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   Author  Topic: LLM Career Advice  (Read 4475 times)
waterville
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LLM Career Advice
« on: Mar 9th, 2006, 12:30pm »
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I am a Canadian planning to embark a career in the Patent Engineering field upon completion of Law school.  Currently I am working in the MEMS field as a mechanical engineer and also enrolling in a Distance learning LLB degree program from University of London External Program.  Upon completion of LLB, I plan to apply for LLM program in US, hopefully I can be admitted to any of the Top 5 LLM law school (NYU, Columbia, Berkley, Stanford).  Eventually, I plan to practice patent law in the state.  My worry is that I realize many patent agents have a J.D. degree instead of LLM.  Thus in my case, will there be any backlash if I have a LLM degree, presumably from the Top 5 US law school  
Has anyone gone through the similar experiences before?
 
Thanks for your opinion  
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Isaac
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Re: LLM Career Advice
« Reply #1 on: Mar 9th, 2006, 12:41pm »
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In the US there are patent agents and patent attorneys.  The distinction between these are different than in other countries.   In the US, bot patent agents and patent attorneys can both represent clients filing patents in the patent office.  Patent attorneys can additionally represent clients in court and can do other work in support of litigation.  Patent agents cannot do that.
 
Patent attorneys are IMO far more marketable than patent agents, so in answering your question means assessing your chances of becoming a patent attorney.
 
Only a few states in the US would allow someone with the education you describe to become an attorney.   Among those states, in some of them a distance learning education would not be acceptable.    You should identify those states in which your education will allow you to become an attorney.
 
There may also be immigration related obstacles to qualifying as either a patent agent or a patent attorney.  
« Last Edit: Mar 9th, 2006, 12:42pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
waterville
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Re: LLM Career Advice
« Reply #2 on: Mar 9th, 2006, 1:20pm »
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Due to my technical expertise in electronic industry (MEMS), the state I most likely to practice patent law is in Calif.  
 
My concern is how marketable is my LLB degree in the eyes of US patent employers and also what are the chances of getting into top 10 LLM school from university of London LLB degree.
 
My mentality is that if I can have the LLM degree from the top 10 law school, then I can be very marketable entering into patent field.
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PatGuy
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Re: LLM Career Advice
« Reply #3 on: Mar 9th, 2006, 5:52pm »
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LL.M is not competitive! You don't even need LSAT to get in! If you want to practice in US, why don't you do JD? It takes three years for JD.  However, it gives you very good training to practice law in US.
 
By the way, I had seen successful lawyers who had foreign LL.Bs.  Law practice is also a business.  You are selling your service.  If you have good business skills, your degrees do not matter!
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skoz686-iplaw
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Re: LLM Career Advice
« Reply #4 on: Mar 9th, 2006, 11:54pm »
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on Mar 9th, 2006, 12:30pm, waterville wrote:
Currently I am working in the MEMS field as a mechanical engineer and also enrolling in a Distance learning LLB degree program from University of London External Program.  Upon completion of LLB, I plan to apply for LLM program in US, hopefully I can be admitted to any of the Top 5 LLM law school (NYU, Columbia, Berkley, Stanford).

 
Columbia does not allow admission to its LLM to candidates with law degrees by correspondence or distance learning.
 
Here is the link:
 
http://www.law.columbia.edu/llm_jsd/grad_studies
 
"Applicants should note that a law degree earned by correspondence course work or distance learning is not acceptable."
 
Other top law schools may have similar restrictions. You should carefully look into them before making your plans.
 
If you can overcome the strict admission rules of the very few States that allow distance education law degrees to take their bar exams and gain admission, and pass the USPTO registration exam as well,  then as a Registered US Patent Attorney, you may be able to find a job in some small or medium size law firms. This also assumes you have US Citizenship or Permanent Residence. If not, you have greater hurdles to overcome.
 
The larger, more prestigious law firms are most unlikely to even consider your resume with a distance education degree, as they have a good number of local JD applicants from top law schools whom they usually prefer over foreign law degree applicants.
 
However, there are a number of attorneys with LLB degrees from UK, Australia and Canada, who work in large, more prestigious law firms as well. But they have physically attended the law school (instead of by correspondence or distance education), and have a combination of excellent academics and/or experience, to knock out the local competition.
 
Law degrees by correspondence or distance education don't have the same acceptance in the US, as they have in the UK. In the UK, the Law Society and the Bar Council have accepted the University of London External (by distance education) LLB for admission as a Solicitor or Barrister. In Australia as well, correspondence law degrees from some Universities are accepted for admission.
 
But in the US, the ABA (American Bar Association) have not accredited any law degrees by correspondence or distance education.
 
That does not mean there is no hope for people with law degrees by correspondence or distance education. However, it is an uphill battle at least initially, to get your foot in the door. Once you get into a firm, you should be able to live off of your experience.
 
An LLM, even from a top law school (if you can get in) will not get rid of all your hurdles. It may help though.
 
Since you plan to eventually work in the US, if you can afford to, getting a JD from the US will be a lot more beneficial to you than an LLM.
« Last Edit: Mar 10th, 2006, 12:03am by skoz686-iplaw » IP Logged
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