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Highest paying field of law!

Justinian IJustinian I Posts: 1,362Registered User Member
edited November 2010 in Law School
Hello! I am by no means going to pursue law for the money. I truly have a desire to become an attorney, though. However, what is the highest paying field of law, Real Estate, Divorce, Bankruptcy? I would like to make at least 100,000 dollars. Surely, most attorneys most do quite well financially. You don't see too many lawyers poverty stricken, pehaps maybe for Pro Bono work solely.
Post edited by Justinian I on
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Replies to: Highest paying field of law!

  • newyorkernewyorker Posts: 763User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    Patent Law, i believe has the highest avg. salary.
  • Drew00Drew00 Posts: 2,964Registered User Senior Member
    If you're not in it for the money, then why do you want to know which field makes the most and why do you want to make at least 100k?
  • Justinian IJustinian I Posts: 1,362Registered User Member
    Because if I am going to invest many years and much money into my education for law, I want to know which field is most profitable as well. I want to eat and I want to own a home so wanting to know the largest salary is important to me.

    I want to pursue law for both enjoyment and financial reasons. Is that so much to ask?
  • AmericanskiAmericanski Posts: 683Registered User Member
    This isn't really the right way to think about it. At a major firm, attorneys in all departments will make the same amount (though, as newyorker correctly points out, IP lawyers do tend to make a little more). Smaller firms and solo practitioners might specialize in one field or another, but I doubt you can say anything about their relative income.
  • Polo08816Polo08816 Posts: 879Registered User Member
    Patent Law, i believe has the highest avg. salary.
    I wonder why patent law has the highest avg. salary. Oh, yes that's right. Its because a huge portion of patent lawyers are former engineering, math, or science majors....the type of majors that tend to have lower avg GPAs. Note that these people do not necessarily need to come from the best law schools like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc. But by virtue of the wonderful law school admissions process, the number of those that actually do get accepted to any law school is so low and demand for these lawyers is so high that their income is naturally as high as the market bears.
  • AmericanskiAmericanski Posts: 683Registered User Member
    It's not that they can't get into law school (although, of course, some of them can't), but that few of them even apply to law school. You also *need* a math/science degree to sit for the patent bar, so it's even more restrictive that the legal profession generally, which drives salaries up. The top IP firms have plenty of people from the top schools, anyway.
  • Polo08816Polo08816 Posts: 879Registered User Member
    The top IP firms have plenty of people from the top schools, anyway.
    I believe IP (intellectual property) law is slightly different than patent law. I'm not sure if you meant that top patent law firms have plenty people from top schools or if you meant that top IP law firms.
  • AmericanskiAmericanski Posts: 683Registered User Member
    Patent law is a subset of IP law. Just about every IP firm does patent law.
  • sakkysakky Posts: 14,759- Senior Member
    You also *need* a math/science degree to sit for the patent bar, so it's even more restrictive that the legal profession generally, which drives salaries up.

    You don't *need* a math/science degree to register yourself for the USPTO. That's just one of the 3 ways to qualify. The other two ways are to obtain enough college science credits to qualify (but without getting an actual science/engineering degree), and to take and pass the FE exam of your respective state, which many states allow if you have sufficient engineering work experience (but without having an actual engineering degree).

    The requirements are stipulated here.

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/oed/grb15nov05.pdf


    As a case in point, consider Barnes & Thornburg, one of the largest IP firms in the world. Yet I see here that a certain Vladimir Khodosh, associate at the firm, does not have a technical degree. Instead, he holds a BA degree in political science. I think we can all agree that a political science degree is not really a 'science' degree. Yet according to his bio, he is registered to practice before the USPTO. Or how about a certain Mr. David Brezina, partner at the firm, whose undergrad degree is also in political science and also seems to be registered for the USPTO. Or how about a certain Mr. Spencer Patrick Goodson whose undergrad degree is in philosophy and is also registered to practice in front of the USPTO.

    I'm not going to go through the whole list of lawyers, but I think the point is clear - you don't need a technical degree to be allowed to registered to practice before the USPTO.


    http://www.btlaw.com/
  • ihateCAihateCA Posts: 1,656Registered User Senior Member
    Corporate, especially inhouse. :)

    IP includes trademark, copyright, and patent I believe.
  • Matt30Matt30 Posts: 1,091Registered User Senior Member
    Isn't a separate licensing exam required to practice IP law?
  • GreybeardGreybeard Posts: 2,355Registered User Senior Member
    It's necessary to pass a separate licensing exam to prosecute patents (i.e. file applications for clients with the Patent and Trademark Office).

    You can take that exam, and prosecute patents, without having tone to law school, by the way. Non-attorneys who are licensed to prosecute patents are called "patent agents."

    There are other aspects to practicing IP law (negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, filing trademark applications, litigating infringement actions, giving legal advice about IP rights) for which it is not necessary to be licensed by the PTO. Patent agents are not permitted to perform these functions.
  • HannaHanna Posts: 11,322Registered User Senior Member
    The best-paid members of my law school class took their JD's to banking, not law.
  • WildflowerWildflower Posts: 1,254Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with Hanna. If Money is what you want and you graduate from one of the most elite schools (HYS), give I-Banking a try. I understand you should also be somewhat good looking and eloquent/charismatic.
  • Justinian IJustinian I Posts: 1,362Registered User Member
    If one wanted to pursue I-banking, would living in New York or Washington be a prerequisite? I prefer the small town atmosphere, yet want to make a fair amount of $$$. Most I-banking is done via the internet, right?
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