NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

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Dignan
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:34 pm

r6_philly wrote:Anecdote, but I had no problem getting IP firms' attention from Penn. I am actually going to be a SA at a powerhouse firm. MVPB are peer schools, just go with what make sense generally.

I think r6_philly's advice is decent, but I'll put in a word for Boalt here.

There are strong IP profs at Michigan, Virginia, and Penn, but Boalt's IP profs are stronger. There's something to be said for taking classes from the top professors in a particular field. Earlier, r6_philly noted that you can't take advantage of an IP program during your first year. At Boalt, however, you can take Intro to IP as a 1L. This year, that class is taught by the top patent scholar in the United States. (When the U.S. Supreme Court decides a patent case, they frequently cite his scholarship.) When patent-oriented 1Ls do OCI in the Fall, it won't hurt that they'll get to talk about that class.

Also, Boalt has a very active Technology Law Center and Technology Law Journal. Two times a week, they host lunches where lawyers from top IP firms come to talk about a topic. It's a great opportunity for 1Ls to network and meet IP lawyers. You won't have these opportunities at MVP (or NYU or Chicago, for that matter).

Having said all that, I think r6_philly is basically right: If you have a tech degree and decent grades, you won't have a hard time finding a job no matter where you go to school. Still, if you're an aspiring IP lawyer, I think that Boalt is probably more fun—and may even offer you a few more job opportunities—than its peers. Good luck!
Last edited by Dignan on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:35 pm

I'd go Boalt. IP firms respect them. And the difference between Boalt and UofC and NYU are minimal in general.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:35 pm

Dignan wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Anecdote, but I had no problem getting IP firms' attention from Penn. I am actually going to be a SA at a powerhouse firm. MVPB are peer schools, just go with what make sense generally.

I think r6_philly's advice is decent, but I'll put in a word for Boalt here.

There are strong IP profs at Michigan, Virginia, and Penn, but Boalt's IP profs are stronger. There's something to be said for taking classes from the top professors in a particular field. Earlier, r6_philly noted that you can't take advantage of an IP program during your first year. At Boalt, however, you can take Intro to IP as a 1L. This year, that class is taught by the top patent scholar in the United States. (When the U.S. Supreme Court decides a patent case, they frequently cite his scholarship.) When patent-oriented 1Ls do OCI in the Fall, it won't hurt that they'll get to talk about that class.

Also, Boalt has a very active Technology Law Center and Technology Law Journal. Two times a week, they host lunches where lawyers from top IP firms come to talk about a topic. It's a great opportunity for 1Ls to network and meet IP lawyers. You won't have these opportunities at MVP (or NYU or Chicago, for that matter).

Having said all that, I think r6_philly is basically right: If you have an tech degree and decent grades, you won't have a hard time finding a job no matter where you go to school. Still, if you're an aspiring IP lawyer, I think that Boalt is probably more fun—and may even offer you a few more job opportunities—than its peers. Good luck!


Nobody really cares who your professors are.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Nobody really cares who your professors are.

I think that's mostly right. However, if your interviewer knows the professor, and if they see you've taken a class from him or her, it'll give you something to talk about. Plus, many of the IP profs at Boalt are well-connected and highly respected by practitioners, and some of those profs will make calls on behalf of students during OCI.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:45 pm

I am taking Intro to IP this semester as a 1L here at Penn too. But it's a survey course covering everything, doesn't mean much. I assume the most training I will be getting during law school is while SAing. I don't plan to take a lot of IP courses, I actually think adding some secondary skills will help my career.

What I really meant was: law firms come to OCI and hire you before they see what you take in your 2L/3L year. They are not going to make you take certain courses after they hire you. They complain about law schools do nothing to prepare you for practice. They are going to hire you based on your technical strength. I think there is certain truth for people trying to crack into IP without background, but probably doesn't matter a bit for others.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:52 pm

Dignan wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Nobody really cares who your professors are.

I think that's mostly right. However, if your interviewer knows the professor, and if they see you've taken a class from him or her, it'll give you something to talk about. Plus, many of the IP profs at Boalt are well-connected and highly respected by practitioners, and some of those profs will make calls on behalf of students during OCI.



