clm421
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
So, I want to have a career in law, specifically related to Intellectual Property law, however I don't know which degree would be more beneficial in pursuing this: a STEM degree or Law.

For some background, I currently hold an offer to study Law at an RG Uni but am thinking of changing to Computer Science or Electronic Engineering - due to my humanities-based A Level choices, I'd also have to take a Foundation Year.

I realise that you can complete a Graduate Diploma in Law if you did not study Law at undergrad, but I have funding concerns since SFE doesn't approve student loans for this. I imagine it would also be more difficult to gain legal work experience sufficient enough to get a training contract for a firm to fund the GDL & LPC if you are not already studying Law.

There are other IP law related careers, such as a patent attorney, which require a STEM degree instead of a Law degree but which also tend to consider those with a Masters or Doctorate over a normal undergraduate degree.

Considering all of this, would it be more wise to pursue a Law or STEM degree?
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CALIBRE8
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#2
Report 4 months ago
#2
(Just as a backdrop, I have recently completed the LPC and have friends who studied IP on my course. They enjoyed it but there is a lot of caselaw - not that you need to worry about that right now!)

In my personal opinion, going off the fact that you have taken humanity based A-levels, and hold an offer to study law at a RG, I think you would be best placed to go for a law degree over a STEM subject. This is of course reliant on the fact that you definitely want to become an IP lawyer in the future. A law degree would put you in a somewhat easier position as a quicker route into law (at least traditionally, I note the introduction of the SQE) and by equipping you with the key skills that you will need. However, a STEM based subject would certainly be more useful than a law degree if you were to decide that law was not for you in the future.

Some other important things to note:

- Funding is not an issue if you did not study law at undergrad. I think you can make the GDL a masters too which would give you access to student funding?

- Not studying a law degree has no bearing on whether you can secure a TC/vacation scheme, indeed many firms like to recruit a mix of law and non-law students (some with a 50/50 split)

- I don't know how much time you have to play with but I would also advise that (if possible) you speak to a lawyer working in IP law. A conversation with them would allow you to make a more informed decision.
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LucyFL
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#3
Report 3 months ago
#3
You are right in saying that a Law degree is required to become an IP lawyer or solicitor but a STEM degree is required to become a patent attorney. It may also be worth noting that a law conversion course (or post-grad course) is not needed to apply to trainee patent attorney jobs - despite the law knowledge needed for the role (it is all taught during training at a firm). There are differences in the roles of lawyer/solicitor/attorney when it comes to patents and IP so it may be worth a google on that one

Having said all that - I agree with Calibre8 in the fact that it seems sensible to continue with the Law degree given your existing offer and background. You may well find another area of law that interests you during your studies Good luck!
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