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Dissapointing News
Old 03-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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Dissapointing News

I had posted previously of plans to begin my first job with a local law firm this month. The firm deals exclusively with the preparation and prosecution of patents and has a handful of corporate clients (perhaps a dozen or more) which constitute the majority of their business. I was to work under a junior partner specializing in semiconductor-related technology, which is my field of interest having earned my bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.
Unfortunately, the recent downturn in the economy has resulted in a significant decrease in patent acquisition budgets in many industries, including the semiconductor industry. Consequently, several of the firm's big clients have notified them that they intend to reduce their annual filings by 20-30% in 2009-2010. Long story short, the firm has notified me that they were forced to downsize and are no longer able to offer me a position. This was pretty disappointing news especially since it occurred only a few days after I sat for the state bar exam (which, for those who have not had the pleasure carries its own roller-coaster of emotions).
Anyhow, the world has not ended and the sun will come up tomorrow. The firm allowed me to keep my signing bonus and the managing partner promised to write a letter of recommendation in reference to my internship last summer. My parents have offered support and told me not to worry about living expenses during the interim.
However, the feeling of uncertainty is absolutely consuming. For the first time in my life I really have no idea of what lies ahead. After high-school there was the excitement of college. After college there was the anticipation of Law School. After Law School, there was the pressure of the Bar exam and the promise of my first job.
I am currently performing some market research and narrowing down the firms in which I will submit resumes to (will be taking the scattershot approach). If I don’t have any luck with that approach, then I will probably enlist the services of one of the headhunters that contacted me after I passed the patent bar. If this to produces no results, then I will apply to the USPTO (patent office) in hopes of becoming a patent examiner (albeit at a significant pay cut). I suppose if that is unsuccessful, then I will look for an engineering job and if that road produces no ‘fruit’ then I suppose Dillard’s is always hiring?
Anyhow, I understand my problems may sound miniscule in comparison to those who have seen their retirement accounts dwindle over the past few months and I am not looking for sympathy.
I suppose this post is an attempt to reassure those who have also bourn the negative implications of these difficult times. The recession’s impact is not limited to a particular generation and has affected both young and “experienced” alike.
Good Day, my valued ER friends. May tomorrow’s skies be brighter than today’s.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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Bummer. Sorry for your busted plans. As you say, another opportunity will arise.

My son is in a firm that does IP litigation only. He's a senior associate and I worry, though for now things in the biotech industry seem OK.

Nobody is immune to this recession, as your story confirms.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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Someone with an engineering degree and a law degree should have little difficulty getting into the patent office. If you were a chemical engineer, it would be a slam dunk. It is a great place to start, kid. Don't poo-poo it. If I were smart, I should have done that years ago, but it is too late for me.

If you have no experience, I would forget about looking for an engineering job.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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What a tremendous disappointment, and how unnerving to have this happen with a first (professional) job.

Your plan of action sounds good. I am sure you will find something. You might want to take a week's break from job-hunting to regroup and recover after such an experience.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:02 PM   #5
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Best of luck to you!! Keep truckin'!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
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Stuff happens kiddo, don't even try to analyse why, just move on to the next one, you'll eventually get something.

Jug, good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear it. But it sounds like you have the attitude which will bring success down the road in whatever you choose.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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Say, Einstein passed some time doing patent reviews. Not a bad way to bide your time until something better comes along.

Who knows maybe you'll come up with the theory of everything. And prove it.

Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Who knows maybe you'll come up with the theory of everything....
It's been done.

42.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 03-10-2009, 12:34 PM   #10
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It's been done.

42.
Deep Thought did not know what question it was answering.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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Landonew I do not mean this as just a silly platitude, but maybe the next job is really where you are meant to be. When I look back thru my life and consider the decisions that were made for me, well, they have been some if the best courses I could have taken. In hindsight of course. Some years ago I had a serious illness. I had young children and the thought of leaving them motherless brought me to the depths of despair the likes of which I could never have imagined. During that awful time I learned so much about life and what was truly important the quantity of which I feel would have taken me a lifetime to realize. Before that I had always thought of myself as a weak person but I found I was quite the opposite. Losing that job is an awful disappointment , another death of expectation that life hands out. You will find the right job eventually and all of us here will pull for you! Best of luck!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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What a disappointment. It will turn around. I have friends who worked in the USPTO years ago, the experience is invaluable as you will know how they think.

Be sure to hit the inhouse jobs too, it is a nicer lifestyle.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Bummer. Sorry for your busted plans. As you say, another opportunity will arise.

My son is in a firm that does IP litigation only. He's a senior associate and I worry, though for now things in the biotech industry seem OK.

