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Messages - Zepp

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Law School Applications / Re: Patent Law - Prospects for an Engineer?
« on: December 13, 2011, 11:02:44 AM »
What weight is given to you graduate degrees depends on what school you're applying to.  My experience is that most schools don't give too much weight to graduate degrees, beyond acknowledging that it exists (a partner I work with made the comment of "everyone gets As in grad school" when I mentioned how law schools ignore my master's).  However, my experience was that of having a liberal arts degree.  I would think that if the school you're applying to is known for IP, a graduate degree in the hard sciences will probably make the world of difference.  I would also think if the school is one that is known for IP, they would take into account lower GPAs of hard science degrees versus the fluff of liberal arts degrees.

IP is just such a distinct subsection of law school and the practice of law, it's really hard to predict anything.  It's a practice that requires a degree in science, in a world where the vast majority of people have a liberal arts background.  Some law schools will have an entirely separate on campus interview process for IP versus firms looking for all other practices (Georgetown for one).  There are also schools that are rated as third tier schools generally, and but are highly regarded for IP (UNH/Franklin Pierce for example).  My best advise would be to apply to all the schools that are known for IP, thrown in a few top tier schools with decent IP programs, and see what happens.  And of course, as a final note, the emloyment prospects of someone with your background looking for their first attorney position in an IP practice is much better than the person just looking for general attorney positions, even if that person had better law school grades than you.  As for the lack of a PhD, it really shouldn't make that much of a difference.  The vast majority of job listings I've seen for IP attorneys only look for an undergraduate degree in a science.  Your masters would be a bonus.

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