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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    Why didn't you? I'm a bit sick of this attitude from science students on TSR to be honest. You knew you needed a 2:1 when you went to do BMS. There is no point blaming the system if you fall short.

    As for your question- some small firms may well take a 2:2 in a subject related to their matters. I'm not sure if the MSc will make any difference at all. It might, but considering that even LLMs are sometimes seen as a waste of time for candidates...

    Firms might also be wary about your commitment to the law given your proposed next step.


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    I'm glad to hear there may be an opportunity to work in law if I was to just fall short of a 2.1, thank you.

    Now why didn't I go to a lower ranking university?
    1) Because I'm a competitive *******.
    2) I've been told all my life that recruiters look most favorably on high ranking university graduates
    3) I've basically been looked at all my life as someone who wouldn't be capable of achieving good academics, and by attaining a degree from a top uni I'm sticking a massive middle finger up at all the doubters.

    I'm particularly pissed that law, one of the most prestigious professions, doesn't seem to appreciate what you read at uni or where you went outside of the top firms.

    This attitude of science students you refer to here is quite frankly well earned. There is a reason why science students (at least at my university) are renowned for carrying caffeine pills and drinking extreme amounts of coffee...because we are worked harder and longer than humanities students. 90% of the time, when I tell a humanities student I'm studying BMS (normally I roll my eyes at this point and pretend to slit my wrist), they take a step back with an expression that quite obviously says '**** you must be clever'... kind of says enough. Not saying that humanities are not respectful, I personally almost did do geography because it's really interesting.

    Finally with regards to my commitment to law given my next step. Science is one of the only areas where an MSc and PhD really do matter, the skills you gain at postgrad within science really do help you progress your understanding of the topic. Patent firms often specify masters degrees and PhD as advantageous from what I've seen. As for intellectual property, I really don't know if it does help however I'm doing it also because I'm interested in studying the topics, I don't see myself getting shot down for that.
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    (Original post by billyb750)
    I can only comment with regard entry into the profession as a patent attorney, not as a solicitor. For a start, you cannot become a patent attorney without an undergraduate science degree. Therefore a degree in geography followed by a post graduate science degree won't be sufficient.

    There is good reason patent firms want a 2:1 or above. Patents are technical documents and patent attorneys, as well as being expert wordsmiths, need to be able to accurately understand the background science behind a patented invention. Particularly in the pharmaceutical sector, most trainee patent attorneys have a PhD.

    Whilst people with a 2:2 may still have this scientific knowledge, it won't set a good impression with the patent firms recruiting. Being honest with you, I don't know a singe trainee in the profession with a degree less than a 2:1 (including over 50 trainees). Now I am not saying it is impossible that you will find a trainee position with a patent firm with a 2:2 degree, I am just saying that the odds are stacked against you.

    You are correct however that trainee patent attorneys are not exclusively
    Oxbridge graduates. I am a UCL graduate (undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering) and I found a trainee position.

    I am sorry I can't give you any advice about the solicitor route, but if you have any questions about the patent attorney route, please let me know. Sorry if it seems like I am being an arse, I am just telling things to you as they are!

    Thank you for your response. I completely understand what you're saying and you don't sound like you're being an arse at all. I'm sorry if my last two posts have come across like I'm being a massive arse. I really don't mean to be I'm just stressed out trying to revise the aetiology of childhood leukemia, also I've just had my second massive nose bleed of the day for no apparent reason.

    If I was to really enjoy the 6 month research component of my MSc, go on and do a PhD, do you know if a 2.2 degree would still really hinder me for a trainee in life sci position?

    Also is it actually really important to have a good level of French and German reading (and writing/speaking) for the patent attorney profession? I'm hoping a postgrad degree would also give me time to brush up and perfect my language skills, particularly subject specific words.
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    Msc and PhDs seem to be favoured in the life sciences sector, though it is possible to get a trainee position without them.
    (Original post by beansonfish)
    Thank you for your response. I completely understand what you're saying and you don't sound like you're being an arse at all. I'm sorry if my last two posts have come across like I'm being a massive arse. I really don't mean to be I'm just stressed out trying to revise the aetiology of childhood leukemia, also I've just had my second massive nose bleed of the day for no apparent reason.

