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Patent Law

BillybeejrBillybeejr Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Law School
Hey I want to go for undergrad electrical engineering with a minor in philosophy and aim to be a patent lawyer. As I understand it, engineering GPAs are deflated compared to other majors like english and political science. Will I still be able to get into a t14 with a high LSAT? I'm also AA.

Are patent lawyers still in demand? Is this a good educational plan?
Post edited by Billybeejr on

Replies to: Patent Law

  • ExpelliarmusExpelliarmus Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I am doing something similar: I am double-majoring in Physics and Philosophy. I am a junior right now, but I think I am doing well in terms of GPA. But I do know that people whose GPAs suffer because the grading curve in engineering/hardscience.

    I am too interested in the Patent Law demand question.
  • dadofsamdadofsam Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    Patent lawyers are in demand and will be in demand as long as there is a patent law. At this time, electrical engineering and physics degrees are good qualifications, so long as your science and law school grades are good. Hopefully by the time you graduate law school (if in fact you go) the economy will be better and there will be more entry-level opportunities than there are now.
    But I hope that you realize that practicing patent law is very different from practicing engineering or science, that if you become a patent attorney you won't be practicing any engineering or science, and that law school is a whole another world from college.
  • ConCerndDadConCerndDad Registered User Posts: 428 Member
    As a patent attorney in New York City for almost 30 years, and having majored for a time in physics in college, I can say that physics is NOT a great major for becoming a patent attorney WITH A JOB -- unless you have taken a lot of EE courses as part of your physics curriculum and can market yourself also as a circuits or computer science person. Frankly, there are not a whole lot of patent applications filed in particle physics, unless you work for a certain limited number of nuke companies, universities or the US government. (You can become a patent attorney (i.e., pass the US Patent Office bar exam) with physics and law degrees -- it's just hard to get a patent firm to hire you with those degrees.) When I was interviewing for a first job with 3 years of undergrad physics, I was told to go back to school for another degree -- in chemistry, "biotech", or EE -- I could not get a job in the patent law field. I did ultimately get an EE degree, and did so after law school (as difficult as that was, having to re-learn calculus), and had job offers to choose from. However, your mileage may differ, as may others'.

    Philosophy is no help in becoming a patent lawyer, except if it gives you a chance to develop your writing and speaking skills.

    I also beg to differ that patent lawyers are always in demand. A few years ago, it was not unheard of that patent firms in NYC made offers to "star" summer associates where the job began more than 1 year after they took the bar exam in July -- what they were supposed to do during that intervening time was unclear; some firms paid a running stipend to keep the new attorneys interested. Even now, in some sectors, patent law is not so busy. The economy (or lack of it) is trickling down (a Reaganism) even to patent lawyers and their firms as clients become increasingly cost conscious, resulting in even patent lawyers getting fired, laid off or way too early retired.
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