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Advising Incoming Law Students Interested in IP

Our law school, like many, has begun the process of distributing offers of admission to prospective students.  Several of us faculty members are part of a typical marketing effort to persuade our admittees to pick our law school; the effort consists of the admissions staff’s sending email under our names to prospective students who have expressed an interest in our fields.  Messages from me, for example, go out to students who are interested in IP law.

A typical response consists of questions about careers and employability.  For students interested in careers in copyright and trademark law, for example, and related non-patent prosecution IP/information law subjects, what are the career prospects for new graduates?  What kinds of jobs have your graduates obtained, and where? 

Sometimes the questions focus on Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, and when they do, the geographic specificity makes a response relatively straightforward.  Pittsburgh is an old industrial city with an emerging new economy, but the demand for new economy legal services is still young enough and thin enough that the legal profession as a whole hasn’t been reshaped.  There are some opportunities here for non-patent work in IP, but not a lot, and there is a fair amount of scrapping over them by more experienced lawyers.

I should answer the broader question, too:  What does the legal profession offer students who want to pursue interests in “soft” IP, especially if they want to pursue those interests right out of law school?  Faculty colleagues, practicing colleagues, please chime in:  What are the best answers here?