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Ski Patent Attorney?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I am not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this kind of question, but...

 

I am currently a freshman in college earning my bachelors degree, and plan on attending law school afterward. I have a love of skiing, and the geometry / technical aspects of skis. I was wondering if it is possible to combine my love for skiing and law into one career, potentially in the form of patent law. If anyone has had any experiences or knowledge that would help me in finding a future career please post.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 25

Do yourself and all of us a favor,  become an engineer instead.   There's a guy up in Ogden, Peter Turner, that's designed some of the most innovative ski products around.   See if you can talk to him.  na@dpsskis.com

post #3 of 25

Vasudeva..... an engineering degree and law degree are an excellent combination.  Since engineering is not one of the most 'common' routes to a law degree, and it is a much more rigorous undergraduate route than what many other law students take... you will find some great opportunities after graduation.  I've known a few that took this route and were quite successful.  I would suggest that you find companies, or people in the industry you're interested in, and contact them asking for a summer job / internship.  You'll learn a lot more about the industry, find out what it's like in the 'real world' and hopefully get some inspiration along the way that will lead you to your successful future.  If anyone tells you you "cant do this or that" ...don't listen to them - it's your life after all, live it your way!

post #4 of 25

Since you are an undergrad, start with engineering or a similar field (materials science?) and then consider law school when graduation is near.  I'm a lawyer but not a patent lawyer.  Before pursuing patent law I suggest doing thorough research and speaking to actual patent lawyers to see if it is for you.  I have interests that most people would find boring but patent law is about as tedious as it gets.  I know some people who love it but they are rare breeds.  It is definitely not for everyone. You may find it more interesting to design your own products and hire someone else to prosecute your patents.

post #5 of 25

Paging TheDad, TheDad to the white courtesy phone. TheDad is a patent attorney. 

post #6 of 25

read this article first to make sure you aren't pursuing a myth  (there are lots of other articles on myth of law school and being a lawyer).

 

http://www.itsuptoyou.net/why-you-shouldnt-go-to-law-school/

 

but yea, study engineering first (suggest mechanical) , and your options will be much more open should you decide to go to law school later for patent law.  Although, something as specific as skiing maybe a very niche market.

post #7 of 25

My understanding is that most patent filing work that does not involve litigation is done by patent agents rather than patent attorneys.  If you get an engineering degree and can pass the patent bar exam, you're set to become a patent agent -- no law degree required.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasudeva View Post

I was wondering if it is possible to combine my love for skiing and law into one career

 

I hope not.

 

Lets just all keep the lawyers out of our sport please.

 

There could be nothing worse for skiing than to follow the samsung/apple/google/microsoft patent battle merry-go-round.

post #9 of 25

In America you need lawyers to battle for GOOD to defend ourselves from  EVIL.  Other countries have found ways to settle differences without so many of them. 

post #10 of 25

I will graduate from law school in May.

 

I would not recommend that anybody go to law school.

 

All the hyperbole you read on the internet about how horrible law school is, and how horrible the practice of law is, and how the burnout rate is so high is not hyperbole.

 

Don't go to law school.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrain609 View Post

I will graduate from law school in May.

 

I would not recommend that anybody go to law school.

 

All the hyperbole you read on the internet about how horrible law school is, and how horrible the practice of law is, and how the burnout rate is so high is not hyperbole.

 

Don't go to law school.

 

I have a young lady (maybe 30) working for me because she could make more money in 40 hours than the 80 hours she was working at a law firm (JD from Villanova) .  There are many more like her here.  There is big money to be made by some, but I think it is earned by the many that aren't making it and paid to the few that have survived the climb up.  It's kind of like thinking if you get an MBA, you're going to become an Executive of a multi $B company. The odds are against you.  I really think it's the cost of the degree that is bleeding the field. 

 

And the young lady that works for me is advancing nicely and as I told her in he last performance evaluation, I will probably end up working for her before I retire and looking forward to it.  As far as I'm concerned, the law firm she was working for screwed up big time.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

.  As far as I'm concerned, the law firm she was working for screwed up big time.

Except likely they have 10 more drones, just as capable if not more capable, ready to fill her position.  

It's less that they screwed up, and more that your employee was smart enough (and had the opportunity) to get out and find something better.

post #13 of 25
I'm not trying to discourage you, but I would echo chraya's sentiment. I have been practicing law for 11 years, mostly environmental law. I went into environmental law because of a love of the environment, namely hiking, biking, skiing, camping, etc., as did many of my colleagues. I first got a masters in environmental policy, which was a way to distinguish myself in a niche practice area. With all that said, the actual practice of law does not have much to do with the environment, and my job NEVER gets me outdoors. You might love law, and some do, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in a field that you have an outside interest in, since the actual work will not remotely give you the pleasure that your hobby/passion does. And to be at the top of the legal game often entails giving up many things you love to do. Many of my friends are trying to figure out where to go next.

