What does an intellectual property lawyers do?
Intellectual property lawyers handle many different types of cases that involve one of the four areas of intellectual property law: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. They provide representation and legal advice to clients to make sure their specialized rights are upheld and violations have not taken place. They handle many different types of cases such as copyright-infringement or patent violations. Intellectual property lawyers also evaluate inventions and products and help individuals or organizations file patent applications and other related documents.
What kind of training does an intellectual property lawyer need?
Intellectual property lawyers must have a bachelor degree and a Juris Doctorate degree. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to gain acceptance. Law school provides intensive classroom instruction and exposes students to practical learning experiences. Most law schools require students to complete an internship before graduation. Many aspiring intellectual property lawyers complete an internship or clerkship at a law firm that specializes in intellectual property law to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. All states require intellectual property lawyers to pass the written patent bar examination. The patent bar examination is administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and intellectual property lawyers must pass it before they are able to present cases to the office. Intellectual property lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast on advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as an intellectual property lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including intellectual property lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in intellectual property cases will drive job growth of intellectual property lawyers.
Job prospects are expected to be great with strong competition. Intellectual property lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do intellectual property lawyers make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for intellectual property lawyers is $89,000; average annual intellectual property lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as an intellectual property lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in intellectual property law. Intellectual property lawyers must have a solid understanding of the rules and regulations related to patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. Perseverance, analytical thinking, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Intellectual property lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work under stress and pressure.