Anyone considering a career as a patent attorney?


by berned_you
Tags: attorney, career, career advice, patent, patent expert, patent law
ruskyline
ruskyline is offline
#91
Nov8-12, 04:32 PM
P: 2
Iíve learned a lot from your posts. I just blazed through 20-30 patent attorney jobs and I saw a lot of jobs for people with Electrical Engineering or Computer Science background. If my goal is to become a highly competitive patent attorney once I graduate, would you recommend me to get a masters in Electrical instead of Mechanical?
Thank you again!
Dumbstruck83
Dumbstruck83 is offline
#92
Nov9-12, 03:20 AM
P: 1
I'm currently a senior studying Geology at the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City South Dakota. I recently found out that the requirements for my degree grant me a "B category" rating for admission to the Patent Bar Exam.

This is what I know, and following are the questions that I have, I hope you can help:

Although I am studying Geology, it is Geological Engineering that is listed in the "A category" for the Patent Bar Admission, and I know that the geosciences are going to be incredibly desperate for field workers in the next 5 years. This being said, geoscience majors will be offered more incentive to work in their field for a company. This will likely manifest a shortage of patent lawyers with a Geological Engineering degree. In your opinion, considering the state of the economy and the demand for Geoscientists/engineers in the field:

1.) Does this improve my chances of obtaining a job as a patent lawyer with a geology degree?

2.) Would it be more prudent to search for a job as a patent lawyer with my current degree or should I return to school to finish a bachelors degree in geological engineering before I embark to law school?

3.) Have you ever met or heard of a patent lawyer with a bachelors degree in Geological Engineering or any of the other geosciences?

4.) Last but not least, do you have any information about the likelihood of available jobs for patent lawyers within the niche of the geosciences?

I know you are not in the geosciences, but any information you provide will help. I have been blessed with the opportunity to look into this career path and I would like to thank you for all the patience you've displayed with everyone involved in this thread. I also wanted to thank you for your expertise, and for all of the information you have given to everyone who has been following along! For those of us who are just getting started on our journey, you are the most helpful resource available!

For any insight or enlightenment you can provide,
Thank You Thank You Thank You!
-Dumbstruck83
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#93
Nov9-12, 12:24 PM
P: 65
Quote Quote by ruskyline View Post
Iíve learned a lot from your posts. I just blazed through 20-30 patent attorney jobs and I saw a lot of jobs for people with Electrical Engineering or Computer Science background. If my goal is to become a highly competitive patent attorney once I graduate, would you recommend me to get a masters in Electrical instead of Mechanical?
Thank you again!
In the past 6-8 years, the demand for patent attorneys with a EE background is higher than MEs. You'd be fine either way but EEs are "hot right now" and probably will remain in high demand for as long as new electronics are being developed.
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#94
Nov9-12, 12:47 PM
P: 65
@Dumbstruck83

1.) Does this improve my chances of obtaining a job as a patent lawyer with a geology degree? I dont know with any certainty. If you check current job postings and can't find anyone looking for your background, that will say a lot, however, there can be some benefit to having knowledge that no one else does. There just may be some firm who represents a company that develops a lot of geo tech and specifically ones someone to represent that one big client. I just don't know. Being less generic could be a curse but it could also be a blessing. You may have to rely on hard work, good timing and a little luck to make it work. I will note that there are zero job postings for a patent attorney with an industrial engineering background. I'm lucky that my employer knew that IE is largely similar to mechanical. Just because you don't see a job posting for attorneys with your major doesn't mean it's a lost cause, but it can make things more difficult.

2.) Would it be more prudent to search for a job as a patent lawyer with my current degree or should I return to school to finish a bachelors degree in geological engineering before I embark to law school? There is no right answer. Taking on more schooling is not a decision to take lightly as it is very expensive and may not put you in a better position. I would search the internet to try and find a patent attorney that has a degree similar to the ones you are considering. Call them up for an informal interview and ask them what they think you should do.

3.) Have you ever met or heard of a patent lawyer with a bachelors degree in Geological Engineering or any of the other geosciences? No I have not

4.) Last but not least, do you have any information about the likelihood of available jobs for patent lawyers within the niche of the geosciences? Google will provide you with more reliable information than I can. I'd start with current job postings in a variety of markets. Also try finding some patent attorneys through google with similar backgrounds and call them for an informational interview as discussed above.

