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211
I'm an EE, I had every intent to go into IP law before I even began undergrad. I went into EE because it is an extremely useful degree for IP. The grade curve is particularly brutal on EE's, even among engineers. I had something like a 4.0 average in my english/social science classes, since those are the ones I have always been strongest, but barely survived the insanely hard engineering classes. Ended up with a lower end 3, which was still well above average. With that GPA, and the three years of technical work experience, I could get a 80-100k starting pay job right now. So, if an EE goes into law, it isn't because of money, it is because it is something they want to do, they actually take a penalty if they go into anything other than IP law. I am going to a low end tier 2, and will be very surprised if I run into more than one other EE there, I don't expect to have any trouble at all, I am used to a curve even harder than the one I will have in law school.

I disagree and agree about the money factor (I am an EE as well).  Engineering majors make a lot of money starting out, but then it kinda peaks if one doesn't go into engineering management (at least that is what I have seen in my experience, others may see different things).  The salary for patent lawyers is higher in BIGLAW compared to other associates (ie, BIGLAW starting is $125,000, then patent lawyers is $135,000 (I have seen as high as $160,000 starting, which I think that is starting to border on ridiculous)).  But of course that is biglaw, but the others translate down as well.  There is also growth in these jobs with experience.  Being that the hot jobs in patent law is EE and biotechnology, I would expect more EE's wanting to go into law (especially typical requirement for EE patent law jobs is a bachelors vs. PhD for things like biotech.)  You are right to a certain extent, if they decided to do something other than IP/patent law, it might result in a pay cut.  But I also think that salaries grow more in law than they do in straight engineering.  What has been your experience?

Ah, been away from the board for a bit.

Anyways, pay comparison wise, I am just speaking from my situation, over 80% of those who are from my undergrad engineering school, that go into engineering, also end up in management, usually within 3-5 years after starting, so when I was thinking of pay, I meant it scaled at an engineering managers pay level. However, managers have to change locations all the time, every few years or so, and it is not uncommon at all to switch companies, which can also easily lead to a change in location, so in order for pay to scale fairly well, an engineer has to move, a lot. It is just a different kind of trade off. Engineers, especially EE's, have a lot of options open to them.

212
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Wayne State
« on: May 01, 2007, 05:13:53 PM »
Yea, went to my old high school, she took 8 AP classes and a bunch of Oakland community college courses (you can take entirely OCC classes and AP classes starting in Junior year), so when she got to UofM, she was already a Junior, then she took 20 credits and then 28 credits that year.

I also took a non-traditional route, I pretty much got out of classes at 11am and was done for the day in Senior year of high school, it was awesome.

213
/wave

I'll see you guys there this fall  ;D

214
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Wayne State
« on: May 01, 2007, 04:41:22 PM »
This is 2nd hand information from some Wayne State alumni, but I believe the reason it was so low, was because Wayne didn't collect employment data for that year...

Why? Because the person who normally collects it quit/was removed and the position was never replaced. So, U.S. News made a number up since it got no data from Wayne (a common practice for U.S. News when it doesnt get data). Wayne is a good school, but their admissions department is horrific, they don't do a good job with their open houses and they don't really track information as seriously as they should.

Wayne and MSU both place well in the state, MSU places a little better out-of-state, just because of name recognition and it has a larger alumni base, at least for the moment. Wayne is less expensive though, about 30% less, and was, until now, the undisputed best school in Michigan after UofM. Obviously, that changed when DCL officially was renamed as MSU's College of Law three years ago, and its admissions requirements went up drastically.


215
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Most lucrative and prestigious law
« on: April 18, 2007, 06:31:54 PM »
I will finally give the OP a serious answer, after 5 pages...

It's IP law.

And no, you can't get in unless you have a technical degree from a decent school. The firms also tend to very heavily favor just a few of the technical degrees as well. At least, pay wise it is like that, very very few IP associates make less than 70k, and that is at a small firm, the large firms, in places like NY, go up to 180k+ for starting pay and have very large bonuses for working as 7am to midnight. The reason it starts out so high? The people who have the undergrad degrees they need (EE, PhD Bio, CE, CS), with high enough GPA's to get into law school in the first place (these degrees have curves as harsh as law schools, a 2.9 is often average), can easily make 70-100k starting, without any further education, or they can get an MBA so their pay scales better and they start even higher.

In terms of prestige, among lawyers and government, it is nothing special. If you mean prestige in terms of respect from the general public, it is a lot higher, because there is very little "chasing" involved, the majority of the work is forming an agreement between a client and the government

There are huge barriers to get into IP law though if you don't have the technical background, you pretty much have to go back and get a relevant degree if you don't have one.

216
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Patent Bar?
« on: April 15, 2007, 10:56:11 PM »
Get it done early if you can. Law firms don't require you to have it done until you are finished with your JD. BUT, this will change soon. The reason it hasn't been required until you got your JD done was because the test used to be only given twice a year, in one location (DC). Now, ever since just three years ago, it became a computerized test, which can be taken just about anywhere through Prometeric. Right now, it is possible to get a decent amount of repeats fro the old paper exams from 2002/2003 (the last years of paper tests). However, in the future there will be less and less repeats from these tests, meaning, the test will get harder. Also, as I said, law firms will start strongly recommending it be taken before or during law school, because it is no longer a major ordeal getting to a testing location.

BTW, I used PRG, and it is overkill, it teaches you a lot about patent law beyond what will be on the exam, it is extremely useful material though. So, if you are interested in seriously going into IP law, and it isn't just a perhaps, I would recommend it, you will find it useful for more than just the test. It also has a student rate, which chops off something like 400-500 off the price tag, they just implemented it last January, likely to stay competitive with PLI.

Also, you need to go the the interproplaw forums if you are seriously studying for the test, there is a ton of useful information, like test questions, especially on the 170 page or so prometeric thread. You also need to know the information on patentbarquestions.com cold.

217
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cooley
« on: April 15, 2007, 10:30:31 PM »
People reference the rankings, because Cooley puts them all over their site, and actively pushes them. They take advantage of the misinformed, and it does it to a degree that cries for some form of regulation in the school ranking system, while US News has some major flaws, it at least uses somewhat intelligent criteria. The school is very close to my house, and I cannot tell you how much I wish it didn't ruin its reputation among the law community with its ridiculous ranking system. It is an accredited school, so I am sure it has its strengths, and does provide an usable education to those who graduate, but it has some serious cleaning to do to fix its image. It needs to remove its ridiculous ranking system, make it widely known that it seeks to promote diversity and has the most flexible of all the law school programs, improve its bar pass rate to something that is somewhere near the national average rather than at the very bottom and improve its career placement services, which are in obvious need of improvement if only 55% of their graduates can find a job in a reasonable amount of time. They need to play to their strengths and remove this false image they have created for themselves, once they do that, they will get the respect they deserve.

218
I'm an EE, I had every intent to go into IP law before I even began undergrad. I went into EE because it is an extremely useful degree for IP. The grade curve is particularly brutal on EE's, even among engineers. I had something like a 4.0 average in my english/social science classes, since those are the ones I have always been strongest, but barely survived the insanely hard engineering classes. Ended up with a lower end 3, which was still well above average. With that GPA, and the three years of technical work experience, I could get a 80-100k starting pay job right now. So, if an EE goes into law, it isn't because of money, it is because it is something they want to do, they actually take a penalty if they go into anything other than IP law. I am going to a low end tier 2, and will be very surprised if I run into more than one other EE there, I don't expect to have any trouble at all, I am used to a curve even harder than the one I will have in law school.

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