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   Give up becoming a patent attorney?
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   Author  Topic: Give up becoming a patent attorney?  (Read 2063 times)
Jaktu
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Give up becoming a patent attorney?
« on: Jul 15th, 2007, 10:06pm »
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I just graduated in May with a BSME and will start my MSME at a top 10 ME university in the fall.
 
I recently found out about becoming a patent attorney and I'm very interested because I can't see myself as an engineer (industry or academia) the rest of my life.  
 
My question is this: if I graduate with a MSME and go to U of Georgia for law school (I think they're ranked 31 or so), will I find a job as a patent attorney? How hard will it be to find a job?
 
My main concern is that I won't be able to find a job due to my background being in ME instead of EE.
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pentazole
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Re: Give up becoming a patent attorney?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 18th, 2007, 3:14pm »
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What's with the obsession I keep seeing with engineers thinking they need to be EE to get a job in patent law?
 
Anyway, why wouldn't you try being a practicing ME for a bit before switching over?  It's the usual course of action for those with technical degrees.  But on a comparative basis, it would be easier to get a job in patent law as a person with a technical degree but no industrial experience while coupled with a law degree than without a law degree.
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Jaktu
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Re: Give up becoming a patent attorney?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 19th, 2007, 12:33pm »
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I searched for jobs and it looks like getting a job with an EE degree is way easier than getting one as a ME. Also, I searched this forum and found threads like "how did you get a job?" which was started by florida who has a JD, ME degree, and USPTO registration. I would post a link, but the forum won't let me.  
 
I will most likely end up practicing engineering first, but prospects for ME's in industry or academia aren't very exciting. Companies nowadays have ME's do everything and I think I would enjoy prosecuting patents and studying new ideas more than working at a company. Therefore, I was seriously considering going to law school right after I get my MSME. The only way I can come close to doing interesting work as a ME is to get my PhD. MSME + PhD is the same amount of time as MSME + law school.  
 
I also had one more question, would it matter at all if my MSME is from a top 10 engineering school?
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Isaac
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Re: Give up becoming a patent attorney?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 19th, 2007, 1:37pm »
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Your prospects are largely determined in law school.  Do well at a good law school and you'll not have to worry much about your undergraduate major.   Do less well and you will find yourself with fewer opportunities.  Unfortunately that means that you cannot be very certain about your job prospects before you're committed.
 
I'd also suggest that posted job openings largely consist of jobs for experienced patent attorneys.   Entry level candidates often come from summer associate programs and on campus interviews at law school.   You may not be getting a good picture of the entry level job market simply by searching the job openings.
 
Further, what's hot changes.  The EE job market was hot in the late 90s but diminished significantly in the early 2000s.    What's hot may be different 5 or so years from now.
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Isaac
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Re: Give up becoming a patent attorney?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 19th, 2007, 5:52pm »
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I would also add that many of my fellow graduates did not obtain their jobs from posted ads.  The majority of placements is through networking and word of mouth.
 
If you have a good/great undergrad/grad school transcript, many IP employers view that of more import than high law school grades -- but of course, many firms use law school placement as the initial filtering mechanism, so take that point in context.
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