The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Dec 12th, 2019, 5:57am

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
  
  
Patent Agent/Lawyer Careers
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2 3  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Am I stupid to turn down law school?  (Read 2596 times)
Matthew
Guest
Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:50am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Long story short: Got into a top 10 school, deferred admission for a year to think about it some more after getting cold feet, still not sure.
 
I'm a fresh engineering grad (EE, top of class) and was lured to law school by the 'hot' field of patent law. After talking to a lot of lawyers, I realized the cold hard reality of big-firm life and could never find a single person that said they loved it. Many were suicidal at times. I don't really want to get trapped in that, and I seem to have an alright future in engineering (won't be making $200k in 4 years like I would if I went to this law school and did well, but quality of life is very good) and I'm much more of a science type of person academically and professionally anyway. Is patent law any different? I don't know. Overall, everything about the field of law seemed to be driven by one thing - money. I don't know if I could stomach what it takes to make money the end-all in my life. Plus I'm not a big city person anyway. I have no desire to live in or near a major metropolitan area or work more than 50 hours/week.
 
So I feel pretty confident in telling the school no thanks, but it's hard to do when I consistently hear family and friends saying 'you got in to ****x-Law and you're not even going? Are you f'ing retarded?' Well, it is $150k in debt...
 
So, am I really blowing an opportunity of a lifetime or am I right in my research to say 'no thanks'?
 
I was never really into engineering and hated my first job. Actually I was pre-med for a while before getting involved in the law school admissions process. Recently, I have been considering going and applying to med school. I figure that doctor isn't a bad career and maybe a bit more stable than eng. Any thoughts on that?
IP Logged
Drew83
Newbie
*




   


Posts: 38
Re: Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:16am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

When you say you couldnt find a single person (lawyer) who loved law, are you referring to patent lawyers, or lawyers in other fields?  I've heard a lot of bad things about law, but not so much coming from patent attorney's - I usually get a good vibe from them.  It seems that the stress is a little bit lower and the work hours slightly less for IP law.  I'm currently waiting to hear from law schools, however, I do still have some doubt...
 
I too have thought about medical school.  What I've been told about medicine (which I'm sure goes with all professions), is to make sure you really want to get into it.  Medical school is a big commitment, but so is law school.  It seems both fields have similar trade-offs with work hours and pay.  I'm sure there are several doctors who dont have much of life.
IP Logged
Patent-west
Guest
Re: Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:36am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Yes please don't go to law school you will be much happier and so will we as the field is getting to crowded as is.  
 
BTW, I think you have been misguided by non-patent lawyers into thinking this field scuks and has no quality of life.  Started my career doing 3 -4 years of general litigation(non-patent),  then turned to patent law.  The job is extremely relaxed and nothing like what you described.  However, litigation in a general practice firm sounds like what you described above.
 
IP Logged
Matthew
Guest
Re: Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:57am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

on Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:36am, Patent-west wrote:
Yes please don't go to law school you will be much happier and so will we as the field is getting to crowded as is.  
 
BTW, I think you have been misguided by non-patent lawyers into thinking this field scuks and has no quality of life.  Started my career doing 3 -4 years of general litigation(non-patent),  then turned to patent law.  The job is extremely relaxed and nothing like what you described.  However, litigation in a general practice firm sounds like what you described above.
 
  

 
What I am referring to are firm lawyers. I have 'heard' of in-house IP lawyers that live a comfortable life of 9-5 work days and salaries well into the six-figures with fat corporate retirement plans. But everyone says you have to pay your dues first at big firms. Can you tell me some more about what you do in your job and why you think it's so enjoyable? Why do you like it better than being an engineer?
IP Logged
plex
Full Member
***




   


Posts: 168
Re: Am I stupid to turn down law school?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 23rd, 2007, 4:34pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

This is probably a good place for you to go to to ask about IP law, since you may actually run into an actual IP lawyer or at least people who have already spoken with IP lawyers to gain first hand information, you would not be able to get reliable information from a general practice firm because they aren't even able to practice before the USPTO.  
 
The really big firms will work you into the ground, at least if you are referring to the ones in New York or something like them, but those are the ones that require you to work 60-70 hours a week, and wash out well over half their interns/associates. There are also the normal IP firms, which make you only work 50-60 hours a week, and may even let you experience all the aspects of IP law, the pay is less though, usually starting at 70-100k, and going up gradually from there, but you aren't expected to work hellish hours, which is where most of the higher pay comes from in a big slave driver firm.
 
People are sometimes like lemmings, they will jump into something shiny, even though they know perfectly well it is going to kill them.
 
I personally am an EE as well, found my courses and work really boring, after learning and perfecting whatever task I was assigned to, I got to look forward to repeating the same monotonous tasks over and over, and then long periods of doing nothing since they only give you a limited amount of work at the entry level.
 
Studying for the patent bar, I am finding IP law much more interesting, there are so many different types of situations that can arise, so many different types of patents you could be working on, instead of one boring project, and the law isn't even completely developed yet since it has to adjust to new technology and ethical standards developed through case and statutory law. Engineering feels like you are banging your head on a wall of rusty nails trying to get some incompetent supplier to do their job passing on information or waiting for the database to come back up after it crashed for the third time that week, and you are working on the same project as you were last year.
« Last Edit: Feb 23rd, 2007, 4:51pm by plex » IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 3  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright © 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board