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 Working on MSEE program after JD. Career advice? 
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Joined: 2012-10-07 19:55:34
Posts: 1
I graduated from a top 25 law school last year with mediocre grades and no law journal experience. I have a BS in biochemistry and no work experience in that field. No luck finding a job coming out of law school. I got the impression that electrical engineering is a highly sought-after field for patent law, so I enrolled in a master's program for electrical engineering. I plan on being done with that sometime in 2014, depending on what I choose as my area of emphasis.

I'm not sure whether I want to get into patent prosecution or litigation, but for now, I'm leaning toward prosecution. I took a patent drafting class in law school and I liked it. I took a couple substantive patent law classes and found those interesting, too. I plan on taking the patent bar this summer.

I realize that it's kind of an unusual path, as most EE/JD people do the EE degree first. I’ve been kind of a lazy turd my entire academic career (which might explain the odd mixture of degrees), but I would like to start getting my life in order.

Does anyone have any insight/advice to give regarding employment opportunities after I'm done with the MSEE? Here are some related questions in no particular order.
1. Have any of you gone down a similar route?
2. How difficult is the job market for entry-level patent attorneys these days? Patent agents?
3. Should I try to get some kind of engineering internship this summer? Do law firms even do summer internships for post-JD students?
4. Has anyone heard of any IP firms that have a part-time work/internship program that I would be able to do during the school year?
5. I haven't chosen an area of emphasis yet. Are certain areas of EE more marketable to IP firms than others? Or would an MSEE in anything be good enough? I only ask because certain areas of emphasis take longer than others at my school.
6. By the time I finish the MSEE, it will have been about 3 years since I graduated law school. Will this be problematic in getting love from firms?
7. Does the name recognition of my graduate school play a large role? I don’t go to a prestigious-sounding school.

TL; DR – BS biochemistry, JD, working on MSEE. Want to find a job after finishing MSEE. Advice?
Thanks to everyone in advance!

2012-10-07 19:59:27

Joined: 2012-01-09 20:25:31
Posts: 25
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Regarding #6, yes, it will hurt. Law firms will have three more classes of new grads to choose from.
Regarding #2, the market sucks.
Regarding #3, one of my classmates did an internship at a major IP firm after graduation. He was hired the following year by a completely different firm.

I'm not sure how much weight firms give to a master's. The impression I've gotten from reading others' comments over the last several years is that they really only consider the bachelor's degree; an MS is a nice add-on, but it won't get you into an art area that your BA/BS wouldn't get you into. This may of course be wrong, or may vary firm-by-firm.

2012-10-25 22:05:38
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