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   Author  Topic: too late?  (Read 2937 times)
engtolaw
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too late?
« on: Oct 29th, 2006, 6:59pm »
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I am an electrical engineer with over 10 years of experience. I would like to become a patent lawyer.
But, by the time I would become one, I would be 43 years old. Is it too late to start a career in law at 43? I don't have friends or neighbors or...that can help with jobs.
 
Thank you in advance
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Patent_Type
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Posts: 80
Re: too late?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 31st, 2006, 12:13am »
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My advice: stay where you are and enjoy your free time.  Get a hobby and go on some nice vacations to National Parks.  There are some very amazing places in the United States that most people don't even know about.
 
No, seriously -- you already have 10 years of experience.  You most likely have some tenure in your current job and can begin to assume management roles.  See if your employer will help you get an executive MBA.  Switching to patent law means you will spend the next 3 or 4 years incredibly swamped with law school, and then you will enter the ranks of lawyers at the bottom of the totem pole as a junior associate.  You will be working insane hours trying to get up to speed with all the new skills, laws, rules, etc.  Bottom line: ten years from now you will be in debt, no free time and incredibly stressed out.  Weigh that with where you might be if you stayed in your current job for 10 years.
 
Alternatively, see if there is patent work where you currently are employed, and talk to the in-house folks about the opportunity to be a "patent liason" or the like.
 
PT
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SoCalAttny
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Re: too late?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 9th, 2006, 9:20pm »
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Consider a middle step of Patent Agent. You qualify to take the exam by virtuer of holding an engineering degree. You can study in your spare time and take the exam when ready. After passing you may decide to then consider a career jump. You've lost no time, lost no seniority and are ready for a career switch. Then if you love Patent Agent work you may be motivated to attack the law school.
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TataBoxInhibitor
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Posts: 456
Re: too late?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 9th, 2006, 11:48pm »
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Listen, it is never too late.  If you are financially able, then law school is a great option.   Make sure you investigate a bit.  You are ranked and you can get tossed out (in some schools) if your grades are not up to par.  Read, participate in class and join every reputable organization (law review, journal and moot court - in that order).
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Bill Richards
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Posts: 758
Re: too late?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10th, 2006, 5:57am »
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At age 48, while working as an engineering manager at a major oil company, I studied for and passed both the EIT and PE exams.  At age 52, while still working full time, I entered law school and graduated, magna cum laude, at age 56.  (Passed patent bar that summer.)  After that, I spent two years as an associate in a large law firm, five as in-house counsel, and am now on my own as a solo.  Life is good!
Contact me off-list if you want more information.  My website gives some additional information, too.
Good luck!
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
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