Nobody is immune to this recession, as your story confirms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
Someone with an engineering degree and a law degree should have little difficulty getting into the patent office. If you were a chemical engineer, it would be a slam dunk. It is a great place to start, kid. Don't poo-poo it. If I were smart, I should have done that years ago, but it is too late for me.

If you have no experience, I would forget about looking for an engineering job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
What a tremendous disappointment, and how unnerving to have this happen with a first (professional) job.

Your plan of action sounds good. I am sure you will find something. You might want to take a week's break from job-hunting to regroup and recover after such an experience.
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Originally Posted by Fireup2025 View Post
Best of luck to you!! Keep truckin'!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jug View Post
Stuff happens kiddo, don't even try to analyse why, just move on to the next one, you'll eventually get something.

Jug, good luck and happy hunting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Sorry to hear it. But it sounds like you have the attitude which will bring success down the road in whatever you choose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Say, Einstein passed some time doing patent reviews. Not a bad way to bide your time until something better comes along.

Who knows maybe you'll come up with the theory of everything. And prove it.

Good luck.
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
What a disappointment. It will turn around. I have friends who worked in the USPTO years ago, the experience is invaluable as you will know how they think.

Be sure to hit the inhouse jobs too, it is a nicer lifestyle.

The in-house jobs seem to want a minimum of 2-3 years prep/pros experience. That would be a nice end-game though.


Thanks for all the support. I will keep yall updated. Does anyone know the procedures for extending the student loan deferment periods? I need to address that immediately so that none of my co-signers are inconvienced.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #14
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I had posted previously of plans to begin my first job with a local law firm this month. The firm deals exclusively with the preparation and prosecution of patents and has a handful of corporate clients (perhaps a dozen or more) which constitute the majority of their business. I was to work under a junior partner specializing in semiconductor-related technology, which is my field of interest having earned my bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.
Unfortunately, the recent downturn in the economy has resulted in a significant decrease in patent acquisition budgets in many industries, including the semiconductor industry. Consequently, several of the firm's big clients have notified them that they intend to reduce their annual filings by 20-30% in 2009-2010. Long story short, the firm has notified me that they were forced to downsize and are no longer able to offer me a position. This was pretty disappointing news especially since it occurred only a few days after I sat for the state bar exam (which, for those who have not had the pleasure carries its own roller-coaster of emotions).
Anyhow, the world has not ended and the sun will come up tomorrow. The firm allowed me to keep my signing bonus and the managing partner promised to write a letter of recommendation in reference to my internship last summer. My parents have offered support and told me not to worry about living expenses during the interim.
However, the feeling of uncertainty is absolutely consuming. For the first time in my life I really have no idea of what lies ahead. After high-school there was the excitement of college. After college there was the anticipation of Law School. After Law School, there was the pressure of the Bar exam and the promise of my first job.
I am currently performing some market research and narrowing down the firms in which I will submit resumes to (will be taking the scattershot approach). If I don’t have any luck with that approach, then I will probably enlist the services of one of the headhunters that contacted me after I passed the patent bar. If this to produces no results, then I will apply to the USPTO (patent office) in hopes of becoming a patent examiner (albeit at a significant pay cut). I suppose if that is unsuccessful, then I will look for an engineering job and if that road produces no ‘fruit’ then I suppose Dillard’s is always hiring?
Anyhow, I understand my problems may sound miniscule in comparison to those who have seen their retirement accounts dwindle over the past few months and I am not looking for sympathy.
I suppose this post is an attempt to reassure those who have also bourn the negative implications of these difficult times. The recession’s impact is not limited to a particular generation and has affected both young and “experienced” alike.
Good Day, my valued ER friends. May tomorrow’s skies be brighter than today’s.
Just a few words of encouragement. I was in a situation similar to yours not too long ago. I was fresh out of school, moved to AZ and my first engineering job. I was laid off 8 months later and watched my net worth dwindle to less then 3k. Considering my rent was $800 / month, I figure I was about 3 months away from loosing everything. I got through it OK... no financial help from anyone, and was certainly stronger from the experience.

I actually consider myself lucky to have had that experience so early in my career. The memory of my 3k net worth has never entirely left me, and in a way that is a good thing. It really helped to shape my ideas about saving, and money. For me money is always about safety. I think I literally look at how much money I have, in terms of layers of protection around myself, between me... and becomming homeless. Now years later, I have a house, car, 401k, Roth IRA, and personal savings. Each one of those things is something I could sell off to save myself if I really needed to. Might not want to.... but I have learned that more options are always good.

Like yourself I rember the overwhelming sense of "Wow.... what do I do now". You go from a life that is VERY well planned and constructed, where there are not too many choices to make, to a life of infinate choices. I do not mind saying it was very disconcerting. You will get throught this.... you WILL be stronger for the experience, and it will help to form you in ways you might not realize at present.

