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TheScientist101 last won the day on February 20

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  1. Most people don't care - except for people in my home town. I'm originally from a rural area - and you would think that when people find out I'm an Intellectual Property lawyer it would mean basically nothing to them -- WRONG. Every time my "area of practice" comes up I get into super lengthy conversations about Monsanto. The whole town basically hates me and I've never even actually acted for that company! I guess we're all just painted with the same brush ... let me sob on my big pile of money over here... *sniff*
  2. Yeah, @barelylegal is right - this is may only have an impact in a grad school context. Even in that context it still may not have an impact on future opportunities. Usually it's evaluated during post-doc applications, and even then it's a soft factor. If you ended up working with a rock star geneticist in your undergrad and just kept the M.Sc and Ph.D positions with that rock star, you published a lot in high impact journal etc. it won't hold you back when you're looking for post-doc spots. If you ended up with a mediocre M.Sc supervisor at the same school you did your undergrad in and then just stuck with that same supervisor for your PhD - it could be viewed negatively.
  3. I have received a PM from a member indicating that they know several older lawyers who have their P. Eng designation. So, apparently obtaining it, maintaining the designation and practicing in law can be a thing. However, I'm still unsure about whether having the P. Eng offers additional value or use to a firm or a lawyer over and above an engineering degree. It's certainly not a "requirement" the same way that having a PhD is generally a requirement for patent prosecution (I know that because I know many engineers who do not have a P. Eng but who do prosecution). In litigation, it is definitely not required (or, even marketed the same way that a PhD is). In terms of the usefulness of the designation when applying to firms, I'm not even sure that the P. Eng would give you a leg up on the competition. It could, but I'm honestly unsure. Again, if anyone with more experience wants to chime in, please do!
  4. You mean like this article? For some reason it's been making the rounds on Bay street again. At first I was like - phew - that was almost ten years ago "we" (i.e Bay street culture in general) have made sooooo much progress. But, upon reflection, I don't know if that's actually true. Unfortunately we still hire/promote people who look like "us" (because we "like" those types of people - they just "fit") - turns out a lot of "us" are still white men.
  5. Any engineering degree will put you one up on someone who does not have a STEM background. That being said, almost all IP lawyers I know with an engineering degree have it in mechanical, electrical, software or chemical. The true benefit to having that type of background is that you are not "afraid" of science and you come into the practice with the confidence that you can learn it. I would imagine that someone with a civil engineering background could be of value with mechanical engineering patents (but I'm not sure about how those two fields intersect - I would imagine a basic understanding of mechanics and materials are important to both). I don't think that a P. Eng is particularly valuable - I personally do not know any lawyer who also had their P. Eng. I can't offer any advice about keeping the professional designation - perhaps someone else on the forum with more experience in that area could chime in.
  6. Even a number like 90 would surprise me. On your transcript it tells you how many students were in the class - even in classes like Real Estate, Commercial Law or Evidence the numbers were always 70-75. Maybe Ottawa has bumped it up in the past few years, but I could see that being an issue.
  7. 1. Upper year classes - my smallest was 4, my largest was 75. (someone posted 150 - when I was there not one class that was near this large - class sections were capped at 75). 2. I don't think there are hard stats on this and it would probably be irresponsible to hazard a guess, but sufficient to say "most" students do find articles somewhere. 3. I agree that J term is weird, and I didn't like it for taking a regular class. However, you can get some mooting credit for it and you can also do an internship or directed research project for the term. It's good if you don't have an actual "class" to go to because you get 3.5 weeks to actual focus on something meaningful - like writing a research paper or gaining experience at a law firm etc. 4. I have no idea - it seems like a lot of people I know had a 2L job (1L positions at law firms are very tough to come by at any school - but if you're into IP then several Ottawa firms have several 1L placements in their IP departments and you're more likely to get those if you go to Ottawa U).
  8. I'm in IP working in an office on Bay and my work has never required a car. If we are going to court we walk (or fly depending on the city it's in). Clients pay for cabs if we require one. To get to and from work I use public transportation (because parking in the city, like everything else, is outrageous).
  9. This is really important and a note for those entering into or still in law school. Your colleagues in law school will likely be your colleagues for life. You never know who is going to be your next source of business and it's very likely that, at one point or another, that source could come from "Cheryl" who always sat two rows behind you in your Wills class. Don't be an ass hat - keep up a great reputation - and if treating people nicely doesn't come naturally to you, treat them as though they could be the source of your next big cheque (because that could actually be the case).
