The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Dec 6th, 2019, 9:43pm

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
  
  
Patent Agent/Lawyer Careers
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  ...  12 Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?  (Read 62955 times)
okp
Guest
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #15 on: Feb 7th, 2006, 3:36pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

:-/
I love the pessimism here.  It is music to my ears.  Has the boom crop of lawyers who went to law school during the optimistic years of the 80's and 90's saturated the market?  
Is this not the perfect time to go get a law degree?  Law schools nation wide are experiencing reduced applications. This is evident seeing how the cost of law school has slowed down below inflation.  
 I like to pick on mechanical engineers because of their current plight.  Its something like 40,000 of them graduate each year with most of them not have had a single “hands on” shop class.  Seeing how FEA is computerized now the number of people to compute stress and strain is reduced greatly.  The average starting salary of MEs from your average State U is often less than 40k!  
I am going to law school with my manufacturing engineering degree so I can become a process patent attorney.  I appreciate your expression of woe on this site.  It keeps me motivated!
IP Logged
Conrad
Guest
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #16 on: Mar 26th, 2006, 1:28pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

I'm 32 years old and have been thinking about law school since 1997.  In '97, I had a chance to either attend law school or B-school.  One of my friends, an attorney, recommended that I go to B-school.  As an EE + MBA with ~ 10 years of industry experience, I make between $130,000 and $150,000 per year, depending on the size of the bonus.  For some reason, though, I still have a burning desire to learn more about the law as it applies to business and technology.  I've been considering going to law school either part-time or full-time.  Since I travel ~ 20% for my job, part-time study will be difficult or impossible to manage.  Does anyone have any knowledge about the salaries/career opportunities for patent agents?  If I were to take the patent bar and pass, what is the likelihood that a local law firm (or other company) might hire me and offer tuition reimbursement for law school?  Please advise.
IP Logged
Drew83
Newbie
*




   


Posts: 38
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #17 on: Mar 30th, 2006, 6:00pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I am hardly one to comment about this, however, from what I've read on this forum, being a patent agent would definitely drop your salary (search the forum, I think there is topic on this).  I've come across law firms that will pay for law school tuition.  You can do this by either being a patent agent, or possibly a tech specialist.  I think your pay would be based on your IP law experience.  
 
From my reseach and speaking with attorney's, I've heard that 1st year associate attorneys generally make about 90's.  This is depending on location, of course.  If you were in San Fransicso it would probably be ~120K.  I highly doubt it would surpass your current salary.  
 
I find your situation (back in '97) very interesting.   I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree last year and I've been going back and forth on getting an MBA or JD (I posted a topic on this forum seeking advice for this ).  My brother (currently in law school), says get the MBA, as does another attorney I spoke with.  If I go the MBA route, in 10 years I would probably be in your shoes ( I am 22 ).  
 
If you dont mind me asking, what kind of work do you do?  If I get the MBA, I definitely would leave engineering.  Do you have any regrets?  Advice?  Comments on getting an MBA?
 
You have a pretty good salary.  Just out of curiosity, do you see your salary rising much further in, say, 10 more years, or does it plateau??
 
Thanks!
« Last Edit: Mar 30th, 2006, 6:00pm by Drew83 » IP Logged
andrewdd
Guest
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #18 on: Apr 24th, 2006, 7:33am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

With regard to salary, a very simple economic analysis is involved with private patent prosecution practice.  The basic measure of how you are paid is by hours worked, and it is difficult to actually bill and collect much more than 1800 hours per year and still have a nice life.  
 
Figure a billing rate of $200 to start (which is probably generous for all but the biggest, most competitive markets or at the large firms), and that works out to $360,000 billed (assuming 100% collections, which is not reality).  Most small to mid-sized firms have a minimum overhead of 40%, and most are closer to 50%.  Thus, at those figures, there is an upper limit of probably about $150-$180k you can make.
 
However, you engineers can easily see that increases in either rate or hours increases the numbers.  Over the long haul, it is difficult to pack considerably more work hours in, so the obvious critical variable is the rate.  An EE with 5-7 years of experience can bill at $250-$350 in most markets.  Using my 1800 hour figure and the 50% overhead, that works out to a salary of between $250,000 and $315,000.  No engineer who works for any of my clients makes anywhere near that figure.  
 
And you can also see that, over time, the billing rate will further increase.  I started at a patent attorney 10 years ago billing $100/hr and now am at 2.5 times that (and work in a very small market).  That's a 15% per year average increase, which translates to a 7.5% per year salary increase.  I know of no engineering job where you can get that kind of annual bump with the same regularity.
IP Logged
Isaac
Senior Member
****




   


Posts: 3472
Re: Career Change from EE to Patent Lawyer?
« Reply #19 on: Apr 24th, 2006, 7:49am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

on Apr 24th, 2006, 7:33am, andrewdd wrote:
However, you engineers can easily see that increases in either rate or hours increases the numbers.  Over the long haul, it is difficult to pack considerably more work hours in, so the obvious critical variable is the rate.  An EE with 5-7 years of experience can bill at $250-$350 in most markets.  Using my 1800 hour figure and the 50% overhead, that works out to a salary of between $250,000 and $315,000.  No engineer who works for any of my clients makes anywhere near that figure.  

 
Are you aware of attorneys doing prosecution making that kind of money billing only 1800 hours?   Partners may make that kind of money doing more than prosecution and also sharing some of the "overhead".
 
IP Logged

Isaac
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  ...  12 Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright © 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board