I'm sorry I could not be more helpful. I do strongly encourage you to do more research online. It's best to know exactly what you're getting into before you get half way down a career path. As previously mentioned, checking online job postings is a great resource to gauge a market and what employers are looking for. If you anticipate being in a niche field, it's best to try and find someone who does what you want to do via google. Odds are that if you give them a call, be really nice and understand their time is valuable, have an organized set of questions and are polite, they will spend a couple minutes with you to give you some insight. Who knows, you may just develop a valuable contact in the process.
nicksg
nicksg is offline
#95
Nov10-12, 02:38 AM
P: 2
Hi,

Thanks for this informational post
I'm currently pursuing my Phd in Pharmaceutical sciences and considering the current job market would want to do something while im doing PhD.
I think patent attorney (career in patent law) excites me and also seems very lucrative.
Can you let me know if there are any good chances of getting a job after PhD in pharmaceutical sciences in law firm?
Can you also let me know whether meanwhile doing PhD i can take some extra courses or do some law stuff which can help me get a headstart after im done with PhD and can get a job related to this field.

Thanks
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#96
Nov11-12, 08:59 AM
P: 65
Quote Quote by nicksg View Post
Hi,

Thanks for this informational post
I'm currently pursuing my Phd in Pharmaceutical sciences and considering the current job market would want to do something while im doing PhD.
I think patent attorney (career in patent law) excites me and also seems very lucrative.
Can you let me know if there are any good chances of getting a job after PhD in pharmaceutical sciences in law firm?
Can you also let me know whether meanwhile doing PhD i can take some extra courses or do some law stuff which can help me get a headstart after im done with PhD and can get a job related to this field.

Thanks
I expect that you would be in high demand. Don't take my word for gospel but there are plenty of new drugs to be patented and not very many people that would have the level of education you will have when entering the job market.

There aren't any pre-law classes that you need to take. Perhaps take some extra writing/communications classes but that's just a suggestion.
nicksg
nicksg is offline
#97
Nov11-12, 12:18 PM
P: 2
Quote Quote by berned_you View Post
I expect that you would be in high demand. Don't take my word for gospel but there are plenty of new drugs to be patented and not very many people that would have the level of education you will have when entering the job market.

There aren't any pre-law classes that you need to take. Perhaps take some extra writing/communications classes but that's just a suggestion.
Thanks..
carr92
carr92 is offline
#98
Nov23-12, 02:52 PM
P: 1
Hi, I am a biochemistry major and I am interested in pursuing patent law.
I recently saw some information on PSM degrees, where you get say a masters in biotechnology. Its supposed to be composed of approximately 70% "science" and 30% business or law related courses - courses focusing more on the role of science in society I guess you could say. Specifically the biotechnology masters at the university of Toronto.

Do you think doing a masters in this field would be wise? And do you think if I obtained the PSM masters degree I would need a PhD, given that I have no background in engineering?

I guess what Im asking is 1) is this PSM degree a good idea? 2) if I did this degree, would I have any chance at getting hired as a patent agent without a PhD? 3)if I did this degree, as well as law school, would I have any chance of getting hired as a patent attorney without a PhD? 4) in general, with my degree in biochemistry, what do I need to do to become a patent attorney going forward?

Thank you in advance!
mbl123
mbl123 is offline
#99
Nov28-12, 10:06 AM
P: 1
Wow! Lots of great information on here.

My question is slightly different but hopefully you can still answer.

I am originally a finance major, and was contemplating to become an investment banker.

Some things have changed recently and I want to change my major to an engineering degree because of the great fallback it provides. Like you mentioned earlier, you never intended on becoming an engineer; I have similar motives. Anyway, I want to major in Industrial Engineering. This particular engineering interests me the most because of its strong ties to money, management, business, statistics. Basically from my research, it seems that it would be the equivilent to a business degree but just on the engineering side. As a side note, I know how much math is involved and I am very good at math so that is not an issue (calculus, differential equations etc.)

