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Topics - collegebum1989

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Hi all,

I'm currently applying for Tech Spec/Scientific Advisor positions at IP firms and one requested that I sit in for a 2-3 hour writing assessment/exercise. I've already submitted a writing sample prior to being requested for this.

Has anyone who is currently a Tech Spec/Patent Agent familiar with this process? What can I expect for this?

I haven't been to law school yet so I have no legal writing skills and the email mentioned that it wouldn't be about a specific technology-related field.

Patent Bar Questions / Failed Patent Bar - Retake Strategy
« on: 07-01-14 at 07:45 pm »
Missed the pass by 3 questions (67%). Used OmniPrep to prepare and mypatentbar for repeat questions. I honestly felt super confident going into the exam. Finished both sections with about 1.5 hours left and used the MPEP to search stuff.

However, this exam was extremely tough - there were MAYBE about 5-10 repeats from 01-03 total and all of the AIA questions that were on the test were extremely convoluted (ex. derivation proceedings with common ownership, etc). About 50% the Fact patterns on the exam were ones I have never even encountered in my 5 month prep (even though OmniPrep states it has 90% of the questions in their bank). There were some Bilksi/KSR questions that never matched the questions I saw online.

I felt like I followed the study prep techniques mentioned on this and other websites properly. I was scoring 45+ on all the 2002/2003 questions and knew how to search the MPEP. Not sure why there were no repeats at all - it really did me in.

What is the best strategy for a retake? It sucks having to reapplying for the exam and retaking all over again so I want to make sure I pass on the next try. Any tips from people who have done this in the past?

Hi everyone,

I know a lot of people on this forum went to law school part-time while working as a patent agent/tech specialist/student associate. I'm interested in getting some feedback from those that have taken this route on my situation:

-BS/MS in biomedical engineering w/ 1 year WE
-Taking Patent Bar in June 2014
-Starting part-time law school at GWU in August 2014

I've read that a lot of people that start part-time law school have already been working a firm for a couple of years. However, what are the chances of landing a patent agent job at a firm while in law school? Is it more easier than cold-emailing them before starting school since you're a student?

Second, if I do find a patent agent job while I'm in school, does the firm offer tuition reimbursement after a certain time of commitment (ex. 1-2 years) or is it like a part of the job offer when one is hired?

Thanks for the help!

Patent Bar Questions / Patent Bar Questions
« on: 04-21-14 at 07:02 pm »
Hi all,

I've been studying for the Patent Bar for last 2 months and planning to take it in one month. I had a few questions about the changes to the exam:

-I'm using OmniPrep for test preparation and their exams are from 2000-2003, will studying for these questions be sufficient for the exam? I've heard that a lot of these questions are not relevant anymore since there have been changes to the laws since then.

-How much AIA detail should I know to be sufficient for the questions on the exam? (basic ideas of the changes or specific chapters within the MPEP that were affected)

-Since the AIA modifications changed a lot regarding the patent laws, should I know BOTH Pre-AIA and Post-AIA versions of laws (35 U.S.C. 102, 103, 112, etc) or is knowing the current one only sufficient.

I am kind of confused since it seems like majority of the material online is pre-AIA material and questions from 2000-2003. I'm interested to know basically what percentage of the current exam is going to be questions from these exams and how to best approach the AIA material.


Hi all,

I am a Biomedical Engineer and has received admits from two excellent law schools - Cornell and GWU. I'm debating whether to go to law school full-time at the former (and take on about $250k debt) or going to the later part-time with minimal or no debt. If I went to GWU, I would be interested in working for a IP boutique full-time and have my tuition reimbursed.

I have heard part-time JD programs are an excellent option for someone who wants to practice patent prosecution after law school because it gives you four years experience at graduation. However, I'm wondering if there are specific disadvantages if one is also interested in pursuing patent litigation after law school.

From what I've gathered, litigation doesn't require a technical background, so one is competing with non-patent bar eligible graduates for entry-level positions. It also seems like a lot of patent litigation is done by big general practice law firms (which makes it important to do well in law school). I would guess going part-time also disrupts the traditional 1L and 2L SA options, which seem to be the way that most biglaw firms recruit their first-year associates. I have also heard that multiple years doing patent agent work can pigeon-hole you into only prosecution roles because of higher bill rates.

