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   Author  Topic: Advice on IP Law Career  (Read 1090 times)
canadianITPM
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Advice on IP Law Career
« on: Oct 24th, 2006, 10:34am »
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I am a 33-year-old IT Project Manager living in Toronto ON Canada. Completed my studies in USA, I have a BSc. in Management Information Systems and Masters in Software Systems from Winona State University and University of Saint Thomas (Minnesota).
 
I have over 13 years of experience in IT industry, coming up the ranks from being a programmer to project manager (leading US$ million projects).
 
I have had a successful career in IT but have been seriously looking at a career change. After 4 years of working in South Asia on outsourcing projects, I moved back to North America. I find that most of the exciting projects are moving to South Asia and I am left to manage some dull projects here. Most of these projects are customer facing but not intellectually challenging. I have been doing some research on IP Law and want some advice.
 
I want to practice in both US and Canada, will a JD/LLB joint degree from University of Windsor/University of Detroit help me?
 
Windsor has been ranked number 5 out of 15 law schools in Canada, but U of Detroit is ranked in the 4th tier according to US News rankings. Will this affect my job prospects at medium to large firms?
 
When I graduate I will be 37, will my age affect my job prospects?
 
Will law schools and law firms consider my successful career in IT coming from programmer to project manager?
 
Thx.
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chuckles
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Re: Advice on IP Law Career
« Reply #1 on: Oct 30th, 2006, 7:15pm »
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Be careful about assessing the rank of Canadian schools. Many of the surveys that rate the schools (I believe MacLeans does one) base the rank at least in part on the assessment of former students. This type of survey doesn't tell you anything about how employers view the school. The "best" schools to go to are generally considered to be schools based in the big cities simply because the firms of the respective cities tend to recruit from those schools. So, if you want to work in Toronto, your best bet is U of T or Osgoode; if it's Vancouver, go to UBC or UVic, etc. I believe that schools with higher entrance requirements also tend to be viewed more favorably. Based on this criteria, Windsor wouldn't be your best bet in terms of prestige or rank. If you're interested in going to the States, you may want to consider U of T, which now gives out a JD rather than an LLB. Regardless of where you attend in Canada, I believe that you'll be at a disadvantage, all other things being equal, to US trained candidates. Your best bet for entering the US market is to get a few years of experience working in Canada and use that as a selling point to offset the foreign education.
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chuckles
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Re: Advice on IP Law Career
« Reply #2 on: Oct 30th, 2006, 7:23pm »
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I don't believe that your age will bar you from getting a good job. I went to school with a number of people in their mid 30s - 40s and all landed decent jobs after graduation. The firms look at marks first. You may also have an advantage if you look for an IP job because of your software background. My experience has been that IP firms favor this background over, say, the lifesciences degree that I have.
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