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Author Topic: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion  (Read 11135 times)

cranky75

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Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« on: November 18, 2008, 08:49:09 PM »
Hi Guys,

I am thinking of going to law school at night to work on my JD.  My interest are in IP/Govt. Regulations.  I have a B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Chemistry. 

For the last 4 years I have been working for a large pharma in NJ, looking at rules and regulations governing drug development.  Now I am planning to move to a smaller company close to Boston, and attend New England School of Law.

Do you know what my legal employment prospects will be like once I graduate?  I have no desire to work for a top notch law firm (or any law firm for that matter).  I am considering working for biotech companies in legal division.  With great law schools abound in the Boston area, how will I fare going to New England School of Law?  I am not looking to earn top $$$, but recive a fair compensation after I graduate.   I will be getting pretty well compensated + tuition reimbursements by going to school at night, so I will not be too much in debt.

Do you guys have any suggestion, opinions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

SASS

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 09:00:41 PM »
First, I should say I don't know anything about IP.

That said, I do know something about attending a T4: Worst decision I ever made. My T4 had a decent local rep and a loyal alumni base but that still doesn't take you very far. Luckily I was able to transfer to a T20 and I can tell you the opportunities coming out of here are much better, to say the least. I don't care what anyone says, you are limited in your career from a T4, I know from experience. But like I said, I know nothing about IP or the career path you are trying for. Good luck in your decision process.

USC313

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 09:28:54 PM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that most corporations will not hire recent graduates to work in their legal departments (i.e. in-house council) straight out of law school. We had lawyers working as in-house council visit my school as part of a "post-Graduation employment day" type deal, and they all said that--at a minimum--its 5 years experience at a firm that handles litigation in some way pertinent to the business in which you want to be in-house council for. Therefore, working at a "top notch" IP law firm is likely mandatory if you want to eventually work as in-house council at a bio-tech firm, particularly if your going to be attending a T4 school (which, I might add, only puts more pressure on you to graduate within the top 5-10% of the class). Bottom line: The type of job your seeking is a long, uphill battle away.

cranky75

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 04:40:49 PM »
Thanks for your all your input.

Planning to go part time in the Boston area, I do not have much choice, its either NESL or Suffolk Law(tier 2 I believe?). 

I am planning to go to NESL for 2yrs (of evening classes) then transfer to Suffolk Law (Suffolk is a bit expensive).   Figured when I join my new job in Boston, I will get to know the legal department and get their input.  If IP doesn't pan out, I will move onto regulatory affairs, and a law degree should be useful dealing with various health agencies.

   

mrbrucesmith78

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 05:18:27 PM »
I would like to add to what has already been posted and which I generally agree with.  I am recent grad and work for a Cambridge law firm.  First, I agree that in-house counsel jobs require around 5 years experience to get especially now where jobs are harder to find. 

With that said, both NESL (4th Tier) and Suffolk (3rd Tier) have decent reputations in Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, and around Providence RI.  Outside this region however, the job prospects will be hard to find.  In comparison, Suffolk does have a more beautiful building and has a more established alumni base around New England.  But outside of that there isn't that much of a difference in reputation or education between the two.  In Boston, I feel the perception is that there are two tiers of schools in the city. The top tier obviously being Harvard, BU, and BC.  The bottom tier being Northeastern, Suffolk, and NESL.  Its just the way it is.

Finally, I don't know why you want to transfer from NESL to Suffolk after two years?  Why don't you just apply to both Suffolk and NESL and see if you get accepted at both first.  Hope that helps.

cranky75

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 10:15:10 PM »
I do want to settle near the Boston area, so it seems that NESL may be a good choice.  I might work for a boutique firm for a few years after graduating, lets see how that works out.  The only reason I would want to move out of Massachusetts is I could work for the USPTO or any Federal jobs.

jacy85

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 07:32:43 AM »
Odds of getting a job from NESL - slim to none.  The only saving grace might be your chem background.  But with the legal hiring market the way it is, why not look at one of the other Boston area schools that are ALL higher ranked and have better reps than NESL?  Suffolk (also a T4) would be a much better choice.

Your area of expertise is still hot right now I think (IP def is, and I'm pretty sure chem is as well), but why handicap yourself with a school that has a bad rep and 5 other "better" schools within a stone's throw?

The best advice I've seen here - contact the companies you've worked for, and try to set up a couple of informational/networking interviews with an attorney or two from an IP boutique to pick their brains about what area school they offer you the most and least opportunity.

CTL

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 07:54:57 AM »
I disagree with most of the sentiment on this thread.  If your intention is to go into patent law, especially if you plan on becoming a patent officer, your value will derive from your undergraduate, graduate, and work experience in addition to your law degree. 

While it may be true that most people interested in working in the private sector should go to high-ranked schools, patent law (especially for those with technical backgrounds and experience) is an anomaly.  Go to a school that is affordable and works for you - excel.  You will have little problem getting good work, since you have quite a solid background in a very hot area. 

I would still advise you to seek out other schools.  BU would be a very solid move, and they typically offer great scholarships to a large number of admitted students.  BU also has a great IP program, and is a national player.  Check it out.
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cranky75

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 02:18:00 PM »
Since I want to go part time I have only two choices:  NESL or Suffolk in the area.  Suffolk is about $8k more per year.  Figured I can transfer to Suffolk later on to save some money.

Going full time will be a huge loss of income for the next three years.

   

Majmun

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Re: Thinking of NESL (IP law) need your opinion
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 06:34:18 PM »
I do want to settle near the Boston area, so it seems that NESL may be a good choice.  I might work for a boutique firm for a few years after graduating, lets see how that works out.  The only reason I would want to move out of Massachusetts is I could work for the USPTO or any Federal jobs.

Here's my 2cc: (I'm a biotech Ph.D. and I worked in technology transfer before going to law school)

First I have no idea what your job prospects will be like coming out of NESL, but I can tell you that IP hiring isn't what it was 10 yrs ago, when you only needed a tech degree and a law degree.  There are Ph.D. level people who struggle to find work. 

That said, there are firms in Boston that will hire Ph.Ds as tech specialists/patent agents and pay them to work while going to law school.  I would look into those gigs.  Also  I wouldn't count on getting a USPTO gig.  They are tough to come by and the PTO is widely considered a terrible place to work.

If you haven't found it yet, you should check out www.intelproplaw.com