Thoughts from practicing litigators?


Both schools have similar costs, similar PT/FT programs, and are located in DC.

Is there is a difference in BigLaw IP firm opportunities between these two schools in the DC market?

Hi all,

I recently got an admissions offer from a part-time JD program in DC (GULC/GW) and now looking into options for work while I'm in law school.

Bit of background on myself:
-BS/MS in BME (MS from Cornell)
-International BME Fellowship with top 5 medical school
-Currently working in technology consulting in DC (private sector federal contracting work)

I started my job in DC with the intention of starting a part-time JD program next Fall. I applied to a bunch of Technical Specialist positions at numerous IP firms in DC without luck (guessing it was my BME background). However, this was also before I got into law school.

Any tips on what I should do now? Should I update the firms and let them know I secured a seat in an evening JD program? Would that even help my chances at getting an interview? Or should I continue my current job and reapply once I begin law school.

Also, should I study for the Patent Bar now when my workload is low before I start school?

Thanks for all the help!

Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer / Georgetown/GW Part-time?
« on: 10-12-12 at 10:01 am »
Hello everyone,

I'm applying this application cycle and thinking about part-time programs (either GULC or GW) for enter patent prosecution later on. I have a BS and an MS in engineering (biomedical), with the BS from a state university and the MS from Cornell. Undergrad GPA is around 3.2, grad GPA around 3.9, and took the October LSAT to score around 168-172.

I've been considering part-time programs because 1) Both schools are in DC, which is the largest IP market, 2) I plan to work part-time/full-time as a patent agent or tech specialist at a firm to finance my law school debt, 3) From what I read, GULC and GW part-time programs seem less competitive (numbers-wise) than full-time programs.

My question is whether this would be a good idea if I'm hundred percent sure about IP law but not sure about prosecution vs. litigation. I will most likely have to pay sticker at T14s, so it seems better, financially, to go with GULC part-time or GW full-time over a T14, considering that both are in DC. I also have ties to D.C. and have networks with some recent grads that may help me apply for part-time/full-time jobs during law school.

Which option would be the best if my goal is biglaw after law school:
A) Go to regional school with a full scholarship,
B) T14 with minimal to no scholarship or
C) Part-time GULC or GW

thank you!

Patent Agent/Lawyer Careers / Crazy idea?
« on: 05-01-12 at 12:24 pm »
I'm finishing up a masters in BME this year, will be pursuing a research fellowship with a very prestigious medical school next year. My adviser says I may be able to turn this fellowship work into a PhD thesis. So I have an opportunity to penetrate a program, I'd otherwise get flatly rejected from.

Problem is, my goals after the fellowship were to go to law school. But after consulting various people, it seems like a PhD for BME/BioE is needed for patent jobs for attorneys. So is it a ridiculously crazy idea to pursue the phD with the intent of going to law school after?

I'm only a year out of college, and really enjoy the intellectual stimulation of a PhD, but I also don't want to conduct research for a career, and would prefer patent law.

So is this is crazy idea? Would I be too old after law school? I completely understand that this will not be easy, but it seems like a opportunity in disguise.

Education and Law Schools / How come...
« on: 04-10-12 at 06:08 pm »
Everyone makes it seem like if you don't do EE or go to a T14 school, you will have no job prospects after graduating from law school.

I understand that there is a prestige factor associated with biglaw positions because of the salary, and that the market for electronics patents are great right now...but after reading all these posts in forums it seems like if you don't fulfill either of the two criteria above, you will remain unemployed.

Isn't patent law supposed to be a niche field? So why is T14 and EE background still such a determining factor for employment?

Hi everyone,

I'm going to be a recent graduate in a masters program in engineering and have opted to take a year break between grad school and law school so that I can take the LSAT this upcoming June.

I was interested in knowing how what I do next year will affect 1) law school admissions and 2) employment after law school.

Found out that I will be receiving an international engineering fellowship with Harvard Medical School, and have the chance to conduct work in a developing country. The fellowship itself is one of the most prestigious in my field. However, I've also applied to industry positions and patent examiner positions in the USPTO.

Would the fellowship be a positive factor for employment afterwards? Or would this be considered irrelevant.


