Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The rumor mill has it that we are looking at a bunch of Junior Officers being IRAD'ed in the next 6 months. (IRAD=Involuntary Relase from Active Duty, basically being told that we are no longer needed, thanks for serving...)

A former CO suggested that I look into becoming a patent atourney. I gave it a bit of thought today on a 500 mile motorcycle ride, and figured I would ask around.

Here is what I have:
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from GMI (now called Kettering University)
Thesis Written for above (10 credits short of MSME)
6 years Naval Service, 4 as an Officer. I am currently a Lieutenant Junior Grade, but I should be a Lieutenant, but there was a paperwork screw up, and none of the LT's due for promotion since 1OCT have been promoted.
Commercial Pilot Certificate, for Helicopters and Airplane, with instrument ratings in both

I guess my questions are

What is the salary range? I have seen stuff all over the chart on this, and would like a real-world take on this.

How fast can one reasonably complete a JD, going to school year round, full time. I pulled 23 credits per term 4 times at GMI, and I was close to burnout on 2 of them. I can handle large workloads, but I think the reality of now being married and owning a home will eat a bit of my time up.

The one final kicker is, is it possible to do this for reasonable money? I have borderline outrageous student loan debt from my time at GMI, and would like to not double it. I think being a veteran opens up some pots of money, but I remember back to my undergrad days, and it seemed like you had to be a minority to get any "meaningful" (as in would buy more than 1 book) scholarship money. Not trying to entice A/A debate with that, just an observation I made.

My SAT scores were 1380, but I took them over 10 years ago.

Thanks for reading, and any feedback, good bad or ugly is appreciated![/i]
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,093 Posts
The pay range is pretty freaking good. My mother works in a the patent office of Smith International, one of the main compeditors of Halliburton, and the patent lawyers make boo coo bucks. Big companies, especially the oil field right now, are looking for people like that.

Give it a shot man. All they can do is say no.

Nick
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10,577 Posts
The average per hour rate of a patent attorney is about $150. That would make the average salary at about $120K. Unlike other practices, there is rarely court time.

By the way, the average salary for an attorney in the US is just shy of $50K. Not as much as most people think. :wink: There are more attorneys in the US than in the rest of the world, combined (we are a litigious society). Employment opportunities are drastically reduced... except for the upper 1% of graduates. Only one in five law school graduates will practice law more than three years and one in 10 will never practice. :?

Great good luck! :wink:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Thumper,

Why not run with what you have? You have a degree in M.E. why not finish your masters in that? After reading Paul's post I'm sure you could make somewhere close to the 50K that most lawyers make and you wouldn't have to spend all that money on law school. Remember private law school is something like $100K and public is something like $40K. Either way its a lot of money.

As far as the schollarships go take it from someone who's going to grad school. Scholarships are few and far between!!! I'm a 36yoa white guy with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a slightly above average job. Guess what kind of help I get? That's right, none! Next semester I might get lucky and get an honor student scholarship for $500. Cost of my classes is something like $1100 without books. Not that I'm *****ing. $500 is $500 that I don't have to spend and I'll take what I can get.

Anyway good luck with your decision. Law is a great profession but like Paul said I think most people believe that lawyers earn a lot more than they auctally do and there are many, many lawyers in the U.S. all compeating for the same jobs.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm trying to feel out what all my options are at this point before I have to make a solid decision.

Do you go to A&M Corpus Christi? My wife graduated from there in 2003.

I used to be one of those guys in the orange and white planes that is always buzzing over the school. Why they built a college on the approach end of a runway at the second busisest Naval Air Station is beyond me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess from the $ standpoint, I was offered $50K a year to start 5 years ago out of college with a BSME, and some real experience, and the cost of living in Michigan is a hell of a lot less than where I live now.

I'm currently so out of touch with the civillian marketplace I don't even have a good number on what I "should" be making with my current degree.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Thumper,

I go to Texas A&M - Kingsville but I live in Corpus. A&M - Corpus didn't have the program I wanted. I work in Kingsville so it doesn't bother me too much to attend classes in Kingsville.

I would think it wouldn't be too hard to find out what you could earn with your degree now and your Navy time had to help. Is your wife from Corpus? Lots of the refineries are hiring if you wanted to come back. Cost of living isn't too bad either :lol:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10,577 Posts
I wouldn't even recommend Michigan as a fly-over, let alone move! :shock: The state is about to become a Third World state. GM is closing three more plants here and that will be the straw. :cry: Best place to practice patents and copyright law is Washington, D.C. or its environs (Arlington, Alexandria, Silver Spring, Baltimore). :wink:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
thumper723

You have a couple of different options for making your choice.

The first is research. You can find out a lot about your earning potential in a specific area you intend to move to for specific positions by going to the states Employment Security web site. Most states have jobs posted by area and city. These are not necessarily the best jobs in the area but will give you an idea of what is being hired in the area and an idea about starting salaries.

This should also give you an idea about what qualifications the employers in the area are looking for as far as education goes and experience.

Another option would be to look at the federal job market.

WWW.usa.opm.gov will give you a listing of all open federal jobs and do not forget about your veteran's preference, it really does help.

Third thing I would recommend with caution. If you have suffered a service connected disability (injury or disease while in service) you may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation. This is a good program for several reasons if you are eligible.

1. They help you pay for school
2. They should provide you with information about job markets in the area and job trends.
3. They provide testing to help you determine areas of interest and aptitude.

The most important thing I can recommend (and this is the voice of experience) is DO NOT JUMP ON THE FIRST THING DOWN THE PIKE. Take your time and look around. Save up and use all the terminal leave you can and, if eligible (do not know much about you officer types :) ) use permissive TDY.

Also get all the professional help you can on your resume. Translating skills from the military to the civilian market is tougher than most people think. Books help and so do family members and friends reviewing your resume but get as much outside help as you can. Employment security offices have personnel to help but they are kind of hit or miss. A head hunter (one YOU DO NOT PAY FOR) may be more help in this area.

Lastly DO NOT GO TO A HEAD HUNTER that charges you. The company that hires you should pick up the tab.

I could give you more information but this is a start. If you are interested in what I have mentioned I can give you more details either here or in a PM.

Sorry about being so long winded and regardless of what you decide to do than you for your service.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top