Moreover, this is a terrible time to graduate from law school. The cost of the education is really too high for the few well-paying jobs that are out there. I fortunately graduated at a time that the big firms in New York would hire almost anyone from a top school, and it was pretty easy to get an overpaid job in the top quarter of a 2nd or 3rd tier law school. Those days are done, for better or worse. If you're not at an ivy or equivalent school, or at the very top of a regional school, then well paying jobs are few and far between, especially in a niche area. If you love engineering type work, I would pursue that, or at least think long and hard about law school.
post #14 of 25

I am a patent lawyer.  It's a good life, and I learn about a lot of interesting things.  One of the great things about being a patent lawyer is that you are special (i.e., rare) in  the world of lawyers, especially if you are an electrical engineer.  However, there is a very low chance that you are going to make a living writing patents on skis - there just are not that many ski patents.  More likely, you will be a person who works and then skis on the weekends, like the rest of the world.

post #15 of 25

Vasudeva,

I didn't note your stating Engineering as a undergrad, so ... it depends but I'd agree with iamddm and other first hand lawyers or grads of law that the market is tight less your specialized.  I have several friends who worked patent law (with undergrad Eng degrees) and they noted it was not quite what they hoped, one came back to my place of employment as a systems engineer and didn't entertain an interview by our legal council for an IP attorney position.

 

So, not to sway you, simply agreeing with suggestions that you discuss with those in the field their opinion of the career.   If your in engineering, then I'd argue that one might more readily find a career near mountains, make good pay and still have plenty of time to ski and effectively save 3 yrs for a JD.  The market is somewhat tight but entry level engineers of good caliber still start near or above what entry level legal pays.  Many larger engineering companies pay for a masters ... (well, less time on the hill but you'd been in school anyhow)

 

There are quite a few disciplines in engineering that could align you better with career moves to a company in the recreation market ... if your in engineering as a undergrad.

post #16 of 25

Not to really discourage you...but dont go into engineering either.  Too many dorks willling to work too many hours for next to nothing. 

 

My advice - become a pimp.  More respect then a lawyer, more money then an engineer, more perks and free time then both.   

post #17 of 25

It is meither here nor there to your career plans, but the patent attorney who prepared my patent was one of the sharpest people I.ve eve met.  He absorbed and understood the idea in a couple of hours -- and told me what to emphasize -- when I had spent far longer trying to explain to my colleagues and customer, with far less sucess.

post #18 of 25

If you thinks these answers are worth an "A+", do law. beercheer.gif

 

 

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

My advice - become a pimp.  More respect then a lawyer, more money then an engineer, more perks and free time then both.   

 

or a Dentist, there's not nearly as many dentists as lawyers, much less competition. Why is that?

post #20 of 25

Speaking from the other side of the field (I'm a patent examiner), I can tell you that there's nearly enough IP in the ski industry for you to sustain a career in only that art--you'd have to practice patent law over multiple fields of art.

 

One bit of advice I will give you is that if you are truly interested in patent law, one excellent option for your career path would be to try to work at the USPTO (one place that is always hiring) after you graduate.  They'll actually pay for you to go to law school, and you'll be far more attractive to law firms with both a law degree and experience in patent prosecution.  The downside of this path is that it will force you to relocate temporarily to the DC area until you are eligible for the hoteling program (~2 years if you take an aggressive path).  That may not be worth the sacrifice of spending the vast majority of the ski season away from Utah.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Paging TheDad, TheDad to the white courtesy phone. TheDad is a patent attorney. 

 

Actually, I'm a patent litigator.  Because I've not taken the Patent Bar, I can't (and wouldn't) call myself a patent attorney.

 

I don't write 'em, I just fight 'em.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamddn View Post

I am a patent lawyer.  It's a good life, and I learn about a lot of interesting things.  One of the great things about being a patent lawyer is that you are special (i.e., rare) in  the world of lawyers, especially if you are an electrical engineer.  However, there is a very low chance that you are going to make a living writing patents on skis - there just are not that many ski patents.  More likely, you will be a person who works and then skis on the weekends, like the rest of the world.

 

This.  In fact, in my experience, both on the litigation and prosecution (that is, obtaining the patents) sides, there are very few people who work on only a tightly defined range of technology.  I do most of my work in computer (software and hardware) technologies, but I've had a blast doing cases on everything from automotive emissions reduction, to biotech, to industrial lighting.

 

And for what it's worth, I consistently get 50+ days of skiing a year, and could get more if I weren't tied to school vacation schedules.

post #22 of 25

If you have not already done so take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and get a law degree and pass your state bar. You must be licensed to practice law to become a patent attorney.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bernardolawrenc View Post

If you have not already done so...


Read the OP.  He's a freshman making long term plans.

post #24 of 25

Here is the blog from an attorney/skier that combined both loves (law and skiing): http://www.skiesq.com/   FWIW, his blog is a good read.  His specialty isn't patent law, but at least you know combining skiing and law can be done.  Who knows if the OP is even still in school?  This is an old post.

post #25 of 25

Obtain a Bachelor's degree in a field of technology recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A complete list of educational options can be found in the PDF file entitled the USPTO General Requirements For Taking The Patent Bar.   patent attorney

 

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