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Author Topic: Bad Law School grades from a Tier2 (ranked 50-100)...advice plz  (Read 3491 times)

UrInDanger

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Hi all,

I have three years of patent examination (USPTO) experience, a bachelors in EE (with high honors), and recently passed the patent bar.

However, my 1L grades put me in the bottom 20% of the class (due to my own carelessness/laziness + underestimating my fellow classmates).   

What are my chances of working at a patent boutique firm out of law school?  How much do I have to improve my grades by?  THANKS

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fewyearsin

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Hi all,

I have three years of patent examination (USPTO) experience, a bachelors in EE (with high honors), and recently passed the patent bar.

However, my 1L grades put me in the bottom 20% of the class (due to my own carelessness/laziness + underestimating my fellow classmates).   

What are my chances of working at a patent boutique firm out of law school?  How much do I have to improve my grades by?  THANKS
If the reason for poor grades is laziness/carelessness, then in all honesty, you want to consider whether leaving the PTO is for you.  Patent prosecution is hard, boring, detail oriented work.  Imagine if your BD at the PTO were reduced by 30% (had to do more cases/biweek) and your work had to actually be good - ALL of it, not just most or some, but every case.  This is patent prosecution.  The pay may or may not be more, and might be a lot more.  But no guarantees.

If you are willing to work hard and keep on track to go private sector as an attorney, it is, very honestly, a bummer (understatement) that your 1L grades were low.  My 1st semester 1L grades were all that mattered.  I went to a 50-100 rank law school like you, got top 5-10% of the class 1st semester 1L year, and got a 1L summer position because of that (2nd semester grades didn't come out until mid-summer).  I also got on Law Review (which looks really good on a resume) because of my 1L grades.  Because of my 1L summer, I got a 2L summer, and because of my 2L summer I got a full-time job at a decent firm during an economic downturn.  I don't know that anyone seriously looked at my 2L and 3L grades.

My point is, you need to raise your grades AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE if you are serious about patent work in the private sector.  There seem to always be a few sweatshops willing to hire former examiners and/or people from lower ranked schools and/or people with poor grades, but those aren't always places you want to work.  Best of the worst case scenarios, you end up at one of those places, bust your butt learning, and lateral to a better firm.

As always, good luck!

Note - for reference, after a few years prosecuting at mid-big firms, I chose the patent office for flexibility and stability, and will probably stay now for 10+ years.  The pay at the PTO is "enough" and the flexibility to work anywhere in the US is unparalleled in private practice at most firms.  The grass is not always greener, but only you can make that decision based on factors only you can know.
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