The reason I am on the road is to go to law schools in the area to talk about patnet law as a career, and to also stick in some positive words for the Patent Bar Review Course I teach for PLI along with John White. John is somewhere in North Carolina doing the same thing. We try and get out to as many law schools as we can in the course of the year. While PLI pays for the trips and we have brochures and do talk about the patent bar examination, the presentation is not really a sales pitch. I love talking about patent law, what I am writing about on the blog, how students can create better resumes and just answer whatever questions they have. I do also mention that I think the Patent Bar Review Course is the best course available, to be sure. For whatever it is worth, before I started teaching for PLI about 8 or 9 years ago now I recommended my students strongly consider taking the course because it is a really good course.
Anyway, I just received an e-mail from PLI today promoting the Patent Bar Review Course (like I need to be on that list). But I wanted to pass one thing along from this e-mail that is worth knowing. The e-mail states:
Warn your friends who are thinking of studying for the Patent Bar: If they’re studying from past Exams and (or) the current MPEP, they’re in double trouble!
The Exam isn’t testing the current MPEP (but a version now several years old) and the last released Exam is from 2003. They’ve started testing lots of new rules since that last Exam (and we’re of course covering them in our course).
Plus, we have more live and homestudy options than all of the other courses combined!
It is certainly true that PLI offers more live course locations than any other course, and we have a tremendous homestudy course. If you take the live course somewhere it is 5 days and a complete emersion course, and you get the audio CDs from the homestudy course as well, so it is a great way to take the course. Both our live and homestudy options have extremely high pass rates, which definitely helps the course sell itself.
The quote above does have some really important information in it though. Many people trying to study on a budget will just try and read the MPEP and do what they can. I can certainly understand budgetary concerns, but you really do need to be warned that it is not the current MPEP that the exam is going to test you on. What that means is that if you know the practice of patent law today based on the current MPEP you are going to get some questions wrong on the exam because the exam has not yet caught up to the current version of the MPEP. So you really need to beware buying older versions of the course without knowing whether the course you are buying is relevant to the exam you will be taking.
Another thought to consider. Many times I will hear from students that they purchased our course second hand for like $1,400. That always amazes me. With the steep student discount available (about $800) and extra discounts available for either listening to John or I when we come to your school, or the 10% discount you get by mentioning IPWatchdog, the cost of a brand new course that is guaranteed to be geared toward the exam you will take is marginally more expensive. So before you get scared away from the list price on the PLI site make sure you understand what the student price is and if there are any other discounts you may qualify for. For more information about the exam check out my Patent Bar Exam page.
Well… I am off to Akron University presently for a talk on patent law and the patent bar. I love this stuff!