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Author Topic: Should an SF Bay Area software engr go on this path?  (Read 1720 times)

At Crossroads

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Excuse me for my cross posting. I'm posting the questions to both "Become" and "Careers" forums in order to get as much feedback as possible from both sides of the fence.

I have two Master's degrees (engineering and computer science), been working in the Bay Area for a few years as a software engineer. I've reached a point where I do no see my future in my career -- I just don't feel passionate about what I do any more.  I want to make a career change. But it's not going to be easy.  My husband and I bought a house at the peak and now even with two incomes, we don't have anything left after mortgage, 401K, and bill payments. So, I cannot afford a pay cut, which means going to a law school full time is out of the question.  A chat with a patent attorney (his practice is in another state) got me thinking about getting into patent law. I speak and write Mandarin fluently, which according to him is a nice asset to have considering the diversity in the Bay Area.

So, the path I've been thinking about taking is: 1) Study patent law books on my own and old exam questions; 2) Pass the patent bar exam; 3) Work in a law firm as a patent agent; 4) Hopefully get the law firm to sponsor my night schooling in a law school to get my law degree; and 5) Become a patent attorney.

The thoughts got me excited for a few days until I read this thread.  Now, I have all kinds of questions in my head. I really hope people on this board can help me.

1) Will my fluency in a foreign language give me any advantage in this area?
2) How is the job market for patent agents in the San Francisco Bay Area?
3) Is a patent agent's life really that miserable (as shown in that thread above)?
4) What's the average starting salary for a patent agent in SF Bay Area for someone with my kind of qualifications?
5) If you are in the area and have just passed the patent bar exam, can I borrow/rent /buy the study materials from you? (Please PM me.) I've looked into the different review courses offerings. They are way beyond what I can afford now.
6) Are there other people on this board in the area preparing for the patent bar exam? Do you think it'll help to form a study group?
7) At last, should I instead go back to what I'm doing and try to rekindle the lost passion?

I'd appreciate any honest opinions on this. Thank you.


« Last Edit: 03-07-08 at 01:16 am by At Crossroads »
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