Patent Agent/Lawyer Careers / Career Crossroads
« on: 03-05-12 at 01:56 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm a graduate student doing a Master in Engineering at Cornell. Recently got interested in prospects of patent law due to its integration of science and law (and because the demand is marginally better compared to other fields of law and salary caps are greater than an engineer).

My question regards the degree of education required to enter the field. From what I've read, advanced degrees help in all cases, and PhD is required for life-sciences. But how do these degrees compare for Engineers? I've already decided to pursue a JD and hundred percent sure about this but thinking about the technical backgrounds required to enter the field after law school.

M.Eng vs. M.S.
While M.S. degrees are research-focused and result in a formal thesis, my M.Eng program is focused on breadth and an industrial design project. Is one preferred over the other for an entry-level patent associate with a JD? Do employers make a distinction, or prefer either?

Masters vs. PhD
Everyone says that PhD is usually required for hardcore biotech patent work, which is understandable. However, what about someone with an engineering background? I'm in a biomedical engineering background, which intersects with biotech, but also has an industrial/engineering focus. Would an MEng be sufficient technical experience in addition to the JD?

T14 JD vs. Technical Background
For positions in patent law, how does your practice in patents correspond to your specialty. From a quick at profiles from top IP firms, associates have backgrounds from all over the place. Most of the younger associates have minimal industry experience. Therefore, is your area of practice based on your background (BS, MS) or your interests in law school? Is your technical background more important then the law school you attended?

After exhausting google searches with the words "patent law", I think maybe it might be best to read a book lol.

Anyone have any good books they'd recommend to a person who is considering patent law as a prospective career option? I'm a biomedical engineer, in grad school currently thinking about transitioning into the law field.

Anyone recommend a good book or reference which helped them make the transition?

Thank you!

Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer / Should I Pursue IP Law?
« on: 01-04-12 at 03:24 pm »
Hi everyone,

Like everyone else, I'm at a transitional point in my career, where I recently graduated and need some guidance on how to begin my career (field, path, etc.). This forum, among other law forums have given me great guidance. But where general law forums provided me with law school advice, I wanted to get some feedback from patent attorneys on this forum, or recent graduates who've been through the process.

I graduated last year with a Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from a public university in 2011. I am currently working on completing my Master of Engineering, also in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell, and will be graduating after this upcoming semester. My undergrad GPA was 3.21, senior year GPA was 3.60, and my masters GPA is 3.94.

I have a lot of research experience as an undergrad, including working at a National Laboratory for 2 years, and conference presentations, but no publications. At Cornell, my research project is focused on electrophysiology, optics, and disease modeling.

Why IP?
My initial plan was to enter industry after doing my masters, but in BME, the general consensus is that you need an additional advanced degree since it is a new discipline (PhD or MBA). I abandoned the PhD route because I did not like laboratory bench research and it seemed like that is what most BME PhDs within industry end up doing. I was interested in IP because (1) biotech and BME are growing industries, with increasing technologies which requires Patent Attorneys who have sufficient backgrounds in BME, (2) I have always been interested in the scientific communication and policy where IP intersects. I have a strong interest in patent prosecution, and always enjoyed technical writing and reading scientific publications for research.

Patent Law?
When I speak to my friends in law school or discuss patent law in general law forums, the impression of patent law has always positive: "Patent Lawyers are always in demand", "salary is great", "technical backgrounds of patent lawyers makes them a hot commodity", "IP firms tend to dip lower in school rankings, and prestige due to technical skillset of patent lawyers".

But coming to this forum, it seems that there is a general negative/critical perspective of patent law. I know that EE is specially preferred by patent law firms, but how would a background in BME, with a graduate degree in engineering be perceived by law firms?

Year between Grad School and Law School
I plan on taking my LSAT in June 2012, and retaking in October 2012, if necessary. I have already started studying for the LSATs with the intention of applying for the 2013 cycle. I understand with my undergrad GPA, I need to do well to be considered for the tier 1 law schools. However, this means I have one year between my masters and law school. Which one of the following would be the most beneficial for my career after I complete law school?

A) International Engineering Research Fellowship for Biomedical Engineers (currently applying, funded) - collaborating research with professor at Harvard
B) Full-time job within the Biotechnology industry (medical devices, diagnostic devices)
C) Full-time Research position at a University
D) Non-paid internship at the USPTO
E) Study for Patent Bar and Take (maybe only during summer)

Thank you for any advice you can provide!

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