What about legal careers for someone with a science background?  

 

Colleague 45274
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January 8, 2019 5:48 pm  

What about legal careers for someone with a science background?


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Dave Jensen
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January 8, 2019 5:48 pm  

People who combine an advanced science degree with legal training often find legal career opportunities in intellectual property (IP), the environment, or other law fields. Legal positions are available within biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as law firms, patent offices, and university technology licensing offices; a PhD degree is seen as a significant advantage for these types of jobs. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also looks for people with strong technical backgrounds to work as examiners.

Going to meetings (for example, the Association of University Technology Managers AUTM national meeting), networking with attorneys and patent agents, and talking to your institution's technology transfer office are all ways to get started with a search for this kind of position. Passing the patent exam will make you more attractive to a firm. It may also help to take an IP survey course at a university, or a basic licensing course through AUTM. When interviewing at law firms, be ready for the obvious questions: Why do you want to leave research for IP? Why are you interested in our firm? What do you know about patents already? Do you want to go to law school? Do you have any prior experience with IP? Have questions for your interviewers as well: What kind of training/mentorship do they have for tech specialists? What is the scope of projects? Do technology specialists become patent agents? Does the firm pay for the patent bar exam? Do technology specialists have to go to night law school?

You might also consider trying to find an internship with a law firm during graduate school. Remember that your school is a client of at least one firm. Some schools have internship programs with their preferred law firms as a career development tool for their students.

- Dave Jensen, Moderator and Founder

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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