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Patent attorney education background

  1. Oct 30, 2011 #1
    How do these guys do compared to the engineers? I was thinking of getting a degree in either biology, chemistry, chem eng, or mech. eng and going to law school after that, because I know science isn't my strongest, but if I work hard enough at it I can get through the material and pass the courses, then go do law which is more akin to my abilities.

    Anyone a patent attorney here? What would be the best direction, engineering and being a patent attorney for an engineering firm, or going biology and doing biomedical patents or pharmacuetical patents with chemistry??
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2011 #2
    Re: Patent Attorney

    I'm pretty sure that you will have to do more than "get through the material and pass" in order to have a strong chance of getting into law. Law can be extremely competitive, similar to medicine.
  4. Oct 30, 2011 #3
    Re: Patent Attorney

    Yeah but most lawyers have absolutely NO BACKGROUND in any science. My competition will be political science majors. Similar to medicine getting more humanity majors % admittance, law school has a higher acceptance rate of science majors, which is good for me. Also, of course I will try my hardest in this classes. What I'm saying is, maybe I won't need a 4.0 GPA as an engineer major to get into a law school, it would be more laxed.

    What do you think would be a good option? I think biotechnology is gonna get big this century
  5. Nov 1, 2011 #4


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    Re: Patent Attorney

    Study what you're interested in. There's no point in any of us telling you what you "should" go into.
  6. Nov 1, 2011 #5
    Re: Patent Attorney

    My sister is a patent attorney and she has a background in mechanical engineering.
  7. Nov 1, 2011 #6
    Two questions: 1. Can you get through undergrad and into law school doing a subject you really don't like/may not be very good at?
    2. If you really don't like science, what makes you think you'll be good at being a science attorney? There are technically plenty of lawyers who can do patent work. There maybe a shortage of good lawyers who can do patent work.

    A side note: I've noticed a huge flurry of lawsuits from Apple, HTC, Samsung, Google, and probably way more companies. And I think the US govt is finally getting serious about patent reform. I wouldn't be confident that scientific patent law is going to be the gravy train you think it is 10 years from now.
  8. Nov 1, 2011 #7
    I love science and physics, but I know I'm not the best physicist in the world, but I do know to have a mechanical engineer degree you don't need to be a top notch physicist, and even less so for a patent attorney. I think you guys mistaked me for saying I wasn't going to even study. I have a good work ethic in school and do the best I can. I was just wondering what people's opinions are on what a good field was to go in, I was thinking that biotechnology is the ''wave of the future'', but I wanted some other opinions.
  9. Nov 5, 2011 #8
    My brother is a patent attorney. He had a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and on the job experience from the "Star-Wars" project before he decided to go back to school for his JD.

    I strongly recommend you get some real field experience in engineering before getting the JD. Most people who go through law school are shockingly ignorant of the sciences and the art of Engineering. This is one practice where such ignorance is unforgivable.

    Oh, and by the way, a patent attorney can make very nice money. If you have the stomach for it...
  10. Nov 5, 2011 #9
    haha can you explain ''if you have the stomach for it''?
  11. Nov 5, 2011 #10
    I don't know how someone can look at himself in the mirror every day and say "I am really good software patent law."

    Personally, I think I'd throw up. I say that as someone with a pretty strong stomach who works at a waste-water treatment plant. I know crap when I see it.
  12. Nov 6, 2011 #11
    So I guess you don't agree with your brother's career choice, or are you perhaps jealous that his pay is significantly higher than yours?
  13. Nov 6, 2011 #12
    How much will you be spending on your undergraduate and graduate degrees? Have you considered going elsewhere to do law for your undergrad, say Australia or England? Earning an LLM (3+1) degree requires four years of university work which is much, much faster than getting a JD (4+3).

    You might want to check requirements about whether one is allowed to practice with a foreign degree or something though.
  14. Nov 6, 2011 #13
    Jealousy? Hardly. I know what my brother's life is like. Envy is one of the last terms I would use to describe what I think of him. I have an interesting career of my own and experience that no school could ever provide at any price. And I say that as a graduate of a well known, highly regarded university. I admire his achievements, but I would never choose to do what he does every day. He probably thinks the same of me.

    From my point of view, I don't think much of the field of patent law. The entire practice is being used as a weapon by large companies to keep competition in check. It is the very personification of large scale mediocrity. I think the concept of this law was founded on a well intended, but very simple-minded idea that doesn't work well at the scale of modern business. My brother's profession is based upon keeping that idea going. There is no way that I could live with perpetuating such wrongness.
  15. Nov 6, 2011 #14
    I guess it's a good thing I'm not a moralist, sounds like the law is right up my alley right? ;d
  16. Nov 6, 2011 #15
    Let's just say that in the scheme of what lawyers do, I would rather be a criminal defense attorney. They benefit society at least some of the time.
  17. Feb 17, 2012 #16
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