My point is how do you know these professors during OCI? You don't get to work with them until 2L. They can't meaningfully recommend you even if you know them outside of class. I am not trying to doubt you, I am just curious, because I had to ask my torts professor to recommend me.

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Dignan
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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:02 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Nobody really cares who your professors are.

I think that's mostly right. However, if your interviewer knows the professor, and if they see you've taken a class from him or her, it'll give you something to talk about. Plus, many of the IP profs at Boalt are well-connected and highly respected by practitioners, and some of those profs will make calls on behalf of students during OCI.



My point is how do you know these professors during OCI? You don't get to work with them until 2L. They can't meaningfully recommend you even if you know them outside of class. I am not trying to doubt you, I am just curious, because I had to ask my torts professor to recommend me.

I know three different ways that people got to know an IP prof before OCI:

1. They visited during office hours.

2. They became an Articles Editor of the Berkeley Tech & Law Journal, and edited an article by the prof over the summer. (At Boalt, you can become a general member of the Tech & Law journal as a 1L, and become an editor at the end of your 1L year.)

3. They applied for the Law and Technology Writing Workshop, which is an opportunity for 2Ls to write a published note under faculty supervision. You apply at the end of your 1L year; when you apply, it's an opportunity to discuss your interests and your background with a faculty member.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:06 pm

Dignan wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Nobody really cares who your professors are.

I think that's mostly right. However, if your interviewer knows the professor, and if they see you've taken a class from him or her, it'll give you something to talk about. Plus, many of the IP profs at Boalt are well-connected and highly respected by practitioners, and some of those profs will make calls on behalf of students during OCI.



My point is how do you know these professors during OCI? You don't get to work with them until 2L. They can't meaningfully recommend you even if you know them outside of class. I am not trying to doubt you, I am just curious, because I had to ask my torts professor to recommend me.

I know three different ways that people got to know an IP prof before OCI:

1. They visited during office hours.

2. They became an Articles Editor of the Berkeley Tech & Law Journal, and edited an article by the prof over the summer. (At Boalt, you can become a general member of the Tech & Law journal as a 1L, and become an editor at the end of your 1L year.)

3. They applied for the Law and Technology Writing Workshop, which is an opportunity for 2Ls to write a published note under faculty supervision. You apply at the end of your 1L year; when you apply, it's an opportunity to discuss your interests and your background with a faculty member.


Professors would recommend you without taking a class? People go to office hours for classes they are not taking? The journal membership is open? Sounds good in theory, but does any of these things hold any real weight?

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:13 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Professors would recommend you without taking a class? People go to office hours for classes they are not taking?

You misunderstood me. I'm talking about people who took Intro to IP and visited the prof during office hours. (I was responding to your point that the prof wouldn't get a chance to know you before your second year, even if you had taken a class from him/her.)

r6_philly wrote:The journal membership is open? Sounds good in theory, but does any of these things hold any real weight?

I'm not sure if it holds weight or not. You just asked how professors had gotten to know students well enough to recommend them at OCI. One way I'm aware of is when the student became an editor at the end of 1L year and edited the professor's piece over the summer. (At the end of 1L year, approximately 10 1Ls are elected to Articles Editor positions; their responsibilities start over their 1L summer.)

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:18 pm

Dignan wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Professors would recommend you without taking a class? People go to office hours for classes they are not taking?

You misunderstood me. I'm talking about people who took Intro to IP and visited the prof during office hours. (I was responding to your point that the prof wouldn't get a chance to know you before your second year, even if you had taken a class from him/her.)

r6_philly wrote:The journal membership is open? Sounds good in theory, but does any of these things hold any real weight?

I'm not sure if it holds weight or not. You just asked how professors had gotten to know students well enough to recommend them at OCI. One way I'm aware of is when the student became an editor at the end of 1L year and edited the professor's piece over the summer. (At the end of 1L year, approximately 10 1Ls are elected to Articles Editor positions; their responsibilities start over their 1L summer.)


