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aldawg2323
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jan 2010
259 posts

thoughts on a PE attending Law School..

I just received my PE, but am considering now heading to law school. I would like to know if any attorneys have an opinion on this. I cant say specifically what avenue of law I would like to practice in. Patents, environmental? I feel confident that i do not want to be a day-to-day Civil Eng for the rest of my career. My brother just started Law School in CA and talks glowingly of it.

TIA for any feedback.


txtiger21
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Jul 2010
264 posts
Online

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
This is the path patent attorneys take.


aldawg2323
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jan 2010
259 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
I have just recently begun researching this and I see you are correct about that. Based on what I have seen, EE, ChE & ME are the "hot" eng disciplines for the patent attorney route. I would like to practice as both an attorney and PE somehow. Do you know any attorneys who may be willing to talk with me about this?


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TheOcean
Florida State Fan
Member since Aug 2004
32756 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
Think long and hard about it. Check up on Top-Law-Schools.com for some horror stories.

If you can get close to a free ride and have some connections or the ability to make some, then go for it. But, if you're going to have to take out a ton of loans, I would stay clear of law school.

Just remember...there are 40,000 law graduates and 20,000 jobs.


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theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
4369 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
like others have said, think very long and very hard about doing it. its a massive commitment in both time and money.

i graduated in 2011 from law school and i'm giving serious consideration to heading back to school for a petroleum engineering degree.


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CE Tiger
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Metairie
Member since Jan 2008
33161 posts
Online

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
quote:

i do not want to be a day-to-day Civil Eng for the rest of my career


you won't. start in some design and bump up to project management


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
39811 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
quote:

This is the path patent attorneys take.


Yeah, and there's a decent niche practice for construction law and a PE will have a leg up on focusing on large swaths of products liability (either plaintiff or defense).

The patent bar is pretty exclusive, but a B.S. is required to sit for the exam, so it screens out the political science, english and history majors who ended up law school (Ace Midnight raises hand on the "B.A. in history?" question.)


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Tigah in the ATL
LSU Fan
Atlanta
Member since Feb 2005
26407 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
A PE stamp is fairly specialized already. You don't need to sign off on designs as a lawyer.

As discussed, patent law is obvious for engineers. Friend of mine did a patent office clerk thing to pay for law school, now makes a little more money than his wife can spend.


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rmc
LSU Fan
Zachary, LA
Member since Sep 2004
22787 posts
Online

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
quote:

Patents


I am no expert on this line of work, but from what I know it seems to be centered to large cities and large firms. Also, I think a lot of the litigation takes place in DC. I could be wrong about those points, so I'll defer someone more in the know. But those are things to think about.

Additionally, God bless anyone who wants to do that type of work. I got a BS in Comp Sci and thought along these lines. Patent work may be for some people, but it is not for me. Writing/applying for patents seems mind numbing. I can't imagine litigating the nuances of patents can be that fun either. I took a IP course in law school and knew right away it was not for me.

Environmental work seems like you may be tied into either large firm/large city work or government work. Nothing wrong with these lines of work, just research and know what you are getting into.

Others have probably warned ahead of me and I will warn that you need to think really long and hard about what a law degree is going to cost, what you are going to do with it and whether you would be remotely happy practicing law.

I like practicing law, I don't love it. It is a respectable way to earn a living and there is a high ceiling even for solo practitioners who are willing to get after it.


bigblake
Member since Jun 2011
1330 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
(no message)
This post was edited on 4/6 at 1:02 pm


aldawg2323
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jan 2010
259 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
all good points and I appreciate the feedback.

One of my concerns is that I could not give anyone a specific field I want to practice in or cases I would like to take, only that I see a bit of a glass ceiling with an engineer's effectiveness as we run up against rules and regulations. Many times a week I hear "now, I am no attorney, but..." I think it would be another tool in my toolbox in the consulting field (eng & legal). I am certain I am romanticizing that prospect but there it is.

The time and money investment is a concern absolutely. I will probably start getting things in order for a 2014 start and research as I go while keeping both options open. for you who have attended, is it reasonable to think I would be able to do some private consulting while enrolled?

Lastly, there is a simple fact that I enjoy school. As i said previously, my brother just started and he is over the moon about it. I made it through a Masters of Eng at A&M in 12 months and I do not consider myself to be gifted at all at math.

thanks again for all the input


theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
4369 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
quote:

for you who have attended, is it reasonable to think I would be able to do some private consulting while enrolled?


while classes are in session, especially your first year, i wouldn't count on being able to work much, if at all. you could do consulting in the summer, but that is when you are going to be busting your arse to get your foot in the door at a firm, if that's what you want to do.

i actually worked my whole third year, but my grades were pretty much shite at that point, so i wasn't really trying to protect an impressive GPA.


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Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2006
22311 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
quote:

My brother just started Law School in CA and talks glowingly of it.


Of course he does. School, no matter what, isnt real life. By my second year i was boozing three nights a week. By third year, five nights a week. I chased women and got hammered with my friends. Nothing to complain about.

Then you have to pay the money back...


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TheOcean
Florida State Fan
Member since Aug 2004
32756 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
I would take a few practice lsats and see what kind of schools you could get into. if your last is high enough and you have some good softs, I'd try to get a full ride from a tt/ttt.

as far as working, most schools won't even let you work as a 1l.


matthew25
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Jun 2012
4021 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
I was told the best undergrad degree for law school was English (they like to write). Number 2 was engineering (logical thinking and precision).


theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
4369 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
i'd say your undergrad degree is almost entirely irrelevant for law school.



Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2006
22311 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
Unless you were that art history major who couldnt do simple math in 1L torts. Remember her?


aldawg2323
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jan 2010
259 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
For TheOcean, what is a tt/ttt?

drinking and whoring are not a concern. I have gotten most of that out of my system (drinkin at least).


theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
4369 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
ah yeah, i do remember her. ridiculous.

tt and ttt are both references to the quality of school, ttt being the worst (third tier toilet).


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TheOcean
Florida State Fan
Member since Aug 2004
32756 posts

re: thoughts on a PE attending Law School..
Tier 2/3. Tier 1's usually are tough to get scholarship money from.

Like I said, take a few practice LSATs and see where you're scoring. If you can realistically get in the mid 160's, then you could snag a full ride to some tt/ttts. Law applications/LSAT #s are down across the board. Schools are scrambling to fill classes.

TTTs are mostly regional schools. They aren't "crap," but if you're looking to finish middle of your class or worse, don't waste your money. If you're going to bust your arse in law school, then focus on money and loans.
This post was edited on 1/21 at 8:02 am


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