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ellbur's avatar

Any comments on this law career plan?

Asked by ellbur (92points) May 14th, 2015

Where I currently stand: I’m working as an engineer, but I’d like to become a lawyer. I have a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering and 3 years experience as a “Systems Engineer”. I have no savings and no debts. I’m trying to come up with a plan that allows me to get a law degree without going into debt.

I hope to do something like the following:

1. Get a job with USPTO as a patent examiner and work for 2 years.
2. Use the experience gained there to get a part time job as a patent agent, while attending law school part time.
3. After finishing law school, get a job as a patent lawyer. Work in this job until I gain enough experience to move into other areas.

I am not particularly interested in patent law per se, but I hope to use my engineering knowledge to make me a more valuable employee until I gain enough legal experience to be productive in other areas. I would like to work in federal civil litigation.

Step (2) seems like the most financially challenging.

Any thoughts?

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3 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Where are you located?
In the USA there are many engineering type companies that will pay a large portion for any degree.
I had a friend many years ago, with an older brother that was an engineer. He went to law school with company paying, after graduating from law school with straight A’s he asked his boss for a reasonable raise. The boss refused, three days later a headhunter with a list of graduates called the brother with interview at a company that hired him at twice the pay he was getting.

Cupcake's avatar

I was unaware that you could attend law school part-time.

Why is not incurring any debt your most important goal? It sounds like you would be sacrificing a lot of your life and career doing work that you are not passionate about.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Very few law schools have part-time or evening class options. However, if there is one close enough for you to attend, you will find the tuition and fees to be less (most likely). Good luck. Whatever you want to do, you can do. That’s all there is to it. There will be waves but winners just figure out how to ride them. Good luck.

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