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Messages - qmmm

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I'm surprised that no one wants to consider the "Nerdy Nine" aka the University Athletic Association: NYU, Chicago, WashU, Emory, Case Western, and its non-law school members (Brandeis, Rochester, and Carnigie Melon).

Before someone bothers to count and complain that there's only 8 schools listed, here's the reason: Johns Hopkins left the league.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: IP Law
« on: July 23, 2008, 10:25:36 PM »
1) prosecution =/= litigation or IP transactions.  The PhD will arose a lot of interest for prosecution in and of itself, but for lit or trans work it's more about law school attended + law school grades in the beginning.

2) getting your PTO bar number before you look for 1L summer jobs is huge!  Someone will take a bite, b/c a busy group will actually be able to make money off of you for the summer unlike most of the other summers.

3) even if you really aren't interested in prosecution, try to find a prosecution group in the area of your law school if possible for the 1L year.  You will have a chance to work your 2 and 3L years making some decent cash at the place you summered as a 1L or possibly another shop.

4) be prepared for firms to only want you for prosecution.  you can immediately make them money and they know that.  if you want to do litigation or transactional work in the tech sector, you'll have to fight, perhaps harder than a non-phd, to get experience in that area.

5) if you work for a big firm as an associate, you can't do primarily prosecution for an entire career.  the numbers just don't make sense b/c you'll price yourself out of the market.  eventually you'll be doing lit support (ie claim construction or infringement opinions), trans work (ie due diligence or licensing), or bringing in clients for junior attorneys.  Or you'll go to a boutique where the overhead is lower.

6) you should target schools in areas where there's a lot of IP patent work going on (in no particular order): Boston, NY, DC, Chicago, SF/SV, and San Diego.

7) since you've got the phd, I wouldn't worry so much about the GPA.  You can't do anything about it and it's a long time ago.  just do your best on the lsat and get some good recs from people who know you now.

8) you could even consider a PT while working as a patent agent during the day.  Personally, I'd worry about getting into school first than worrying about finding a job.  but there are shops that'll pay a good bit of your tuition in addition to a salary.  But be wary of any contractual obligations to work for them after you graduate.

9) the school you go to and the grades you get in law school will matter.  But a phd + jd is a pretty rare combo so that in and of itself will open some doors b/c IP groups are one of the most profitable groups in a firm right now.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: IP Law
« on: July 23, 2008, 03:04:50 PM »
What degree(s) do you have, and what area(s) are they in?  We're talking patent prosecution, right?

Current Law Students / Re: Law Review Write on at Boalt
« on: July 13, 2008, 08:45:51 PM »
As for the diversity statement, it's basically what you bring to the table that makes you unique.  It could the the socioeconomic, racial or ethic component that most people would probably think of, but it doesn't have to be.  It could also be an intellectual or academic accomplishment.  If you worked before school, those skills and accomplishments are also fair game.  If you've studied or worked abroad, that could be the source of a diversity statement. 

If goaliechica is around, she could probably give you more solid advice or suggestions.  Unlike myself (who would rather work for my secondary journal than CLR), goalie bothered with the competition.

No.  There are no competitions for the other journals.  That's what I meant by "They're always welcoming of new members."  I more meant to point out that if you're interested in doing journal work and would also like to have some editor responsibility, there may be space.  For the journal that I'm part of, the outgoing EIC was a transfer and this coming year one of the executive editors was a transfer.  And for my journal, you can't have an exec board position w/o having previously been on the editorial board.

I'll give you another reason that a secondary journal may be a good thing to look into.  It's a good way for transfers to meet people. 

Current Law Students / Re: Law Review Write on at Boalt
« on: July 13, 2008, 05:09:47 PM »
I haven't participated in the transfer write-on comp for CLR nor know the answers to the questions you ask, but from what I understand the packet is smaller and not meant to take as much time to complete as the one handed out at the end of the 1L year.

