Engineer Turned Patent Lawyer From A Tier 2 Law School


Your experience as a high-tech patent prosecutor will certainly strengthen your application and should compensate for the fact that you have not graduated from a top 25 law school or at the top of your law school class. Patent prosecution attorneys are typically in high demand, and the pool of attorneys with the appropriate technical background is small. Your background will likely make you eligible to sit for and increase your chances of successfully completing the Patent Bar.

Attorneys with scientific undergraduate or graduate degrees are highly in demand in the intellectual property arena. Moreover, attorneys with technical expertise in certain scientific fields are far more likely to obtain employment as a patent attorney than those without such expertise. As a result, the pool of potential candidates for patent positions is particularly small. To top that off, your technical experience as a patent engineer will provide you with the technical know-how to understand the technical intricacies of patent prosecution, infringement and negotiating and drafting tech-related licensing agreements and briefs. This puts you at an advantage over many of your law school classmates.

While there are certainly differences that could be pointed out, for the most part the expertise of patent attorneys falls into the following categories: (1) the life sciences, (2) chemistry & pharmaceutical, (3) material science, (4) electrical engineering, (5) physics, (6) mechanical engineering, (7) medical devices, (8) computer science. In terms of demand, the greatest demand is for attorneys with backgrounds in electrical engineering or computer science. There is also a strong demand for attorneys with biotechnology, biochemistry or organic chemistry backgrounds. The lesser demand is for those with mechanical or chemical backgrounds.