    If I was to really enjoy the 6 month research component of my MSc, go on and do a PhD, do you know if a 2.2 degree would still really hinder me for a trainee in life sci position?

    Also is it actually really important to have a good level of French and German reading (and writing/speaking) for the patent attorney profession? I'm hoping a postgrad degree would also give me time to brush up and perfect my language skills, particularly subject specific words.
    PhD's seem to be favoured in the life sciences sector (MSc's don't hurt though don't seem to be as important). This being said, I know plenty of life science trainees without either a MSc or PhD.

    I can't say whether having such qualifications would compensate for a 2:2. My advice would just be to do as best you can in your degree. If you get a 2:2, so be it. You have the science degree which is important.

    Any work experience in the sector you can get would be advantageous. I can't think of any patent firms in particular off the top of my head, but I know some offer work experience. If you can afford to, you may want to send your CV and a cover letter to a few patent firms and ask if they have any unpaid work placements. Even if they are only a week or two long, such placements will look great on your CV. I see plenty of CVs for my firm's trainee positions. Whilst a lot of the candidates have good academic qualifications, most have no evidence of interest in the profession and few have actually bothered to try getting any first hand work experience. In my case, I worked for an IP law firm for a month (unpaid) prior to getting my trainee position which may have helped.

    Most UK patent attorneys often end up dual qualifying as European Patent attorneys. The official languages of the European Patent Office are French, English, and German. You can get away with only knowing one of the three languages, though any knowledge of the other two langages would be useful (this being said, my French is only at GCSE level and I can't speak a word of German, yet I get by! )
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    (Original post by beansonfish)
    I'm glad to hear there may be an opportunity to work in law if I was to just fall short of a 2.1, thank you.

    Now why didn't I go to a lower ranking university?
    1) Because I'm a competitive *******.
    2) I've been told all my life that recruiters look most favorably on high ranking university graduates
    3) I've basically been looked at all my life as someone who wouldn't be capable of achieving good academics, and by attaining a degree from a top uni I'm sticking a massive middle finger up at all the doubters.

    I'm particularly pissed that law, one of the most prestigious professions, doesn't seem to appreciate what you read at uni or where you went outside of the top firms.

    This attitude of science students you refer to here is quite frankly well earned. There is a reason why science students (at least at my university) are renowned for carrying caffeine pills and drinking extreme amounts of coffee...because we are worked harder and longer than humanities students. 90% of the time, when I tell a humanities student I'm studying BMS (normally I roll my eyes at this point and pretend to slit my wrist), they take a step back with an expression that quite obviously says '**** you must be clever'... kind of says enough. Not saying that humanities are not respectful, I personally almost did do geography because it's really interesting.

    Finally with regards to my commitment to law given my next step. Science is one of the only areas where an MSc and PhD really do matter, the skills you gain at postgrad within science really do help you progress your understanding of the topic. Patent firms often specify masters degrees and PhD as advantageous from what I've seen. As for intellectual property, I really don't know if it does help however I'm doing it also because I'm interested in studying the topics, I don't see myself getting shot down for that.
    It sounds like you have a justification- that's good. You will obviously get asked about it.

    My problem with the attitude is the inherent arrogance. Yes, science students are smart and work hard. But so are other students. Generally speaking, it seems a lot of science bods on TSR take great pleasure in putting down students of other subjects or implying they are somehow unworthy.

    I never meant to imply that you had that attitude; I was merely venting. I sympathise with your situation and understand your stressed state.

    As for your comment about law firms... They can afford to have the 2:1 threshold and not care about where a student goes. There are usually over 100 applications per training contract on offer. The 2:1 filters this (barely).

    Once you are in the interview room your subject and uni is pretty much irrelevant. They recruit the person. As it happens, most trainees come from respected unis.

