into the exciting and dynamic engineering working world.  Well...it was not quite what I had expected (to say the least).  Now, I'm not even certain about pursuing my MSEE, even though my tution is 100% covered.  I just turned 25 a couple days ago and I've only been working for 2 years.  I've already seen people come and go (voluntary resignations and lay-offs), as expected in the aerospace industry.  My side projects at home are 10X more technical than what I do at work.  Ironically, pursuing a more technical position equates to future obsolesence and becoming pigeon-holed, neither of which appeal to me.  Engineering management (or management in general), does not appeal to me as well, so my next logical choice was patent law.  So I began to toy with the idea of changing my bearings towards law.  At first, the salaries got me very excited, as I am in SoCal and real estate costs an arm and a leg.  However, as my analytical hamster began to gather pace, I began to ponder just how many hours patent attorneys work.  I quickly realized that it's not about the bottom line or how much bacon I bring home to my loved ones; it's about the ratio of pay vs hours worked.  After doing a rough, algebraic sanity check, I've realized that patent law is somewhat of a lukewarm deal.  How many hours do typical attorneys put in every week? What are your annual vacations like? Do you all work weekends as well? Do the long hours persist well into one's career?   Crap....in retrospect, I should've pursued pharmacy instead.  Does anybody know how to turn back time?
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NZ
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:55am »
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I wish I was half as smart as you are now.
 
Consider yourself blessed, if I had your brains I would still be an engineer, now I got this massive LS debt and wish I was still an engineer. You turned back time for yourself. I'm gonna probably go back once I pay it all off.
 
People who enjoy the practice of patent law don't have passions for engineering. They're engineering majors who want to do something else. If you truly are a passionate engineer you won't like patent law.  People with side projects, are usually passionate about engineering.
 
I lived in So Cal for a long time, LA actually. There are a lot of good small engineering firms around. Small engineering firms tend to have more exciting projects from my experience.  Find them and stay away from big names, you'll enjoy your days alot more.  
 
Or go academic. FYI, real life is never as exciting as it sounds from the outside, in any field.  You    
 
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Hasan
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 14th, 2006, 2:43am »
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I'm a senior civil engineering student currently applying to law school. In regards to patent law, it seems like everybody is EE. Will i still be able to do patent law and how much $ can i expect to make, starting? Somebody told me patent lawyers make like 250k after a while. is this true?
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Tim Yearneau
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Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 25th, 2006, 3:21pm »
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I am a 46 year old person who has worked in IT, import/export, and now I am an instructor and a tech support person at a correctional facility.  I have had a facination with Patent Law for many years, ever since I took a trademark class for my Masters in Business Communications.  I teach an IP survey course for a local business college and love teaching it.  For years I was thinking about law school and never quite did it.  But I need more than being a tech person.  I have an EE degree and have worked as an engineer before, and done web stuff, but really don't like the technical stuff anymore.  I am at a point where I either have to go to law school or put it aside, another friend of mine is wrestling with the same thing.  Any thoughts on my prospects?  Also a patent attorney friend of mine suggests becoming a Patent Agent first to see if I like it enough.  Any thouights on that too?  Thanks.
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