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   The ME/EE conundrum
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2Btabby
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The ME/EE conundrum
« on: Jun 26th, 2007, 10:20pm »
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Unforunately, I didn't know I wanted to pursue a career in law until I was halfway through college. Needless to say I recieved a BSME instead of a BSEE.
 
It is my understanding that if you either went to a good engineering school OR went to a good law school, a EE major has great oppurtunies abound.  Is the job market even remotely similar for a ME?  I understand its not as hot of a market, but is an ME major with a good law school/good law school grads still competitive?
 
In the USPTO, I have heard that most lawyers that we deal with are not very "skilled in the art".  This leads me to believe that they are better lawyers than they are engineers (a good ME attorney could argue a EE case well).  Is there truth to this?  
 
Lastly:  Is there any way to make me more marketable by "learning" more EE material.  Could I do self-study?  Reread and familiarize myself with my two thick circuits books?  Rotate the "M" on my title 90 degrees counterclock wise? Smiley
 
Thanks
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Isaac
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Re: The ME/EE conundrum
« Reply #1 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 7:05am »
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on Jun 26th, 2007, 10:20pm, 2Btabby wrote:
In the USPTO, I have heard that most lawyers that we deal with are not very "skilled in the art".  This leads me to believe that they are better lawyers than they are engineers (a good ME attorney could argue a EE case well).  Is there truth to this?

 
I think those PTO comments refer to the fact that a lawyer might be working in specific technical area in which the examiner is far more familiar with the prior art than the lawyer based on the the examiner's extensive searching of the area.   But with regards to academic knowledge, lawyers and examiner's have approximately the same background.  I wouldn't take those comments to mean that the lawyer doesn't understand basic electrical engineering.
 
An ME might be able to handle some electrical cases, but reviewing a couple of circuits books won't make you an EE Smiley
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Isaac
jjkob
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    jjkob


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Re: The ME/EE conundrum
« Reply #2 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 11:56am »
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I was in the same boat, and even took a break from law school to get an MS in MEMS, hoping to bridge the gap.  Unfortunately, most law firms don't really care about what you actually know--just what is written on your degree.  Most of my interviewers admitted to believing that ME's know only about strictly mechanical devices, which "anyone can write patents on" (it was especially sickening coming from an interviewer with a bio background).  You can try to stress your EE knowledge in interviews, but many firms will only interview EE, CS and Physics majors, given that there are many more filings in EE/CS fields than strictly ME-related fields (e.g., IBM files thousands of patent applications annually in computers, while the largest aerospace/automotive firms file only hundreds).  
 
It is an uphill battle to say the least--good luck.
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bjr
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Re: The ME/EE conundrum
« Reply #3 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 1:09pm »
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The most important factors in landing that first job are your LS grades and your personality.  Try not to get too caught up in the distinctions between ME's and EE's - it's really not that big of a deal.  ME's draft EE applications and EE's draft ME applications all the time.
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SoCalAttny
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Re: The ME/EE conundrum
« Reply #4 on: Jul 13th, 2007, 12:52am »
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As an EE I have drafted applications for rocket motors and flight devices.  
 
None of the MEs or CEs in our group can draft applications for circuits, software algorithms from code or communication devices in a timely accurate fashion.
 
That's a fact.
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