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   Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law school
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   Author  Topic: Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law school  (Read 1824 times)
Christa
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Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law school
« on: May 20th, 2006, 5:39pm »
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Hi,
I'm a biochem major, and I'm thinking of going into intellectual property law.  Is it better to get a Ph.D. before going to law school, or is it a waste of time in this field?  I don't think that I want to get a Ph.D.
Also, I was reading here that job prospects were not good for biotech people?  Is that still true?  Are you referring to those with or without Ph.D. backgrounds?
Thanks a lot,
Christa Cool
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Wolfcastle
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Re: Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law sc
« Reply #1 on: May 21st, 2006, 9:26pm »
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Selecting a field based off its current "hotness" will likely lead to problems. A Ph.D. typically takes 5-7 years. If you had started a science Ph.D. in 1997 when the job market was great, you wouldn't have your degree until around 2003.  
 
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guest
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Re: Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law sc
« Reply #2 on: May 22nd, 2006, 6:54am »
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It's my feeling that an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry is not going to prepare you for the complexities of the science you will see as a patent attorney.  If you can't understand the science, I think you'll have a hard time writing comprehensive patents and you might have a hard time building rapport with clients who most likely will have PhDs (it's like a club that you won't be a part of).  Many others on this forum can tell you the exponential increase in their knowledge as they worked from a bachelor's degree through a PhD.  Finally, my guess is that it might be difficult to find a job with a firm when you're competing against five people that do have PhDs.  
 
That being said, there's obviously a plethora of patent attorneys who don't hold PhDs in their field.  However, most of them are in the engineering field as opposed to the biotech field or they have been practicing law for 10 to 15 years or more.
 
I hope this doesn't quench your interest in patent law, but rather helps you understand the path to becoming an effective (and marketable) patent attorney.
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Isaac
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Re: Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law sc
« Reply #3 on: May 22nd, 2006, 7:56am »
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I would not suggest attempting to get a PhD if you don't want one.   It's probably not a course of action for an unmotivated person.
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Isaac
chemichael
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Re: Getting a Ph.D. first or going right to law sc
« Reply #4 on: May 22nd, 2006, 11:08am »
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on May 22nd, 2006, 7:56am, Isaac wrote:
I would not suggest attempting to get a PhD if you don't want one. It's probably not a course of action for an unmotivated person.

 
 I strongly second Issac's response
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