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   Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
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   Author  Topic: Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)  (Read 12908 times)
Neil
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Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
« on: Jun 28th, 2005, 6:14pm »
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Hello everyone, I just discovered this board and have really enjoyed reading it.  Thanks to all that have posted.
 
Basically, I am debating whether I should leave my current EE job (communications engineering for the LAPD and LAFD) to pursue patent law.  I have been admitted to the University of Arizona College of Law (low tier 1 school) and have an EE degree from UCLA (with an extremely low GPA of 2.6).  Before I accept or decline my admission, which I need to do within the week, I want to find out whether patent lawyers enjoy their work.  
 
I have read a couple of books and numerous articles on the internet about how lawyers have the highest rate of depression of any profession, more stress-related disorders, a ridiculously high divorce rate, etc., but I have also heard that patent lawyers, specifically, have a higher job satisfaction and are generally happier than the typical lawyer.  
 
Some sincere comments would be greatly appreciated before I leave my stable but many times unchallenging job.
 
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Isaac
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Re: Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 29th, 2005, 7:04am »
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Given your short amount of time to make the decision, I'd recommend trying to find a patent attorney or two willing to chat with you what he/she does and deciding for yourself if the job fits your needs.  If you could find a local alumni of your law school that would be really good.
 
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Isaac
Neil
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Re: Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 29th, 2005, 8:43am »
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I will try to find someone, thanks.  Smiley
 
I was also wondering, how much effect does a low undergrad GPA have on getting hired as a patent lawyer?  Would having a PE in Electrical and Computer Engineering help?
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Eliz
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Re: Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29th, 2005, 8:49am »
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Hi Niel--I don't have any input as to satisfaction, since I don't have a job (I'm starting law school in the fall), except to tell you that pretty much all of the patent attorneys that I've spoken to seem pretty happy with their work.  But I wanted to suggest that you literally buy yourself some more time...i.e. if you can't find some local people to talk to you before you have to make your decision, why not just go ahead and pay the deposit?   I imagine it can't be too much...yes, it will suck to lose a couple hundred bucks if you ultimately decide not to go to law school, but this is a big decision, and unless you have a full scholarship, a couple hundred bucks is nothing compared to what you will be paying in tuition.  Just a thought...
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PiP
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Re: Patent Lawyer Satisfaction (Happiness)
« Reply #4 on: Jun 29th, 2005, 9:09am »
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Neil,
I think that you just need to get an idea of the different aspects of intellectual property law.  Don't limit yourself to just "patent law."  Depending on your interests, you could end up doing as much business as law...it just depends on how you position yourself.  But there are trademarks and copyright law.  It seems to me that getting a JD does not narrow your career outlook at all; in contrast to becoming an MD, for example, which sentences you to doing the same boring repetative tasks for the rest of your life.
 
I am interested to know the answer to your GPA question.  I also have a low GPA from college (2.8--I think that anything below a 3.0 is thrown in the same lot.)  It sucks to always have to carry this POS GPA around with me on applications and stuff!  My opinion is that if you can get some decent law experience, your GPA will go away!  You are going to have a leg up on other L1s simply due to your EE background.  You must use that to get associateships.  Be agressive about getting law experience and making connections.  Even if you had a 4.0, if you didn't do what I'm saying, you still don't have a hope of being anything.  For sure, you will be eliminated from some associateships and programs, but you can't let that inhibit your own drive to learn more about law and to push your career along.  Besides, you don't have any choice but to ignore any negativity surrounding your gpa and just move forward, showing people that you are a capable IP attorney and that the undergraduate GPA is not useful in assessing your capabilities in this case.
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