« on: August 19, 2010, 04:52:18 AM »
First off, the patent law market is just as sluggish as the rest of the legal market now. Maybe more so, since as a "lawyer" you can go do whatever the hell you want, but as a "patent attorney", every law firm you talk to will pigeonhole you as someone who should only be hired for patent work.
Second, avoid Boston U like the plague. It's a bad experience all around. The school admin goes out of its way to make life miserable for students. Even getting a complete and correct transcript from them for submitting to the USPTO was a giant pain in the ass, and if I hadn't had one from when I graduated, I'd be utterly screwed because they changed the format to no longer show course credits from high school AP classes.
Third, I'd look carefully at FP. I know their reputation in IP is supposedly high, but that means a lot less to law firms than USNWR makes it seem. Especially when it comes to IP, you have to remember that a lot of experienced patent agents used to be sent back to law school by their firms, and they'd go to places like FP or John Marshall in Chicago. (In the 2005 NALP survey, JM placed about 5% of its grads into biglaw. Want to guess how a T4 does that? They're "wired" candidates who already had a biglaw job waiting for them when they APPLIED to part-time night school.)
IMHO, your best path would be to skip law school for now, take the patent bar, and go find a job as an agent for a couple of years. A lot of law firms are now going after agents instead of attorneys because the agents won't ever be allowed to make partner -- they're employees forever, unless they go back to law school.
After two or three year as an agent, you'll have the experience and contacts you will need in order to get a job as a newly graduated patent attorney.
I wish to hell I'd followed this advice. When I started law school, everyone told me that as a CS major, I'd have no problem finding summer work and a job upon graduation. That's no longer true.