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(Message started by: Xronos on Aug 20th, 2007, 11:31am)

Title: Will it be impossible to get a job w/out PhD -MS?
Post by Xronos on Aug 20th, 2007, 11:31am
I just discovered this forum, it seems like there is alot people have to say on this topic.

I received my JD 2 years ago, I was practicing at a small PI firm out of law school just to get some legal experience, I've been doing that for over a year.  I passed the patent bar earlier this year and it seems like, after searching for jobs for about 3-4 months that my career prospects in patent law seem worse than they were before I passed the Illinois bar exam.

I have a B.S. in cellular biology from a top 50 school, my major required that I take some courses with masters students, and I went to law school right after college at a lower tier law school that has a good IP program, at least according to ranking systems.  

All I have seen and been told by many patent attorneys is that there are lots of positions for experienced attorneys but that because I have no experience, I will not be able to get a foot in a door without a great deal of luck.  Also the fact that I do not have an advanced science degree is also a severe handicap.  All of the attorneys I spoke to, however, have said to try and get into the USPTO as an examiner and one even said that a B.S. in bio might be attractive to them.

I toyed with the notion of trying to get a Masters in biology but the large student loan burden I have  from law school and the 7 years I have already spent in school total makes this option unattractive.

I'd like to get some thoughts on this.  Would it be impossible to get a position in one of the examiner groups at the USPTO with a B.S. in bio and a J.D./law and patent license?  Are my career hopes dead in the water without any kind of advanced science degree?    I know that the USPTO doesn't appear to be hiring any examiners at this moment after checking the government job board and USPTO website.  

I just find it hard to believe that in order to do this kind of work, you need to have every type of degree under the sun made by man.  Any suggestions would be appreciated before I throw in the towel and go back to trying car accident cases.


Title: Re:  Will it be impossible to get a job w/out
Post by plex on Aug 20th, 2007, 12:46pm
It will be difficult to gauge your prospects without some of the more important information, such as how well you did in undergrad, how well you did at law school (gpa + rank) and where you went to law school. Work experience in IP law also helps, with working at a firm or a companies IP department being the most beneficial. To a lesser extent it would also help if you had some work experience in your undergrad degree, since many of the people you would be competing against would have PhDs and multiple years of experience doing something such as lab work/research.

I have no direct experience with searching for a job with a biology degree, since I am an EE, but I have read and actually heard from a group of lawyers at a convention I went too, that the IP market in general is flooded with life science BS degrees, and because of this, they tend to only look for applicants with a PhD in those degrees.

The advise you were given about the USPTO was also correct, working there for a small number of years can also make someone with only a BS in life science marketable. They recruit multiple times a year, but, as you may have noticed from the USPTO thread, it takes them an extremely long time to process your application and often can misplace it or may lose something like your transcript and mistakenly send you a rejection notice.

Title: Re:  Will it be impossible to get a job w/out
Post by Robert Cohen on Aug 20th, 2007, 2:05pm

I have B- grades from U of Illinois- -Urbana and John Marshall Law School- Chicago.  I also spent a total of 6 months, (2 three month summer internships during college doing research on immunological assays at Abbott Labs.   Had the chance to work there after the second stint but I was accepted into law school and wanted to get that done.  The team I would have worked with, I later learned, was laid off about a year and a half later.

Even though there is no current bulletin posted, is it productive to try and get in touch with someone from the USPTO about examiner employment?

Title: Re:  Will it be impossible to get a job w/out
Post by Xronos on Aug 20th, 2007, 2:13pm
I guess the system logged me out and posted my above message as a guest.

Title: Re:  Will it be impossible to get a job w/out
Post by baseballfan on Aug 20th, 2007, 3:37pm
Does anyone know how long the USPTO takes to hire once an application is sent in.  The USPTO looks like a nice place to get a career going.  I am trying to get in with a BS in the biology/biotech area, and I am also curious if there is any chance that the USPTO will take a person in those areas without a PHD?

Title: Re:  Will it be impossible to get a job w/out
Post by guestanonexam on Aug 21st, 2007, 7:04pm
Sorry. No chance.  

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