Going from MSc to Law

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Going from MSc to Law

Postby Raza » Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:57 pm


I am currently an MSc student in medical respiratory research (mainly cell and molecular) and am seriously considering applying to law school after my thesis defense. Are there good websites or individuals who would have information on opportunities of scientists making that transition. Also, does having a grad degree help in making this transition and finding a job? Thanks, Raza

Going from MSc to Law

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:45 pm

Hi Raza,

The combination of a technical graduate degree and a law degree is a powerful one, and there are many private law firms who hire such graduates, as well as jobs inside companies such as biotechnology or pharmaceutical firms. My answer to this is that your biomedical degree will be a plus in getting through this transition, and in finding a job afterwards.

I've written a friend of mine and asked him to post here and help you out as well.

Best regards,

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Going from MSc to Law

Postby Chris Buntel » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:46 pm


Think carefully before attending law school -- it is a lot of work, time, and money. Make sure that it is what you want to do.

Scientists most frequently go into IP/patent law, although some do environmental, food & drug, regulatory, or other areas. Advanced degrees definitely help, especially in biotech patent law.

Some IP-heavy law firms hire scientists as "scientific advisors", and have them become patent agents. This is great experience, and many firms will help pay for night law school.

The US Patent Office hires scientists and engineers to be patent examiners. They have an extensive training program, and you do not need to go to law school or have other law experience.

Most universities have technology transfer departments. AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers; is a great organization. They have a yearly meeting coming up in February in Phoenix -- wonderful networking opportunity.

Most corporations hire experienced people out of law firms. There are relatively few that will hire people fresh out of school.

Many professional organizations have law divisions -- good source of networking. Also, most major cities have IP law associations.

FYI, I got a PhD, joined a law firm, attended night law school, worked at the firm as an attorney, and recently moved to a biotech company. IP was a great career choice for me.

Chris Buntel.
Chris Buntel

Going from MSc to Law

Postby J.J. » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:20 am

Best of luck in making your decision. I did it-and I am extremely happy with my choice. I heartily second all of Chris's great advice. Also, I get a sense that the job market is picking up in general, but also in IP law. I would definitely check out the USPTO. Another place to check out is the NIH. They have an absolutely huge staff of technology transfer professionals, who have a wide range of prior experience.
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