  10. Yeah.... apparently they changed this after I had graduated. It used to be the case but I guess no longer.
  11. If you qualify for OSAP (even a minimal amount) you automatically get the tuition bursaries. In my day it was $1500 for 1L and $1000 for 2L and 3L - they may have gone up. Anything you apply for is over and above that amount. The majority of applications for funding (bursary or scholarship) at Ottawa U require that you first qualify for OSAP.
  12. Maybe not "depressed" - but every life science PhD candidate hates their life at some point (which, now that I think about it, is also true for lawyers).
  13. I'm a lawyer and I have PhD. It was also fully funded (in Canada, not international). For myself, if I had to do it again I would not go and get my PhD again. I always said that if I knew straight out of undergrad (or at the end of my M.Sc) that I wanted to do law, I would have gone straight into it from there. My research was cool and it's nice when my wife calls me "doctor" - but I still feel like those were kind of wasted/really useless years of my life. An experimental based PhD can be the most frustrating thing to finish EVER. For me it constituted years of banging my head against the wall because I had an experiment that took a month to complete with what felt like a thousand steps, but I couldn't figure out which one wasn't working (yes, I eventually did figure it out *go me!* and it did get published - but man that glory was not worth the torture). A year and a half into it and I knew academia wasn't for me. I had many post-doc offers from some pretty incredible Universities (think Ivy league and well established schools over seas) but decided that wasn't the career path for me, and I wanted to get onto what I knew I wanted to be doing. Now. The PhD has come in a little handy when I was looking for IP jobs (both in law school and after being called). But you already have an M.Sc so if your goal is to get into IP, you've already got the degree to back you up. The PhD could definitely help you, but it's not going to make or break your chances. If you are on the fence, and you think that you could still want to pursue an academic career - then go for it! But, if you're already convinced that your career lies in law - then why waste 4-6 years of your life doing something that will have little bearing on getting you to your goal? Age should not be the factor you consider - but make the decision based on what you want to be doing in 10 years. If the answer is law, then the choice is a no brainer.
  14. Back up plans are always a good idea. Maybe try to get a job? Perhaps something like University admissions offices, or working with OSAP etc. You could even try to tap the government (I know they are hiring a lot of entry positions for the census at stats can. etc.) Next year, if you still want to be a lawyer, then apply super broadly - go across Canada - I would think with a 164 you'll probably get in somewhere. I'm not sure about every school, but at most of them you have to be out of school for at least 5 years to apply as a mature student. Since you've completed (are completing?) your MA, the 5 years wouldn't start until you're finished it. Good luck!
  15. Hi OP, I agree with @epeeist that to me it sounds like you don't really like what you're doing now, but you don't know if you want to do law. With that in mind I'll try to answer your questions from a purely informational side. Is there a demand for Mech Eng in IP? Short answer is - kind of. In prosecution - definitely (see my post on getting into IP here for what "prosecution" means etc.). In litigation - I mean a mech eng degree will get you in the door but I wouldn't expect to use it every day. You will also have to be open to learn about pharmaceutical science. A Mech Eng degree will qualify you to apply to 1L, 2L and articling IP gigs. It's a box that will be checked that will make it a little easier for you to get into the field. However, you should note that just because you have a mech eng degree does not mean you will definitely get into IP. If you go to law school and you're not open to practicing in other areas it could be devastating if you get to the end of your 3 years with out a spot in an IP department. So, if you're going to go to law school make sure you're open to practicing in other areas (otherwise the investment is far more risky and may not pay off in the end). Work Life Balance? I've spoken about it on here a lot. I think I have great balance, my wife does not. As like many other areas of law, you can put many hours in working in IP. I work a lot - there is no question. Patent prosecutors may not work so much (their lives are far more predictable). If you end up in a big, busy firm chances are you will work more than 9-5 (probably something like 8-6 or 7-7). Most IP departments are in big busy firms (I can't think of one off the top of my head that is not big and busy). How much do IP lawyers make? Generally IP lawyers make the top of the market (in which ever market they are in). So, in Toronto we start at $110K. In Ottawa we start at $80K. You can poke around here for the lockstep in those markets, but generally by the time we hit 6th year we're around $200K in Toronto. After 6th year it will vary - you could be made equity partner by 8th year, have an incredible year and bring in $700K (or more!) - or you could just stick around the $200K for years to come (this is largely dependent on firm opportunity/your own motivation for the kind of work you want). I'm not sure how raises work in the mech eng field - but if "senior engineer" is a position you can get in the next 6-10 years and you get regular raises that quickly bridge the gap between $55K-$500K then from a pure money perspective it would probably not be worth it to leave your field. If you have to wait 30 years to get that kind of title then it's possible that lawyering could be more lucrative.
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