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Getting that first job
« on: Nov 7th, 2006, 9:07am »
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Hello Everyone:
     I need advise about how to land that first job in patent practice, but first I'll share some background.  I have a B.S. in Biochemistry from the Univ. of Chicago with Honors, a JD in May 2002, and passed the USPTO exam in late September 2006.  However, throughout law school I had a very serious illness which culminated in a transplant.  Afterwards, I had severe reactions to the required medications to a crippling degree, which made mincemeat of my work history over the past four years.  finally this past Summer, my medications and dosing schedule changed, and I find myself in perfect health now.
     Because I finally feel human again, I am eager to rejoin the ranks, but I'm not having much success in the job hunt.  I'm afraid to explain what I've been through over the past 6 years to potential employers, even though such an explanation would go a long way towards explaining why my resume looks the way that it does.  I have an application pending at the USPTO for an Examiner's position as well.
     Will potential employers listen to me when I explain that in all honesty, after the travails of the past, all i want is a good stable job, and that after having beaten my problems that I feel that I can tackle anything else that I could encounter?  Advise and suggestions would be deeply appreciated.
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Re: Getting that first job
« Reply #1 on: Nov 7th, 2006, 3:42pm »
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Under the circumstances, in house counsel positioin or similar might be better rather than lawfirms.
I have seen an ad from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looking for in house IP attorney in Bio area/chemistry.
You might want to apply for it.    
As for personal health issues, I wouldn't bring it up unless you are asked for it.  
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Registered Patent Agent Specializing in All Areas of Biotechnology


Posts: 16
Re: Getting that first job
« Reply #2 on: Nov 7th, 2006, 4:15pm »
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Your story reminds me of a friend of mine from law school who had to get a tumor removed and got behind on her school work as a result. She nevertheless got very good marks but in her job application, she mentioned her illness as the reason why her marks weren't better. We were applying for summer positions with firms. With her marks, she should have gotten multiple interviews. She got one. The only explanation is that the firms were scared off by the story of her illness and screened her out.  
The firms want you to be able to work long hours and a past serious illness suggests that you might not have the physical stamina. So, do not mention the illness unless asked for an explanation of your marks/work history. It sucks but law firms aren't known for their humane employment practices.
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