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   Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
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Janice
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Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
« on: Jul 15th, 2006, 9:49am »
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Hello,
 
I'm so glad that I've found this forum.  I've been thinking about switching careers from a being a cancer research scientist to becoming a Patent Agent/Tech Specialist/Attorney.  I was wondering if anybody has experience in such a transition or advice on how to start this transition.  I do not have any experience in patent law so I'm afraid that many of the jobs out there want experienced people.  
 
I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Genetics, and I've been working as a postdoctoral fellow for the last year.  My plan is to take the patent bar exam in December so at least I'll have that my resume.  Due to my personal situation, I will be relocating in a year to either New York, Chicago, Boston, or San Francisco (depending on my husband's job).  I want to start off as a patent agent for two years so I can save money and have a second child before starting law school (I'm 31 and the clock is ticking.).  
 
Basically, I was wondering if I have a chance to get a patent agent job at a law firm without any experience.  I live in a rural town so right now finding someone to job shadow nearby is impossible.  Also, I know that we will be moving in a year, so should I start sending out my resume now or wait until I have taken the patent bar exam in December?  I'm not sure if it is wise to start applying a year in advance.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  
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Bill Richards
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Re: Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15th, 2006, 10:45am »
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Based upon your background (bio), you should have no trouble finding a job.  Not being an attorney might be a slight problem, but I've seen firms that hire agents in the bio area while they go to law school.
I got a job at a major regional law firm at age 56 and no legal experience.  I had just passed the patent bar and the state bar.  My background is ChE.  You can contact me off-line if you want more info.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
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G
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Re: Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
« Reply #2 on: Jul 15th, 2006, 8:43pm »
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I am currently a tech specialist. I will be a patent attorney soon.  I wish, I went to fulltime law school.
 
Working fulltime as a tech specialist and going to law school at night is very hard especially when you have family and kids.
 
Firms pay big paychecks even to fresh law graduates! If you do the math, it may not make economic sense to work fulltime as a tech specialist.  
 
If I were you, I would go to law school first.  You will have lots of time! If you get a summer intern job in firms, you can use your summer salary to pay for your tuition.  With law degree, you will have lots of options, not just patent law.
 
Good luck!
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Janice
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Re: Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
« Reply #3 on: Jul 16th, 2006, 2:10pm »
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Thanks Bill and G for your responses!
 
I'm glad to hear that there are opportunities for a person with my experience (or lack of) at a law firm.  I would love to go to law school first, but I feel that I should have some more patent experience.  When I do go to law school, I will go full-time.  I don't think that I will have the energy for a full-time job, part-time school, and a family with 2 kids under 5.  Thank you for the advice on the summer jobs too.  I will definitely look into that when the time comes.
 
Any advice on when I should start applying to law firms for an available start date Sept. 2007?
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Gin
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Re: Patent Agent/Tech Specialist Experience Wanted
« Reply #4 on: Jul 18th, 2006, 12:52pm »
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Hi Janice!
 
I just wanted to let you know that I am in the same boat as you...have a Ph.D in Moleuclar Biology.  I, too, am interested in entering the field of law.  I have seen job postings looking for patent scientists/examiner (not patent agents) for firms as well as the United States Patents and Trademark Office.  I would suggest to you, apply for those positions when you see them, as well as contacting law firms near you to see if they can give you some insights into this process.  
 
These sugguestions are ones that I am doing.  Whether it is good or not, it is definitely a start.  
 
Good luck to you.  If I know anything new, I will let you know!!
 
Gin
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