Is technical experience requisite (assuming the degree is in tact)? Is the patbar necessary?
Also, they aren't going to ask me to traverse b-trees or solve circuit problems are they -- I forgot all of that the day I graduated.
Work experience is not required. I think if two candidates were equal than work experience would be in your favor, but it's not even close to being as important as grades. Most decent firms don't care too much about whether you've taken the patent bar yet. It probably falls along the lines of work experience - could be a tie breaker, but isn't necessarily a key thing. If work experience comes up, just say that you knew for sure that patent law was your thing and felt like getting out there as a practicing patent attorney sooner would be more beneficial than working in one very specific area (although don't talk too much trash on working beforehand, because your interviewer likely worked beforehand). I don't think I had anybody even ask me why I chose not to work beforehand - it just never came up. For the patent bar, just make sure to say that you plan on taking it during the (fall/winter) semester of your (2nd/3rd) year (pick one). I haven't taken the patent bar, but I found that nobody really cared too much as long as I had a good answer. I definitely was asked about the patent bar, but the question was always, "Are you planning on taking the patent bar?" I should say for the patent bar, if it's a small employer (i.e. ~10 attorneys or fewer) they will probably care more about it. Also, most decent firms will pay for your patent bar review course after you graduate if you haven't taken it yet (and if you have taken it, many will reimburse you if you took a review course).
I interviewed w/ probably ~150 people and I don't think one person asked me technical questions. The closest thing would be something like "are you familiar w/ X technology?" That only happened a few times and typically it was because there was something on my resume that triggered the question (e.g. I designed websites, so they'd ask which web technologies I was familiar w/). Again, I think this would be more common w/ smaller employers because they'll often specialize in one area or have one big client w/ one particular type of work.