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   How to get experience??
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   Author  Topic: How to get experience??  (Read 1759 times)
limorgabay
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How to get experience??
« on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 7:22am »
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I'm a PhD in Biology + postdoc + pharmaceutical company experience. I live in the Boston area. Recently I decided to change career to IP law and studied for and passed the USPTO bar exam. Since then I applied for a technology specialist/patent agent jobs in just about every law firm in Boston that has Life Science IP practice without success.
I'm really confused as to what could be the reason. My academic credentials are good.  
Could it be over-qualification? Or is the surplus of Biologists in the Boston area?
Advise anyone?
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bond007
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Re: How to get experience??
« Reply #1 on: Apr 5th, 2007, 9:54pm »
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hey, contact me: manusawhney21@yahoo.com
 
i will refer you to a law firm where u can get a job ASAP. take care
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BotchedExperiment
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Re: How to get experience??
« Reply #2 on: Apr 10th, 2007, 1:18pm »
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I have similar qualifications and am making the same transition, but I live in the Western USA.  I've recently gotten into a really good position, but getting here was difficult, and now that I'm on the "inside" I think I understand why.
 
Folks in patents say it takes a lot of training to become competent, and while there is a bit of specialized knowledge/skill, it pales in comparison to life science research.
 
What folks like us need to keep in mind is that it's not about how much training we need, but the direct and indirect cost of that training.  
 
Here's what's going on at my firm:  
 
Law firm x has a flat-rate patent job for $6,000.  Their (JD)  associate normally bills $225/hour.  The figure drafter is going to charge about $1500, so there's about $4500 bucks left in the pot to get the patent application drafted.  That equates to 20 hours of the associate's billing time; that's a tight budget, but remember this is a real example.
 
If you come along with no training and want to work for them, they have to pay you something like $40/hour and it's going to take the associate longer than 20 hours to "train" you and write the patent, so for every hour extra it takes the firm loses $225 from the billing that the associate isn't doing PLUS whatever they're paying you.  
 
In Science it doesn't actually cost much money to train people, but in the law, it does, and firms are all about the bottom line on EACH project.  
 
To get my present position, I sat in on 3 patent law classes taught at the local law school (doing the assignments, and getting a "grade") and made contacts with the instructors, and I had some great contacts in other firms, totalling about 9 firms; still no interest.
 
Then I was able to convince a firm to let me do part-time (about 10-15 hours/week) volunteer work from home.  I did that for about 6 months before I started getting any interest from firms.  Further, none of the firms were interested in hiring me as a technical specialist/advisor/consultant.  If they can't bill the client for your services, you're of no help to them.  So, if you're serious, take and pass the patent bar.
 
Regarding over-qualification: Not at all.  The problem is that you're underqualified to contribute to patent drafting and no one wants to pay to train you.
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BotchedExperiment
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Re: How to get experience??
« Reply #3 on: Apr 10th, 2007, 1:20pm »
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Sorry, I just saw that you took and passed the patent bar.
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phil.gs
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Re: How to get experience??
« Reply #4 on: Apr 23rd, 2007, 2:18pm »
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There are firms, especially in NYC, that hire people like you (scientific background but no legal training) as Technical Advisors and train you to be a patent agent. You're a bit ahead of the game since you already have passed the patent bar. I suggest you look for these kinds of firms at Martindale-dot-com or Infirmation-dot-com (forum won't let me post links). Good luck!
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