Thanks for the clarification.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:09 am

You will have no problem getting a job. Tech people at Boalt crush at OCI. You'll be fine at any T10.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:42 am

Guys, thanks! You have all been most helpful.

jim-green wrote:But does NLJ250 = Biglaw? As I said earlier, Berkeley's website shows 30% placed into >500 size firms and 45% placed into NLJ250. So NLJ250 is not >500 size firms. NYU's website shows 51% placed into >500 size firms.

My mistake, I was looking at GULC's website where I am also accepted. GULC has 30% accepted into >500 size firms, and Boalt has 40% accepted into >500 size firms. Hence if NLJ250 says 45% of Boalt is accepted, then the numbers between Berkeley's website and NLJ250 indeed match up.

yeast master wrote:OP, You'll be just fine at Boalt. Even at my school, which is ranked in the 40s, bio PhDs are getting a lot of good offers. And the bay area and Silicon Valley have plenty of biotech IP jobs that pay 160k.

Thanks, this is helpful! However, at my age, I am not trying to go where I'll be fine. I am sure I will be fine at Pitt too. I am trying to go to my best option in view of my personal situation. Just trying to explain here why I am asking these questions.

BruceWayne wrote:But that applies more when you're talking about schools with huge overall reputation differences. Chicago and NYU don't have a significant difference in overall reputation vs. Boalt unless you're talking about each school's home market. And Boalt is such a power house in regards to IP that, unless he's focused on the Chicago or NYC markets (and honestly in the case of the latter market even then I would lean Boalt for IP in his situation) it just makes more sense.

What if towards the end of law school I want to try for a clerkship or teaching position. (Just keeping my options open here). Then wouldn't it be better to go to Chicago or NYU?

Dignan wrote:Yes, many Boalties go to firms with fewer than 500 lawyers. But keep in mind that many of those smaller firms are very competitive, with bonuses and/or base salaries that exceed those of the larger firms. As of 2010, firms like Boies, Quinn, and Irell had fewer than 500 lawyers, but they offered better compensation than most of the >500 size firms. And there are several elite litigation boutiques in SF (e.g., Keker, Farella, Lieff Cabraser) that regularly hire Boalties. Although these firms have fewer than 100 lawyers, they are generally more prestigious than the larger law firms. Any Berkeley grad with a job at one of those firms could easily get multiple offers from >500 size firms.

Wow, thanks! this is really good to know because I had no idea about this at all. I gotta lotta learnin' to do. What I had been told is Biglaw = >500 size firm = $160K, and pay reduces proportionately to size of firm. I had no idea that 'many of those smaller firms are very competitive, with bonuses and/or base salaries that exceed those of the larger firms.' I was told Boutiques pay low.

bk1 wrote:There are some boutiques that are biglaw (in that they pay market) but aren't NLJ250 (e.g. Keker as noted above).

Again, this is helpful, becuase i had no idea about this.

Dignan wrote:Plus, many of the IP profs at Boalt are well-connected and highly respected by practitioners, and some of those profs will make calls on behalf of students during OCI.

This would be very useful because this is how it works in the PhD arena.

Actually this is something I wanted to ask you folks about. How much of OCI success is determined by resume and grades, and how much by soft interview skills? I don't have any interview experience since I went from high school to BS to MS to PhD, and then my PhD advisor got me my present job without the need for an interview. I am not confident with competitive interviews, where you may be required to shine and be very smooth.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:03 pm

Pay:

Many smaller boutiques pay below 160, but require less hours. Big IP firms (Fish/Finnegan) and IP groups in big firms pay 160 but require higher billables.

OCI/Grade:

General consensus is boutiques care about your technical backgrounds more than GP firms, so grades matter less. You can search for the Loyola Patent Interview Program threads to see past results. But all signs pointing to: if you are coming from T10 (with your resume), grades are not so important.

Interview skills

From my experience, this is more important at the GP firms than boutiques. At the GP firms you interview with non-technical attorneys a lot, and they have different expectations. At boutique firms, I actually had people joking about being a techie or geek, so I think you get evaluated differently. Obvious lit/pros/transactional practice area makes a difference at all. But regardless, you should work on your interview skills. If you are not a good interviewer and is viewed as a shortcoming, you have to depend on your resume/grades to overcome it. Whereas if it is a plus, then you are going to dominate.
Last edited by r6_philly on Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Veyron » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:26 pm

r6_philly wrote:Pay:

Many smaller boutiques pay below 160, but require less hours. Big IP firms (Fish/Finnegan) and IP groups in big firms pay 160 but require hire billables.


