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   Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
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JuniorIPGuy
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Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
« on: Aug 28th, 2006, 10:52pm »
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I'm a junior patent attorney (2003 grad) with a chemical engineering background.  I don't know if it's just NYC or if it's because I'm a ChE, but it's a lot harder than I thought to lateral.  I spent my first year after graduation doing doc review while I was looking to get into patent law and when I did, it was with a small, low-paying IP boutique.  I'm been looking to lateral but have had no luck.  It seems like while the large firms and the bigger boutiques frequently trade laterals, guys like me at smaller places have a hard time breaking in.
 
So I was wondering if it would be worth it to go back for a Masters degree or maybe an LLM to increase my marketability?  Or is there a chance that it would set me back since I would not be practicing during that time period?  Any thoughts?
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Anon
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Re: Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 29th, 2006, 3:28pm »
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Just to add to the mix....  Have you considered doing a Judicial Clerkship?
 
https://lawclerks.ao.uscourts.gov/
« Last Edit: Aug 29th, 2006, 3:29pm by Anon » IP Logged
Bill Richards
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Re: Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 29th, 2006, 5:55pm »
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You might consider being an examiner.  Isaac posted on this subject just recently.  Personally, I'd go for the LLM in IP.  Just like the MS in, e.g., ChE, it could give you the educational edge.  (I have neither, but would love to have the LLM in IP if I could do it part time locally.)
« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2006, 5:47am by Bill Richards » IP Logged

William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
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TTS
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Re: Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 29th, 2006, 9:45pm »
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In my view, LL.M is waste of money and time! Not worth it!
 
I think, you should not limit yourself to patent prosecution. You can try the following related practice areas.
 
IP Technology Transaction
Computer Law
Media and telecommuncations law
Computer Open Source Licensing
Patent litigation
IP litigation
Food and drug law/litigation
FDA practice  
 
There are lots of other legal areas where you can use your technical skills.   Good luck!
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Anon
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Re: Already practicing, go back for MS or LLM?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 30th, 2006, 12:22am »
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on Aug 29th, 2006, 9:45pm, TTS wrote:
In my view, LL.M is waste of money and time! Not worth it!

 
I totally agree.  I just didn't want to be the first to say it.  
 
As for working as a Patent Examiner at the PTO, I see that as a good way to get experience prior to starting a first job in a firm.   But once you have spent even a little time as an associate doing patent work at even the smallest of firms, then I think working at the PTO as a Patent Examiner would be seen as a step backward.  (And I say this as a former examiner.)
 
On the other hand, if you could land a job in the solicitor's office, now that would mean something.
 
But I again suggest that you consider a Judicial Clerkship...
 
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