    As it happens, almost all of my intake have 1sts. But I know people with 2:2s who have got on vacation schemes and to interview. I don't know anyone with that classification who have been successful, but I'm sure it happens.

    In any case, I understand it is still within your power to get the 2:1?


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    (Original post by billyb750)
    Msc and PhDs seem to be favoured in the life sciences sector, though it is possible to get a trainee position without them.


    PhD's seem to be favoured in the life sciences sector (MSc's don't hurt though don't seem to be as important). This being said, I know plenty of life science trainees without either a MSc or PhD.

    I can't say whether having such qualifications would compensate for a 2:2. My advice would just be to do as best you can in your degree. If you get a 2:2, so be it. You have the science degree which is important.

    Any work experience in the sector you can get would be advantageous. I can't think of any patent firms in particular off the top of my head, but I know some offer work experience. If you can afford to, you may want to send your CV and a cover letter to a few patent firms and ask if they have any unpaid work placements. Even if they are only a week or two long, such placements will look great on your CV. I see plenty of CVs for my firm's trainee positions. Whilst a lot of the candidates have good academic qualifications, most have no evidence of interest in the profession and few have actually bothered to try getting any first hand work experience. In my case, I worked for an IP law firm for a month (unpaid) prior to getting my trainee position which may have helped.

    Most UK patent attorneys often end up dual qualifying as European Patent attorneys. The official languages of the European Patent Office are French, English, and German. You can get away with only knowing one of the three languages, though any knowledge of the other two langages would be useful (this being said, my French is only at GCSE level and I can't speak a word of German, yet I get by! )
    I'll definitely be looking out for some work experience/vacation scheme within the field to booster my application yes. Guess I'll just get my head down and try get that 2.1 grade. Thanks for your responses!
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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    It sounds like you have a justification- that's good. You will obviously get asked about it.

    My problem with the attitude is the inherent arrogance. Yes, science students are smart and work hard. But so are other students. Generally speaking, it seems a lot of science bods on TSR take great pleasure in putting down students of other subjects or implying they are somehow unworthy.

    I never meant to imply that you had that attitude; I was merely venting. I sympathise with your situation and understand your stressed state.

    As for your comment about law firms... They can afford to have the 2:1 threshold and not care about where a student goes. There are usually over 100 applications per training contract on offer. The 2:1 filters this (barely).

    Once you are in the interview room your subject and uni is pretty much irrelevant. They recruit the person. As it happens, most trainees come from respected unis.

    As it happens, almost all of my intake have 1sts. But I know people with 2:2s who have got on vacation schemes and to interview. I don't know anyone with that classification who have been successful, but I'm sure it happens.

    In any case, I understand it is still within your power to get the 2:1?


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    I understand where you're coming from and I don't like it either when people actively go out of their way to put others down. I just tend to feel on average a science student has a tougher time through uni, but as you say to the employer in the interview room that's irrelevant really. It's also not quantifiable, possibly justifying turning a blind eye to what was studied within a group of applicants.

    And yes I could still get a 2.1, got over 40% of my degree to be marked so it's all still to play for. Thanks for your response also .
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    (Original post by beansonfish)
    I understand where you're coming from and I don't like it either when people actively go out of their way to put others down. I just tend to feel on average a science student has a tougher time through uni, but as you say to the employer in the interview room that's irrelevant really. It's also not quantifiable, possibly justifying turning a blind eye to what was studied within a group of applicants.

    And yes I could still get a 2.1, got over 40% of my degree to be marked so it's all still to play for. Thanks for your response also .
    Best of luck with the end of your degree.


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    One last thing, maybe the law courses offering the GDL and LPC shouldn't be allowed to have so many places? That way less people will be taken on and drowned in so much debt with such uncertainty of getting a job at the end of it all....
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    (Original post by beansonfish)
    One last thing, maybe the law courses offering the GDL and LPC shouldn't be allowed to have so many places? That way less people will be taken on and drowned in so much debt with such uncertainty of getting a job at the end of it all....
    Ah this debate has been going on for ages. I agree though, there really ought to be a cap on it. And I don't understand why they let people on the course when tonnes of them hasn't even had any form of legal experience either (the admissions lady at BPP told me this!).
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    (Original post by beansonfish)
    One last thing, maybe the law courses offering the GDL and LPC shouldn't be allowed to have so many places? That way less people will be taken on and drowned in so much debt with such uncertainty of getting a job at the end of it all....
    I agree.