How do I hire them billable folks?

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby r6_philly » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:37 pm

Veyron wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Pay:

Many smaller boutiques pay below 160, but require less hours. Big IP firms (Fish/Finnegan) and IP groups in big firms pay 160 but require hire billables.


How do I hire them billable folks?


Register for OCI duh...
Why are you in this thread?!?

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:59 am

Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this in: When law firms quote a $160K salary, does that include all benefits, or is it the salary alone. My present salary is less than 160, but if I include the health insurance premiums my employer pays and the 401K match, then it gets closer to 160. In the case that the law firms' 160 includes all benefits, the compensation does not make much sense for me to take a 3-year opportunity cost hit.
r6_philly wrote:Pay: Many smaller boutiques pay below 160, but require less hours. Big IP firms (Fish/Finnegan) and IP groups in big firms pay 160 but require higher billables.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Veyron » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:23 am

jim-green wrote:Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this in: When law firms quote a $160K salary, does that include all benefits, or is it the salary alone. My present salary is less than 160, but if I include the health insurance premiums my employer pays and the 401K match, then it gets closer to 160. In the case that the law firms' 160 includes all benefits, the compensation does not make much sense for me to take a 3-year opportunity cost hit.
r6_philly wrote:Pay: Many smaller boutiques pay below 160, but require less hours. Big IP firms (Fish/Finnegan) and IP groups in big firms pay 160 but require higher billables.


Salary alone. Full compensation = 160 + bonus (market was 7.5k this year and a spring bonus may also be given depending on firm) + benes

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:45 am

Wow, I bet they make you work hard then. My job is only 6 hrs a day, plus 2 hrs of e-mail a night with the China division.
Veyron wrote:Salary alone. Full compensation = 160 + bonus (market was 7.5k this year and a spring bonus may also be given depending on firm) + benes

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby skers » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:35 am

jim-green wrote:Wow, I bet they make you work hard then. My job is only 6 hrs a day, plus 2 hrs of e-mail a night with the China division.
Veyron wrote:Salary alone. Full compensation = 160 + bonus (market was 7.5k this year and a spring bonus may also be given depending on firm) + benes


Dude. Keep your job.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:19 am

Thank you, this is a strong conclusion I am getting from several other quarters too.
TemporarySaint wrote:Dude. Keep your job.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby jim-green » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:18 am

I was doing some thinking this morning, and remembered an incident from 1999. I was younger and brash and a 'smart scientist' at the time, so I put all the savings I had into tech stocks. This was the height of the tech boom, as many will remember. Naturally, a year later I lost everything. This taught me very clearly to not put all my eggs in one basket.

I wonder if I will be doing the same with Boalt. Sure, maybe it has the best IP program around and is located next to the IP law firms. However, what if IP law goes soft 4-5 years from now, and say, tax law is the strongest thing on the planet? In such a case, would it not have been wiser to go to an all round better school, such as one of CCN that give a better legal education, and not just one slice of a legal education. I ask this in earnest.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby de5igual » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:25 am

Law school honestly doesn't sound like it'd be worth it to you. You're established in your career, have a good work life it seems, make decent $ and have a family. You're risking 3 years of that to go into a shit ton of debt for a gamble (yes, even at CCN) to make only marginally more than what you have now (but work twice as many hours—so say bye to your family).

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby barneytrouble » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:34 pm

jim-green wrote:I was doing some thinking this morning, and remembered an incident from 1999. I was younger and brash and a 'smart scientist' at the time, so I put all the savings I had into tech stocks. This was the height of the tech boom, as many will remember. Naturally, a year later I lost everything. This taught me very clearly to not put all my eggs in one basket.

I wonder if I will be doing the same with Boalt. Sure, maybe it has the best IP program around and is located next to the IP law firms. However, what if IP law goes soft 4-5 years from now, and say, tax law is the strongest thing on the planet? In such a case, would it not have been wiser to go to an all round better school, such as one of CCN that give a better legal education, and not just one slice of a legal education. I ask this in earnest.