Sooooo to get to my point, I am very interested in Patent Law. After reading your posts along with research from other sources it seems that IE simply is not in high demand for this type of law. EE and ME are but I am simply not very interested in these subjects given that I was originally a finance major. Furthermore, I do want to go to law school. I know that having an engineering background is much more impressive (as long as GPA/LSAT is high) than a finance degree.
Having said all this, would IE be good for corporate law? I realize this might not be your strong point but from your experience in law school and colleagues would this be a strong major for this area? As you can see I am much more interested in business and coporate law, and although I do have interest in Patent law, I would rather get into the corporate world.

I realize this is a lot but I would appreciate your wisdom and thank you for your valuable time.
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#100
Nov28-12, 03:40 PM
P: 65
@carr92 - All I can say is that for biotech, employers are looking for those with a masters or phD (see prior discussion). I'm not sure how they feel about a PSM v. MS so I can't help you there - sorry.

@mbl123 - I am an IE and a patent attorney. It's very similar to ME. It may be a tad harder to find a job but it is hardly impossible. Sure, IE is a good basis for many other types of law but it's my experience that your undergrad degree doesn't matter very much for the majority of legal focus areas. Employers will mainly look to your law school/your grades/experience, then throw you in a department and teach you how to do what you're hired to do.
bdkelly1203
bdkelly1203 is offline
#101
Dec2-12, 10:52 PM
P: 1
First of all thank you for taking the time over the past year to respond to all of these inquiries. After searching as I have you are really one of the only sources on the internet that has done this and I truly do appreciate your insight into this field.

My name is Brandon Kelly and I am a Civil Engineering major from The University of Wisconsin. I have been looking for work for the past 2 years and have since decided to go to graduate school. I have applied for Business, Education, and Engineering Graduate Programs all over the country for the 2013-14 School Year. Today I was emailed by the president of a university to apply for their Masters of Science in Patent Law Program.

This is the first time I've ever been aware that a field like this exists. I was considering going to get my MBA or Masters then ideally a JD later in life, but I think this would lead me in that direction ideally at a faster rate, utilize my experience, and also provide a decent living wage.

I wanted to know if you knew of the job market in different cities, where I would be looking to relocate upon graduation. I am from (and currently living) in Cleveland, Ohio, and will be willing to relocate anywhere in the country. Ideally the bigger the city the better (and warmer). Also, I wanted to make sure that this masters program was sufficient. As it does prepare you as a patent agent to practice before the USPTO patent office.

In addition I wanted to know that which courses you suggest in regards to attaining the desired knowledge required in the field:

chemical sciences and engineering; electronics and electronic materials; bioscience, engineering and medicine; materials science and engineering materials; software, algorithms, and code; or mathematics and aerospace.

I have seen several jobs that focus on Computer and Electrical Engineering knowledge, I just wanted to make sure this was standard across the field for the most part.

Thank you again for all of your knowledge on this! It means a lot and I anxiously await your reply!

Brandon Kelly
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#102
Dec3-12, 09:57 AM
P: 65
Quote Quote by bdkelly1203 View Post
First of all thank you for taking the time over the past year to respond to all of these inquiries. After searching as I have you are really one of the only sources on the internet that has done this and I truly do appreciate your insight into this field.

My name is Brandon Kelly and I am a Civil Engineering major from The University of Wisconsin. I have been looking for work for the past 2 years and have since decided to go to graduate school. I have applied for Business, Education, and Engineering Graduate Programs all over the country for the 2013-14 School Year. Today I was emailed by the president of a university to apply for their Masters of Science in Patent Law Program.

This is the first time I've ever been aware that a field like this exists. I was considering going to get my MBA or Masters then ideally a JD later in life, but I think this would lead me in that direction ideally at a faster rate, utilize my experience, and also provide a decent living wage.

I wanted to know if you knew of the job market in different cities, where I would be looking to relocate upon graduation. I am from (and currently living) in Cleveland, Ohio, and will be willing to relocate anywhere in the country. Ideally the bigger the city the better (and warmer). Also, I wanted to make sure that this masters program was sufficient. As it does prepare you as a patent agent to practice before the USPTO patent office.

In addition I wanted to know that which courses you suggest in regards to attaining the desired knowledge required in the field:

chemical sciences and engineering; electronics and electronic materials; bioscience, engineering and medicine; materials science and engineering materials; software, algorithms, and code; or mathematics and aerospace.

I have seen several jobs that focus on Computer and Electrical Engineering knowledge, I just wanted to make sure this was standard across the field for the most part.

