Monday, May 11, 2009

So what happens now...?

A good chess player has to think many moves ahead of where his pieces are to see which plays would be to his benefit and which would be to his detriment. I don't play chess, but I do with my life... when I have to.

After being laid off in April, I packed up our home and moved our family to California (where my wife has family). She has been talking about going back to school, and knowing that this is the perfect opportunity to return to school AND have the government pay for living expenses by providing unemployment insurance payments for us, it seemed to be a win-win situation.

I applied to a UC program, and after a few weeks, I got an admission letter. However, I did not get into the electrical engineering program that I applied to, but a general undergraduate major. To everyone's surprise, with all the philosophy and other writing-intensive courses that I took when I was in college the first time, the only English course I took was English Writing 101, in which I received a C+. I am not apologetic about this score; I was 17 when I entered college. So with all the engineering classes I've taken, they are prohibiting me from registering for any engineering classes until I am admitted into the major, and that is only once I raise my score above a certain GPA which I can do with one English class that I could take over the summer.

The difficult thing is on top of the English class, they would require me to take CORE classes such as California History, and Social Justice, and other classes which have absolutely NO relevance to electrical engineering. This is a hurdle to getting the degree that I might not want to overcome. I was interested in going back to school to get an EE degree, not to take a Latin American Studies course so that I can fulfill a graduation requirement.

So I've started to look at other options on what to do because it is prohibitive to go back to school for another three years just to get a second undergraduate degree if the college porks up my curriculum with "graduation requirements."

One option is to take the California Bar Exam to practice as an attorney. Another option is to try to get hired as a patent attorney. A third option is to practice some non-state subject matter such as bankruptcy law or admiralty law which deals with federal practice and federal subject matter. However, I'm not sure whether a Colorado attorney such as myself is allowed to do this not being licensed in California to practice law. A fourth option is to give up my unemployment and start my own practice practicing patent law, and a fifth option is to just wait out the economy until one of these options materializes.

I feel as if G-d is opening and slamming shut doors faster than I know how to jump through them. I'm not exactly sure what to do.


Ahuva said...

I would definitely recommend against starting your own practice in this economy.

Before discarding the idea of going back to school, find out exactly what classes they would require and how long it would take. I find it a little hard to believe that almost none of your undergrad classes can be applied.

You're going to be in California for a while, so taking the California bar might not be such a bad idea; it will give you more options.

If the wiki article on the State Bar of California is correct: "Anyone who practices law in the state of California must be a member of the State Bar, or else he or she will be guilty of the crime of unauthorized practice of law." That sounds like you can't practice any sort of law (except for being a patent attorney) in CA without having passed the CA bar.

From what you've been writing, it sounds like your prospects as a patent attorney are limited without an undergrad science degree, so I'd recommend finding another field of law that you enjoy if you're not going back for the degree.

Anonymous said...

If you can, go back to school. However, I would go back to Colorado to either practice law or go back to school. Either way, dump that woman you now call your wife. She's ruining your life.