Law schools are beginning to ramp up non-JD programs and one of the newest areas of focus are masters-level degrees aimed at training patent agents for practice. There have been patent bar exam prep courses for many years, but these new programs are designed to provide patent-focused training to non-JD students that is similar to the type of instruction that law students receive.
For example, the Master of Legal Studies, Patent Practice concentration at Arizona State University features many of the college’s intellectual property and patent classes. Engineers and hard science graduates that are looking to acquire skills and expertise in patent law, intellectual property, patent drafting, and other applicable topics useful to patent practitioners can earn a Masters of Legal Studies, Patent Practice concentration degree in as little as 12 months. Masters-level students will be in the classroom with JD students for traditional courses such as patent law, an intellectual property overview course, and patent prosecution. Additionally, these non-JD students will also take two courses designed especially for them, an MPEP-focused comprehensive patent practice course and a skills course in patent drafting.
Further details about the curriculum and application process may be found at www.law.asu.edu/patentpractice.