IDE Pre-law Track


Why pursue the IDE pre-law track? 

Innovation drives our lives, and an IDE degree teaches you how to innovate. The IDE pre-law track supplements this training by introducing you to another important aspect of innovation: protecting innovation through intellectual property law. This track features two cutting-edge courses taught by experts in the field of intellectual property that will be introduced for the first time in Spring 2022: ENGR 130 Introduction to Intellectual Property for Engineers and in Fall 2022 ENGR 131 Introduction to Patents for Engineers. Explore expanding the scope of your IDE degree into the legal arena, and read more about the pre-law track below!


A minor program in 'Innovation and Law' 


A new minor program in "Innovation and Law" will be available to all SJSU students graduating in Fall 2022 or later.   This program is for studnets who are interested in learning the basics in the area of intellectual Property, Patent Law, and Entrepreneurship.   Career opportunities in this area are described below. Students can take required courses  starting Spring 2022 and possibly complete the minor by Fall 2022.     For more information about this minor, please contact the IDE undergraduate advisor,  Prof. Jack Warecki at or the SJSU pre-law advisor Prof. Rebecca Chan at


Innovation and Law minor requirements:

Required courses:

Any SJSU 100W          Engineering Reports (ENGR100W)

ENGR130        Introduction to Intellectual Property for Engineers   (Spring 2022)

ENGR131        Introduction to Patents for Engineers  (Summer 2022 *)

PHIL 137         Puzzles in Innovation and Law (Summer 2022 *)

BUS5 181        Introduction to entrepreneurship (Fall 2022) 

                      (* If the enrollment is sufficient.) 

Select one course from the following this list: ENGL 107, PHIL 134, ECON 141**, DSID 135**, BUS5 163B, BUS5 165B, BUS5 182*, BUS5 184A , BUS3 186, BUS5 186V.   (** check the course pre-requisites.) 


Video testimony from Christopher Reed, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni. 

Video testimony from Vignesh Ramachandran, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni. 

Video testimony from Andy Han, JD., SJSU Engineering Alumni.

 What can I do with the IDE prelaw track? 

The IDE prelaw track prepares you to for many exciting careers in high demand. Here’s a sampling of some of the careers you’ll be prepared to pursue: 


Intellectual Property Attorney

IP attorneys are practicing lawyers who specialize in intellectual property law. Often times, they help clients establish and protect their intellectual property rights. 

Educational Requirements: In order to be an IP attorney, you'll have to go to law school. A degree in engineering, especially with a track in IDE, can prepare you for law school by training your critical thinking skills and giving you the background necessary to understand some of the intellectual property you may end up protecting. 

Discover more:


Patent/TM Agent

Patent and TM agents work with inventors on filing for patent and trademark protection. They are professionally licensed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Educational Requirements: You don't need a law degree to become a patent agent, though you do need an undergraduate degree in an approved major--such as interdisciplinary engineering! In addition, you'll have to pass the USPTO's patent bar exam. 

Discover more:


Legal Engineering

Legal engineers work in the intersection of law and technology. For instance, they might help determine whether a legal service can be standardized into a product, or help create those products.

Educational Requirements: You don't need a law degree to be a legal engineer, though some legal engineers have them and it helps to be familiar with legal processes. The ability to think creatively, communicate with both lawyers and technologists, and understand the intersection of law and technology are essential skills. You can build these skills with the IDE track!

Discover more:


Other Careers

The beauty of the intersection between law, technology, and engineering is that you can create your own career path. You'll have a unique mix of skills that are in high demand in many industries. 


Meet Our Advising Team 

Want to learn more? We have a full advising team who can answer your questions about the IDE pre-law track. 

Rebecca Chan, PhD, JD, SJSU Pre-law Advisor

Christopher Reed, JD, SJSU Alumnus BSEE 1997, Advisor

I’m in! What’s my course of study?


A 4-year program of study road map can be found here