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Kiki
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Curretn state of EE patent law
« on: Aug 15th, 2007, 4:02pm »
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Hi,  
 
I've heard conflicting report of the job market for patent law. Some people say it's still quite hot. Some others claim the market is flooded with unemployed patent lawyers.  
 
Are there any practicing lawyers who can offer some insight?  
 
My background: BSEE+MSEE. Undergrad GPA 3.0. 5 years of experience working in semiconductor industry. 3 years as a software engineer, 2 years as FAE.  
 
I'm preparing for LSAT right now. I think I only have a realistic shot at a tier 2.  
 
I'm debating whether to fork out the big money to pursue this "supposedly more lucrative" career?  
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Guest-EE
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Re: Curretn state of EE patent law
« Reply #1 on: Aug 15th, 2007, 5:00pm »
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Good Question,
 
I have a BS Electrical Eng. and am in law school right now.  From what I understand, the IP market is hot, especially for EE's, but there is a catch.  If you get into a T2 school, you have to be at least in the top quarter of your class to have a decent shot at one of these "hot" jobs.  No matter what the demand is right now for EEs, if you don't have the grades, then firms will not bother hiring you.  
 
Please keep in mind that top quarter is not so easily done.  I've known other engineering students, even one guy with a masters in EE, who were in the bottom half of their class after the first year.  The lack of reading/writing skills from engineering undergrad is the most likely reason.  Law school is completely different from anything an engineering grad did in the past.  You'll see history/psychology majors getting higher grades because they have done tons of reading/writing during the last four years prior to law school.  
 
I recommend you go for one year, see how you do, and if your grades put you at the middle or bottom half of your class, then quit and go back into engineering.  Otherwise if you continue with law school, you run the risk of your engineering degree/experience going "stale" and a lack of job opportunities once you graduate law school.  This would be a horrendous position to be in.
 
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bobloblaw
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Posts: 20
Re: Curretn state of EE patent law
« Reply #2 on: Aug 15th, 2007, 6:41pm »
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on Aug 15th, 2007, 5:00pm, Guest-EE wrote:
Good Question,
 
I have a BS Electrical Eng. and am in law school right now.  From what I understand, the IP market is hot, especially for EE's, but there is a catch.  If you get into a T2 school, you have to be at least in the top quarter of your class to have a decent shot at one of these "hot" jobs.  No matter what the demand is right now for EEs, if you don't have the grades, then firms will not bother hiring you.  
 
Please keep in mind that top quarter is not so easily done.  I've known other engineering students, even one guy with a masters in EE, who were in the bottom half of their class after the first year.  The lack of reading/writing skills from engineering undergrad is the most likely reason.  Law school is completely different from anything an engineering grad did in the past.  You'll see history/psychology majors getting higher grades because they have done tons of reading/writing during the last four years prior to law school.  
 
I recommend you go for one year, see how you do, and if your grades put you at the middle or bottom half of your class, then quit and go back into engineering.  Otherwise if you continue with law school, you run the risk of your engineering degree/experience going "stale" and a lack of job opportunities once you graduate law school.  This would be a horrendous position to be in.
 

 
 
This advice is gold.  No matter where you go, try to get at least top quarter.  
 
I think if you get a great LSAT (170+), you have a great shot at T14.  If not, take a year off and spend some $$$ on LSAT tutors and prep courses.  You'll be glad you did.  (Keep in mind that taking the LSATs more than once can hurt you.  If you have a really bad feeling, cancel your score.)  
 
Otherwise, I wouldn't leave behind a good job for a tiny minute chance at making more money in a different field where you start from scratch.  I know quite a few engineers who now wish they had not left for law.
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SoCalAttny
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Re: Curretn state of EE patent law
« Reply #3 on: Aug 15th, 2007, 10:18pm »
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Law school is a fair amount of reading not a whole lot of writing.  
 
IRAC - Issue rule analysis conclusion
 
Engineering school is exactly this thought process. The difficulty is outlining the answer. The remainder of the effort is getting the words on the paper.
 
Spot the issues and you get points, logically apply the rule via analysis (more points). Most questions do not have a dead on right conclusion, just get close (more points).  
 
Now you are in the top 25%, most non-engineers can't think like this on day one of law school.
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Kiki
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Re: Curretn state of EE patent law
« Reply #4 on: Aug 16th, 2007, 2:30am »
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Hi all,
 
Thank you for your reply.
 
My thinking now is that if I can get an LSAT of 165+, then it probably means I can get into a decent school. And the score probably reflect that I'll be able to do reasonably well since studies have shown that LSAT is highly correlated with first year performance.
 
What if my goal is simply to work at medium size boutique IP firms? Would those still require finishing in the top 25% of class? Would competition to get into boutique firms be as cutthroat as getting into large law firms?
 
 
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