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   EE looking into IP law area
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pvp4010
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EE looking into IP law area
« on: Oct 18th, 2007, 8:32pm »
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Hello folks,  
Greetings
 
I am a MSEE with abt 7yrs experience at a multinational Tech company in the US. im researching career outlook in the IP area. I read in the forums that law school is hard. I was wondering why is it hard? is it hard because its intellectually challenging OR because it demands lots of hours towards coursework? how does it compare to Engg schooling?
 
I also read that *GPA * is the single most important thing during law-school studies. To this regard, how do people who work as patent agent accumulating experience while attending law school part-time normally fare academically?. or does it matter much because one is already *practicing* in the field?
 
As well, i do realize that its best to make it to top schools, but when i visit lots of law firm websites and pull up profiles of IP attorneys, very few graduated from good law schools, most of them seemed to be from 2 or 3 tier schools. is my observation consistent with other people's opinion on this forum? Please advice.
 
Your advice and helpful thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Best Regards.
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kiki
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Re: EE looking into IP law area
« Reply #1 on: Oct 18th, 2007, 11:32pm »
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Hi,
 
I have similar background as you. I also have MSEE and 5 years of work experience. Right now I work as a FAE at a large semiconductor company.
 
I've been pondering about the exact same thing as you have. However, I tend to think quite far ahead and the thing is, this is a long and challenging path. It only makes sense if you can get into a T14 school. Otherwise, you may not get into a top law firm.  
 
Plus, if you don't make partner which most people don't, then your only option is to work in-house for a tech company. The salary will be higher than most of the regular employees, but in terms of compensation and job security, in house counsel is not that much better than say, a mid level manager.
 
I would love to continue this discussion with you since we have similar background. I'm happy to hear your thoughts.
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jackdaw
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Re: EE looking into IP law area
« Reply #2 on: Oct 22nd, 2007, 3:52pm »
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law school is tough because grades are the end all be all and in law school most schools adhere to a very strict bell curve.  You went to engineering school and did alright but law school is different in that all your tests are essay questions where there is no right answer.  Any answer can be the right answer if you can present a good case for yourself and convince the teacher.  
 
The only problem is when your sitting in a class with 70 people and there are only 4 A's available (everyone in law school is likely a strong student unlike engineering if your going to a good law school)  A good answer isn't necessarily enough because the teacher is splitting hairs and deciding which essay they like best.  In engineering if your creating a cheby filter ckt as long as you create the circuit your good, your not competing with other people to create the best possible filter, and then explaining to the teacher why your filter is best.
 
I have a BSEE and worked on missile systems for 5 years.  I'm now a first year law student, if you dont like law and are doing it primarily for the money i say dont do it, go management.  I'm only going to a T2 school and the competition is incredible.  Compound that with easily 60 hour work weeks.  If I dont make top 15% or so at the end of this year I'm probably heading back to my old job because engineers are always in demand whereas I'm getting the feeling that lawyers have exceeded demand.  
 
I mean realistically how many lawyers are necessary, take a look at the city you work in and see how many law schools are in the area and get an idea for how many people you'll be competing against.  If it looks like your area can support more lawyers go for it.  Just remember tech hubs are in Seattle, Virginia/DCish, Houston, Bay area, and LA to a degree.  In all those places there are a decent amount of schools pumping out students to compete with.
I would guess based on my school that you will be looking at about 5-10% of the class in these areas having the degree necessary to be competition (EE, CE, PHY).  
 
Do some serious research before you go and make sure you'll like it.  Talk to some lawyers in patents etc...
 
This post came off pessimistic and it shouldn't.  Things are not terrible just make sure you really wanna do law first.
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Guest4595
Guest
Re: EE looking into IP law area
« Reply #3 on: Oct 23rd, 2007, 9:46am »
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This post is a little bit too cynical. Yes, there are more lawyers out there than jobs. But, there are too few patent attorneys compared to the amount of patent work out there.
 
I'm at a T2 right now, and folks in my class who are near the 50%  mark are getting summer positions at IP boutiques - who pay just as well as Biglaw.
 
You'll make more money as a patent attorney than in management...
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pvp4010
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Posts: 4
Re: EE looking into IP law area
« Reply #4 on: Oct 24th, 2007, 6:11pm »
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Hello,
 
 im kinda confused as to which are t1,t2 and t3 schools? there are different sites that provide rankings and its all over the place except the top15 or so. some websites say top 100 fall in tier1 ? kind of surprised. and us&ns combines top 100 into a t1 and t2 list.  guest4595 and jackdaw, is it possible for me to know what school u guys are attending?
 
like guest mentioned,my impression was that, *EE-Patent* attorneys are still hot in the market. and statistically looks like about 5% of law grads are eligible to practice in the area and  EE related will be much lesser. I also believe majority of  innovation in tech industry is ee related and tech industry is a major economy driver.
 
Best Regards
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