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    Ideal thread.

    I'm in the same boat. I'm a First Year student, I have bad A Level grades as I was a different person back then. Now I'm at a Russell averaging a 2:1. I'm considering law but still undecided. I've spoken to Slaughter, A&O and Macfarlanes about this personally. Yes you can still apply and will be considered. You might have to have mitigating circumstances (for me, I am a Mature Student, started my degree aged 23 after working for 3 and a half years in the energy industry and was offered my place on this AAB course on the basis of my work experience). And you'll want to put this on the application form. You want to get lots of extra things on your CV. Head of a University Society, Summer School in Law, Study Abroad, Work Experience, just battle.

    A Level grades are a way of distinguishing between candidates who have nothing else but qualifications, so you want to get as much other stuff done, put yourself in a good position. If you do all that, they won't really care about A Level grades and I've spoken to multiple sources at the top of the legal profession. Best of luck.
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    (Original post by Eboracum)
    Ideal thread.

    I'm in the same boat. I'm a First Year student, I have bad A Level grades as I was a different person back then. Now I'm at a Russell averaging a 2:1. I'm considering law but still undecided. I've spoken to Slaughter, A&O and Macfarlanes about this personally. Yes you can still apply and will be considered. You might have to have mitigating circumstances (for me, I am a Mature Student, started my degree aged 23 after working for 3 and a half years in the energy industry and was offered my place on this AAB course on the basis of my work experience). And you'll want to put this on the application form. You want to get lots of extra things on your CV. Head of a University Society, Summer School in Law, Study Abroad, Work Experience, just battle.

    A Level grades are a way of distinguishing between candidates who have nothing else but qualifications, so you want to get as much other stuff done, put yourself in a good position. If you do all that, they won't really care about A Level grades and I've spoken to multiple sources at the top of the legal profession. Best of luck.
    What were your a level grades if you dont mind me asking? In what subjects? Did you resit some after year 13?
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    (Original post by thediamonds)
    What were your a level grades if you dont mind me asking? In what subjects? Did you resit some after year 13?
    I did a Double Award IT A Level and got CD. Then a few years later I did two new ones whilst working full time Politics and got A and then did AS History and got A. So I'm on an AAB course but with lower than the normal entry requirements due to my work experience.
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    People from scientific backgrounds do very well in IP law, but I must stress the importance of you getting a good degree. A 2:1 is a must, but a high 2:1 or a first will put you in a stronger position. Tizzybelle is right that the legal world is tough, even with great grades.

    Particularly when coming from another subject, once you have the first bit of work experience it is easier to get more. It might be a good idea to start by heading over to the Oxford District Registry of the High Court and seeing if you can get in to watch some IP cases. You could also contact the Brookes Law Department, and see if there are any IP careers talks or "open lectures" that you would be able to go to. You will then have something to write about on your application for vacation schemes to show that you have a genuine interest. Many of the bigger law firms offer special periods of vacation scheme for non-law students, so it is well worth looking into and targetting those.

    Woody-wood I don't quite understand why you are getting off on trolling Tizzybelle, because she has got a lot of sense in there, and also some great experience. Why couldn't you have work experience before university?! I have worked in some form since I was 14, and my first legal work experience was at 15, in the magistrate's courts which I got through writing to them, followed by mock trial cases from 16. I was a qualified CAB adviser at 18, and I know people who were whilst at sixth form. Similarly, I have been on mini-pupillages where there have been schoolkids of about 14 there on work experience watching some of the tamer criminal cases. Just because you didn't get started until University, it doesn't mean that other people weren't already thinking about getting experience whilst still at school.
 
 
 
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