Sure it must be the new patent reform laws driving demand for patent lawyers. It's not as though a patent war has exploded between Google and Oracle. Or Samsung and Apple. Or... well in fact everybody and everyone. Did Techdirt not notice rather large bids for Nortel? Or Motorola? For their patents? Or Google buying patents from IBM? Might firms not be scrambling to shore up their patent portfolios? Not to mention patent trolls filching patent lawyers from legitimate companies?
Mike, I'm pretty sure you wrote the last sentence and then wrote the rest of the article back upwards to support it. The reforms are fundamentally good and bring the US in line with the rest of the world. ie the rest of the world too sensible to allow software or business patents.
"It also mentions how law firms are really seeking people who could have been contributing to actual innovation, but have left engineering for the law instead"
That doesn't even make sense. If they've already left then they have already left.