Thank you again for all of your knowledge on this! It means a lot and I anxiously await your reply!

Brandon Kelly
I am quite skeptical of the value of a "Masters of Science in Patent Law." To me, it sounds like a time consuming and expensive way to go. If you are concerned about prepping for the patent bar, there are many courses you can take in the couple of thousand dollar ranges that will last a few weeks. I would guess that this MS program would be much more expensive and time consuming. Employers will focus on two things: 1) your tech background and experience and 2) whether you passed the patent bar. A MS in Patent Law likely wont be understood by most employers because it's not typical or required. It wont hurt, but they likely wont put a lot of value in that degree. If you pass the patent bar, they presume you know the basics and can start working with a mentor. No amount of school work can 100% prepare you for work in the real world so this MS program wont be valued nearly as much, for example, as an internship. What I've just said should presumably make you really skeptical of the marketing in that school email.

As discussed within this post, your scientific background is quite important. Chemical sciences and engineering will require a MS or phD; electronics and electronic materials are highly in demand; bioscience likely needs a phD, engineering and medicine (vague, sorry, not sure how to respond); materials science and engineering materials (not bad); software (very niche), algorithms and code (avoid); or mathematics (avoid) and aerospace (very niche).

With respect to where to find jobs, it depends a bit. Odds are the larger the city, the larger the market. Obviously, if you know software you want to search near San Jose, if you focus on petroleum engineering you want to be near oil companies, etc., for medical devices you may want to search in the Twin Cities. If you're educated in the broad ME and EE sciences, for example, most of the US will be available to you for finding a job.

Sorry that I threw this together so fast but I think it answers your questions. Gotta run.

Lastly, GO BADGERS!
chemraj
chemraj is offline
#103
Dec3-12, 04:51 PM
P: 4
Hi,
I have finished my PhD in Organic chemistry and I am working as associate scientist in medicinal chemistry laboratory in an academic institute. Prior to this, i have worked in IPM (Intellectual Property Management) department analyzing patents and finding a different way to start the project in a pharmaceutical industry.

Please advice me what should I be doing to become a patent agent. I had gone through this type forum a lot and understood that I need to pass bar exam. My question is how hard it is to pass the bar and after passing what is the procedure to find and apply for jobs (I think it is too early to ask-but i am curious).
berned_you
berned_you is offline
#104
Dec3-12, 08:38 PM
P: 65
Quote Quote by chemraj View Post
Hi,
I have finished my PhD in Organic chemistry and I am working as associate scientist in medicinal chemistry laboratory in an academic institute. Prior to this, i have worked in IPM (Intellectual Property Management) department analyzing patents and finding a different way to start the project in a pharmaceutical industry.

Please advice me what should I be doing to become a patent agent. I had gone through this type forum a lot and understood that I need to pass bar exam. My question is how hard it is to pass the bar and after passing what is the procedure to find and apply for jobs (I think it is too early to ask-but i am curious).
The exam is not easy but neither is all the schooling you've been through. It will take work but I'm sure you can do it. Once you pass, you can simply apply for any job for a patent agent with a chemical/pharma background that you may find online or through networking/cold calls. There's no special process.
chemraj
chemraj is offline
#105
Dec3-12, 09:38 PM
P: 4
Thank you very much for the reply..May i know how much would be the relative competition and how hard it is to get the job with PhD in organic/general chemistry and 3+years of pharmaceutical industrial experience with masters.
tjackson3
tjackson3 is offline
#106
Dec3-12, 09:39 PM
P: 150
I'm a graduate student in applied math. I've received my MS and am debating on continuing on for my PhD. How much would having the PhD over the MS help me if I were to become a patent lawyer? Also, I'd heard that the patent legal market was the one area that was still doing well in terms of hiring new lawyers, but a previous post you made seemed to disagree with that. Have things changed since that first post?
Ach
Ach is offline
#107
Dec9-12, 08:37 PM
P: 2
If I was an electrical engineer, how much work experience would be recommended to reliably secure a job as a patent attorney? Would I be able to go law school immediately after getting my degree, or would it be better to get a couple years of experience in actual engineering first?
Ach
Ach is offline
#108
Dec9-12, 08:37 PM
P: 2
Also, would advanced engineering degrees be significantly helpful?


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