Sunday, August 27, 2006

 

One down ... but a lot more to go

Hello everyone. My name is Jason Benedict and I'm currently entering my second year of law school at Michigan State. I know what you all are thinking - "MSU? Traitor!" - but trust me, if I could have gone to UM law school I would have. In either case, I still bleed maize and blue, and I hold it down for the Wolverines in East Lansing.

I went to UM from 2001-2005 and earned my degree in electrical engineering with a focus in MEMS and integrated circuits. I held two engineering summer internships during undergrad, but I found myself bored with both of them. The work I was given was minimal, and even when I did receive a project I rarely found it interesting or challenging. It was a combination of these two summer experiences and my own personal greed ($$$) that landed me in law school.

In case anyone doesn't know, the combination of an engineering degree and a law degree (to practice patent law) is rare and therefore in demand. An engineering degree allows you to take the patent bar exam (seperate from the regular bar exam), which allows you to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Not only engineering degrees enable you to sit for the patent bar exam - degrees such as chemistry and physics fulfill the required number of undergraduate technical credits (I think it's around 60). Anyways, the work done by a patent attorney could entail prosecution (preparing and prosecuting patent applications with the USPTO) or litigation (litigating lawsuits over cases such as patent infringement).

I had a summer associate position this summer with a patent law firm and was exposed to both the prosecution and litigation sides of patent law, but mostly I dealt with prosecution. I prepared patent applications for a wide variety of clients, and I responded to office actions (rejections) by the USPTO. I had a great time this summer and I think I want to pursue a career in patent prosecution.

Now all that is left is two more years of law school, getting another summer position, passing both bar exams, and getting hired. Basically, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not very bright at the moment.

 

Picture

Let's see if I can get this to work ...





Monday, August 14, 2006

 
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