If the transfer write-on comp has the same three components (case note, bluebooking, diversity statement), nothing is preventing you from doing the diversity statement now.  The CLR staff actually suggests this to the 1Ls during the orientation meeting.  Your transfer PS will probably be a good start.

Also, if you have interest in any of the secondary journals, then keep those in mind as well.  They're always welcoming of new members. Occasionally there's a chance to be an editor depending on how the journal is staffed or if someone drops a commitment to another journal after they find out that they wrote onto CLR.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: SFLSD: Perspicacity.
« on: June 06, 2008, 09:12:19 PM »

What the error codes would say if I programmed them:

Your computer is running slow because Microsoft Word is a bloated POS, but what other option do you have? WordPerfect? HAHAHA Yea right, STFU and re-boot sucka.

There's always OpenOffice....

Hmmm... That advice sounds familiar. 

Honestly, the play is: 1) retake the LSAT and hope to get a few more points, 2) apply early, and 3) apply to schools w/ some sort of IP presence as well as the TX schools that you hope to attend.  W/ respect to (1), the low 160's make you a candidate for almost all schools.  W/ respect to (2), take the WashU adcoms advice and apply early next year.  W/ respect to (3), if you get into one of those and a TX school, you can always use that to leverage money even if you don't really want to go there.

For an IP presence look for an IP journal, student organizations w/ an IP focus, IP classes offered, schools in regions w/ a significant tech businesses, and look at firms and IP boutiques in IP heavy regions and see where their IP attorneys went to school.

When I spoke with the admissions dean at WashU, she ask what I thought was the problem with my application. I replied LSAT! Her response was I's late! This rolling admisions approach is quite different than graduate school. Hey if you guys have suggestions on law schools for applicants with a technical background.

I really believe that the bolded is a problem.  By the time the adcom even looked at your application, most of the acceptances for the year would probably have been extended.  I suspect that you may have had a different experience if you applied in Oct. instead of Feb.  If you can raise your LSAT a couple of points and apply early, you'll likely see a different outcome.

Hi everyone,

I think both DC labor and qmmm raise some excellent points. I suspect that Adcomms are really hamstrung by this ranking BS and would like to consider other indicators of potential success. Further, I suspect that one's experience or soft skills might resonate better with certain schools (eg scientist applying to Franklin Pierce might get a better response than applying to Baylor....with specialization in litigation).
Which schools might have a better appreciation of applicants with a hard science background? Maybe schools with a strong IP program.

I have explored the patent agent route. It seems that in biotechnology you need a PhD to compete given the glut of post-docs in academic biomedical research. Firms want the advanced degree as way a to market the "scientific expertise" of their firm. Many post-docs go get JD/PhD combination to compete. There is not much emphasis placed on experience. Not many firms in Texas do biotech work and many don't pay the tuition. There is a firm in Austin that would like to hire me as a tech specialist if I get into law school in a city where this firm has an office. The senior partner understands the importance of my experience but feels the JD will insure that my options are not limited in the future. Her advice get your MS done and get a year of law school at SMU/Houston/or DC law school and we will talk seriously about options.

So right now I am in limbo or stuck until I can figure what might work. My options are somewhat limited because my wife would like me to stay in Texas. Have scheduled a meeting with two of the law schools that I am considering. I am just going to meet with any law school that I am considering and even the ones that denied my application. Don't know if my late applications hurt me...applied Feb 14.

Any thoughts? I am tired of having the absence of an advanced degree being the rate limiting step in my career. Presently, I am a fulltime graduate student and a fulltime employee at UT Southwestern Medical Center. I am doing everything I can do to get there but it is frustrating when you feel all you need is 5-8 more points on a 3 hr test and that's it. Plus, your success on the LSAT depends on how much time you spend practicing and how much money you invest in preparation....and all else is not considered. Just give them what they want?



Lessig- What consultant did you use?