Maybe one day you will be able to write some words of encouragement for the next younger person comming up through the ranks, as I have for you today...
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:28 PM   #15
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Sorry to hear it. But it sounds like you have the attitude which will bring success down the road in whatever you choose.
Ditto what Ziggy said. It is encouraging to hear, that in country where young people are blasted as being whiners and wanting to have it all, the country still produce folks with your attitude and work ethic.

Loved the comment about Einstein and the Patent office.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #16
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Landonew - sorry to hear about your bad news. Keep your chin up and stay positive, as dissappointing as this is now, in the long run it will be just another hurdle that you conquered on the way to where you are going.
Good luck and keep us all updated!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:20 PM   #17
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Just a few words of encouragement. I was in a situation similar to yours not too long ago. I was fresh out of school, moved to AZ and my first engineering job. I was laid off 8 months later and watched my net worth dwindle to less then 3k. Considering my rent was $800 / month, I figure I was about 3 months away from loosing everything. I got through it OK... no financial help from anyone, and was certainly stronger from the experience.

I actually consider myself lucky to have had that experience so early in my career. The memory of my 3k net worth has never entirely left me, and in a way that is a good thing. It really helped to shape my ideas about saving, and money. For me money is always about safety. I think I literally look at how much money I have, in terms of layers of protection around myself, between me... and becomming homeless. Now years later, I have a house, car, 401k, Roth IRA, and personal savings. Each one of those things is something I could sell off to save myself if I really needed to. Might not want to.... but I have learned that more options are always good.

Like yourself I rember the overwhelming sense of "Wow.... what do I do now". You go from a life that is VERY well planned and constructed, where there are not too many choices to make, to a life of infinate choices. I do not mind saying it was very disconcerting. You will get throught this.... you WILL be stronger for the experience, and it will help to form you in ways you might not realize at present.

Maybe one day you will be able to write some words of encouragement for the next younger person comming up through the ranks, as I have for you today...
Thank you so much. I will certainly do that if given the opportunity.


To the rest, thanks for your kind words. I feel good about the future and am not gravely concerned about finding a job. It may not be ideal, but I will make it work.

In all honesty, I could not be in a better situation to absorb such a difficult transgression. Luckily, I don't yet have a wife and/or children to support. Additionally, I have two very understanding parents who have offered their support (both financial and emotional).

This experience has made me realize (or at least begin to understand) how important financial independence truly is. As an employee, you are simply a fungible asset to your employer. Consequently, you are a mere stroke of a pen (or keystroke) away from unemployment.


BTW, want2retire... I believe I will take your advice on taking a week or so to gather myself. If nothing else, I could use the time off.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:28 PM   #18
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Oh my...what a bad break. I hope something else comes along for you in your search.
I myself graduated into a screaming recession (1980), so I do understand the feeling. I was supposed to go to w*rk as an entry level geophysicist for a well known oil company, but they had to withdraw their offer to fly me to OK for an interview. They were downsizing in the exploratory dept. Ouch!
If the USPTO is the best deal, then go for it. Steady work in your field cannot be sneezed at right now. In the future, any private law firm would grab you up in a heartbeat with some USPTO experience. You could name your price.
USPTO has a tremendous backlog, so you certainly won't be bored. If you happen to run across my other 3 still pending patents, give 'em a nice little push. The applications were submitted in Sept 2005 while I was still w*rking.
I just watched a show the other night about Einstein, and of course his years in the Swiss patent office were mentioned. Law is obviously your first choice, but don't forget the engineering track. You are sitting pretty, having 2 career tracks to choose from.

CONGRATS on passing the patent bar! Wooo hooooooooooooooooo
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:30 PM   #19
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To the rest, thanks for your kind words. I feel good about the future and am not gravely concerned about finding a job.
It seems to me getting an engineering degree, completing law school, then passing the bar (?) would be a strong indicator you've got "the right stuff".

You're gonna do just fine...
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:29 PM   #20
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Landonew:

Sorry to hear about this. I'm sure it is scant consolation to know that many law firms are scaling back and this is, unfortunately, the new reality for all too many recent graduates.

It seems that you have set your sights on patent law as a consequence of your engineering background. May I suggest that you broaden your horizons a bit ? Not every engineering undergrad needs to go into patent law. In my own case, I was an engineer for 8 years prior to law school. Most people, including me, assumed that I would be going into patent law. But as a consequence of positive summer associate experiences, when I graduated I went into bankruptcy law, something I never would have imagined doing prior to law school. I have been happy with my choice for the last 17 years.

Whatever you do, keep your chin up. You have faced some stiff challenges to get where you are today, and the traits that made that achievement possible will ultimately bring you success.

Best wishes,

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