Ill start this off by admitting I have always had some extra respect for Boalt based on some of its unique qualities.

There are so many differences between tech stocks in 1999 and Boalt right now. The comparison is (or at least SEEMS) wayyy off base. Going to Boalt isn't even close to putting all of your eggs in one basket; the difference between going to Boalt vs CCN is nothing like putting all of your money in stocks vs diversifying them. I mean I honestly cannot stress this enough. You are talking more along the lines of spreading your money across 10 stocks rather than 12 or something.

In all honesty, the way I personally tier schools goes HYS, then CCNB, where you go to chicago if you want the midwest/academia, Columbia or NYU if you are set on the best NYC law firms, and Boalt in any other case. I personally give it a clear boost over MVP because of the fact that it is in Cali and also has the cool little grading system. Lets keep in mind that boalt has gone from like 5 or 6, down to 13, then now back up to 7th... It is a weird school to rank accurately.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Rotor » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:21 pm

jim-green wrote:I was doing some thinking this morning, and remembered an incident from 1999. I was younger and brash and a 'smart scientist' at the time, so I put all the savings I had into tech stocks. This was the height of the tech boom, as many will remember. Naturally, a year later I lost everything. This taught me very clearly to not put all my eggs in one basket.

I wonder if I will be doing the same with Boalt. Sure, maybe it has the best IP program around and is located next to the IP law firms. However, what if IP law goes soft 4-5 years from now, and say, tax law is the strongest thing on the planet? In such a case, would it not have been wiser to go to an all round better school, such as one of CCN that give a better legal education, and not just one slice of a legal education. I ask this in earnest.

I agree with Barney. This is nothing like putting all your money in JDS Uniphase. (been there done that). While Berkeley's IP program is stellar, we are not a one trick pony. The business law program (which can lead to a specialty certificate if you want) is getting a ton of resources and top faculty. Since you mentioned tax, our core of tax profs is small, but very well respected. One just got back from a year after receiving a call from the White House for a policy position and another sits on several boards (and had to resched class last week attending board meetings in NY).

Is there a reason you keep coming up with paper thin reasons not to come? I agree no school is a good option for you. But if it's a choice between law schools, Boalt is as good or better than your other options in your situation.

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Re: NLJ250, Biglaw and Berkeley

Postby Emu Flu » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:15 am

I don't go to Berkeley, but I just thought I'd answer your prosecution-related questions.

jim-green wrote:Are patent prosecutors paid less than patent litigators?


Prosecutors aren't necessarily paid less than litigators. Salaries at the same office are the same regardless of field. However, most patent prosecution is done at firms where the overall salaries are often lower than Big Law salaries, but so are the hourly requirements. The business models vary. I've seen hourly requirements go as low as 1500 hours. Most firms have fixed salaries, but some have a percentage of billed hours or collections model. I've seen percentages range from 35-65%, sometimes in a tiered system where, for example, hours over 1800 result in the associate getting 65% of the billed hours or collections (many firms have fixed fees or are on a credit system, so you don't necessarily have hours at all firms or clients). Many firms have fixed salaries for years 1-3, but percentage of billed for years 4+. Some people earn quite a bit of money under a percentage billed system.

As you can see, things are not as standardized as in Big Law!

I'm not too familiar with biomedical engineering since I'm an electrical engineer. However, the more life science or biomedical oriented patent prosecution in the Bay Area is concentrated at larger firms. I can only think of a few boutiques that do work in that area. Of course, this only relevant if you want to stay within that field!

Prosecution seems to be less glamorous and more looked down upon than litigation, so I fear it translates to less opportunities for career growth as well.


That's true. You will not win a $300 million judgment in patent prosecution. You'll just get a patent issued. It's probably also perceived as less glamorous because many of the firms in the field are smaller.

However, I disagree with the less opportunities for career growth belief. There are much more "of counsel" positions for those who don't or are not interested in partnership. There are lots of contractors, remote employment opportunities, etc. because of the solitary nature of the work. There are more in-house positions. It's easier to get business. It's easier to start your own firm.




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