Actually, if your goal is to prosecute patents, you don't need a JD.  You could pass the patent bar and become a patent agent which allows you to do most of the work of a patent agent.  Or you could also start out as a technical specialist in a patent group before you pass the patent bar. 

In addition, you could also look to part-time programs what would allow you to work as a patent agent  or technical specialist during the day while pursuing law school at night.  If you start out as a patent agent/tech. specialist, there are some serious advantages: 1) many firms will pay some or all of your tuition for a commitment to work for them for a while after you graduate, 2) you'll have some experience in the field and will really get to know if this is what you want to commit to, 3) you'll be able to demonstrate excellence in the legal field since you'll be able to get a rec from an attorney at your firm who may have connections to the local school where you'd be able to go part time, and 4) it'll demonstrate real commitment to the adcom that you're serious about law school.

As a non-trad coming from science, I've learned one thing: many of the skills that made me a pretty good scientist don't help a damn in law school.  That's why your science experiences are soft factors to adcoms; it's possible to be an excellent scientist but a lousy law student.  Adcoms are really looking for non-trads to demonstrate the skill set that will correlate w/ law school success.  Namely, the ability to read and write quickly and w/ precision is huge.  It's the `quickly and w/ precision' part which makes the LSAT so valuable to adcoms.  So a higher LSAT score will never hurt. 

And yes, if you score >165 and write a terrible personal statement the adcom will notice.  It would signify that 1) the person doesn't care to write a better one (which indicates a lack of commitment) and/or 2) the person can't write a better one (which indicates a lack of ability). 

The way to talk about your experiences are to point out the significant overlaps w/ the skills that an attorney needs to succeed.

Moreover, most of the classes you'll be taking in law school will not be patent or IP related (and those will only deal w/ technical matter tangentially since they need to accommodate people w/ various technical backgrounds and those w/ no technical backgrounds at all); so the adcom has to consider whether you'll be able to be an asset to the class for all other classes.

And no, you shouldn't write that addendum.  You'll come off as a jerk.  Depending on whether there's a compelling reason that your ugrad gpa was 2.6, I might consider writing an addendum for that.

Hi Lessig,

Do you really think the cost of an admissions consultant is worth it? Would a better investment of money be in a prep LSAT class?

I need to get into a solid but not great school (eg University of Houston, SMU, Texas Tech, or University of Oklahoma). My goal is to become a patent attorney. I have an excellent technical background for this work but just need the legal education. Does the soft factors play an role at all especially if you know how you want to use your legal education and have an excellent non-legal background to accomplish that goal?

If you score >165, does writing a weak essay make any difference? Admissions recruiters don't have the expertise to assess whether someone's background is a significant intellectual accomplishment. If what you say makes a difference, how can I couch my experience in a language that might resonate with them?

Is it ok in an addendum to justify why you deserve a slot over the typical candidate undergraduate candidate with a liberal arts degree (with 160 LSAT) and no experience?



Law School Admissions / Re: How low is too low?
« on: May 06, 2008, 12:00:48 PM »

In referring to immigration and international focus, etc. - my UG degree is in Middle Eastern Studies, I speak Arabic, have worked with the population for some time and intend to continue that work as I go into law. It does not have to be immigration hands down, but that is where my past experience has been.

As far as my preference for UCLA - their faculty, specifically one professor of Islamic law, appeals greatly to me. As does the potential for earning a dual degree in their Near Eastern Languages & Cultures department.

If you think that you'll be a long shot but you're attracted to a particular school because of something like you mentioned, you could always have a separate personal statement that's narrowly tailored to that particular school explaining why you'd be a special asset.  And you could have a more gen'l PS w/ some of what you have in the tailored one to go to other schools.

UCLA's application actually has a specific (optional) portion where they ask how any part of your background might make you an asset to any of their programs.   

As you may be able to guess, I never applied so I didn't know that.  But for other schools w/o such an explicit option, it's still something to consider.

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